Re: Mamman Daura’s Birthday Celebrations in London

Tekenah refer to the editorial by Desert Herald Newspaper published on Saturday November 10, 2019 in respect of the 80th birthday celebration of Mallam Mamman Daura held in London.

The paper is of the opinion that “what happened in London is shameful, insensitive, highly provocative especially for the poor and a clear contradiction of what the APC government is preaching for almost 5 years now”. 

Mamman is a personality of no mean character. He is a decent man who over the years earned his wealth with which he has survived his family. He is not known to be a strong member of the ruling political party in Nigeria. There is no constitutional prohibition to have his birthday celebration outside Nigeria.

Mamman Daura has been a responsible citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to the extent that there has been no issue between him and any financial crime agencies in Nigeria. He has the right to chose where to celebrate his life, moreover, it is not with any public funds as everyone present at the celebration bought their flight tickets.

Thus the negative image being portrayed in the editorial is wrong and unfounded. Going by the records, the Editor in Chief of the Desert Herald Newspaper, Tukur Mamu is biting the hand that fed him because Mallam Daura had provided moral and monetary support to him in Kaduna.

Therefore, Tekenah consider the judgement of Desert Herald as unwarranted, harsh and spiteful. I consider it highly deserving that Desert Herald do a retraction of their comment and apologize to Mallam Mamman Daura. Failure to do these may lead to further actions against the Desert Herald as may be deemed proper by the celebrant. 

Bayelsa 2019: APC’s Lyon Promises Nembe Electricity

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State on Sunday took its community-by-community 2019 governorship campaign to the ancient cities of Ogbolomabiri and Bassambiri in Nembe Local Government Council. The party promised to provide electricity for the area if voted into power comes November 16th.

Speaking at the campaign rally held at the King Koko Square in Ogbolomabiri, the governorship candidate of the APC, Chief David Lyon, also promised to provide security that would attract investors, and create jobs for the many unemployed youths.

Lyon further urged the people of the area not to succumb to the ungodly attempt by the incumbent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government to buy their votes, saying no civilized society folds its arms and watch its government use money meant to develop the people to buy votes during election.

He said the PDP, knowing it has lost the trust and support of the Nembe people, has resorted to falsely accusing the people of the area of chasing away their own brothers and sisters “and as we can all see today, Nembe is at peace with self, contrary to the many lies the PDP is trying to spread.”

While interacting with Opu Nembe Council of Chiefs at the the First Nembe Town Hall in Bassambiri, Lyon thanked the people   for the overwhelming support they gave the APC during the last Presidential, National and State Assembly elections in state in spite of intimidation from the PDP state government.

He said because the people have suffered from total neglect by government as a result of their support for the APC, he would ensure that the swampy areas of Bassambiri  are sand-filled in order to create room for further expansion of the city.

“I am aware that you have suffered untold hardship in the hands of the PDP led government because of your support for the APC. And for this act of yours, once I become governor, your community would be among the first to benefit in terms of project.

“I want you all to remain focused, continue to support the APC and stand by that change you desire in the governance culture of our state. As you all know, I have respect for traditional institutions and as i stand here to make these pledges before the monarch of this kingdom, I assure you that I will not fail.

“We have very great leaders from this area that have contributed to the growth of our state. Your communities have contributed her crude oil resources to the wealth of Nigeria. 

“But today, you don’t have anything to show for it. Oil exploration activities have destroyed your traditional means of livelihood, which is fishing and farming; yet the state government has failed to provide alternative means of livelihood for you.

“Once I assume office, I will provide alternative means of livelihood for you, I will partner with multinationals in your area to give electricity that would aid small and medium scale industries, I will provide soft loan for our women to support farming and boost food production.”

Explaining to the mammoth crowd why he dumped the PDP for APC, former Senator who represented Bayelsa-East Senatorial District on the platform of the PDP in the sixth senate, Chief Nimi Barigha-Amange, said his decision was part of his resolve to join other Bayelsans agitating for freedom in the state.

He said “we have been enslaved by only one man who regards himself as emperor, the 105 councillors were nominated by him, the eight LGA chairmen were nominated by him, I cannot be part of that. I have never seen this kind of authoritarian rule since I have been in PDP.”

He further said the PDP had nothing to offer the people of the state any more, and urged everyone to shun any attempt to induce them with money or fake promises.

Senator Amange enjoined the people to work hard and vote for the APC in the November 16th election.

“The APC candidate, Chief Lyon has the requisite knowledge of the challenges facing our people unlike the PDP candidate, Senator Douye Diri who is running for the election just for the sake of coming to accomplish the biddings of his master, Hon. Seriake Dickson”, Amange observed. He noted that Lyon is the very best that the APC has presented to the state to offer selfless service to the people, adding that when sworn-in, he would improve the lives of the people of the area. 

