–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:
Unlike Bathsheba, the lead character in Thomas Hardy’s epic novel titled: “Far from the madding Crowd” who later got married to his heartthrob, Gabriel Oak, the late Balarabe Musa could not realise his dream for Nigeria.
He was truly, squarely and dispassionately far from the madding and maddeningly reckless crowd of Nigeria politicians. This was the root cause of his infamous impeachment by the opposition dominated house of assembly, as the then governor of the old Kaduna state.
So much has been said and written about him since his demise yesterday. His spartan lifestyle, his politics, his activism and nonconformity with the mundane and the unpatriotic, et cetera. And this is good and a comfortable legacy to reflect upon, especially in these days of primordial politicking and voodoo partisanship.
He was of the political lineage of the great Mallam Aminu Kano with an equally robust but spartan comradeship of the likes of Abubakar Rimi, Bala Usman, Waziri Ibrahim( in principle) all of blessed memories and a host of others.
While the north was being swept by daring and unrepentant conservatism in the second Republic, Balarabe Musa, under the leadership of Aminu Kano, held tenaciously to the extreme leftist position to deliver governance to the people. His blueprint for infrastructural development of his state and his welfarism mantra, brought government closer to the people.
But this was to be shortlived by the infamous impeachment orchestrated by the NPN hawks, who were hell bent on taking over the all important Kaduna state.
Balarabe Musa never recovered from it, reason being that the position of an executive governor provides the closest, direct and more effective way and opportunity to touch the life of the downtrodden than the utopic intellectual militancy and advocacy outside the shores of political power, as it were.
Nevertheless, he never stopped fighting and firing from all available fronts. He was a perfect political ideologue, never jumped from one party to another. His energy was fixated on delivering the poor from the dung hills while shouting hoarse at the new northern politically predatory elites of today.
Despite his gargantuan presence in the north, he was among the first to threw support behind the Late MKO Abiola and his stolen mandate, not minding whose ox is gored. Mallam Aminu Kano is gone, so is Abubakar Rimi and Bala Usman. And today, Balarabe Musa is no more. Who will replace that loud, vocal and ” intimidating” voice of reason from the north?
This writer is truly concerned. In a day when northern elders will converge to chase crickets in a forest full of elephants and bulls, who will speak from the north so dispassionately in such a way it will resonate in the south so comfortably?
May we find another voice so soon from the north; clearer, louder and more believable than the present voice of Comrade Shehu Sani.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with –Blank NEWS Online