Re: Open Letter to Ndigbo, by Hassan Gimba
Last week’s write-up with the above title has generated so many responses that I feel today should be a day for the respondents. Please enjoy.
What can be more brotherly than feeling the pain of a brother and providing a way to relieve it? Malam Hassan, as we, your Potiskum people call you, you have shown them the way and the light. My hope now is that Ndigbos will find their trails and walk back again to the path of peace and harmony. After all, a word is enough for the wise.
What a life-changing piece! … Certainly, a word is enough for the wise.
Yusuf Sardauna Dagare
What a nice piece. A word, they say, is enough for a wise period!!!
Excellent piece, why are they going on a suicide mission? Why should a shop owner want the market to be burned? Something is definitely wrong
Professor MK Othman
Very Apt. May the good Lord divinely intervene in Jesus name, Amen.
Profoundly Stated, Editor and Do Remain Blessed.
#Words I’ve been waiting for this, sir. May Allah increase you more in wisdom and understanding.
Ahmed Haruna Daya
Excellent advice Dr A stitch in time saves 9.
Dr Yusuf Iliyasu
Greater words were never written. May (the ink in) your pen never dry, Malam.
I couldn’t forget how my two innocent brothers died at “Guantanamo” in Damaturu. My childhood friend too died there too. This Indomie generation doesn’t know war or history.
Bukar A. Musa
Words of wisdom! Enough is enough.
We are proud of you.
Asma’u Abubakar Mahmud
Words of wisdom, this is really enough for the wise.
Jaundiced piece! Why can’t these almajris writers leave us alone? What i don’t understand is, must we be in the same country with you? Give us referendum and stop crying more that the bereaved.
Dennis K. Ezeh
@Dennis K. Ezeh I guess you can’t read, or perhaps you have difficulty in comprehending words of wisdom. The type of kindness in this piece alone can attract the wrath of Amadioha of Ozuzu on you!
Yusuf Sardauna Dagare
@Dennis K. Ezeh imagine, insulting a person who educationally has no mate in your entire family!
Barrah’u Haruna Nasir
Boy does not know the fire until the fire burns him. Those people are being brainwashed by unscrupulous elements that is why they behave in a dogmatic way.
I don’t have time to read this nonsense, people who cannot pay house rent is it land they will buy.
Engr. Ozumba Jerry
@Engr Ozumba Jerry thanks for reading it.
@Engr. Ozumba Jerry it’s like you don’t know what you’re fighting for.
It is better for you to read before commenting nonsense, my friend.
Tijjani Idi Maikalanzir
Zanna Ali Haruna
Dear Hassan Gimba, I appreciate your write up on the current situation in the south East. As a person, I don’t support violence in any form and am not here to justify that. I spent close to 14 years in Maiduguri from 2001 till 2014 and I was there when it all started.
On the south East situation, let’s look at it from this direction based on your write up.
Originally IPOB agitation started with flags and other Biafran insignia and they were labelled “Terrorists”.
Presently no Igbo man is in the security apparatus/architecture of this country or does that mean NO IGBO MAN IS QUALIFIED TO BE THERE??.
In Igbo land, land business is huge business and requires capital but the question is HOW MANY NORTHERNERS ARE WILLING TO PAY?
On the issue of President from Igbo extraction, why are Northerners always afraid of that? Igbo’s are one of the major stakeholders in the Nigeria project.
On saying “IPOB terrorists” killed Ahmed Gulak, my brother time shall tell.
NIGERIA IS BLEEDING
Ozonweke IK Godwin Stage
@Ozonweke Ik Godwin Stage Objection! When was IPOB labelled terrorist? Answer: When they armed themselves and started destructive actions.
No Igbo man in the security architecture? But it’s not by tribe or region even though you carved out Gen. Lucky Irabor who hail from Delta which is included in Biafra map, no problem.
How many Northerners are willing to pay for the land in the south? Am writing you this directly from the South. Bro, Northerners in the South are completely threatened even though we are financially fit to buy land. In fact in states like Port Harcourt, Bayelsa, excluding Abia and Imo, Hausa people prefer to reside there than the southeast, all because of atrocities committed in Igbo land and the inherent problems of your land dispute over years.
On the issue of the president: we never fear for an Igbo man to be president in this country if he can be truly voted into power.
IPOB killed Ahmed Gulak. Yes! No doubt. Commissioner of police confirmed and I choose that of the commissioner because he is responsible to brief the governor over this issue. Finally, Nigeria is safe since the country has identified its problems and taken the way out of these problems.