Earlier in his address, the founder of Ottita Force, a political support group, Prince Gabriel Jonah, promised 100 per cent vote for the APC in the forthcoming governorship election.

Prince Jonah, the younger brother of deputy governor of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah (rtd.), said the people of Nembe Kingdom decided to give their total support to the APC because the PDP led government have not shown any form of respect and regard for her people in government and civil service over the years. 

He said “the PDP led government have always treated us as second class citizens that do not know who should lead them and what they want. They take decisions without consulting our traditional rulers and people. And this time we won’t let that happen.

President Buhari Mourns the Death of Ex-Minister Tam David-West

Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West, former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, has died at the age of 83.

Punch News: “President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed “deep sorrow” over the death of Prof Tam David-West.

“He described the  ‘the indomitable Tam David-West’ as “friend and ally.”

“State House statement conveying the President’s condolence, reads, partly, “Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West, 83, was a consultant virologist of national and international standing. He served as Commissioner of Education in the old Rivers State, Minister of Petroleum and Energy under the Muhammadu Buhari military regime, and Minister of Mines, Power and Steel under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime.”

“It quoted Buhari as saying, “He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own.

“The statement, which was signed the President’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, recalled that David-West was an academic and author of many books.

“He commiserates with the David-West family, the people of Buguma, Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, the academia, and all those who loved ‘the forthright Tam David-West.’

“President Buhari prays that God will rest the soul of the committed nationalist, urging all those who believe in the ideals he espoused to approximate same, for the betterment of Nigeria, and humanity in general”, it added.

Maulud: Buhari Urges Muslims to Imbibe Prophet Muhammad’s Virtues

President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked Muslim faithful to follow ”shining examples of non-violence, peaceful disposition and remarkable virtues of patience” of Prophet Muhammad.

The President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said the President stated this in his Eid-el-Maulud message on the commemoration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

Buhari said: “Putting into practice the great virtues for which the Holy Prophet Muhammad is historically famous and revered would have a far greater impact on changing our attitudes and behaviours than the best sermons.

“The indiscriminate killing of innocent people, the kidnapping of female students and forcing them into marriage and conversion is contrary to teachings and personal examples of the Prophet Muhammad.

“Violent extremism is the single biggest challenge facing the image of Islam today which has been hijacked by a minority of misguided elements who are using religion to cover up their criminal agenda.

“There is the urgent need for increased vigilance by Muslims in order to frustrate and stop the spread of violent ideologies that are causing human havocs and tragedies around the world.

“Extremism is like a cancer that needs to be attacked in its early stages before it grows malignantly out of control and harm the society.”

The President also advised Muslims not to allow their children to be lured and recruited by extremists who would ultimately destroy their lives and future.

While wishing the Muslim community a peaceful celebration, the President urged them to renew their resolve in promoting tolerance, love, harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country.

Buhari also sent special goodwill messages to the Emirs of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar Faruk; Kazaure, Najib Adamu; Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Haruna; and that of Gumel, Alhaji Ahmed Sani.

According to him, the people of these Emirate Councils celebrate this festival, named Sallar Gani, with greater fervour as well as prayers for the unity, progress, and prosperity of Muslims in Nigeria and around the world.

(NAN)

INEC Identifies Flashpoints in Kogi, Bayelsa Ahead of Governorship Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has identified flashpoints in Bayelsa and Kogi states ahead of the November the 16 governorship elections, TVC News reports.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, revealed that an internal risk assessment has been conducted on the two states which he termed ‘politically volatile’ and concerns are mounting over mobilisation of thugs to disrupt the elections in the states.

He called on the security agencies, particularly the police, to provide robust security.

Abdulrasheed Maina ‘Wanted’ in Niger Republic Over $1.7 Million Stashed in House

Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, now facing trial in Nigeria for stealing pension money, is also wanted in neighbouring Niger Republic after the authorities found $1.7million cash in his house in Niamey, TodayNg reports.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission revealed this in its affidavit to block the bail request for the former fugitive over ill-health. Maina is facing trial before Justice Okon Abang a 12-count charge of money laundering. His trial, alongside his son, began 25 October.

EFCC contends in the affidavit that Maina could run away from Nigeria as he has refused to submit his American passport. Maina and his wife are said to be American citizens and naturalized citizens of the United Arab Emirates.

According to a report, the EFCC insists that the accused person is healthy and there is nothing showing that his purported/”reported” ailment cannot be taken care of in Nigeria by the complainant/applicant or that our medical facilities are inadequate.

