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Change of guards and expectations, By A.A. Gadzama



By A.A. Gadzama
The President and Commander-in-Chief has finally succumbed to public pressure and replaced the former Service Chiefs.  The changes were long overdue and justified considering the fact that there was not much progress in defeating the insurgents in the North East, stopping the spate of killings by people suspected to be herdsmen across the country and the state of general insecurity in nearly all parts of the country.
These were not the only acts of insecurity and criminality that concerned the populace. Equally of concern were, the virtual state of siege in parts of the country as exemplified by attacks on public highways and the rampage by lawless individuals and groups. The change of Service Chiefs  is therefore commendable.
The President and his advisers once again proved responsive to public opinion. The decision took time understandably to avoid past mistakes of appointing unfit persons into sensitive positions of leadership. Many of us believe that the President made well informed choices in the appointment of the new Service Chiefs. Not even his most ardent critics could fault the choice of the new Service Chiefs.
The appointments addressed the twin problems of lopsidedness and brazen disregard of the Federal Character principles and ethno religious balancing. Much more important however is the issue of competence, loyalty and restoring professionalism in the Services which demand extreme caution.
I am compelled to write to underscore the importance of caution which in the past was not exercised in such appointments resulting in failure to defeat the security threats that have engulfed the country in the last one decade. We believe the President and his advisers exercised due diligence. It is important to note that past efforts failed to appreciate our realities.
The persistence of insecurity in the country is to a large extent also due to lack of required assets to pursue the wars and deficiencies in strategies being deployed. There is also the problem of dishonesty. I have often advised that there can be no success in any enterprise when there is no honesty in the pursuit of the mission.
There is also the indispensability of the support of the citizenry. It is a known fact that no counter intelligence war has ever been successful without the support of the citizenry. In almost all cases, the efforts of the security forces should be complemented with the support of the citizens in intelligence sourcing and identification of criminal elements. Some of us believe that the forces can make do with more psychological support to encourage the troops to defeat the criminal elements.
It should also be pointed out that the ongoing counter insurgency war in the North East suffered immeasurable losses due to uncomplimentary remarks by individuals who should know better. Demanding invitation of foreign mercenaries to deal with the insurgents is ill-informed and smacks of lack of knowledge on the issues being dealt with that constitute serious distractions.
There are also other tendencies that should be discouraged. Change in the attitude of those who find themselves in political leadership is necessary. Politicians must appreciate the predicament of the security forces. We need to insulate the current efforts from politics and parochial sentiments. Conversely the security forces must accept genuine criticisms from critics in order to make amends.
It has been observed that a major problem in the ongoing war against the current security challenges is that many in the corridors of power are allergic to what they misconstrue as unwarranted criticisms. We believe some of the criticisms are honest and well intended as suggestions that some things could be done differently are acceptable in democratic settings. Those defending the Government inevitably end up making more enemies for the Government when they are less tolerant of honest advise.
Another deficiency that is very glaring in the ongoing wars against insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and attacks on communities  is the dearth of actionable intelligence. Not much progress can be made without the required intelligence. The new Service Chiefs must therefore revitalize their intelligence gathering strategies and assets.
The new Service Chiefs should avoid is deception and playing to the gallery and be weary of false claims being churned out. This is the reason why some critics wondering just how many insurgents and bandits there are, considering the frequency of announcements of successes and “neutralization”. There is so much sceptism over some of the claims being made by the spokesmen of the security forces who have formed the habit of only telling their principals what they want to hear. This attitude needs to be discarded as it is poses serious credibility problems in the ongoing efforts against the security challenges.
There are also the challenges of welfare of personnel. The major area of concern of those prosecuting the wars is the negligence of their warfare and the non-availability of assets and platforms that could help bring the various security threats to an end.  Their efforts have also been undermined by the activities of insider saboteurs and those that have lost relevance. The fact is our security forces are generally resilient and could give their best in every situation but they could easily be frustrated when their leadership is not living up to expectations. Accordingly, the new Service Chiefs if they are to succeed should frontally deal with the menace of sycophancy, nepotism and compromise that frustrate honest attempts to deal with problems at hand. The near mutinous situations in some military formations in the past hardly speak well of those in command positions. Finally, there is the problem of inadequacy of men in the theatres of war. It will be fool hardy to expect that the security challenges would be won with security forces that are terribly inadequate, ill-equipped and overstretched. Not much progress would be made without addressing the problems of lack of adequate equipments, increase in staff strength and very inspirational leadership. The new Service Chiefs should note that what the country expects from them is bringing to an end all the security challenges in the land. This is possible.
We wish to congratulate the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor and the New Chief of Army Staff Major Gen Attahiru who previously were Commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East. The two officers did exceptionally well and gave good account of themselves  as commanders of operation Lafiya Dole. We pray they will live up to expectation.
   A. A. GADZAMA OFR, mni, Chairman Board of National Institute of Security Studies.

