By Lawal Ibrahim, ANIPR
The biblical allusion on turning the other cheek was copiously displayed on Monday, 17th October instant, at Tudunwada Dankadai, when House of Representatives Majority Leader, Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa, OON, closed down his 14-year old Federal Constituency office in the area.
The story is not about the closure, but the circumstances that led to it, and the magnanimity shown.
It all began about a week earlier, when the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) House of Representatives candidate for the constituency, Hon Salisu Yusha’u and his state assembly counterpart for Tudunwada, Hon Abdullahi Iliya Yaryasa, established their campaign office just across the road (opposite Doguwa’s office).
Yes, one would argue that every Nigerian has constitutional rights of living, association, etc. Thus, the NNPP candidates have the right to establish office wherever they so wish. But, where one’s rights stop, is where another’s began, and, there can only be talks about rights when we are living in peace.
Before establishing the office, it was said that the duo had to rebuff all entreaties by security agents (DPO, DSS, etc) and well-meaning people in the area-some of whom were NNPP supporters, begging them to move to another site, because they all were said to have viewed the action as a sure invitation to anarchy.
The action was said to have generated a lot of tension and condemnations in the area, and was viewed by many as a deliberate move to provoke Doguwa or his supporters to react and lead to violence that would eventually smear their image.
But, not as was expected by their opponents, neither Doguwa nor any of his supporters paid any attention to the perceived provocation, not until that fateful Monday, when the Majority Leader convened a meeting at his office.
On mounting the podium to deliver his speech, Hon Doguwa began: “One of the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) enjoined believers to checkmate any evil they come across by using force to stop it; talking against it, or at worst, abhorring it, which signifies the weakest level of belief. I know my belief level is not weak, so, I will use ‘force’ to stop an impending evil.
“As the Majority Leader of the House of Reps, I have every instrument at my disposal including security outfits and youths to deal with this provocation by our opponents in a higher measure, but the best Muslim is the one who denies himself the right to vengeance at the time he has all the reasons and means for that, thus, since what our opponents wanted was for us to give them a reason to maim our constituents, from today Monday, 17th October, 2022, I declare this office of mine closed, and all activities being conducted here, will now be moved to another office on the western part of this town,” he announced. Incidentally, the closed office is on the eastern part of the town, along Jos Road.
To this point, all well-meaning people in and out of the area have continued to shower encomiums on Hon Alhassan Ado for this exceptional sportsmanship, especially considering the very likely fatalities and destructions that would have ensued, had he played along with the opposition.
According to the Council Chairman of the area Alhaji Ahmad Tijjani Musah, Alhassan’s decision had saved the local government the burden of having to contend with the imminent chaos that would emanate from having the two opposing sides staying just facing each other, conducting their political activities at their whims, especially at this campaign era.
It was alleged that the premises the NNPP candidates used in creating the office, a former Community Bank belonging to the Local Government, was illegally acquired by someone in a dubious manner, before an ally of Hon Yusha’u took it on rent and hand it over to them on the advice of one of the NNPP candidates.
With this move, Rt. Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa has proven President Muhammadu Buhari and whoever has a hand in the selection of recipients of the recent National Honours Awards right, for awarding the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) on him.
The act has also shown the Majority Leader to be a statesman worthy of emulation by not only politicians but every individual Nigerian who wishes to see improvement in our peaceful co-existence.
Ibrahim is a Kano-based journalist and can be reached on sabolawani@