Although his trial was expected to begin in full force on Tuesday, Maina was absent with a report from Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, claiming that he had severe headache. On Thursday, he appeared in court in a more dramatic manner: on a wheelchair.

The EFCC said it is opposed to bail for Maina who is standing trial for alleged N3billion fraud with Common Input Property and Investment Limited.

The affidavit was deposed to by one of the crack detectives of the EFCC, Mr. Mohammed U. Goji, against the backdrop of the battle for bail by Maina in the court.

Among others, EFCC said: “That the defendant and his wife have established businesses in Dubai where they are residents since fleeing Nigeria. They also own the home they live in Dubai. While the 1st defendant/ applicant owns and runs a car rent business (called North Ridge), the wife runs a cleaning services business (spotless and flawless cleaning).

The EFCC said it has uncovered desperate plans of Maina to take flight and leave the shores of Nigeria as soon as he is released on bail.

The EFCC dismissed claims by Maina that he is unhealthy and would need treatment abroad.

‘Wata Rana a Sha Zuma, Wata Rana a Sha Madaci’: Tribute to Baba at 80! By Fatima Daura

Malam Mamman Daura

To be like the rock that the waves keep crashing over. It stands unmoved and the raging of the sea falls still around it.” – Marcus Aurelius

Today, I pay tribute to an extraordinarily special man. A humble human being who is fazed neither by criticism nor by praise. A gentleman who is unperturbed by fortune or loss. An individual who is content with little and unimpressed by wealth, power or position. A person who is averse to publicity and showmanship; self-effacing; austere and always simply dressed — customarily in white.

This man lives a simple life that is far from the garish and the gaudy; which is exemplified by his casual, but certain, non-judgemental disdain for the ostentatious. 

Today, I celebrate a man that I am proud to call my father, Malam Mamman Daura.

This tribute is about my father, ‘My Baba’, the real Malam Mamman Daura: son, husband, father, and grandfather. The actual version. The authentic version. The one that exists in real life — who has touched many lives in his unassuming way. Not the sponsored-social-media-created version who is preposterous and larger-than-life.

As Baba himself would say when we would express concern about the persistent and unjustified character assassination of his person – “Do not worry. If Allah knows the truth; that is all that matters.” I would want to provide another perspective — the genuine perspective and a true portrayal of the man my father is. This account stems from who and what my siblings and I, and our mother know him to be…

My Baba is a simple, yet, complex man. A man of a few words — which often makes him come across as standoffish. He is highly engaging when he is in his comfort zone – with family and a few close friends. With his late younger brother Baba Sani, I recall with such fondness their daily raucous and wheezy-asthmatic laughing sessions as they shared their inside-jokes. Both men would always end up dissolving into laughter — like old car engines, —whenever they were in the same room.

Baba is conservative, yet liberal. Conservative in his political leanings and gender roles at the home front. However, he is the perfect gentleman. He is chivalrous to a fault, and a gracious human being, who personally serves others food before serving himself —whenever they eat at his table. 

The conservative that Baba is makes his public displays of affection extremely rare — atypical of northern men in his age group. However, from his consistent actions and teachings over the years, we have never doubted that he loved us. 

If you make the mistake of telling Baba you have a headache, he will continue to ask you about that same headache for many days. When we were younger, there was no limit to how he would play and engage us when he was available and otherwise preoccupied. He would play ‘Riyo-riyo’ with us – a game where we would all hold hands and form a circle and sing ‘Riyo-riyo, o ririyo gib’ and then put our right feet forward into the circle with a thump. This was done continuously and when he sang ‘Riyo riyo o ririyo kwangarya’ we were all supposed to stamp our right feet out of the circle. The person who made the mistake of thumping his or her right feet inside the circle would be laughed at. Nevertheless, there were no winners or losers in this game, which was played in two sets of three, two and one. Of course, being young children at the time, Baba could not keep up with our energy and would stop the game after a while.

During Sallah (Eid) celebrations we would have lalle (Henna) applied on our hands and feet – and oh did Baba despise the smell of lalle! With such irreverence, we would shove our lalle dyed feet unto Baba’s nose and face and he would struggle to push us away. When we would not stop, he would grab us and rub the stubs on his freshly shaven chin on our faces and foreheads; prickling our fresh cherubic faces, and we would scream and that was how he would finally get rid of us. However, when he was not in the mood, as you entered his living room, one piercing glare was enough, or without saying a word, he would point to the door and we would immediately leave. When we did not get the message, or when he was expecting visitors, he would say to us “Make yourselves scarce!” — and we would subsequently take flight. 

