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I was at the premises of the National Museum and Monuments in Kaduna yesterday. What I saw was disturbing. It was almost five years now since I last visited the Museum. First, the locally constructed mud structure that for years provided housing to the blacksmiths that practiced their art for visitors to the Museum was partly roofless. In this rainy season, the roofless mud structure is exposed to the heavenly downpours. One needs no degree in engineering to guess the ultimate outcome of the neglect of the structure. Second, as someone who grew up in Kaduna, the Museum’s excellent landscape design was always a sight to behold. But what I saw there yesterday was an eyesore. The landscape was a far shadow of its former self. Third, the premises of the Museum had always been clean, neat and tidy; but yesterday I saw a refuse dump building on the premises! Fourth, what used to be the spacious parking space for visitors to the Museum is now reduced to an extension of the Unguwar Shanu market, as stalls and shops busy compete for space.
The Museum is our national heritage. It is a place people and tourist from around the world will come to visit; to see the window into our past. What image are we projecting to the outside world? What is the problem with the National Museum and Monument in Kaduna? Is it underfunding? Is it mismanagement? Somebody should please do something. Like charity, let us begin the business of polishing our image from home. I hope this note will not end up as a lonely cry in the wilderness.

General Board / The Madness Called Human Rights Activism!
« on: May 15, 2011, 04:21:54 PM »

Sometimes I wonder: what a large collection of dumb asses are human rights activists? In their craze pretentions of protecting human rigths, they almost always end-up backing the wrong horse. Now consider the Iranian case as a typical example. A guy who couldn’t win the heart of a young lady decided to pour acid into her eyes. At the end of the day the poor lady lost not only her sight, but has her face disfigured. A competent court of law ruled that that wicked man should also be given the same acid treatment: an eye for an eye. Now all the so-called human rights activists are shouting: given the man the acid treatment is a violation of human rights which all civilize peoples (I don’t know what 'civilize peoples' is supposed to mean!) should condemn. Hey come to think of it, they are talking of the rigth of the victimiser and not of the victim: what about the victim's rights? What manner of logic guides the reasoning of such human rights activists? Am I communicating? Will some-one please help me understand this madness?

General Board / Paying the Price for Nationhood!
« on: May 10, 2011, 05:01:18 PM »
Nigerians are a long way from attaining real nationhood. With time, luck, sacrifices and lots of prayers we may one day be a Nation in the real sense of the word. But it will continue to pain the heart, to see Nigerians been refugees in their own land: just because they ventured to live their lives outside their immediate ethno-cultural environment. My heart bleeds for my fellow countrymen and women, the victims of incessant ethno-religious crises. This is a sacrifice we have to make for the bright future we all hope for.

General Board / Osama Bin Laden has Attained Matrydom!
« on: May 02, 2011, 09:06:33 AM »
Osama Bin Laden has attained matyrdom! He lived a graceful, purposeful and exemplenary life. He died galantly. The United States and her allies called him a terrorist. People like yours sincerely saw in him a freedom fighter. He was a ‘terrorist’ with a cause: one who sacrificed his resources, priviledges and comfort for that cause he lived, fought and died for. The United States has killed Bin Laden, but his cause lives on. Unless the USA summons the political will, courage and selflessness to squarely address the Bin Laden’s cause, the potential vibrancy of the cause will produce a thousand-and-one new Osama Ben Ladens.
May Allah’s Mercy shower on the soul of Mujaheed Osama Bin Laden. Amen.

General Board / Though this be madness …
« on: April 25, 2011, 04:32:49 PM »
Here-under is a pointer towards the key to unraveling the mystery of religious and political crises in Northern Nigeria:

There is abject poverty in the North. The brunt of the sharpest cutting edge of northern poverty rested squarely upon inhabitants of urban squalor settlements in the North. In these settlements, an amalgam of abject poverty and rapid population explosion provide fertile grounds for the rapid growth of an idle army of un-employed, un-employable, unskilled, and un-educated, drug infested, potentially criminal and violent youths. The idle minds of these impoverished, frustrated, poverty stricken youths remain the devil workshop: a ticking time-bomb for crises in the North. Until something is done, here-in is embedded the potential undoing of whatever we may hold dear to our country, Nigeria.

