www.ahmadubello.com       www.sardauna.com
HomepageAbout UsAuthors AreaContact
Home
Legacy
History
Speeches
Biography
Tributes
Pictures

AREWAONLINE

ARTICLES

"Subject to the overriding need to preserve law and order, it is our determination that everyone should have absolute liberty to practice his belief according to the dictates of his conscience…”  - Sir Ahmadu Bello


 

As students, the Sarduana paid personal visits to us in school

By Adamu Fika (NPRC delegate)  / 2006-01-14

 

Sir, this year we are commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region...

 

Sir, this year we are commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello. From your standpoint, what aspect of his life as a leader do you still find truly remarkable today?
I started my working life in the ministry of education, and I think what struck me most was his interest in education. He gave all sorts of encouragement, visiting schools, talking to students and also establishing scholarships. When he went to the Nigerian College of Arts and Science he asked us to come and meet him in his house here in Kaduna. We had two hours of discussion just to encourage us. Most of us were in our teens then. We were happy this man did not see us as small boys but encouraging us. His old college, Barewa, he used to visit it regularly, talking to the young ones that the future would be theirs if they worked hard. And up to the time that more secondary schools were established in the North, he kept on visiting, visiting and visiting. When the time came for Nigerians to take over, he took interest in Northernisation. He protected all our interest.


Forty years after, a lot of younger people today may have read or heard something about Sardauna, especially given that Northern Nigeria as it was eventually was divided into different states, making it even more difficult for a lot of younger people to understand. As a direct beneficiary of how it was in those days, what do you think we can learn in terms of helping our society to grow?
Well, I think immediately after the death of Sardauna, things continued moving fairly even after the creation of states. Each of the six states carved out of the North had staff reputable. The plan was not to take everybody to his state of origin. You live where you were needed most. The idea was that no state should be starved of staff and it should not have more than the staff that it could cater for. The more states were created, the more we moved away from the original concept of the North. Right now I am not sure if some of these our leaders really have any feeling for the North, or even for the common man.
Looking back to those times, what would you say were the ways the Northern unity was kept in terms of religion harmony, ethnic relationships and work ethics?


As you know, the motto of Northern Nigeria then was work and worship. You tell people to work hard and also you tell people to worship almighty Allah. About this ethnic problem, Sir Ahmadu set up an advisory committee on Islamic affairs with members drawn all over the North to advise the government on matters that affected religion so that all these various factions coming up and causing trouble were kept under control. He was concerned about keeping peace. If there was anything that concerned Christianity also, the government would take it up. So there was concern about work, about religion, about ethnic harmony.
When we look at the way people have this desperate urge to amass wealth, what was the living standard that Sardauna maintained all the time?
The standard of living of the ministers then and the other people was virtually the same. That is what our leaders should emulate, but I don’t think they are emulating.


You could look at the fact that these were leaders whose level of education did not go beyond secondary school really, but they had a tremendous amount of commitment. When we look at what is happening today, leaders go to all the universities, they have all the book knowledge, yet commitment is deficient, feeling for community is almost absent and there is no modesty. What made the Sarduana generation so different, given that they didn’t have much book knowledge, yet they gave so much to the community?
Yes, that is one of the problem we are having now, people don’t have respect for experience. They think that they can get everything from books. Those our leaders had a grounding in local administration. Administration is administration. I think the Sardauna became a district head at the age of 24. So also were others. So, they already knew how public affairs were conducted. Now the number of people being looked after has increased, otherwise the basic principles are all the same.


Looking after the forty years of the death of Sardauna, what do you think we have missed much?
As I said, I think it is a question of looking back to see how things were done before and what can be learned from there. We have to connect, and, of course, we have to try also and suppress our greed. Our leaders then, any money they got they would just pass on for the service of the people, and they did not tamper with government treasury as is being done now, because the concern was there. The civil servants were trained to do their work without political interference so that whether you were in the opposition or government supporter, you were strictly considered on level. These are how things were done in the past. Now if you are not a political party man, you can’t get anything done for you.
 


  “Here in the Northern Nigeria we have People of Many different races, tribes and religious who are knit together to common history, common interest and common ideas, the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us. I always remind people of our firmly rooted policy of religious tolerance. We have no intention of favouring one religion at the expense of another. Subject to the overriding need to preserve law and order, it is our determination that everyone should have absolute liberty to practice his belief according to the dictates of his conscience…”  - Sir Ahmadu Bello 

Website Sponsored By: Prof. Isa Odidi, the Sardauna of Zuba  and  Dr. Baba J Adamu

 

HOME  |  ABOUT SARDAUNA  |  LEGACY  |  TRIBUTES  |  CONTACTS

Powered by iNetworks Canada:   Copyright 2006, Arewa House, Kaduna. All rights reserved