Once we started to grow up, Baba’s conservatism set in. He no longer used to hug us when he returned from trips. We no longer used to rush to say ‘Baba oyoyo!’ It became a more measured ‘Baba sannu da zuwa’, sometimes with a handshake. By the time I was 17 years old, I had gotten used to not hugging Baba. For the first time in my life, I had not seen my father in 8 months at a stretch when I went to college after secondary school. When Baba came in, instinctively, I rushed to hug him — forgetting that I had stopped that habit many years earlier. Baba held me by the shoulders and said to me “You are much too large for this!” stopping me in my tracks. We both laughed over it. 

Baba is also liberal – in the sense that he married only our mother — when polygamy was the norm for his demographic group. Together they had six of us – five females, and a male. In our household, there was always a sense of equality in the rights, privileges and disciplinary actions — especially in the educational opportunities afforded to all of us. My brother often mentioned when we were growing up that once his friends or acquaintances realised that he was the only male child, they assumed that he was treated with higher regard – which he always countered with much conviction that it was indeed the reverse case. During our weekly special family lunches at home, usually on Fridays or Saturdays, with food from the Arewa Chinese restaurant, he would always be the last to eat — after he had served our mother, the girls, then our brother — he would then serve himself. 

Baba never once talked or pressured me nor any of my four sisters about marriage. He allowed me to get married by my choice and on my terms – just before I turned 26, and after I had completed my master’s degree, national service and working for nearly two years. 

Not outrightly religious, Baba has lived and continues to live the exemplary life of sabr (patience), shukr (thankfulness) and tawakkul (trust in God) – the core virtues of the Islamic faith. Baba is also of impeccable rectitude – honest and decisively upright but is neither sanctimonious nor overcritical. Mama has told me how one of his childhood friends frequently re-iterated to her “Mamman duk ya fi mu” (Mamman is better than all of us). 

In the 1980s and 1990s, he was honoured several times by the Kaduna State Government for consistency in remitting the rightful amount of corporate taxes as well as personal income taxes. Because he declared and paid the correct amount of personal income taxes in amounts much more than people of known stupendous wealth did — he was generally thought to be much wealthier than he really was. He served as the Chairman of a Committee during the 1994 Constitutional Conference – which lasted almost one year; and when the conference ended, committee members and chairpersons were allocated choice residential plots in Abuja by the then Federal Government. Baba rejected the plot given to him – citing that he had served his country and that he was adequately remunerated with accommodation and sitting allowances and therefore did not deserve the plot. He also indicated that he did not need the plot. Until today, this is the essential character of my father – not bothered much about asset acquisition, or the things that he does not ‘need’. In conversations I have had with him over the years, he has hinted to me that if one makes the pursuit of money and material things one’s focus, then one would never have peace. Baba’s motivation was always on setting up industries – to create jobs and accelerate development; but not primarily to create personal wealth. 

Not one given to socialising, Baba is almost always at home with his family. He is either found reading in his study or sitting alone in his living room in deep thought or with his television tuned to the news, sports, documentaries or nature channels. Occasionally he watches classic movies – he especially enjoys watching British Classics like Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Mind Your Language and the Carry On series. In the afternoons, you would usually find him — to use his exact words — “watching an enthralling game of cricket and sipping on a spiffing cup of English tea!” He calls Darjeeling ‘the Rolls Royce of Teas.’ 

Growing up, we had the best of times. Baba worked extremely hard and for long hours and was a prosperous industrialist with major stakes in textiles, manufacturing and banking – so we lacked nothing. While he did not care so much for material things, he gave us the best of everything. As little kids, we would often fly First Class to London on the then British Caledonian Airways and lodge at The Churchill Hotel. So these days, when I have to plan to purchase an economy ticket to London, I think back and I am grateful for what I had as a child. In the mid-80s, we would vacation in Nice (the south of France) and Amsterdam. Perhaps because Baba grew up with so little, often going days without much food, he spared nothing to ensure our utmost comfort. If not for our mother’s corrective spankings and strictness, I think we would have turned out utterly spoilt brats!

Thankfully and for our own good, Mama did not give in to his pleads to stop spanking us when we were naughty. We really did have the best of everything; but most importantly, we had love! Baba did all this to please us, but he was and is still not one to be affected or controlled by worldly things. Contrary to popular opinion, Baba possesses neither millions in bank accounts nor choice properties in Abuja or anywhere else – in fact, he owns only two houses – his family homes in Kaduna and Daura. 