(a) Gobe PDP zata lika jam’iyyar CPC, ACN da duk sauran jam’iyyun adawa da kasa, saboda taurin kai, sonrai da rashin kishin talakawa yahanasu hada kai. (b) Faduwar CPC a gobe zai hana jama’a fitowa zaben 26 ga wata, saboda kusan duk ‘yan CPC suna CPC ne saboda Buhari, don haka bazasu fito zabeba bayan gwaninsu yasha kaye. (c) Kin fitowar jama’a zaben 26 ga wata, zaisa ‘yan takarar CPC susha kasa, PDP tayi galaba. Gwamnoni irin su Ibrahim Shema zasu tsallake! (e) Bayan an kafa gwamnati, tsirarun ‘yan CPC da suka ci zaben majalisun tarayya a makon jiya, zasu sake sheka su koma PDP: dama akasarinsu tsoffin ‘yan PDP ne. (f) 2015 in Allah Yakaimu, lokaci Buhari yabar siyasa sai kuma muga abinda Allah zaiyi.

General Board / My Father's Photo Album
« on: February 26, 2011, 11:39:50 AM »
My father was born in Gafai, Katsina. He grew up in Katsina before moving to Kano from where he joined the army. He was known as Ammani Kano or even as Mani Kano to his friends and colleagues in the army. He saw action in Burma during the Second World War. He retired from the army in 1963 and moved into civil life, choosing Unguwar Shanu in Kaduna as his place of residence. However, with the coming of the Nigerian Civil War in 1967, he was recalled back to arms, as most of his colleagues, to fight the war on the Federal front as an ex-NA personnels. He re-retired in 1978 and died 30 years later; on the 23rd of November 2008. He had been an amateur photographer, in addition to keeping a large collection of photograph. After his death, a lot of these photographs were left to waste for the simple reason that I and my younger ones see little use in continuing to keep them: we hadly know any of the persons in most of the pictures. Some of the photos are simply those of old friends and acquaintances of Baba in the 1950s and early 60s. However, there is one picture that made me have a change of mind. As Baba was literate, he usually wrote at the back of the pictures. On one such picture he wrote, on the 1st of January 1953, “A young man gave it to me and requested that I give it to the Amarya of (RSM) Ahmadu Dosso”. I do not know why Baba was unable to deliver the photograph to the Amarya. 58 years later, now, I decided to use the fruits of the Internet to see if I can convey the photograph atleast to the heirs of Amaryar Ahmadu Dosso, wherever they may be. This informed the creation of this blog ( In addition, some of the photographs may be of interest to students of sociology and anthropology. In this blog I intend to upload some of Baba’s collection to share them with the world, perchance someone may find some of them useful for one purpose or the other.
I am not claiming any rights to the photos published on this blog. Some of them were taken by Baba himself. Some where given to Baba. Some, no doubts, where produced by commercial photographers of the period from whence Baba obtained his own copies. Baba also kept picture cuttings from old magazines, newspapers and other prints; I hope to publish same also much later if there is need. In such cases, the sources will be properly acknowledged. Readers’ comments are welcome. May Allah have mercy on the soul of Baba, amin. 

No doubt IBB has become the man many Nigerians love to hate. But in trying to suggest that IBB is in a way connected to the October 25th bombings in Abuja, the Nigerian intelligence outfit not only underrate the intelligence of the evil genius but also demonstrate how low the Nigerian government assume the intelligence of the average Nigerian citizen. My opinion, the Federal Government of Nigeria is playing politics with this sensitive issue of our national security. It is trying to use the incident, which it may have stage managed, to quash the camp of the strongest contender to the Presidency within the ruling PDP.

General Board / Is it True?
« on: June 14, 2010, 06:43:59 PM »
Is it true that majority of drivers that fall victims of Road Safety Commission's personnel are those that drive at moderate speed, have their particulars intact and stop when stopped by the FRSC’s men?

chit-chat / Come Share this with me.
« on: June 14, 2010, 03:38:42 PM »
I was with my cousin last night who was so disturb. Her problem is that a very close friend of mine has started making passes at her eldest daughter. She wants me to discourage him from the affair. The friend of mine in question was actually my cousin’s first love. It wasn’t easy for our parents to convince her to let my friend go and married her present husband in 1988. The reason given then was that my friend was so close to her age wise, he’s just 3 years older than her, and just a student then. Now he teaches in the local polytechnic where he came across my cousin’s daughter, a student of his, and wants her for a second wife. Her argument: ai ana barin halal don kunya, considering what transpired between them. His argument: ai ba haram bane kuma ya fahimci yarinyar tana sonsa. What position do you suggest I take? I am in a dilemma.

General Board / No June 12 No Nigeria!
« on: June 12, 2010, 09:01:58 PM »
It seems Nigeria has survived June 12. I noticed no member posted anything this day on the anniversary of an event that at a point in time was paramount to our National discuss. I congratulate Nigeria for this attainment.