You have eloquently said it all, sir. A word is enough for the wise.
I salute you, sir, for penning down this million-dollar piece. I think I should say that I would want to volunteer to be the bearer of this super epistle, or the emissary to bear it to the land of the Ndigbo. As you emphasised, we in the northeast have experienced it. So, your epistle is right on time. Let who has ears listen. Come what may, I remain a green-white-greener. Lastly, I sympathise with you, sir over the BH incident that haunted you back then. Allah ya kiyaye mu.
Adamkolo M. Ibrahim
People with myopic mindset talking junk.
Nzubechukwu Umeojinaka Sampepe
Nice open letter. More ink to your pen, sir and may almighty Allah exalts you in knowledge.
Oga you just they blow grammar. My issue with this northern janjaweed is why are they afraid to go their way?
Agu Ike Tony
@Agu Ike Tony and who is holding you from going?
Talatu Hyat Baji
May Allah guide and protect you, father.
Omar Ya’u Janda
Wisdom ink on paper.
Jamil Sawwa Sawwa
Fighting ourselves will do no one any good in this trying moment. Stronger we are to confront our contemporary challenges… I feel ashamed and disturbed when my brethren are strongly after the collapse of our dear nation. Remember, it takes years to build a nation, we have come a long way, went through the good, the bad and the ugly side of history. Are we going to restart afresh? Are we going to sacrifice all the labour of our heroes past of uniting this nation? Are we going to allow self-interest to overshadow public interest? Are we going to instil the fear of one another in the younger generation?
Negotiation and roundtable discussion is the best avenue to frontally address the topical issues, not killings and threatening national peace, unity, integration and SECURITY. Whether you agree or disagree with me, WE ARE BROTHERS!
Umaru Yakubu Kirawa
Well understood, can’t we forget our differences and live as one Nigeria, as said by the great Zik of Africa, or should we sort out our differences and live as one as said by the Sardauna? Am not in support of what Nnamdi Kanu is doing in the east, but the truth of the matter is once any act of criminality takes place in the east, without investigation, the security agencies know who is responsible, but when the herdsmen perpetrate their act in the south, the security agencies will keep mum.
When somebody refuses to listen to the words of wisdom he must definitely cry for the words of violence. Fighting the problem with violence is just like adding petrol to fire. I do hope that they will listen to not only you but to many concerned citizens who are calling their attention to their acts of terrorism.
God bless you, sir.
Baba Alhaji Mele
A piece of good advice. Hope they listen.
Dr Suleiman Mohammed
A soothing balm, indeed. The record is straight
Mr Gimba, you are such an amazing writer. To a large extent too, I think you are compassionate with your advice. I see a man who has shown concern at least to his brothers and sisters from the other side. Mr Ike Ozonweke has done well too to address part of the concerns in the east. What I see as a man from neither East nor North, is that there’s still a huge deposit of mistrust emanating from that unfortunate and unforgettable miscarriage some 51 years ago; the civil war. Until trust is bridged, no action of the president from the north will seem right or trusted by people from the other side, likewise when someone from the east steers the affairs of this great but haemorrhaging nation. The president does not seem to be doing enough in carrying everyone along; his silence on too many things going wrong, including his beloved Daura, is disheartening. If he really wants to correct the ills of the past, he should carry everyone along and people like Nnamdi Kanu cannot enjoy the sympathy of the gullible poor who are already fade up and are down already and need some form of reassurances. Let our president come out or better still go to the east as he did during campaigns and talk to the hungry and gullible citizens. The people are in fear and they choose to obey what you may wish to call distant voices because the real voice is silent or appears not to be there or concerned. I wish the people of the East can read your beautiful write-up and flee from the impending and imminent dangers. I don’t want to remember my experience at Galadima – Maiduguri. What is happening now is avoidable. Peace and justice are synonymous, and what is good for Ali, should be good for Emeka and Abiodun.
Thank you, Dr Hassan. A timely admonition. I sincerely appreciate the article. This is a must-read for all south-easterners. I’ve already shared it on a few platforms.
Dr M. O. Ezechukwu
Wow! To end a challenging day like Monday with an aptly written epistle is to end the day well. A word should be enough for the wise. Well done sir. God bless Nigeria.
