Sunday, 4th June 2023

How Senator Musa manifests three dimensions of service

By Leo Sobechi, Deputy Politics Editor, Abuja
14 May 2023   |   3:11 am
On May 11, 1965, when he was born, Nigerians were still caught up in the euphoria of their newly acquired sovereignty. Two years before the country was granted full autonomy from Britain, having become a Republic.

Senator Sani Musa

On May 11, 1965, when he was born, Nigerians were still caught up in the euphoria of their newly acquired sovereignty. Two years before the country was granted full autonomy from Britain, having become a Republic.

That historical background could explain the independent-mindedness of the representative of Niger East Senatorial District in the Red Chamber, Senator Sani Mohammed Musa. Popularly called Three One Three (313), Musa is more of a businessman than a politician.

Despite the arithmetic of his nickname, the Senator, who turned 58 three days ago, exemplifies of a life of service. And, based on his philanthropy, humanity and empathic leadership style, Sani Musa could be said to manifest the three dimensions of service to God and humanity.

His honesty and dedication to truth has endeared him to the masses. It was perhaps that love and abiding for truth that he sponsored the contentious social media bill, otherwise called, the “Protection from Internet Falsehood and manipulations Bill 2019.”
When he sponsored the bill, which was read during the Senate plenary on November 5, 2019, there was much public outcry, stemming largely from narrow interpretations of the full intent of the proposed legislation.

Musa had proposed a penalty ranging from N300, 000 to N10million for individuals and corporate organisations that publish false information on the any social media.Amid the invectives and false narratives that trailed that bill, the Senator was to explain the driving force behind its contemplation. He had stated: “One of the disadvantages of the internet is the spread of falsehood and manipulation of unsuspecting users.

“Today, motivated by geopolitical interest and identity politics, state and non-state actors use the internet to discredit government, misinform people and turn one group against the other.
“The hoax about the demise of President Muhammadu Buhari in London and his purported replacement by one Jubril of Sudan, among others, are things that threaten the peace, security and harmony of our people.”

The senator said he was peeved that troll or bot accounts are being used to “rapidly spread falsehood across Nigeria in a manner that now threatens national security.” Although his reasons were unassailable and his argument sound, the concerns among Nigerians who opposed such legislature, were that there already in existence extant laws to dissuade the spread of false and information and libel.

However, the major takeaway from the bill, particularly its sponsor, was that the Niger East Senator blinded his eyes to political correctness or doublespeak in the display of abiding patriotism. That demonstration of statesmanship went a long way to underscore the general impression that people have for Sani Musa.

It is popularly held that the young politician is a respected figure, whose compassion and care for the less privileged is without limits. Some Niger State citizens say that Sani Musa’s philanthropy was actually behind the pressure of his constituents to drag him into the murky waters of Nigerian politics.

But, there is a side to the Senator, which is not usually underscored: He is a courageous leader. The people of Niger State recall easily how the Senator’s call on the National Security Adviser to resign gingered the Federal Government to action against the creeping banditry and insurgency in parts of the state.

Many people in the audience that watched the Senator calling for urgent action to secure the country, especially the call on the NSA to resign, wondered if those words were actually coming from a Senator in the current National Assembly, which has been seen more of a lame duck parliament than proactive representatives of the people.

He had stated during an appearance on Channels Television programme: “If somebody from Kaduna will come in and tell you that bandits are threatening the President, he (the NSA) should resign. And, what has he done all these years that they have been killing people, what kind of security architecture that you cannot change, what?”

On account of his audacious political utterances, the Senator’s acolytes say it hard to associate what Senator Musa says and does to the average Nigerian politician. But, at different fora, particularly during radio and television appearances, the Niger North East Senator does not flinch to describe himself more as a business man than a politician.

He maintains that for the country to be made much better than it is, “we must take away certain individual interests.” As a very proud businessman, it is therefore possible to perceive Sani Musa’s politics from the prism of patriotism and statesmanship, where nation building trumps desire to win elections.

But, contrary to insinuations some quarters, Sani Musa’s disposition towards brutal frankness, instead of being a source of electoral minus, further swells his adoring support base of the Talakawas.
Many people were surprised during the 2019 elections, when ‘313’ clinched the Niger East Senatorial seat. He posted an impressive defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contender, Ibrahim Ishaku by polling 229, 415 votes against Ishaku’s distant 116, 143 ballot.

The people of Niger East will never forget in a hurry the Senator’s acts of kindness and charity, particularly his medical outreaches that preceded his incursion to politics. Four years in the Senate, Sani Mohammed Musa has continued to blend philanthropy with constructive constituency engagements, even as he persists in inspiring hope among the youth and women groups.

It is perhaps on account of the success story that trails his stint in the Senate that Sani Musa’s name has been ringing a bell as the nation awaits the 10th National Assembly. The man has been there for the people, his party and the country.
Across the nine Local Government Councils that comprise the Niger East Senatorial District, 313 remains a house hold name, with each person remembering his exploits in advancing the caucus of social harmony, improving access to education and qualitative healthcare delivery.

More importantly, Sani Musa’s voice continues to be heard during legislative propositions, oversight and committee responsibilities. It was more about the Senator’s legislative activism than social interventions that his people handed him the mandate for another term at the Red Chamber.
Since the reward for good work is more work, the Niger East voters have saddled the Senator with the additional responsibility of occupying responsible positions in the Senate as a floor functionary.

His people expressed the belief that if honesty, integrity and unwavering fight for the betterment of the masses define the yardstick for choosing leaders their Senator is very qualified to be the Deputy President of Senate.

The Niger State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) are strident in their call on Senator Musa to become the next Deputy President of Senate, even as they register his loyalty, discipline, level-headedness and dedication to duty as his strong points.

Recently, in a statement, the Niger State APC described Musa as a team player and very detribalised Nigerian and urged the national leadership of the party to support their Senator to become the next DSP.
The state secretary, Khaleel Aliyu, who signed the statement declared: “Senator Mohammed Sani Musa is a dedicated and staunch member of our party, who has used his time and resources to build APC.

“Apart from delivering the highest number of votes in the North Central geopolitical zone, which ensured the easy victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019…This trend continued in the recently concluded presidential, National Assembly and state House of Assembly elections, which produced our President-elect, Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, two Senators – Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and Senator Mohammed Sani Musa and seven out of the 10 House of Representatives seats.”

It has been argued that like good wine, a legislator matures with time. That notion holds true for Senator Sani Musa and it is expected that his love for service and humanity would count in his favour as he pushes near the golden age of 60.

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