General Board / The Problem With General Muhammadu Buhari
« on: June 09, 2010, 11:35:00 PM »
This weekend General Muhammadu Buhari will officially receive his membership card of the CPC. In my opinion the problem with General Buhari has more to do with the way and manner of his packaging as a presidential candidate than the political party he subscribes to. This much I tried arguing on in December 2006. I reproduced the 2006 essay below:

Repackaging Muhammadu Buhari for the 2007 General Elections

The packaging of candidates for election into political offices has become extremely important, essentially because of the role it is accepted to play in attracting and winning over the electorates. Packaging can be regarded as the vehicle through which a candidate is to be sold and it must, therefore, protect and attract.

It is my humble opinion that the Buhari Campaign Organization failed to address some fundamental flaws in its packaging of Muhammadu Buhari as the ANPP’s candidate for the 2003 General Elections and is apparently about repeating same this time around. There is no intention on my part to mock or ridicule those who tried, however ineffectually, to sell Muhammadu Buhari in 2003. In this write-up I intend to make some suggestions.

First, the Campaign Organization has continued to refer to their candidate as General Buhari. Apparently, they fail to see the wisdom of those who sold Obasanjo to Nigerians as far back as 1999, when they (the Obasanjo Campaign Body) present the incumbent as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to the Nigerian electorates. Mindful of the fact that what Nigerians then, and even now want, is not another General in Aso-Rock but rather a democrat. From 1999 to date, the PDP as a party, as well as the Obasanjo Campaign machinery always referred to the President as Chief O. Obasanjo, de-emphasizing but by no means ignoring his military background. It is noteworthy that Obasanjo retired as a full General in 1979. This time around, I humbly suggest that the Buhari Campaign Organization should work towards presenting to the Nigerian electorates a Mallam, Alhaji or even a Mr. Muhammadu Buhari for the 2007 General Elections and not the General.

Second, the Buhari Organization should not only present Buhari as a democrat, but should also work to prepare him to act and speak like one. Utterances made by Muhammadu Buhari, for instance, shortly after the results of the last General Elections were announced in 2003; and even his reaction to the outcome of the last ANPP Convention for the election of the Party’s National Officers, does not sound democratic. Utterances should be well thought out and guided, politically and diplomatically.

Third, the importance of the mass media in electioneering campaigns cannot be overemphasised. While one is not expecting the Buhari Campaign Organization to transformed Buhari into a media-savvy like the Iranian President, Mahmoud AhmadiNejad, it will be better if they should work towards that end. No doubt, Muhammadu Buhari is one of the most photogenic politicians in today’s Nigeria.

Finally, I will like to call on both the Buhari and the ‘Yar’adua Campaign Organizations to avoid mudslinging, cheap blackmail and bitter political wrangles as they try to sell their candidates to us, the Electorates. They should be conscious of the fact that all that transpired between them is keenly watched and documented by our compatriots on the other side of the geopolitical divide, and that they will not hesitate to use it against us whenever doing so is to their advantage. Again, it is my very humble opinion that Mallam Muhammadu Buhari is today the best candidate the Opposition in Nigeria can offer the electorates for the Presidency come 2007. In the same token, Alhaji Umaru ‘Yar’adua is the best candidate the Ruling PDP can present to the Nigerian electorates for the Presidency. Head or tail, Buhari or ‘Yar’adua _either way we win, as this is indeed, the Season of Migration of political power to the North.

General Board / Endangered Species of Names!
« on: June 04, 2010, 06:13:18 PM »
Modernity is threatening the existence of some names in the north of Nigeria: Goggo, Uwani, Kakale, Babangida are being replaced with Ummi, Mummy, Humaira, Ameerah, Daddy, Ameer; Maryam, Fatima and Hauwa’u are replacing Mairo, Binta, Ta-Rasulu and Maijidda in everyday usage. The other day, I have to explain to my 6yr old daughter that Binta and Fatima are synonyms in Hausa land.
We need do something to check this phenomenon, or don’t you think so?


The point of departure in this write-up is that Boko Haram is a movement not an Islamic sect. The late Muhammad Yusuf , or his Boko Haram movement,  was not the first northern Nigerian Muslim, or Islamic movement, to see, view, regard or consider boko (western education) as haram (unlawful). My grand father and his contemporary members of the then Ulama of what is today known as northern Nigeria said so more than a hundred years ago, when the white Christian missionaries first came with ilmin boko. However, there is a world of difference between their reasons for considering boko as kafirci or haram and the reasons that informed Muhammad Yusuf’s verdict.