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A city has fallen: Professor Dahiru Yahya By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa




By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa


“The Mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”.  William Arthur Ward.

Professor Dahiru Yahya was one of my favourite teachers and remains a good mentor to this day. In Professor Dahiru Yahya, true scholarship and humility meet.

A generous, charismatic and prolific thinker. I first met him at Bayero University, Kano when I was an undergraduate student in the Department of History. Since that time, Prof as he once said, enjoyed every moment he spent with me.

He believed that young people always have novel ideas and be updated; he would always listen to me as if I was his teacher.

He used to call young people his teachers whenever they told him something new. In one of the moments I spent with him, Prof. told me that ahead (brain) of a professor is just like a city. He, therefore, advised me to value every moment spent with Professors by exploring the city.

During my MSc degree between 2012-2014, Prof was so keen to read my thesis when I informed him that I was writing on Boko Haram and AQIM.

He helped me with whatever I needed to complete the thesis. A year later, I informed him that I was presenting part of the work in a Faculty seminar. He was so happy and promised to come all the way from Abuja to listen to my presentation. After the presentation, he ushered in intellectual discussions on the origin of ‘Islamic activism’. He even responded to the questions I was supposed to answer. What a great honour!

As a humble person, Prof allowed me to explore his city as much as I could. I wanted to explore more when I informed one of my course mates that I wanted to see Prof to discuss the situation of the country last week. He deliberately shared some of his life encounters with people I considered great men in Nigeria. I have a lot to say on this. Perhaps this is not the right place.

In 2014, Prof and I were having dinner in his sitting room. His wife served us with a variety of foods. After a few minutes, Prof looked at me and said “Danguguwa! You have a masters degree but you have zero experience regarding what women can do” I was single without even a fiancé. He taught me what he jokingly called “makircin mata” .

He advised me not to underestimate the power of a woman. He said “your wife’s money is hers, while your money is for hers. Make sure you take good care of her”

When one of my course mates wanted him to write a reference letter for him, Prof gave him his letterhead and directed him to meet me. I wrote whatever I thought was right and Prof signed the letter without a second thought. In 2019 during a conference organised by Faculty of Humanities, Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, Prof served as a lead paper presenter.

The thought-provoking paper was sent to me for review prior to the presentation. I was confused for I couldn’t even comprehend the content of the paper. How could I review what Prof wrote? He was not happy though.

Prof joined academics almost two decades before I was born. In 2010 Bayero University Kano organised a Festschrift conference in his honour. By that time, he spent four decades teaching in the University. Out of more than seven and a half decades he spent on earth, over half a century was dedicated to teaching, research and mentorship.

Hundreds of students and colleagues attended his funeral today. Hundreds of tributes will be written in honour of the diplomatic and intellectual historian. This six hundred and forty-one words tribute says nothing about Prof Dahiru Yahya.

Allah Ya sa Aljanna ce makoma.

Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa, a historian and lecturer with Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, writes from, Kano.

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In memory of Hajiya Safiya Galadima By Ahmed Usman Jalingo




By Ahmed Usman Jalingo

As a media practitioner, I’m opportune to visit all the sixteen local government areas of Taraba State. Apart from local government headquarters, I was also at so many towns and villages of the state. I visited most of these places with Federation of Muslims Women Association of Nigeria FOMWAN when late Hajiya Safiya Galadima was the state Ameerat of the organization. I worked so closely with her at that time.

Late Hajiya Safiya Galadima was a great mother, great teacher, great administrator, great planner, great philanthropist great counselor and great achiever. She was so humble, patriotic, talented, committed, dedicated and caring. I’m showering these encomiums on her because she deserved it.