Goronyo Attack: NEGF Donate N20M, As Zulum, Yahaya Pay Sympathy Visit To Sokoto
Goronyo Attack: NEGF’ Donate N20m, As Zulum , Yahaya pay sympathy visit to Sokoto
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
The Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum alongside his Gombe counterpart, Governor Inuwa Yahaya were on Saturday in Sokoto on behalf of the Northeast Governor’s Forum (NEGF) on a condolence and solidarity visit to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal over a recent attack on Goronyo market by bandits, which left about 40 dead..
Governor Zulum who is the Chairman of the NEGF, accompanied by Governor Inuwa Yahaya led the visit on behalf of the Northeast Governors Forum, and donated N20m as solidarity humanitarian support.
Governor Zulum while condoling Governor Tambuwal at the Government House, Sokoto said the Northeast Governors share the grief of families affected by the attack hence the delegation, to register their condolence and express solidarity.
Zulum prayed for the return of peace in Sokoto and all parts of Nigeria, noting his doors are always open to exchange of experiences given from challenges faced by Borno State, and steps being adopted on the way forward.
Respinding, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal expressed profound gratitude to the Northeast Governors Forum, stressing that the visit was a soothing balm to victims and affected families, and to the entire people of Sokoto State.
Tambuwal further described the coming of Governors Zulum and Yahaya as a clear manifestation of love and brotherhood between the Northeast and the Northwest in general, and between Borno, Gombe and Sokoto States.
Governor Tambuwal acknowledged the many efforts of Zulum in Borno since becoming Governor two years ago.
The two Governors were accompanied to Sokoto by Borno’s Commissioners for Agriculture, Bukar Talba, Works, Architect Yerima Saleh, Adviser on Special Duties, Bakari Ali Kotoko, and Adviser on Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Abba Kawu Shehu Garbai.
The North East: Which Way Forward?, By Hassan Gimba
The North East: Which Way Forward?, by Hassan Gimba
Being a speech delivered by Hassan Gimba, publisher of Neptune Prime online newspaper and magazine, chairman Northeast Publishers’ Forum, as the Guest Speaker at the 6th Annual Awards and Recognition Night of the Northeast Star magazine, held on the 21st of October, 2021 at the Conference Hall of AUN, Yola, Adamawa State.
All protocols observed.
The North East came into existence on the 5th of May, 1967 when, in his bid to check the influence of Odumegwu Ojukwu in the East, General Yakubu Gowon created 12 states out of the four regions in the country.
On the 3rd of February, 1976, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed divided the monolith North Eastern state into three – Borno, Bauchi and Gongola. These three states were further divided into six by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on the 27th of August, 1991. From Borno we got Yobe, Bauchi gave birth to Gombe and from Adamawa came Taraba.
From a part of the Northern Region to an independent state, the North East, which now boasts of six states, has always been number one among its peers in almost all aspects of human endeavour – but from the rear.
For instance, in 2017, Taraba State was number 21 in Nigeria in WAEC, Borno number 25, Adamawa 28, Bauchi 31, Gombe 34 and Yobe 37. These are the kinds of results we have been getting through the years.
But we all know that education is the foundation upon which individuals, communities, nations develop. Without it, no barriers can be broken.
When you look at the health sector, we have the least number of tertiary hospitals and research institutes in the country.
We have dilapidated infrastructure and a poor road network with a lot of hinterlands unopened, so our farmers have limited access to urban markets. There is currently no functional railway network in the whole of the North East.
All these have not helped because insecurity, fuelled by the Boko Haram insurgency, has ravaged the zone.
Despite all these disadvantages, we have the potential to feed the nation. We have some of the best agrarian fields in the country, with a plateau that boasts of the best temperate climate around.
We have produced some of the best brains in the country. The Golden Voice came from here. The North East has produced great technocrats, captains of industry, politicians and statesmen that have contributed to making Nigeria a great nation.
What many cannot understand is that it is the North East that has given stability to a political North that allows such to be translated into national stability.
In 1978, a son of the North East, Malam Adamu Ciroma, despite being arguably better qualified, embraced a North Westerner to form the central government. When the opposition wanted to destabilise the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim, a North Easterner, stood against that.
By joining the government of General Sani Abacha in 1993, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe yanked the carpet from under the feet of those who wanted to destabilise the nation because of the annulment of the June 12 elections.
One of the greatest North Easterners of all time is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. A true democrat if ever there was one. He, more than almost everyone, has deepened our democracy through seeking court pronouncements to restore his rights after his falling out with his then principal, President Olusegun Obasanjo, and many other democratic actions. He has pushed us towards democratisation and the acceptance of democracy.