A minimalist, Baba’s choice of clothing has always been modest. Since mobile phones came into existence, he stopped wearing watches. When he used to wear watches – he wore a simple, leather bracelet timepiece. Most of Baba’s personal staff have been with him for 20, 30 and even up to 40 years. Many of them only leave when they get too old or when we were separated by the cold hands of death – a confirmation of his kindness, generosity and magnanimity. 

The quintessential stoic, Baba is unruffled by provocation. I doubt that in my 40 plus years of existence, I have heard him raise his voice or blurt out invectives or harsh reprimands even when justified. Baba never shouts at anyone —his aides and domestic workers inclusive. I remember when I got married and Baba was giving me final words of advice before my departure from home and as I sobbed he said to me “ki yi hakuri, ki yi kamar Maman ki. Shekaru talatin da muke tare bamu taba fada ba” (Be patient like your mother, we have never fought in the 30 years (then) that we had been together). I was shocked! When I was younger, I truly believed that they never used to fight or disagree at all — and I cannot thank them enough for that – for that is a great gift to give to your children. 

As I grew older, I understood that there was no way a marriage would have no conflict, and that they just did a good job in hiding theirs from us. A few weeks after I got married, I asked my mother if they had never fought before – and she said that he was telling the truth. She said that it was not because there were no avenues for quarrels, but because he would just not let the quarrels to occur. She told me that there were conflicts of course and disagreements, but he had never raised his voice at her or engaged her in a squabble. She also said that she would sometimes intentionally provoke him just to get a reaction, but the dignified gentleman would just not budge! Ka ji Maza! 

Baba’s sense of humour is legendary – and his use of adjectives unparalleled. He is at his best when he playfully dishes out abuses at us – when you put on weight he would whisper not to you but to another sibling “X tayi yi monumental kiba” (X has put on monumental weight) or say with much gender insensitivity “you are growing in all directions.” About an extremely corrupt figure, he would say, “dedicated thief”, when you irritate him, he would call you a “confounded nuisance.” One of Baba’s favourite sayings is “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys to work for you” – to stress that if a job pays very little, it attracts the least competent hands. I remember many years ago, I was reading a poorly written article – almost unintelligible due to the numerous grammatical, spelling and every conceivable error inherent, and he said to me – “If you read that article to the end, it will un-educate you!” 

Baba once told me that sometime in the late 1970s, when he was the Editor of the New Nigerian newspaper, he conducted what he described as a highly engaging interview with the late Alhaji Mamman Shata – arguably the most renowned and most prolific Hausa singer and griot. He then wrote what he said was one of the best articles of his writing career – full of praise for Mamman Shata as he was memerised by the singer’s personality – his quick wit, talent, humour and general take on issues. At the last minute, he said that he stopped the article’s publication because, again, in his exact words: “bani so ya yi mani waka!’’ (I do not want him to sing [a panegyric] for me) 

As a son, Baba adored his late father – Alhaji Dauda Daura (Alhaji Babba), the first Durbin Daura (The Durbi of Daura). Alhaji Babba was of Kanuri ancestry; after an infamous family feud, his great grandparents and other family members migrated from Kukawa in northern Borno to Mirriah in Niger Republic with some finally settling in Daura. Baba used to call his father ‘Alhaji nawa’ (my Alhaji) as if he was his alone. He would call Alhaji Babba every single day or night without fail when landlines were finally operational in Daura. As one of us (children) entered his living room, he would blurt out with much emphasis – zero (pronounced zee-ye-ro in an exaggerated Queen’s English manner) six-five, and then whoever it was would complete with ‘five-seven-zero-zero-six (065-57006) – also mimicking the zee-ye-ro pronunciation. It was an instruction to go to the telephone and keep dialing until the line went through to Daura and to ‘his Alhaji’. Those under 35 years may not remember those telephones where dialing required ringing the numbers round and round and the difficulty we endured in those days with getting connected to other states, especially the rural areas.

When Alhaji Babba’s health failed, and after an unsuccessful medical trip to the UK, Baba brought him back to Kaduna to our home where he was nursed until he passed away in October 1993. His death took a toll on Baba – he lost considerable weight and bore a sad countenance for many months. After the Durbi’s passing, the then Sarkin Daura (Emir of Daura), late Muhammadu Bashar conferred Baba with the title of Durbi – much to his chagrin as he despises anything that brings attention to himself and most especially the pomp that accompanies royal titles. Up until today, over 25 years since the title was conferred upon him – the official turbaning has not be done; due to Baba’s reluctance. When my mother wants to provoke him, albeit jokingly, she would call him Durbi, and he would give her the side glare, and she would laugh aloud while he would maintain a straight face! 

