By Abdu Abdullahi
Eventually, the progressives’ camp witnessed the emergence of a faithful, dogged and consummate ideologue and disciple, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, as the first executive governor of the old Kaduna State on October 1, 1979.
No sooner had he taken over the mantle of leadership than he was confronted with the extreme reality, predicament and peculiarity of being the only governor in the erstwhile Second Republic who would not enjoy the blessings, partnership and collaboration of the legislative arm of government to make progress.
Thus, he led almost an empty government that was unkindly denied the composition of commissioners who would be ambassadors of the progress Balarabe loved the people of Kaduna to have.
While his administration lasted for 20 months, only himself, late Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, as the Secretary to the State Government and Permanent Secretaries took the pains and burden of running the state affairs to save it from democratic collapse.
Envied by the likely fortunes his radical dispensation would bear and impact on the downtrodden, the highly conservative legislators found the list of his commissioners as threatening to their aspiration of destruction instead of construction and thus rejected it to renew their disloyalty to the state and progress and loyalty to their vast selfishness.
Right from the word go, Musa learnt that he was in governance to fight an artillery of retrogressive democrats to forge ahead, for the assembly was controlled by the opposition members of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), while he was the flag-bearer of the defunct Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Whether it was a democratic blunder or otherwise to elect a governor based on his pronounced and prudent credibility and chose for him a different party to work with him as the legislators, the people of Kaduna State had to pay the ultimate and exorbitant price of fixing an opposition party at the legislative chamber that later shamelessly and treacherously impeached him and converted him into a hero of democracy and simultaneously deprived the state of a promising future.
Interestingly, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa was into the sacred business of government to fight for a noble cause of a socio-economic transformation of his beloved people.
What only remained for him was to swing into action as he equipped himself with the essential templates and fundamentals of a service-oriented government. At that crucial and decisive time, the future was set to brilliantly unfold itself to demonstrate to the world the power of left wing governance and the surprises it would produce for the good and well being of humanity.
Since he was not representing his personal interest and that of his family members, but the joint interest of his party and all the families that were living within Kaduna State, his administration was therefore presented to suit the peoples’ interest no matter what it would cost him.
And we consequently saw how the warlords of the opposition betrayed a very bright and outstanding future to promote their conservative world. While his strong conviction was to utilize the ample opportunity conferred on him by the power of the peoples’ votes to change the society, he quickly grasped the core message and passionate value of his leadership style of moving away from the gloomy hours of bad governance to a more responsible status of socio-economic prosperity.
He was focused to a fault and for which he was subsequently and consequently removed from office. Unknown to us however, the enemies of development as championed by the NPN stalwarts and lawmakers would stand in favour of retrogression as clearly exhibited by their open anger and annoyance against a progressive movement that was poised to the upliftment of the people.
Before he was impeached and for almost two years of incorruptible and desirable governance, Balarabe Musa and the rest of us saw how those selfish, political vultures and reactionary lawmakers murdered his administration at mid-term session without remorsefulness.
In those days when the seat of a governor was held in high esteem as well as an avenue for putting selfless service across the people to win the remembrance of history, Musa would not cowardly succumb to the gang of failed politicians who cheated and altered the future and squandered the envisaged fortunes of its youths.
His ideological battle began and was sustained where they insisted on being the saboteurs of tomorrow.
At the end of their selfish and dangerous resolve to unseat Musa, it was made known to us that he never stole a kobo from the state treasury, he was never found wanting of certificate forgery or falsification. The lawmakers, led by Speaker Dan Musa, sent him out of office simply because the deceased was an uncompromising political gladiator who was all out against all those notable impediments that served as mechanism for dehumanisation.
To the best of our knowledge, Balarabe was booted out of office because he was making positive moves that would dislodge all traces of socio-economic injustices.
Evidently, that was Balarabe’s best dream as a governor. But those reactionaries, like their global partners, spoiled the coming days that would be characterized by government of the masses, by the masses and for the masses and its triumphant end.
After the cruel, unjust and political crime of his dismissal from the corridors of power, the fight he could not finish as a governor was extended to the national front from the state level. For him, this was the best time to make his ideological war clearer, elaborate and offensive.
However, the extension of his battle was now being executed under the military junta. Credibly, he seized the crises of those times to patronise the country’s integrity. Through the socio-economic crises of that difficult epoch, Balarabe opted for the tool of communication to warn us about the dangers of those days and the repercussions of being subjected to economic slavery and falling into the heavy debt of neo-colonialism.
In fact, his monthly magazine, The Analyst, was born to be a thorn in the flesh of the powers that be of that period. He was able to gather a careful collection of erudite and seasoned intellectuals that cut across ethno religious boundaries to build a new egalitarian nation. The who-was-who list included the famous Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, Dr. Ayochia Ayu and Dr. Sunusi Abubakar.
Other notable and active participants included Hauwa Mahdi, Tunji Osobu, Onwudinjo Ude, Richard Umaru, Rufai Ibrahim, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Osita Eze and Zuwaghu Bonat among others.
In fact, it was an assembly of a mini Nigeria with a universal message of eradicating all forms of injustices.
With the eventful advent of the magazine and its Hausa version sister Fitila, the revolutionary messages were travelling very fast with a particular enthusiasm displayed by the restive youths who now found a reliable point of reference.
Incredibly, some highly spirited youths embarked on the enlightenment mission in which they often read the contents of the Fitila version to the illiterate populace to mobilize them for a radical change.
With the passage of time, the twin magazines were producing revolutionary messages of exposing corruption at its low and high levels, unmasking the engineers of bad governance and adequately responding to the rampaging neo-colonialism among others.
While the radical war continued to win converts, especially among the oppressed and deprived youths, the probable error Balarabe might have put in place was his complete reliance of the battle on the Marxism ideology.
It could have been a bit better for him to have greatly lessened the enthusiasm on that platform, for after the demise of the over 70 years of the Socialist revolution in Russia, the battalion of Balarabe could no longer make a linkage between his struggle and the Soviet Union. Finally, the tempo and cogent confidence he persistently bestowed on the battle began to evaporate and disappear.
Though there were some remarkable attempts at resuscitating the worthy battle with the emergence of the Analysis as an off shoot of the Analyst, the desired effects were not recorded, perhaps owing to so many fundamental changes notably of which was the inevitable circumstance of adversity.
While I soberly and painfully mourn the elder statesman’s demise, may his soul rest in peace!
Abdullahi wrote in from Galadanci Quarters, Ringim, Jigawa State and can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07036207998.