BALA MUHAMMAD (firstname.lastname@example.org: Salam my namesake. Your article really pricked my conscience. You aptly voiced out my long-time concern on the issue of remembering our fallen heroes. It is unfortunate that our fallen (slain) heroes are being fast forgotten. There is need, therefore, for our people to wake up and celebrate and remember these golden heroes on 15 January every year, without any prejudice to the Armed Forces Remembrance Day on the same day. I am in my early forties, and my life is positively shaped by Sardauna’s legacies and his biographies “My Life” (1962) and “Ahmadu Bello: Sardauna of Sokoto: Values & Leadership in Nigeria” 1986). Thank you very much for keeping us reminded,
ASSAD (email@example.com): Let me first commend you for your contribution through sharing your knowledge with others in general, and writing on this very important subject matter, specifically. All efforts like yours deserve appreciation, especially now when our collective interests as a people have taken the backburner and selfish ones, the front, somewhat permanently. I agree with your opening line that the statement ‘The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’ does not refer to heroes like Sardauna. This is absolutely true because majority of our leaders in both politics and the bureaucracy at the federal level especially have totally forgotten why Sardauna was killed in the first place; and that is his unwavering commitment to provide for and protect the interest of the Northerner in a just and equitable nation.
Sardauna wanted us to have decent education, decent jobs and live decent lives; live in dignity and get our fair share out of the Nigerian enterprise. His policy of “The Northerner first…” was unequivocal and uncompromising in that regard. Well, those that were opposed to it killed him and all those that represented that stand along with him. May Allah SubhanaHu wa Ta’ala have mercy on them all and the rest of us.
In contrast to Sardauna’s vision, what do we have today? In virtually every institution of government at the Federal Level the Northerner is increasingly becoming a minority through all kinds of strategies designed to keep the system skewed against him in both the employment process (they now use internet to advertise when many of us have no access to it; instead of using both the internet and other communication routes like through community leaders) and promotions (now handled by consultants dominated by a section of the country who naturally have their own interests to protect).
The Federal Character that was to curtail the excesses of tribalism, ethnicity and religion has been thrown out effectively. Most leaders in position to protect the interest of fellow Northerners either sell job openings to the highest bidders or are too “big” to pay attention to such “small matters”, forgetting that if you deny us one job opportunity, just one, it will impact a whole generation. It’s the same with scholarships to study here and overseas. The loss of a single opportunity has such negative ripple effect that lasts for decades. The result is, of course, the current atmosphere of insecurity we have, particularly in the North, due largely to ignorance and joblessness.
Take a look around everywhere you go in the North and you would notice that. Most jobs in the formal sector in both private and public organisations, including even menial jobs such as security and cleaners, are dominated by others. Is it the same in other parts of Nigeria? No! I know there are policies in the oil producing states of the Niger Delta which ensures that all levels one to six jobs or so are given to indigenes. Why can’t we do the same here to protect our jobless youth from the temptation of being offered little or barely anything to become Boko Haram and kidnappers?
True, this government has tried to repair some of these imbalances from previous administrations, but the big question is: are the direct beneficiaries really helping matters? While PMB is taking the insults every day, the people he appointed at the top level are carrying on as if they are in those exalted positions just for the benefit of themselves and their families to the exclusion of their communities, and as if they will be there forever. Perhaps it’s time every community starts calling their leaders in both politics and bureaucracy every time anyone gets appointed to provide a clear plan on how they intend to uplift others, rather than organise for them reception parties. Partying should be left till an appointed officer has served his term, and an assessment of his contribution has been made and determined to be satisfactory.
Until we see our leaders at all levels leading for the benefit of both the North and the country in a fair, just and equitable manner, we can say unequivocally that Sardauna and heroes like him have indeed died in vain.
- ABDUL AZIZ LABO MAHUTA (firstname.lastname@example.org): Bravo, Sir! Ashe the deliberate fake news of “Muslims importing weapons for Jihad” did not start today. Till today they are at it. And, apparently, this was Nzeogwu & Co’s actual reason for these heartless murders called coup. These guys were not soldiers but armed regional thugs. Indeed, WE SHALL NEVER FORGET in sha Allah.
ABBATI DANKANTI GUMEL: (email@example.com): The death of late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, was sad and sorrowful, and will remain unforgiveable to the people of this part of the country. That death led to the sorry state of the affairs of our people up to this moment. Our prayer will always be may Allah help us produce another leader not only for the northern part of the country but for the generality of Nigerians; a leader who will remain focused, self-disciplined, innovative and above all transparently honest. May Allah protect us from those who will steal from us and deceive us, only to promote their children, friends and relatives.