With his mother – Hajjá Sa’a, being her first surviving child and her being a Fulani woman, she was not expected to show him much affection and she did not. He spent more time with his paternal grandmother than he did with his mother and therefore was not very attached to her as his other siblings were. I observed their relationship to be very formal, but it was obvious how proud of her son she was. Just like Alhaji Babba, Baba would also do anything for his mother – never going against her will. I believe that I made up for the closeness lacking in their relationship, as I was the apple of her eye – the warmth and affection that she was unable to show to her son; she showered on me. I think Baba inherited her sharp intellect. Hajja Sa’a was also a woman of few words.

However, when she did speak; she demonstrated incredible wordsmithery and the ease and speed at which she would add and subtract large numbers indicated what a mathematical genius she would have been had she gone to formal school. Hajja Sa’a died in September 1996 in Daura after a very brief illness. 

Growing up, while Baba was not one to play music (although he told me that he once had an enviable collection of classical music records and classic Hausa music tapes); without realizing, we made a lot of good acapella music with him as the composer and lead singer and us as the background choristers, the ‘yan amshi. When things did not go the way we expected them to, Baba would often sing the words of Jan Kidi to us: 

“Wata rana a sha zuma,

wata rana a sha madaci,

haka duniya ta ke,

Jaafaru mai halin mazan jiya; zauna da lafiya, mai kuli-kuli kawo na dari….’’ (Sometimes life offers us honey, sometimes life gives us bitters, that is how life is….).

These words have made an indelible mark on my psyche in my formative years, and as I have grown older, I have fully grasped the weight of those words. Whenever things do not go my way, or when they do go my way, I find myself singing “wata rana a sha zuma, wata rana a sha madaci….’’ and I feel so much better or I restrain my joy as the case may be. Baba would also often make us chant after him “may I never rest, until my good is better and my better best” – subtly, without us realising that he was instilling the spirit of excellence and strong work ethic in each and every one of us (his children). Baba taught us contentment – he would habitually say and make us repeat after him “If you can’t have what you want; want what you have.” When it was time for prayers, he would sing “haramar sallah” (prepare to pray) and we would all chorus “alwala” (ablution) – repeatedly as we all marched in different directions (to perform the ablution) only stopping the chants when we were out of sight of each other. Up to this day, Baba still sings haramar sallah to announce that it is time for prayers. 

The most important lesson that I have learnt from my father is patience. Patience in adversity, patience in moments of lack and patience with the vicissitudes of life. In the early 2000s, Baba demonstrated uncommon patience. With the new government reforms, industries collapsed and all of Baba’s business interests suffered a major blow. He went from having so much to having very little or at times even nothing at all – but he persevered. Year in and year out, things got only worse; but Baba accepted this fate with utmost grace – showing not an ounce of bitterness; and for this, he has my eternal reverence. Allah tells us that ‘’Verily, with hardship comes ease’’ (Qur’an 94:5) and indeed; with hardship came ease. 

Finally, as the saying goes, “The greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother” and Baba has indeed shown Mama what unconditional love is – in words and deeds, in spite of his conservatism and intrinsic inability or more appropriately shyness in showing physical public displays of affection.

My parents do have an enviable relationship – up until today, one of their favourite past times is writing palindromes. Baba would write the first sentence in capital letters and underline and Mama would complete with several verses underneath and you would find that sheet of paper casually lying around on a table or stool in Baba’s living room. Baba would come back from an unusual trip to the grocery store and buy Mama a pack of Kellogg’s Special K cereal which she loves and would say to her “here is some Special K for a special K” (in reference to her second name Kulthum). It would make her happy to no end – basking in the euphoria of a woman who knew her husband adores her.

They say nobody is perfect, but how perfect you are to me Baba! Happy 80th to a distinguished gentleman. Babarbare mai halin Fulani! Durbin Daura! Papi! The estimable, the inestimable Baba! It is an incredible honour to be your daughter. 

Ni ce, Fatima tim tim. 

 

Post Scriptum 

Malam Mamman Daura was born on the 9th of November, 1939 in Daura. He had his basic education at the Katsina Middle School and Secondary Education at the Government College, Okene. 

In the late 1960s, he was sent to the UK for higher education by the then Northern Regional Government as part of a small cohort of brilliant young northern men chosen by the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello. Malam Mamman Daura studied English Language, English Literature, Latin and British Constitution at Advanced Level at Bournemouth College. He was then admitted to the elitist Trinity College, Dublin (The Irish equivalent of Oxbridge) and received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics and a combined Masters degree in Public and Business Administration. He returned home and joined the mainstream civil service.

