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Re: President Ayatollah Ibrahim Shekarau? Nigerian Home Affairs

18 August 2010

By Saka Raji Audu

"He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper." – Edmund Burke


August 9, 2010 may have marked the 'birthday' of a Columnist, 'Pope' Uche Ezechukwu who anchors "Capital Matters" every Monday at the back page of the Daily Sun. This very day should be the 'happiest day' for Pope Ezechukwu of the Sun paper because he had just completed a well hatched and executed a demeaning contract to lie and misinform his gullible readers about a man who, by God's grace, will be presiding over the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in May next year.


On this particular day, Uche Ezechukwu came out with filthy thing to herald his 'happiness of a jackpot through the circulation of an un-researched roadside talk deliberately packaged, perhaps with a fee, hoping that such voodoo of a thing would be able to 'tarnish' the highly fortified and unblemished integrity of the two term governor of Kano State and now a Presidential Aspirant under All Nigeria's Peoples Party (ANPP) in person of the indefatigable and incorruptible Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardauna Kano, Neitiri Oha of Enugu and Atun nuse of Oshogbo.


When this man of valour was stepping into Nigerian politics in 2003, he was not unmindful of political detractors and hack writers like 'Pope' Uche Ezechukwu and et al. Thus, those who really know Malam Ibrahim Shekarau's political pedigrees are not surprised to read the sponsored Monday diatribe of Ezechukwu. Certainly, no one is amazed about such an unimpressive hatched job executed to score cheap political goal against the man of the people. It might not be too bad for a columnist Ezechukwu to descend so low to allow some political hawks to use his pen against him because of a mere peanut, which has now eluded his integrity. However, the way he went about it, is what put his credibility to question.


Indeed, 'Pope' Uche has the right to say his opinion though as belated as it is, but he has no right to tell lies and jungle facts that his readers are already having at the tips of their fingers. It therefore beats one's imagination that a columnist Uche Ezechukwu cannot correctly remember simple past simply because he was so much eager to unleash his venom and throw sadistic stones at some one that is simply exercising his fundamental right to vie for the President of his country. 'Pope' Uche would not have wished to hear, see or witness the unexpected mammoth crowd that greeted Malam Ibrahim Shekarau presidential declaration of August 5, 2010, he would have nonetheless taken heart to say the truth and allow his readers to judge.


How ignorant is Uche Ezechukwu to have claimed that there was crisis in Kano in 2003 and went ahead to blame Malam Ibrahim Shekarau for it. Ezechukwu should be adequately informed that the only unfortunate crisis that happened in the past seven years of Shekarau administration was that of Shendam-Jos mayhem that spilled over to Kano on May, 11 2004. Shekarau was just almost one year in office at that time and he honestly did all he could to nip the problem in the bud. Since then, Kano under Shekarau has been living in peace in spite of all odds. This peaceful atmosphere accounted for the rapid development of Kano under Shekarau government because progress is not possible in the midst of rancour. Methinks it is a big shame and disgrace for Pope Ezechukwu that something happened in 2004 and he is now telling his readers that it happened in 2003? Why this misinformation from columnist Ezechukwu? Whoever hires this man to do his bidding should be regretting now for a loss because Ezechukwu knows not and knows that he knows not. Such a man is a fool and should be shunned.


Talking about destruction of beer by Hisbah in Kano, Uche Ezechukwu also displayed his ignorance about the matter before the public. We all know that only healthy people make a healthy nation. Can Ezechukwu tell us how the taking of beer has made a healthy nation? In any case, power to lead belongs to people. So, the people that voted Shekarau to power in Kano want to be governed by the ethic of their faith. They do not want to be harassed with beer. They do not want their children to be inundated with alien culture that does not blend with their environment. Even Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in his book, "Because I am involved" acknowledges that "any culture that cannot accommodate accentricism is condemned to waste out its life in an orgy of incest, and can only look forward to a succession, first of a mediocrity, next of nonentity, and finally of a generation of idiots."


Governor Ibrahim Shekarau is only carrying out the wishes and aspiration of his people by his war against alcohol and illicit Hausa film makers so that as Chief Ojukwu also observed, Kano would not breed "generation of mediocrity, nonentity and idiots." It does not also matter if there are other places in Kano and in the northern parts of the country where alcohol is still being taken. The most important thing is that a message has been sent out on what the people of Kano do not want. Consequently, if Shekarau becomes the President of Nigeria next year, he will go by the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians. What is then the problem with Uche Ezechukwu? If Uche was elected by Kano people as their leader, he would have destroyed more beer than what he is mischievously talking about. After all, I have many Christian friends that shun alcohol.


Agreed that due to secular type of government we practice in Nigeria, VAT is collected from sales of beverages including Alcohol by the government, which are subsequently used for development. Uche Ezechukwu should understand that such inevitable tax collected where it is clearly identified is usually kept aside by the Shekarau government, to enable the people of the state decide what such money should be used for. It is whatever they want that the government does. Because, Shekarau is the people's governor, he listens to the voice of the people in all matters of general interest. It is interesting here to ask Uche Ezechukwu if for instance a woman cheats on her husband to get paid and she joins such illicit earning in the money given by her husband for food to cook for him, would it amount to double standard if the husbands eat the delicious food and later condemn prostitution? This is a food for thought.


