By Adamu Bello Mai-Bodi
Every society needs an arbiter, a bridge-builder and an Iroko tree, to reconcile, promote and provide solace to the people. In Aminu Saleh GCON, CFR, LLD (Late Wamban Katagum), Bauchi State had a three-in-one of such invaluable personalities. Taking a swipe on him is like hurting the exemplary image of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of blessed memory. Evidently, no legitimate son or daughter of Bauchi State will, in their right senses, drag such names through the mud-that would be an abomination of the highest order.
Sadly, Hon Aminu Tukur, a political entrepreneur from the birthplace of Sir Abubakar, daringly attempted to soil the good, hard-earned reputation of the late statesman just to further stoke the embers of the Bauchi-Katagum dichotomy in a period where well-meaning indigenes are trying hard to bury that political monster for good. In Aminu’s malicious article, he tries to play a card from history. Being a sexagenarian, his younger followers will be inclined to accept whatever rubbish he has to utter. To set the record straight, the landmass was the parameter used during the said constituency distribution, not population, as the old man purported. That’s why katagum federal constituency got the same allocation as Gamawa and Zaki have despite the population gap.
I don’t want to ignite the dichotomous fire anymore, because I’m for a united Bauchi State. Nevertheless, Aminu Tukur must not go scotfree for making such a blunder. As a nomad whose origin could be traced to the hills of Mambila, he should not have taken part in geopolitical crises. Had it been Aminu and his ascendants were aboriginals of Bauchi State, he would not have done this and I would have asked him to seek the audience of Alhaji Bello Kirfi (Wazirin Bauchi) and hear a revelation about who Aminu Saleh was to the notable Bauchi politicians of the second and third republics. When you mentioned the Yayales as Aminu Saleh’s lieutenants, you must be biased if you didn’t mention the Kirfis, because in the eyes of Wambai, they are equal and the same.
When Bello Kirfi was exiled to Lagos on political grounds, as an arbiter, Wamban Katagum brought him back, mended the fences, and made him the manager of Peugeot Assembly of Nigeria and later, Ashaka Cement. This was done with the pure intention of helping a fellow Bauchian despite the availability of dozens of capable Guddirawa. Having said this, however, one will now appreciate the title of this article, because taking a swipe at the late Wamban Katagum is analogous to shooting Wazirin Bauchi in the back only if reciprocation means anything to him (I hope it does).
Biting a hand that feeds one will not work for anybody who likes to travel the path of history, because history is the fairer of all judges. katagum sheltered, accommodated and fed Aminu Tukur in the 80s when he was a student of COE Azare. His host, Alhaji Tatta (May Allah be pleased with him), was like a brother to the late Wambai. If anyone would insult this elder statesman, it shouldn’t be Aminu or anybody within the boundaries of Bauchi State, because he was our portrait during the successive military regimes of Gen. Babangida and Abacha.
To reciprocate the goodwill shown to him by Katagum, Aminu Tukur was the group leader and the mobilizer of the State Assembly members that vehemently objected Mal Isah Yuguda’s decision to site Bauchi State University at Bauchi North. Aminu and his team succeeded in persuading Mal Isah to divide the institution into four campuses that are now making it difficult for the State Governor to pay salaries and maintain them. Gratitudes to another Bauchi son, Dr Musa Babayo (Talban Katagum), who, without prejudice, equipped all the campuses with state-of-the-art facilities that would not have been possible by the state government. Don’t forget, he’s also a tutlage of Aminu Saleh’s school of thought.
It’s terribly astonishing, how Aminu Tukur is blindfolded by hatred and jingoism to the point of forgetting his boss, a candidate and a benefactor, Captain Bala Jibrin, is the lieutenant of the Yayales and a follower of the footsteps of the late SGF. For this, Captain Bala may consider parting ways with you. As your political career signifies, changing camps, inconsistency and betrayal are your trademarks.
Note that, this is not a rejoinder, as you may wish to call it. It’s rather a reminder of how ungrateful you have been all along. When you next submit such divisive content, I will definitely hit you and your minions where it will hurt.
Adamu Bello Mai-Bodi
Writes from Gidado Bombiyo residence