He subsequently moved to the New Nigerian Newspapers as Editor and eventually becoming its Managing Director. Thereafter, he left to set up a private industry – The Kaduna Furniture and Carpets Company (KFCC) which was at one time the largest furniture manufacturing company in West Africa. 

Malam Mamman Daura was a key driver of the first northern Nigerian industrial revolution of the late 1970s and 1980s; with local and international partners and investors – setting up and managing the following industries: Kaduna Aluminium Ltd, Kaduna Machine Works, United Nigeria Textiles Ltd (UNTL), Funtua Textiles (FTL), Arewa Textiles, Nortex and Finetex.

He was at various times a director or board member, managing director or chairman of Hagameyer, Dunlop, African International Bank and APICO Insurance.

He also played a key role in the management of the Northern Nigeria Development Company (NNDC), Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Al-Huda Huda Printing Press. He was until recently, an active member of the philanthropic organisation – Gidauniyar Jihar Katsina (Katsina State Development Fund).

His political affiliations over the Republics are: the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), National Party of Nigeria (NPN), National Republican Convention (NRC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All People’s Party (APP), All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). 

He is married to Hajia Ummu Kulthum and together they have 5 daughters, 1 son and 14 grandchildren. 

 

 

ICPC Seizes 44 Properties Worth N14.7 billion From 32 Companies In Abuja

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has recovered 44 properties allegedly linked to 32 corporate entities.

The Commission disclosed this in a statementon Friday, noting that the properties which were all located in the Federal Capital Territory included two mansions , 27 bare lands, one factory building,and 15 buildings at Asokoro, Maitama and other districts.

It noted that the properties cumulative value had been put at N14.7 billion, and were seized after the entities denied their ownership.

“The Commission, in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), had found that the entities had N883.7 million tax liability on the seized properties,” ICPC said in the statement.

“The seizure is based on Section 45(4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.”

Lagos Governor Sanwo-Olu Presents N1.1 trillion 2020 Budget To Assembly

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has presented a record N1.1 trillion budget for 20120 to the House of Assembly on Friday.

Giving a breakdown of the budget tagged “Awakening to a Greater Lagos”, Sanwo-Olu earmarked 62 per cent, representing N723.75 billion of total spending, for capital expenditure. He said recurrent expenditure, put at 38 per cent, will take N444.81 billion.

About N167.81 billion of the recurrent expenditure will go for personnel costs and other staff-related expenses, representing 22.02 per cent of the total revenue. This, the Governor noted, is within the acceptable wage policy, which benchmarks 25 per cent staff overheads in the budget.

Sanwo-Olu said the proposed budget would help the State achieve a sustainable social investment and scale up private sector-led economic growth through investment in infrastructure and security. He said it would also improve civic engagement in governance and foster partnership with the Federal Government and the civil society.

Explaining why his administration will be earmarking huge funds to the environment and public infrastructure, the Governor said Lagos had been facing combined threats from population explosion and climate change.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Lagos faces an existential threat, arising from the interplay of demographic and climate change. Lagos will continue to be a magnet for multitudes within and outside Nigeria, in search of jobs and economic prosperity. These levels of migration put phenomenal strain on the physical and fiscal resources of the state.

“This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors. As at September 2019, our capital expenditure on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion, which is less compared with N78 billion proposed in the current year. It is our intention to spend N115 billion on physical infrastructure in 2020.

“In response to the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have to triple the capital budget provision to tackle this observed problems from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020. We are embarking on massive desilting of major drain systems across the State next year.”

Sanwo-Olu plans to spend N48 billion on education and technology. This represents 60 per cent rise in capital allocation to the Ministry of Education. On healthcare, the State plans to spend N33 billion on healthcare programmes, which include proposed revamping and re-equipping over 350 Primary Health Centres.

Sanwo-Olu described the proposed budget as “unique”, noting that its details reflected the wishes of residents, following series of consultations and feedback from stakeholders across senatorial districts.

The Governor assured residents of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the budget, pointing out that there would be strict performance mechanism to drive compliance and measure the progress of the budget at the execution stage.

He said: “The 2020 Budget will be supported by a Performance Management System that will ensure that, by December 2020, we shall achieve an optimal budget implementation when compared with previous years. This is in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of public finances.

“We have provided N11.8 billion as counterpart funds in preparation for various social impact schemes. In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1 billion this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programs and virtual markets for artisans. This is in support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are the engines for both economic and employment growth.”

Reviewing the performance of 2019 Appropriation Bill, which he signed into law in June shortly after he assumed office, Sanwo-Olu said his Government embarked on strict implementation of the budget and achieved 69 per cent efficiency at the end of September.

