I received numerous responses to last week’s column. Several people wrote to tell me that Alhaji Yahaya Abdulkareem is still alive and kicking. I tender my deep and sincere apology for referring to him as “late.”
Some people also shared news stories with me from 5 years ago where Alhaji Yahaya Abdulkareem denied being descended from Yoruba parents; in the story, he said it was his political enemies bent on delegitimizing him that concocted the story of his putative Ogbomoso ancestry. I have no facts to contradict this. But the notion that his ancestral roots are located in Yorubaland had been rife since at least the early 1990s when I was an undergraduate at Bayero University, Kano. We loved to invoke his name in radical student union circles as an example of the fickleness and elasticity of ethnicity because people we respected told us the story of his Yoruba ancestry. Again, I apologize.
Now read a sample of the reader responses I received:
A very cogent, factual and interesting analysis of the politics of governance in Nigeria. You have hit the issues right on the head, but we generally like to play the ostrich. However, Dr Abashiya is not a Reverend. He was a distinguished administrator at ABU, although he may have started as a lecturer. He was once a commissioner in the old Kaduna state. As for the issue of the middle belt, it may be a response to some of the issues you have alluded to. Northern minorities must find expression willy nilly.
Farooq, your write-ups may be the best pieces of advice that PMB will ever get, because of the attendant truth and realism. Good job.
Prof. Jacob Kwaga
I didn't know about Mallam Yahaya Abdulkarim's ancestry, but I am aware that he is still very much alive! And in active politics. A relation/brother of his is, however, reported to have passed on recently. May we all live long.
Mohammed Tukur Usman
I have as always read your beautiful column, to educate, entertain and expose my little knowledge or grasp of some issues very important to skip as I grow. I commend you for job well done and my prayers always. Meanwhile permit me to point at the only oversight I observed in your article, and it is to the way you referred to Governor Yahya Abdulkareem as late. The man is alive and presently in Zamfara state. Thank you and keep it up.
You should also include in your last paragraph that President Buhari should stop using other people's brain to think for him. His nephew that is rumored to have been housed in the villa should return to his place of abode in Kaduna. It is these type people that misled him during his military headship of government. Wallahi, I love this man because of his integrity and abhorrence for corruption. But I am scared!
If l get you right, Buhari made a mistake for his lopsided appointments so far in favour of the North? And that may impact negatively in his administration? But, sir, do you know that Buhari has more appointments to make? Don’t you think he will rectify the anomalies, even if there is any, in his subsequent appointments? Of what importance is it to make appointments of people that will only cater for themselves and their families to the detriment of the general populace? Don't you think because of hasty appointments and trying to satisfy the egoistic desire of ALL that cost the credibility of previous administrations?
Don't you hear Jonathan was regretting some people whom he appointed in office but betrayed his trust? Of what importance is it to a nation to make hasty appointments that will cut across the length and breadth of the nation but with little or no impact to the nation? Sir, in case you didn't know, the past 100 days Buhari spent in office Nigerians are now having 12-18hours of power supply. Do you know that the security situation has significantly improved in north east? Do you know that you can easily buy petrol or gas as you call it there, at #85 per liter in ALL the filling stations across the country? So if this is what you are referring to substance in your article, l think Nigerian got what they were yearning for.
But if symbolism and perception means betterment of the nation, then Jonathan wouldn't have been voted out of office. So in my candid opinion, it is too early to start castigating Buhari for what he didn't do now. Let’s see the positive impact of his administration so far recorded, and see what will happen in the next 100 days.
Your piece on the above topic is misleading. Why not wait for him to finish his appointments before you begin to draw conclusions? Please see Sec 14(3) of d 1999 constitution as amended. Your analysis is based on religion and ethnicity and not legally based. Please those of you living abroad should help in uniting Nigeria and not otherwise.
Abdul Muhammade, Esq.
Well-written and as usual very analytical. Rightly asserted, the deliverables of substance will displace and dismiss the perceived imbalance, which is nothing more than emotion in the first place.
Insightful. Most committed Buhari supporters would agree with you in their hearts but they don't want criticisms of him to be voiced out. They fear that criticisms could hurt him. On the other hand his critics fear that his actions, not criticism, is what will hurt him.
Dr. Raji Bello
The concluding paragraph is very interesting. It is what Buhari should do to refine and rewire our skewed mentality a little so that real progress can come to Nigeria. I see symbolism has too tokenistic for an already retarded Nigeria. It is high time Nigerians went for substance. The world will not wait for us. Buhari should lead the way. I hope he takes the bull by the horns no matter the initial unfavorable negative perception. Human nature always is by default change-resistant.
Isiaq Oladeji Hammed