From the very beginning, in this part of the world, literary knowledge has always been associated with religions. Islam brought Arabic/Islamic literary education. Christian missionaries brought boko alongside the Christian religion. The Malams then saw, and justifiably so, boko in light of the divide between Islam and kafirci: as an avenue through which the missionaries seek to convert Muslim boys and girls to the Christian faith. Thus, their then conclusion that boko was haram as it leads to kafirci.


More than a hundred years and counting, despite series of policy and curriculum reviews, this belief in the kafirci of boko is still popular among some northern Muslims, particularly among the Gardawa:  Tsangaya or Madrasas graduate students of the Qur’an. Interestingly, Muhammad Yusuf was a Gardi, a product of the Madrasas school system. He never received any form of western education, this much he admitted in his debate with Ustaz Isa Aliyu Fantami in Bauchi some three years ago. Never mind baseless newspaper reports describing him as “educated and proficient in the English language”.


The chief argument of the group that boko is haram is predicated on the view that the content of some subjects of instructions in our schools contradicts the tenets of the Islamic religion, notably, the Big Bang Theory, Darwinism, the Law of Conservation of matter and energy; and the views of some free thinkers and philosophers that question the existence of God or divine religions. Granted that there are aspects of the contents of our educational curriculum that appeared to be in conflict with the code of belief of the Islamic faith, is the curriculum process not a continuous one: subject to both evaluation and review? But how do you expect an illiterate, in the boko sense, to appreciate this? To Muhammad Yusuf and his followers, we must take up arms to purge our curriculum of heresy.


It is mystifying that someone who has never seen the four walls of a primary school hinges the chief argument of his movement on the content matter of academic subjects he knew next to nothing about. Even more perplexing is the question: how was it possible for an illiterate, in the boko sense, to mobilized tens of thousand of men and women, including students, university graduates, civil servants (including even a retired permanent secretary), politicians (including a former Hon. Commissioner), academics, etc. to such a bleak cause? Perhaps the people have lost confidence in both the system and the powers that be, and their support for such anti-establishment movement is a manifestation of their blind desire for a change, overhaul or even a total destruction of the system.


Muhammad Yusuf was not the first leader of an Islamic movement in Nigeria to declare the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria a dagut: not worthy of allegiance to by good and upright Muslims. Neither was he the first to urge his members to drop from school, nor was he the first to declare working in any form of government employment unlawful. In all three cases, the Islam Only movement of Ibrahim El-Zazzaky set the precedence in the late 1970s and the 80s. Again, interestingly, Muhammad Yusuf was a principal officer in that movement, 1985-1990, according to his ‘teacher’ Auwal Albany of Zaria .


Even in the area of attacking police posts and personnel, Muhammad Yusuf’s movement was following in the steps of the Maitatsine’s movement of the 1980s.


Many social commentators and analysts implicated poverty and massive youth unemployment in the country for the incessant sectarian crises in the North. No doubt, there is a widespread feeling of despondency as a result of the blatant failure of both the democratic system, particularly the highly distorted electoral process’s inability to entrench good leadership; and the woeful state of the economy: overcrowded cities, poor social infrastructure, high unemployment rate, corruption in high places and the ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor. While these negatives are not the preserve of the North, I make haste to add the following three paragraphs from my 2007 essay, Nigeria: Washing our Dirty Linen in Public, which in my opinion is the catalyst of the phenomenon of religious crises in the North:


“In Nigeria , Islamic religious authority or power has been diffused at a local level among countless scholars or Mallams, who lack a clearly defined hierarchy, organization, minimum standards for entry, or even a curriculum for doctrine training. While every serious member of the Ulama has a right to use all the knowledge and experience he posses in the service of Islam and the community he belongs; he must not, however, be allowed to mix-up his own prejudice, conjecture and conclusion with the interpretation of Islamic texts, particularly the Qur’an, which is perfectly perspicacious. Yet, the absence of a body which has the authority and legal muscle to screen and licensed all Islamic preachers in such a way that only those found worthy, both in character and learning, will be licensed to preach; make Islamic preaching in particular, and all other forms of religious preaching in general, an all comers affair along with its attendant consequences.

”In a typical northern setting, particularly within the Hausaland, any person vocal enough to stand in the mosque or in a public place to voice his views on issues, no matter how misinformed, quoting Qur’anic verses, no matter how out of place, is instantly regarded as a mallam or even a sheikh. And if he happens to be antagonistic towards the powers that be, he quickly win large following as a fearless and God fearing Mallam. Thus, the vocal mallams held their followers spellbound and dogmatized. Majority of the followers accept whatever comes out of the mouth of the Mallam as the Qur’anic truth. To argue with Mallam is to blaspheme. Giving the impression of a form of totalitarian arrangement, that demand and get complete obedience from people with no independent mind.