He said his administration completed critical projects that directly impacted residents, including two Maternal and Child Care Centers (MCCs) in Eti-Osa and Alimosho areas, and 492-flat Lateef Jakande Housing Estate in Igando.

The Governor said several other capital projects captured in the 2019 budget, including 31 arterial roads in Ojokoro/Ijaiye area, a High Court and Magistrates Court complex in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, and a Police Command Complex in Ojo Local Government Area, will be completed.

Sanwo-Olu observed that the approved re-ordering of the 2019 budget by the legislature gave the Government an opportunity to raise N250 billion in addressing critical infrastructure needs, including rehabilitation of public schools, ongoing construction of Lagos–Badagry Expressway, Agege–Pen Cinema Overhead Bridge, Agric–Isawo Road, Bola Ahmed Tinubu–Igbogbo Road, and an ongoing road rehabilitation by Lagos Public Works.

He added that the loan will also enable his administration to start the desilting of drain systems, provision of security and emergency hardware, light rail infrastructure, and construction of a General Hospital in Ojo, which is to be fitted with a Spinal and Neurology Unit.

Sanwo-Olu reiterated that his administration’s development agenda, known as Project T.H.E.M.E.S, was designed to address major challenges facing the State and create a city that would work for the citizens. He said his administration was ready to transform Lagos by rethinking projects that will improve the wellbeing of the residents.

The House of Assembly chamber was filled to the brim, as a large crowd of Lagos residents, comprising leaders and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), State Executive Council members, traditional rulers, workers, traders, artisans, students and stakeholders in the private sector, witnessed the budget presentation.

Worries as Sea Pirates Threaten Rivers Waterways

Hundreds of people who use the waterways to travel in Rivers state are daily finding it a nightmare to do so following the escalation of the activities of sea pirates, DailyTrust reports.

Matters got worse just last Monday when boat operators embarked on a three-day warning strike to press home their concern about the insecurity on the waterways.

Hundreds of passengers plying Billie Bonny, Bakana and Nembe  routes were left stranded due to the strike.

The boat operators said the strike was aimed at drawing the attention of the security agencies and Rivers state government on their plights and that of passengers.

Activities of the pirates have escalated in the last three months as no fewer than 10 of such attacks were recorded along Billie, Bakana, Buguma, Abonnema  and Bonny waterways.

Just last Saturday three people were shot dead when gunmen, suspected to be sea pirates,  attacked three passenger boats en-route  Port Harcourt from Billie in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers state.

An eye witness said the gunmen, who attacked three different boats along the route, also carted away properties belonging to passengers on board the three boats.

The witness said two of the victims of the attack were the best man to a bridegroom and his father, who were on their way to attend a wedding in Port Harcourt.

The witness said the attackers dropped passengers of the first two boats in the creeks and went away with their belongings.

He said the third boat sent to rescue the passengers was attacked and riddled with bullets sinking it.

Chairman of Rivers Maritime Association,  Jumbo Jona, who confirmed the incident  said three persons lost their lives in the incident.

Earlier on September 2 passenger boats were attacked and diverted by gunmen suspected to be sea pirates terrorising the Billie Bonny sea route.

The armed men hijacked the boat en-route Port Harcourt from Bonny. The incident took place at Dutch Island in Okrika.

A victim of the attack, who pleaded anonymity, said that the boat was attacked as they approached Dutch Island in Okrika.

“We left Bonny for Port Harcourt and as we approached a place called Dutch Island in Okrika heavily armed gunmen double crossed our boat and ordered the boat driver to stop. When the boat stopped the masked gunmen started shouting,  ‘Asawama, Asawama, everybody face down’ at that point two of the gunmen jumped into our boat and collected our handsets , money and other properties after which they zoomed off. They collected two of my handsets, money and clothing,” he said.

He called on the state to beef up security in all the waterways to stop the incessant attacks on passenger boats.

Shortly after that incident heavily armed gunmen attacked a boat returning to Bakana from Port Harcourt.

A witnesses said the gunmen hijacked the boat and diverted it to a creek near Bakana. The witness said passengers in the boat were robbed of their possessions and two of them were taken hostage.

A boat traveller, Michael Johnbull, called on the security agencies, especially the marine police, to do more to secure the lives of people using the waterways.

“This recurring attack is really getting out of hand. Everyday passengers that transit through the waterways are afraid because of the menace of sea pirates. In less than two months we have recorded many cases of attack and that do not speak well of the government as well as the security agencies. We want the state government to come into this matter and find a lasting solution to this serious security challenge on our waterways,” he said.

Rivers state police command said that it is doing its best to ensure that all parts of the state are protected and secured.

The command’s spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command would  go all out to arrest the menace of sea pirates.