Bafarawa’s House of Humour


Dahiru Maishanu



I like Governor Attahiru Bafarawa for his boldness and loyalty to his friends. The Governor catches my fancy for daring to air his views on issues without mincing words, no matter whose ox is gored. I adore his tenacity for refusing to allow inferiority complex to overwhelm him, despite the obvious. I don’t know if he is truly vindictive, but I know there is only a thin line between arrogance and most of his pattern of behavior. But these do not make him a bad man for we all have our other sides. I still like him, though.  


Equally, I don’t envy his Excellency for I know he is a victim of blind and misplaced trust and loyalty to friendship. My Governor is being manipulated by a cabal that is only interested in the material, not the substance; the side-show, not the show itself. I know he is a man caged by the people he trusts to a fault. He is a victim of association and acquaintance.


I’m sure his Excellency means well for the people of Sokoto State, but people with inordinate ambition are capitalizing on his inadequacies; his contacts and immense wealth in order pursue their own agenda and in the process, paint to him a different picture from the reality. These people have held him hostage for the past seven and a half years and have made immense capital out of it. No wonder they become aggressive when ever their rotten veil is threatened by anybody.


The Governor’s media machine may turn out to be his worst enemy. This comprises a bunch of people who have hijacked the governor’s conscience and created an invincible bond that dictates all his official pronouncements according to their own dictum. They attack any shade of opinion that differs from theirs and present it to the governor as a bad opinion which must be crushed by all means. They go berserk like wounded lions against any body who dares challenge any policy of the state.


These guys have elevated the art of sycophancy to the highest level that can ever be imagined. They always show the governor that he is the best thing that ever happened to the state. Their bootlicking knows no iota of decorum. It is doubtful if they ever point any mistake to his Excellency. They have succeeded in creating a protective wall around the governor that prevents him from knowing what is truly happening in the state and around the nation.


It was the same group that helped fuel the fire that escalated the tension between the Governor and his erstwhile deputy, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko which resulted into a political battle that divided the ANPP and led to the expulsion of the Governor from the party. They also provided the ignition for the reported misunderstanding between the Governor and the late Sultan Mohammadu Machido and some of his senior Councilors which almost brought mayhem and catastrophe to the state. In short, this group is bad news to the well-being of the state.


They have recently started capitalizing on the endorsement of the Governor as the presidential flag bearer of the DPP to continue the razzmatazz of praise singing and recycling of stale news as the Governor’s achievements. They have held his Excellency captive with their insatiable appetite for remnants and love for the spoils of office.


His Excellency can borrow a leap from what is happening today in his own party, the contraption called DPP.  From the day the party chose its gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, the same people have diverted all their energy into unqualified praise singing and hero worshipping of the candidate.


A day after the selection of Dingyadi, the newspapers were set awash with articles that contained nothing apart from whitewashing and praise singing for the former Secretary to the State Government. The same ‘journalists’ who were shifting their allegiance hopelessly from one candidate to another, prior to the selection, suddenly started singing praise of Maigari, applauding him as the next best thing to happen to the State. This is hoping Alhaji Maigari is watching the ironic drama in this house of humor.


His closest associates especially in the business circle are also not helping his Excellency. Between 1999 till date, some of the most trusted friends of the governor have made stupendous, unexplainable riches that defy simple, logical explanation. All worthwhile contracts are believed to have been awarded to these people and most of them reportedly without due process being followed.


These people have constituted themselves into demi-gods, patrons and political godfathers to all politicians in the state. Nobody gets anything from the government until and unless he goes through them. The worst thing here is that, they are hardly literate enough to be able to understand the dynamics of governance, but unfortunately, courtesy of friendship, they are the ones who call the shots. All commissioners and other senior civil servants must either remain sidekicks to these blokes or they are shown the way out quicker than they came.


The monumental fraud taking place in the name of road construction, iron rod purchase, fly over erection and generator procurement is second to none in the history of our state. While billions of naira is being washed away through these deliberate white elephants, thousands of the state indigenes have taken to begging across the country as a means of earning their living.


The emergence of the DPP, a political party founded by his Excellency and some of his closest allies is also another phenomenon that is adding to this house of humor in Sokoto. Civil servants are forced to rally support for this political platform while the state resources are expended in a winner take all fashion to oil the machinery of the party. Either a civil servant becomes an errand boy and or an accomplice in the campaign drive of the DPP, or he or she is shown the way out of gainful employment.  A secretary of a Local Government in the state was recently arrested while ‘stocking’ a number of voters’ registration machines with fake names in an apparent effort to boost the chances of the DPP at the polls, come April, 2007.


His Excellency can do without all these. After all, he has almost exhausted his two terms of office and has contributed in his own way, his quota in the development of the State. He does not have to shoulder the burden of other people at the expense of a well deserved rest after eight years of a long, tortuous journey. Those fighting for elections on the platform of the DPP in the state should fight their fight and desist from capitalizing on anybody’s hard earned good will for success.


It is how ever, up to the governor to examine the true intention of all those around him. He has less than five months to break away from the cycle of mischief makers and those who build sand castles for him to dwell in, not minding what will happen when the rainy day arrives. Ours is to mirror the society and accordingly, report what is on the ground.