”This brand of mallams is fatwa happy. Fatwa is open for all. Yet, one will make bold to say, without the fear of contradiction that the bulk of these mallams are ignorant of the logic, philosophy and workings of the socio-economic and political systems they were falling over themselves to give fatwa on. The fatwa are supported by distortions of facts and by appeals to passion and prejudice, often deliberately false and misleading, all in an attempt to persuade through emotional appeal…”


The thrust of this essay is that neither the ideology nor the methodology of the Boko Haram movement is new to northern Nigeria ; it is the dysfunctional socio-economic, particularly the cultural and religious environment that encourages the emergence and growth of groups such as the boko haram movement. It is the constitutional responsibility of the government to protect life and property of its citizens. Government must establish a competent body that will have the authority and legal muscle to screen and license all religious preachers in such a way that only those found worthy, in character and learning, will be licensed to preach. This in my view is the only way out of the woods.


General Board / Aminu Kano: The Ideological Basis of His Struggle
« on: April 25, 2009, 03:48:19 PM »

Friday the 17th of April marked the 26th anniversary of the death and immortality of Malam Aminu Kano, one of Africa’s greatest revolutionary. Rallies and talk-shows were organized. Much was written and said about the struggles of Malam Aminu Kano for the emancipation and redemption of the Talakawa from the shackles of the Sarakuna; old and new forms of Zalunci etcetera, particularly in the years leading to our independence, 1948-1960. The Jigawa State government was at the forefront of this year’s event.

One essential ingredient that was missing in almost all the rallies and talk-shows, in my view, is the ideological basis of Malam Aminu Kano’s struggles. In other words, what inspired Malam Aminu Kano that made him truly and totally committed to the struggle for the redemption of the Talakawa?

Malam’s disciples and old friends like Alhaji Tanko Yakasai made reference, in passing, to the fact that the late Prime Minister, Sir. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, nicknamed Malam Aminu Kano, Molotov. To refresh the reader’s memory, Vyacheslav Molotov was a Bolshevik politician; Bolshevism was a communist doctrine based on the theories of Karl Marx as formulated by Vladimir Lenin. Molotov was foreign minister of the defunct USSR and one of the most influential lieutenants to the late Josef Stalin. That Malam Aminu Kano was nicknamed Molotov, no doubt project an image of the Malam as a socialist of the defunct USSR brand! Nothing could be further from the truth.

Anybody privileged to have attended any of Malam Aminu Kano’s campaign rallies will agree that the Malam had a gift of oratory. He held his audience spellbound; the pedagogue in him simplified complex issues for easy intake, absorption and digestion by the audience. Those of us that still have, in our possession, the audio tapes of his campaign rallies are indeed fortunate. Very fortunate.

In the final year of his meritorious life, Malam Aminu Kano gave a deeply moving lecture on the occasion of the opening of his Gidan Mumbayya residence in Kano. On that occasion the late Malam made it crystal clear to all and sundry, what the ideological basis or inspiration for his struggles was: the Qur’anic doctrine of Fakku-Raqabah: freeing the bondman [Qur’an 90:13]. He gave a perspicuous illustration of the doctrine of Fakku-Raqabah and how it inspired and guided his lifelong struggle: championing the rights of the poor and downtrodden.

What is the import of the Qur’anic doctrine of Fakku-Raqabah: the ideological basis of Malam Aminu Kano’s struggles? In his book, The Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary, Abdullah Yusuf Ali gave an explanation of the meaning of the doctrine of Fakku-Raqabah, though not as graphic as Malam’s, in the following words: As regards the bondman, we are to understand not only a reference to legal slavery, which happily is extinct in all civilized lands; but many other kinds of slavery which flourish especially in advanced societies. There is political slavery, industrial slavery and social slavery. There is the slavery of convention, of ignorance, and of superstition. There is slavery to wealth or passion or power. The good man tries to liberate men and women from all kinds of slavery, often at great danger to himself.

The thrust of this essay is to document for posterity that the Qur’anic doctrine of Fakku-Raqabah was the ideological basis of Malam Aminu Kano’s lifelong struggles for the redemption of the Talakawa. Malam Aminu Kano was inspired by the Qur’an. If it succeeds only in dispelling the suggestion that the ideological basis of Malam Aminu Kano’s struggles was somewhere in the theories of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Friedrich Engels or Mao Zedong, it will have achieved its purpose.

May Allah (TWA) Whose Qur”anic injuction of Fakku-Raqabah, Malam Aminu Kano followed all his life, reward him with Al-jannat-al firdaus, amin.

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