Daily Trust (Abuja)

30 January 2013

Nigeria: Where Northern Governors Invest

opinion

At a time when Arewa's enemies are reeling out exclusive stories of how the north has taken more than its fair share of political posts, our own Nuhu Ribadu has thrown dry logs into the fire. With 2014 just months away tacticians are looking for young blood to capture the presidency - and out comes Ribadu, smoking! Enemy press prints 'exclusive reports' of how we have captured the post of chief of defence; inspector-general of police, heads of paramilitary groups, and the highest judicial authority in the land. The north controls the legislature; and has a good showing in the evil service.

These posts mean food on our table, best roads in the Sahara, unmatched clinics, the best schools, and unparalleled mass housing. Though we are more than half the population, our confederate friends are appealing to our good conscience to please not contest the presidency. Recently, the Tribune 'exclusively' regaled the world how we, northerners have cornered all oil blocks Gbaramatu Kingdom to Otuoke and then jumped to the top of Forbes' rich list.

Ribadu chose such a moment to ask our past performing governors to account for the 9.3 trillion naira allocation from the federal purse in the first ten years of demoncrazy. Till now, nobody has asked northern governors to be accountable. Such inanities are for those who benefit from the onshore-offshore dichotomy. It appeared during his long convalescence from political defeat, Ribadu has joined Oby Ezekwesili's school of critical accountancy?

Let me say that just because Ribadu hates elaborate embroidery on his babbanriga does not make our governors cheap dressers. A woven cap can cost as much as a brand new Toyota Camry, which secured Tambuwal a recent confidence vote. Who can display embroidered agbada like former Kogi governor, Abubakar Audu whose enemies until recently usually end up with acid bath. Audu is taking a deserved rest since Ribadu failed to make up his mind to prosecute him.

Perhaps exile denied Ribadu the chance of rocking to Kwankasiya, a movement that popularized 'A daidata sahu' and shamed the Asians who pioneered the tricycle. Those three-legged wonders cost money and helps pollution in Kano city. As a frequent flyer, Ribadu would not have seen the miracle of Danjuma Goje in Gombe. Sarkin Yaki Abdullahi Adamu had to increase his traditional titles to stop Goje from overtaking him. Titles are free but fuelling cars and DTA chips into state budgets. Tanko Almakura has just set up a high-powered committee to investigate the disappearance of 10,000 heads of cattle, evidence of Adamu and Akwe Doma's work in animal husbandry.

Jealousy would not allow Ribadu to acknowledge Saminu Turaki, who took Jigawa to the Guinness Book of Records as the authentic Silicon Valley in Africa. Residents of Dutse would bear me witness. In fact, Turaki received a young Egyptian trophy for his efforts.

But for his Fulani roots, I would have asked Ribadu to travel through Jos, and see the wonders of Joshua Dariye but he can use his contacts at the London Mets to verify the assets held in blind trust for indigenes of Plateau in different parts of the UK. Before he abandoned home to secure Bauchi's assets in Dubai, Mu'azu concentrated on roads and rural infrastructure. George Akume's food basket helped reduce importation of rice and other foodstuff that today, he and Bukar Abba Ibrahim of Yobe got tickets to help fashion a national blueprint at the sinnate.

Ribadu must have heard of Boko Haram; well those guys waited for Ali Modu Sheriff to turn Maiduguri into Mecca before attempting to take over. In Ribadu's home state, Bonnie Haruna's agricultural reform is being copied for universal application by naval ratings under Commodore Murtala Nyako.

Go to Sokoto and see why Attahiru Bafarawa believed he needed to transfer his legacy to the national level. In Kebbi, the governor did so well he got rewarded with the president's daughter. Before the crash, Taraba had more planes than the governors of Naija Delta combined, evidence of the foresight of Jolly Nyame. There was so much transformation in Zamfara that armed robbers now target farmers on market days. Bukola Saraki was modest enough not to name Kwara after his father, everything else, they control.

If Google Earth does not show Ribadu's village, it may be as a result of sandstorm blowing over the rural roads. Nuhu should never believe what he reads in the papers about northern students failing WAEC or NECO; it is an orchestrated campaign to portray northerners as illiterates and terrorists. Northern students who graduated from the madrassa are topping the academic list in the best schools in Europe, America and Asia.

A former Katsina governor invested so much in health care locally and nationally he slumped and was rushed to Saudi. The moment he could open his eyes, he opted to return home to die in the hands of his own doctors. If Ribadu travels on President Jones' Museum on Tracks between Kano and Lagos, he would find tons of bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and kubewa being exported to the ports to feed the globe - evidence of northern agrarian revolution.

What more, as I was writing news filtered that Isa Yuguda just signed a contract that would make almajirai stop trekking to school. He is building an international airport for N7.9 trillion after which he plans to import A380s for mass transportation. Succinctly, our governors have put our money to good personal use and if I lie, ask Babangida Aliyu who shines brighter than Abdulkadir Kure.

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