A princess born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Madam Safiya Galadima started her education at Native Authority Primary School Kunini in present Lau local government area from 1960-1967. She then proceeded to Women Teacher’s College Maiduguri from 1969-1973 where she obtained a Grade II certificate. Hajiya Safiya was at Bayero University Kano BUK for a certificate course on Planning and Administration from 1981-1982. She was also at Ahmadu Bello University ABU Zaria for Advanced Diploma in Education from 1988-1991.

As an educationist with repute, late Hajiya Safiya Galadima started her career as a classroom teacher in 1973. She devoted almost all her public service career in education sector where she rosed to many ranks thus, Education Secretary Ardo Kola local government, zonal monitoring officer Taraba State Universal Basic Education Board, Assistant Director and Substantive Director at the Board. She was at Jalingo local government council as Councillor for education.

This woman of substance rendered so many serviceto humanity. She was pioneer president of National Council of Women Societies NCWS in Taraba State, Treasurer Window Women Association Taraba State, Vice Coordinator of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Taraba State branch, Member Better Life Advisory Committee Taraba State, Patron Jalingo Local Government Football Association, Financial Secretary National Association of Education Secretaries Taraba State branch, patron Muslims Aid Initiative Society of Nigeria Taraba State chapter among other numerous clubs and associations.

Late Hajiya Safiya Galadima performed creditably well in Da’awa activities (Islamic propagation) especially with Federation of Women Associations of Nigeria FOMWAN. She held several positions with the organisation. She traveled wide across the the state and even beyond to enlighten women to stand up for their right and welfare.

That act earned her several awards. They include certificate of merit for contribution towards the development of education by Jalingo branch of Nigeria Union Teachers NUT, award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the promotion of women development by Arewa House, merit award by NCWS Taraba State chapter, FOMWAN best performing state Ameerat, certificate of award by Taraba Television TTV for hard and selfless work, award of female peace champion by Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme among others.

The demise of this noble woman, hardworking princess, community leader, and devoted public servant is a great lost not only to Bani Mafindi or Muri Emirate Council but to Taraba in particular and Nigeria in general. She was simple, easy going, so committed and above all so accomodative. Her doors were always open for everyone. She always cares not only for her immediate family but to the community at large.

We will miss you Hajiya but you will not miss our prayers. May Jannatul Firdausi be your last destination. Amin thumma amin.

AUJ 02/02/2021

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Samuel Aruwan: The journalist turned security guru





Samuel Peter Aruwan, is today the first ever Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, because of the very deliberate choices as a young man that he had made several years ago, for which he gives credit to his late parents for instilling in him those lessons. The very first fundamental choice Aruwan faced and which he clearly passed with distinction, was the rejection of the siege mentality which has inhibited relationships between most people from Southern Kaduna and the Northern part of the state. The other huge choice that confronted him was to join the complaining hosanna group of “we are marginalized” or to forge understanding. By refusing to buy into the claims of marginalization that ultimately would have reduced his chances of aspiring to be anything in Kaduna State, he built bridges. Lastly, was the deliberate choice of demonstrating concretely that he is a bonafide citizen of Kaduna State, by proudly laying claim to Kabala West in the Kaduna South Local Government Area, where he was born and raised, rather than Zangon Kataf where he originally hailed from. Samuel Aruwan, by his several gestures has definitely made several eloquent statements.

Where ever the late parents of Samuel Aruwan are, they definitely must be extremely proud of the accomplishments of their son “Samilia Baki”, not only because he has made the family name a household name, first as the official spokesman of Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, who in recognition of his credible performance “upgraded” him to the position of Commissioner of Kaduna State, charged with the onerous responsibility of coordinating internal security matters and liaison with the various security agencies, but because he imbibed the deep lessons of relationships, love, respect they passed on to him.

The ministry which is at the heart of the overall security strategy of the government, has as planned, enhanced the state government’s capacity to address the security challenges confronting the state. The new ministry also supervises the activities of some parastatals and agencies performing home affairs functions.

Sam, is an abundance evidence that with hard work, building of bridges, sheer determination and the Grace of God, the possibilities are infinite.