Even though the North West and North Central are bigger than the North East, the zone has always acted as the big brother for peace to reign. Politically, we have always given in to the two other zones to produce the president.
This is not because of incapacity. No, we have always at all points produced capable people who could steer the ship of state successfully and to the satisfaction of all. We have always given in to maintaining our bond and ties. We view all as our brothers and we love being our brothers’ keepers.
We have never cried over this. While others may want to see it as marginalisation if it were them, we see it as a unifying gesture. But now is the time for them to reciprocate.
The North East should henceforth mobilise and sensitise people on the fact that it is now its turn to produce the next president.
Another sound argument is that we have capable hands that can take this nation forward. We have them: those who will be fair to all and have the nation at heart; those who will give everyone their rights; those who can turn around the fortunes of this nation and make it into the great nation that it ought to be.
But we should not mouth such an agenda as a slogan. We have to be deliberate in working for it and working towards it. We have to start by empowering ourselves. Those with the opportunity to empower people should do so; those empowered owe it as a duty to build up others.
Some of the senior North Easterners have done so – building institutions and businesses that would take many people off the streets and thus cutting down on the recruitment base of insurgents and perpetrators of violent crimes.
Our political stakeholders must, as a matter of urgency, look into our political recruitment process. Governors should not be afraid of having capable hands in the houses of assembly in their states. A situation where nitwits, instead of brilliant young chaps, are pushed to the legislature will not augur well for our present and future development.
When a governor recruits those brilliant minds, they don’t take his glory away because he remains “His Excellency” in the state and any success must be linked to his name, but he gets them to apply their God-given resources to work for the people, the state and the region. They also learn the fine points of politics, leadership and governance which will prepare them for service to the people at local, state and national levels.
READ ALSO: 2023: Let’s Look To The North East, by Hassan Gimba
By surrounding themselves with such good heads, the governors and other political office holders will provide good leadership not only now but also in the future.
This is, however, a short, medium and long-term plan.
From now till 2023, we must mobilise the North East to know that the presidency should come here. Not for any personal gain, but because taking Nigeria out of the woods has once more fallen on its shoulders.
Once more?, people ask. Yes, once more, is the answer. The North East is the hub of northern politics. Northern politics that reached out to dominate national politics started in this zone. The discussions for the formation of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) which culminated in its fruition in Zaria, started in Bauchi.
The first political party in Nigeria, the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) was founded in Bauchi and its intellectual fountain was Sa’ad Zungur. Malam Aminu Kano keyed in because he was a teacher in Bauchi then. We should also not forget Ibrahim Imam and his Borno Youth Movement.
Perhaps we do not want our brothers from the North West and North Central to think because Nigerian politics started in our zone, that’s why we want to Lord it over them. And so we always bend backwards for them.
People with vast resources, rich culture and history always make good leaders.
The North East is the richest zone in the country. The exploration of the Mambila Plateau will reveal one of the most natural resources endowed areas of the world. Apart from that, we have many other natural resources that can turn any nation into an economic superpower if harnessed.
We have had Mali and Songhai empires not to talk of the thousand-year-old Kanem Bornu empire. The Adamawa Kingdom is transnational.
When you look at it from the angle of national unity, the bulk of those who fought to keep Nigeria one were also from the Northeast.
Therefore, a North Easterner coming out of such an endowed region will be a blessing to the entire nation.
As we leave this hall, we should all disperse into the nooks and crannies of this blessed country and call all to join us in producing a leader who will salvage this country. Tell them there is a Northeasterner that can.
2023: Let’s Look To The North East, By Hassan Gimba
2023: Let’s Look To The North East, by Hassan Gimba
If I were to be as sentimental as people are, I would say the North East, my zone, must produce the president in 2023.
Many people fight for their people, region, zone or state to produce the president for various reasons.
Reasons may range from the fact that a president attracts some goodies to his area. Ministers and other chief executives fall over themselves to site projects where the president comes from. Captains of industry, too, are not left behind in the jostle to provide for where the president hails from.
People from the president’s locality also have a false sense of being first-class citizens, oblivious to the fact that those from other areas may end up benefiting more from the administration. Those that would never have been heard of in their lifetime were it not for their association with the president’s roots can become overnight celebrities and points of reference.
For these and many other related mundane concerns of living in a competitive environment where resources are ever dwindling, people can go to any length for theirs to be there.
