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Nigeria betrays General Murtala Ramat Muhammed

Murtala Ramat Muhammed, the towering figure of Nigeria’s history, embodied the essence of true national heroism. His indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to the unity…

Murtala Ramat Muhammed, the towering figure of Nigeria’s history, embodied the essence of true national heroism. His indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to the unity and progress of Nigeria made him a figure revered across every section of the country. Thus, when he tragically met his end, the entire nation mourned, recognizing the profound loss of a leader whose vision and actions transcended regional divides.

One of Murtala Ramat Muhammed’s most enduring legacies was his foresight in establishing the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja in 1976. This monumental decision, driven by his sense of unity and fairness, laid the foundation for Nigeria’s administrative and political hub, Abuja. It was a testament to his far-sighted leadership, recognizing the need for a neutral ground that would symbolize the unity of Nigeria beyond its diverse ethnic and regional identities.

However, recent events have cast a shadow over Murtala Ramat Muhammed’s legacy. The decision by the Minister of FCT, Nyeson Wike, to rename Murtala Ramat Muhammed Way to Wole Soyinka Way represents a betrayal of the memory of a man who sacrificed his life to safeguard the nation’s integrity. Murtala Ramat Muhammed’s pivotal role in liberating the Mid-west region from Biafran forces, thereby securing territories that would later form states like Rivers, Bayelsa, and Edo, should not be forgotten or diminished.

Moreover, it is essential to acknowledge that without Murtala Ramat Muhammed’s bold initiative in establishing the FCT, individuals like Wike would not have had the platform to serve in role such as Minister of FCT. The decision to rename a street that bears the name of a national hero is not merely a matter of semantics; it is a profound statement about the values we uphold as a nation and the reverence we show to those who have sacrificed for the greater good.

Nyesom Wike, let’s speak plainly: Murtala Ramat Muhammed’s achievements stand as monumental milestones in Nigeria’s history, ones that are unmatched and unlikely to be replicated. Even if you were to ascend to the presidency, it is improbable that you could surpass Murtala’s legacy. His leadership during a critical juncture in the nation’s history, marked by his integrity, courage, and decisive actions, set a standard that few can emulate. Rather than attempting to overshadow his achievements, it would be more constructive to focus on building upon his legacy for the betterment of Nigeria.

The act of renaming Murtala Ramat Muhammed Way can be interpreted as a deliberate insult orchestrated by the Tinubu government, aimed at diminishing the legacy of a man whose dedication to Nigeria’s national purpose and patriotism remains unparalleled. It is a regrettable reflection of the political maneuvering and opportunism that often overshadow the principles of unity and inclusivity that Murtala Ramat Muhammed championed.

Furthermore, such divisive actions have the potential to exacerbate the already-existing fault lines within our society, deepening the fractures that Murtala Ramat Muhammed worked tirelessly to bridge. In a country where unity is often fragile and polarizing forces are ever-present, it is incumbent upon leaders to honor the memory of heroes like Murtala Ramat Muhammed and to uphold the values of unity, fairness, and national purpose that they embodied.

The president must urgently overturn the ill-considered decision to rename Murtala Ramat Muhammed Way to Wole Soyinka Way. This renaming not only disregards the historical significance of Murtala Ramat Muhammed but also undermines the collective memory and identity of the nation. Such actions cannot go unchallenged, and it is imperative that the president rectify this mistake without delay.

Hajiya Balarabe writes from Kano


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