Monday, 9 November 2009

Rekindling Sardauna's Legacies

Over N5.12 billion was realised at the memorial foundation launch of the late premier of the defunct Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, which was organised by the Northern Governors' Forum, NGF

By Femi Olanrewaju

After about one month postponement, the Northern Governors' Forum, NGF, on October 18, launched the memorial foundation for Sir Ahmadu Bello, former premier of the defunct northern region. The launching was done in collaboration with the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation Appeal Fund aimed at reviving the legacies left behind by the late sage. Nigerians from all walks of life attended the launch held at the Murtala Square, Kaduna. Former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) chaired the occasion. Dignitaries at the occasion paid glowing tributes to the late Sardauna. President Umar Yar'Adua was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed who expressed concern that the legacies left behind by the late Sardauna are gradually dying. Chairman of the Northern Governor's Forum, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu urged his colleagues to imitate the ideals of the late premier. “We therefore call on our elders and leaders to have a common interest and desire to help our people to live above partisanship, above selfish and parochial interest. These are the values we are promoting in our various states as political leaders and the disciples of Sir Ahmadu Bello whose sojourn in life made significant impact on our lives,” Aliyu who is also the governor of Niger State stated. He expressed the hope that Nigeria could get back on track if the leaders embrace lost social and moral values of the discipline and respect for the law and order in the land. He disclosed that the foundation was aimed at promoting good governance, responsible leadership for the region and the country in the areas of agriculture, education, resuscitating ailing industries, eradication of poverty, destitution and street begging.
The chairman of the occasion, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), was full of praises for the NGF for immortalising the late premier. Gowon noted that the Sardauna “towered his peers. He was a charismatic figure and a true servant of the north. He was passionate about education in order to narrow the educational gap between the north and the south.”

Former civilian president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari who said the late Sardauna was his teacher at the Sokoto Middle School, described him as a dedicated and disciplined leader who wanted the unity of Nigeria. And for Alhaji Balarabe Musa, national chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, the Sardauna is incomparable with the present leaders of the north because, “he was not a thief like the leaders of today. They have been unable to dissociate themselves from stealing. His legacies were not based on falsehood; they were based on real achievements and patriotism.” Balarabe further added that the late Sardauna did a lot to solve the problems of the north as much as he could. “He would have achieved much more if he was like Aminu Kano. He achieved a lot because he had integrity but the present leaders who are claiming to be his disciples do not have any integrity. They do not have anything in common with him because he lived a life of transparency, accountability and above all, he championed the cause of all. But the present leaders are thieves.”
Born in Rabah, Sokoto province in 1909, Ahmadu Bello was a descendant of late Usman Dan Fodio, the great West African Islamic revivalist who founded the Sokoto Caliphate. Ahmadu Bello started his political career as a councilor with the Sokoto Native Authority where he improved the local police, prison and other organs under his control before he was later elected to represent Sokoto in the defunct Northern House of Assembly in 1949. He later became premier of the region, which now comprises of 19 states.
As a premier, Ahmadu Bello established many industries such as Kaduna Textiles Limited, KTL, New Nigerian Newspapers, NNN, New Nigerian Development Corporation, NNDC, the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Kaduna Polytechnic, among others. Although some of the establishments are now taken over by the federal government, most of them have been mismanaged.

After about one month postponement, the Northern Governors' Forum, NGF, on October 18, launched the memorial foundation for Sir Ahmadu Bello, former premier of the defunct northern region. The launching was done in collaboration with the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation Appeal Fund aimed at reviving the legacies left behind by the late sage. Nigerians from all walks of life attAended the launch held at the Murtala Square, Kaduna. Former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) chaired the occasion. Dignitaries at the occasion paid glowing tributes to the late Sardauna. President Umar Yar'Adua was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed who expressed concern that the legacies left behind by the late Sardauna are gradually dying. Chairman of the Northern Governor's Forum, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu urged his colleagues to imitate the ideals of the late premier. “We therefore call on our elders and leaders to have a common interest and desire to help our people to live above partisanship, above selfish and parochial interest. These are the values we are promoting in our various states as political leaders and the disciples of Sir Ahmadu Bello whose sojourn in life made significant impact on our lives,” Aliyu who is also the governor of Niger State stated. He expressed the hope that Nigeria could get back on track if the leaders embrace lost social and moral values of the discipline and respect for the law and order in the land. He disclosed that the foundation was aimed at promoting good governance, responsible leadership for the region and the country in the areas of agriculture, education, resuscitating ailing industries, eradication of poverty, destitution and street begging.
The chairman of the occasion, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), was full of praises for the NGF for immortalising the late premier. Gowon noted that the Sardauna “towered his peers. He was a charismatic figure and a true servant of the north. He was passionate about education in order to narrow the educational gap between the north and the south.”

Former civilian president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari who said the late Sardauna was his teacher at the Sokoto Middle School, described him as a dedicated and disciplined leader who wanted the unity of Nigeria. And for Alhaji Balarabe Musa, national chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, the Sardauna is incomparable with the present leaders of the north because, “he was not a thief like the leaders of today. They have been unable to dissociate themselves from stealing. His legacies were not based on falsehood; they were based on real achievements and patriotism.” Balarabe further added that the late Sardauna did a lot to solve the problems of the north as much as he could. “He would have achieved much more if he was like Aminu Kano. He achieved a lot because he had integrity but the present leaders who are claiming to be his disciples do not have any integrity. They do not have anything in common with him because he lived a life of transparency, accountability and above all, he championed the cause of all. But the present leaders are thieves.”
Born in Rabah, Sokoto province in 1909, Ahmadu Bello was a descendant of late Usman Dan Fodio, the great West African Islamic revivalist who founded the Sokoto Caliphate. Ahmadu Bello started his political career as a councilor with the Sokoto Native Authority where he improved the local police, prison and other organs under his control before he was later elected to represent Sokoto in the defunct Northern House of Assembly in 1949. He later became premier of the region, which now comprises of 19 states.

As a premier, Ahmadu Bello established many industries such as Kaduna Textiles Limited, KTL, New Nigerian Newspapers, NNN, New Nigerian Development Corporation, NNDC, the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Kaduna Polytechnic, among others. Although some of the establishments are now taken over by the federal government, most of them have been mismanaged.

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