The concern is not for the nation, nor for the future or the wellbeing of the people. The primary push is self, then tribe. It is so unfortunate, but that is the reality. The religious card too is played, but that too is a complete game of its own. Whether Muslim or Christian, denomination comes in. Just because the other one is your tribe and religion, if he belongs to a denomination you consider hell-bound, then he can be denied anything, including the right to live.
Perhaps these reasons are why many seek political offices and the majority push others to political seats, hoping to reap where they have sowed.
This struggle to get “our share” from the national cake has seen brothers fighting one another, sometimes to the death. Our politics has become a do-or-die affair as buttressed by a one time president when he was seeking re-election. The smart alecs among our political elite have pitched us against ourselves, using our two major fault-lines – religion and region.
Many of us worship clerics and not God. Therefore, some can “remove” or “admit” others into religion as they have appropriated it. Their religion is just in the tongue but not in the hearts. Had we been worshippers of God, the true God, perhaps there would be more peace than we are witnessing. Our other god is the tribe. Some would not mind the country going to blazes as long as one from their tribe is not where they want him to be. That is on the one hand. There are also those who are hell-bent on excluding people from other tribes from the scheme of things, who think what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.
Many of the political elite, as we earlier said, thrive in deceit because if the citizenry knew the truth, their unworthiness would be glaring. They have ensnared and enslaved their people with falsehood even as they think they are thinking freely. They are those who Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749–22 March 1832), the German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic talked about.
He said, “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Masters who rule them with lies have kept from the depth of their minds the truth. They feed them falsehoods till something wrong looks right in their eyes.”
If not, how do you situate the recent statement by Professor Daniel Saror at his 80th birthday celebration in Makurdi to the applause of Governor Samuel Ortom and those who have always been blinded by the rogue elite? Professor Saror was the 7th vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, when ABU Zaria was ABU Zaria. He was also a two-term senator, first in 1999 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and in 2003 under the banner of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
One may assume someone of his calibre – and age – will be more circumspect in his utterances, having reached a level to be regarded as an elder statesman. Unfortunately, he unashamedly said, “The insecurity we are experiencing in Benue and Nigeria today is not an accident. It is a planned programme. Boko Haram does not consist of miscreants. They are intelligent people; they are highly connected in Nigeria and other countries in the world and the mission is simple: they want to conquer and Islamise the nation. The Jihadists that you hear about in the North-West are also not miscreants. They are highly connected, highly motivated, and highly experienced in their own (sic) ideas and what they want. They want to spread the caliphate throughout Nigeria.
“The armed Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents have contacts that extend to the Middle East, Asia, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia, among others. They are funded in billions of naira to execute the conquest agenda of the caliphate in the country.” Such balderdash!
This is the unfortunate reality of our country. But we can change that; by just getting a listening, considerate, fair-minded and competent leader, all these problems would fizzle out.
A just leader will ensure that each community, each Nigerian, whether or not they voted for him, regardless of whether they belong to the same area with him, whether or not they profess the same religious belief with him, gets their rightful share.
Nigeria will know peace and rapid development, the moment a citizen realises he does not have to fight or follow a shortcut to get his normal entitlements.
Above all, we need someone who can create maximum wealth out of the country’s natural endowments.
As the 2023 race gathers momentum, it becomes incumbent upon us all to scout for, and draft into the race, a man with such qualities. The consideration should not be whether the president is from the North or South, Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo, or that Nigeria now deserves a Northern or Southern president, Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo President. We do not also need a Muslim or Christian president. What Nigeria needs now is a Nigerian president – one that will put Nigeria first above lucre, region, religion and all other affiliations.
As is becoming our political culture, the president of the country is being recruited from among governors or those who were once governors. Maybe as our democracy deepens and matures, the field may expand to include those from the National Assembly, private sector, bureaucrats, etc.
If that is the case, we can safely assume that our next president may come from the current crop of governors, irrespective of whether that person has served just a term or two. There are some among the current crop of governors that have done well. While fulfilling their mandates at state levels, they are also contributing towards national peace and harmony, calming frayed nerves all over the nation, giving everyone and all parts of the country some sense of belonging and thus stabilising the government at the centre. While we have such governors in all the zones, the North East can claim to have the doyen of them all.
However, I do not want to be trapped in the sentiment of promoting a North Easterner for president in 2023 just because it is my region. Rather, I will support the North Easterner because I know he can do it, because I know he is an excellent material, because I know he is competent and can take us out of the woods, not primarily because he is a North Easterner. After all, it is fate that conspired to bring him out of there. I would still have gone for him were he from the South, East or West, Muslim or Christian.
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