It is also very ridiculous and heartless for columnist Uche Ezechukwu to regret not seeing many hands of the people of Kano not cut off for alleged stealing. I do not know if the execution of armed robbers has stopped robbery in Nigeria? Has the introduction of EFCC in 2003 stopped diversion of billions of public funds? What happened to Obasanjo who allegedly slept with his son's wife, the matter of which was taken to court for public hearing, etc? Is this the kind of President that Pope Ezechukwu expects Nigerians to have in 2011? More over, Ezechukwu is not a Muslim and does not know the operation of Shari'ah. He should have told his clients that he is not conversant with the hatched job to enable them hire a better responsible person for it. As a journalist and columnist for the matter, it is dishonest for Uche Ezechukwu to indulge in speculation and hearsay, without verifying fact about what he knows not.  In Shari'ah system, an alleged thief is taken to Shari'ah court for trial and appropriate punishment. Shekarau cannot just cut off somebody's hand on mere allegation of stealing. Even every culprit of liquor is subjected to trial before his commodity is finally destroyed on recommendation of Shari'ah court. This is how things work.


Contrary to Uche Ezechukwu's false alarm, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau has marvelously justified his leadership prowess in Kano. His peaceful and religious tolerance knows no bound. He creates equal enabling environment for both indigenes and non-indigenes, leading to his appointments of Uche Ezechukwu's brother (Ibo), a Yoruba and a minority as his Special Advisers. Ezechukwu should mention one Kanawa that has served or is still serving as any thing in the government of his state. It is equally on record that Shekarau's predecessor sacked the only non-indigene Chemistry teacher in a Kano secondary school when Kwankwaso's PDP government was waging war against non-indigenes in Kano, which also led to loss of many qualified medical doctors in the state. When Shekarau came in 2003, he searched for the Chemistry teacher from Imo state and re-instated him back to his job with huge salary increase. Shekarau asked every one to come back to Kano and continue with their job because he believes that we are all Nigerians. This is one reason why Kano population is thick today as many foreign investors now stay to invest in Kano.


 In 2009, a Pentecostal church service invited Shekarau to their gathering at new road, Sabon gari in Kano. Governor Shekarau attended and gave sermon on peace and unity of the country. This is not all. At every media interactive session, Southern journalists working in the state are always bombarded with electronic gadgets, computers and sponsorship at local and international events to improve their horizon. We have had seven such interactive sessions and only God knows what was carted away by these people, all in the spirit of governor Shekarau's love for one nation, one destiny. Pope Uche Ezechukwu should not tell me that he was not in the country when all these things were happening in Kano state. But he could only write on beer because only a drunkard writes the way he does.


Ezechukwu's euphemistic appreciation of Sultan of Sokoto's work is noted. But he should know that the revered sultan does not also like alcohol and illicit culture that would make his areas to produce "mediocrity, nonentity and generation of idiots" as Ezechukwu preaches.  This is one out the many contradictions in his misguided but directionless piece. At this juncture, I would like to share a beautiful experience I had with 'brother' Uche Ezechukwu when I was an undergraduate in BUK. It was in 1989, I was a member of the Caretaker Committee of the Students' union body. Later, I was appointed as Secretary of the Screening Committee. A certain man (Malam Ahmed Aliyu) appeared before the Committee to be screened for the position of Student Union President of BUK. After the screening, the committee found it expedient to disqualify him on ground of language deficiency. He was the least popular candidate in the presidential race. Ahmed Haruna challenged his disqualification at the mock court in the university. He won his case and was subsequently qualified to contest. We, in the Committee, have no grudges over his qualification by the court. At the presidential debate, Ahmed Haruna suddenly garnered heavy support as what I could hear people saying were "Sai Mai ba turenci", turenci banza, turenci wofi". The meaning is that "We need the man who cannot speak English, queen English is not the end of life, to hell with English." The day that followed the debate was the election. I went through the polling stations to supervise the conduct of the election. Before you know, Ahmed Haruna was gathering votes in large numbers in sympathy of his "Ba turenci", "No good English." At the end of the election, he won to the surprise of the big contestants. It is believed that if he had not been 'destroyed' with 'No English', he would not have gone anywhere. This is where the words of Edmund Burke which says, "He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper."


The main purpose of Ezechukwu's religious fabrications and concoctions against Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau was to 'reduce' his chances of winning the 2011 presidential election. Ironically, his write up has rather brought Shekarau to the limelight of recognition. As a chronic liar, Columnists Ezechukwu is not credible enough to move us against Shekarau.   No one can pull down any person God has exalted. Whether or not Shekarau can win the presidency of this country is a matter of divine decision. Should ANPP decide to choose Shekarau as her flag bearer for 2011and heaven backs it up; no mortal can do any thing.  As a Nigerian and a humble servant to his people, Shekarau has the track record that qualifies him for any political position in this country. No individual or group of people, no mater how highly placed and powerful they are, should think that they can take decision(s) against the wish and desire of the entire populace. Shekarau therefore stands a good chance of winning the election of 2011 as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Nigerians have seen what governor Shekarau can do for them in view of his unprecedented achievements in Kano State. They are not ready to listen to the useless thing his opponents and adversaries are now dishing out to undo him. Nigerians want him as President. If any one likes, call him Ayatollah, Pope, Idi-Amin, Karl Max, Osama, Obama, Gadaffi etc, he is the best candidate Nigerians can rely upon and they are eager to cast their precious votes for him. After all, Iran that Ayatollah hails from is better of than all the developing countries. Let the wicked do their best. But the virtuous shall witness their downfall. One more question for Ezechukwu is that if the mammoth crowd that witnessed Shekarau's declaration is hired, who hired you to put up the nonsense?


Finally, I wish to end this rejoinder with popular saying of the late Dele Giwa that "he who must destroy another in order to succeed must have destruction awaiting him at the door of his own life." So, let the bad people continue with their fabrications about Shekarau, but they should also know that come rain, thunder or sunshine, the best thing that will happen to Nigeria and Nigerians is to have MALAM (DR) IBRAHIM SHEKARAU as their PRESIDENT in May 2011. No amount of bad talks against him can rob him of this.


Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: sakaraj@yahoo.com




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