Being named the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs was certainly a reward for the commitment to hard work and certainly not a favour by Nasir El-Rufai, who is not known to dispense unmerited favors. For instance, the very first action of the El-Rufai administration on assumption of office in 2015 was an emergency Security Council, based on credible information provided by Sam on terrorists attacks in Southern Kaduna. But rather than resting on his oars, Aruwan continued to be on top of his game, in the process he consistently grew in confidence and stature by day, such that he became indispensable, and on the creation of the ministry, he was the natural and unanimous choice to head it.

Undoubtedly without forging a mutually respectful relationship with Nasir El-Rufai, who describes him as his friend, Sam wouldn’t have had the opportunity of being called upon to serve the state, and what a tragedy that would have been considering his network of contacts, zeal and commitment to a new Kaduna State. But the tribute for everything Sam has accomplished goes to El-Rufai, who in spite of the campaign of calumny is definitely not a fanatic or a tribal warlord, that his critics have tried to paint him.

Sam, is not the only beneficiary of El-Rufai’s mentoring, there are many others, like Chris Umar, who at various times was the Legal Adviser to the Governor, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Governor and now the Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice,there is also Idris Samalia Nyam, at various times Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance,the Accountant General of the Kaduna State and presently the Commissioner of Business, Innovation and Technology to Shizzer Bada, the first female Accountant General of the state, who also acted briefly as the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA).

Sam, for rejecting division and embracing inclusiveness like other patriots, like the late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, a quintessential gentleman, whose remarkable detachment from hate made him unpopular amongst merchants of hate and the late Senator Isaiah Balat another exemplary bridge builder, has been accused of being a sale out, even though his traducers have never bothered to show proof of how working for El-Rufai amounted to a sale out,especially as they have equally worked for administrations headed by Muslims and belonged to political parties that were headed by Muslims and that have Muslim members. Though such cheap campaigns have allowed some Southern Kaduna elites maintain a good measure of control over Southern Kaduna politics, the tragedy is the long term cost- increasing isolation” which the elites seem not to worry about.

The question that some Southern Kaduna people have bluntly refused to address is how the dream of a Governor of Kaduna State of Southern Kaduna origin can be actualized, without building bridges, especially as the electoral numbers are clearly not in their favour?

The emergence of a Southern Kaduna Governor who will govern based on SOKAPU agenda, the desire of some elites, is definitely not a problem, the problem unfortunately is that it’s an unrealizable pipe dream. And unless there is a change in the pattern of relationship and rejection of the “politics of isolation”, it’s certain that the zone would further become irrelevant. Before now, it was taken for granted that the Deputy Governor would always be a Christian, to the exclusion of indigenous Muslims from the South, but due to very poor politics – the vilification of those belonging to other parties, Muslims of the south are now a reality that can’t be ignored.

In the early 1990’s Reverend John Aboki of Southern Kaduna origin was elected Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Council,just as Late Dr. Edward Gamba was also elected Member of the House of Representatives,from Kaduna North. To show how badly by day Southern Kaduna has continued to lose out, it last produced a member of the House of Assembly in 2007,from Makera Constituency and Vice Chairmen of the Kaduna South Local Government Council, an area that it has a significant population. Like the late Author Chinua Achebe famously stated, unless a people ask profound questions about where the rain started beating them, they will never know where they dried their bodies. The Southern Kaduna people owe themselves the urgent and compelling duty of lunching an urgent inquiry into how they got to where they are.

So rather than Sam being called names, his politics should be emulated as a study in integration and political sophistication. His orientation, world view and the world view of his traducers are definitely miles apart.Sam, is confident, bold, can’t and has refused to be intimidated, his vision of a peaceful, just and prosperous Kaduna State remains commendable. It’s always a delight seeing him mingle confidently amongst generals, senior police officers that in the course of his duty he must relate with. He is an epitome of what every Southern Kaduna appointee should be, an assertiveness that bothers on competence and believe of being a stakeholder.

Sam, has without doubt given a credible account of himself. His perceived “stubbornness”, can be explained by his deep convictions, which has made rejecting intolerance, bigotry, narrow mindedness an easy straightforward decision and his unflinching support for El-Rufai, total. Sam’s support is not based on political expediency.

Though the terrorists have not been totally vanquished, without doubt the security situation would have been far worse without the creation of the ministry, which in every sense is a game changer. The foresight of El-Rufai in creating the ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs,his reaction to the myriad of security challenges will at the fullness of time be celebrated.
This piece was first published by The Cable. 

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