Wednesday, 29th November 2023

Adebanjo, Clark, Amaechi, Yakasai at their sunset – Part 3

By Eric Teniola
19 January 2022   |   2:57 am
Incidentally, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai was one of the people that wrote and defended the Sawaba declaration. Between 1954 and 1956, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai was the National Chairman of the NEPU Youth Association


Continued from yesterday

Incidentally, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai was one of the people that wrote and defended the Sawaba declaration. Between 1954 and 1956, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai was the National Chairman of the NEPU Youth Association, National Secretary, Northern Elements Progressive Union, 1955-1958, National Chairman NCNC/NEPU Youth Association and the Secretary-General, Sawaba Party of Nigeria between 1961 and 1962.

Alhaji Tanko Yankasai was often imprisoned for his NEPU activities along with Sani Gezawa and Abubakar Zukogi.
It is the spirit of that declaration that is still enduring in Kano till today. Although radicalism had been in Kano for a long time before the Sawaba Declaration, it was the declaration that fuelled radicalism the more in Kano. Having lived in Kano for some years, I realized that there are two groups in Kano, a group of the extremely wealthy and a group of the extremely poor. Occasionally when these two group clash, Kano erupts under a simple excuse. The root of this constant clash may be traced to the Sawaba declaration. 

It was the spirit of the Sawaba that made Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi (1940-2010) to be governor of Kano state in 1979 and it was the same spirit that made the PRP to win all the five senate seats in Kano in 1979. It was the spirit of Sawaba declaration that made it impossible for President Shehu Shagari to have 25 per cent in Kano in the 1979 Presidential election and also made Alhaji Sabo Barkin Zuwo to be elected governor in 1983 in Kano state. 

Every Kano state citizen whether he has read it or not believes in the Sawaba declaration. It is the declaration that has encouraged radicalism in Kano. If you read fully the Sawaba declaration, you will not be surprised about the social crises now ravaging most parts of the old Northern Nigeria. 

In 1966, the military overthrew the civilian government and in 1967, Kano state was created by General Yakubu Gowon. General Gowon then appointed Alhaji Audu Bako as the Military Governor of Kano state. Governor Bako later appointed Alhaji Yakasai as the Commissioner for Information, 1967-1971, commissioner for Co-operatives, 1971-1972 and commissioner for finance, 1972-1975. In spite of criticisms, Audu Bako’s administration is today still remembered in Kano for his positive achievements. After his death in 1980, the Tiga irrigation dam built during his governorship was renamed the Audu Bako Dam. 

In 1979, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai did not join the People’s Redemption Party of Alhaji Aminu Kano but the likes of S.G. Ikoku, Kanmi Ishola-Oshobu, Ibrahim Barau, A.D. Yahaya, Una Akpan, Dr. Kolabogdi, Adamu Gaya, Ahmed Zakari, Hamisu Musa, Usman A. Dambata, Sabo Barkin Zuwo, Abubakar Rimi, Balarabe Musa (21 August 1936- 11 November 2020) had surrounded Alhaji Aminu Kano by then. President Shehu Shagari later appointed Alhaji Yakasai as the special assistant on National Assembly matters. 

After the overthrow of Alhaji Usman Shehu Aliyu Shagari on December 31st, 1983 by Major General Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Tanko Yankasai was detained like many other politicians in Nigeria then. Till today, he is still bitter about his political persecution. In 1992, during the failed Presidential campaign, Alhaji Yankasai aligned with his close friend, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki (1933-2012), the late Waziri of Ilorin in his Presidential bid. That was when I became closer to Alhaji Yankasai. We met at flat 18, the ninth floor of the Roman Garden House and we were usually hosted by the personal assistant to Alhaji Mahmoud Waziri in the person of Mr. Vincent Usoho to discuss issues. Frequent visitors to that flat 18 at that time were Chief Harry Akande, Alao Aka- Basorun, Comrade, Uche Chukwumerije, Femi Falana, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Professor Biliaminu, Alhji Lateef Jakande, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’adua, General Gibson Sanda Jallo. Alhaji Mahmoud Ata, Chief Sunday Awoniyi, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Beko Ransom-Kuti and others. 

Between 1994 and 1995, he was a member of the Nigerian Constitutional Conference; a delegate Nigerian National Conference in 2014 and also a member National Conference Consensus Building Group in 2014. It is good even at the age of 95; a man like Alhaji Tanko Yankasai is still talking about National issues. For if my observation is correct, only a few people now talk or advise this Central Government. Most people have realized that it is useless and a waste of time to talk to a government that does not listen. As far as this government is concerned, there is no dialogue. So I must commend Alhaji Tanko Yankasai and his colleagues, Chief Adebanjo, Chief Amechi and Chief Clark that who are still concerned about the future of this country. 

Nigeria seems to be in a dilemma now. The Nigeria train is moving at a fast speed to a KAPUT destination.

The question now is, is Nigeria now a failed state or a fragile state? According to a recent analysis by World Bank, “a fragile state or weak state is a country characterized by weak state capacity or weak state legitimacy leaving citizens vulnerable to a range of shocks. While many countries are making progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, a group of 35 to 50 countries (depending on the measure used) are falling behind. It is estimated that out of the world’s seven billion people, 26% live in fragile states, and this is where one-third of all people surviving on less than US$1.25 per day live, half of the world’s children who die before the age of five, and one-third of maternal deaths occur.

A fragile state is significantly susceptible to the crisis in one or more of its sub-systems. It is a state that is particularly vulnerable to internal and external shocks and domestic and international conflicts. Fragile states are not only evaluated by the degree of fragility but also the types of state fragility and threats they pose to help policymakers to appropriate responses.[6] In a fragile state, institutional arrangements embody and perhaps preserve the conditions of crisis: in economic terms, this could be institutions (importantly, property rights) that reinforce stagnation or low growth rates, or embody extreme inequality (in wealth, in access to the property and land ownership, in access to the means to make a living); in social terms, institutions may embody extreme inequality or lack of access altogether to health or education; in political terms, institutions may entrench exclusionary coalitions in power (in ethnic, religious, or perhaps regional terms), or extreme factionalism or significantly fragmented security organisations.

In fragile states, statutory institutional arrangements are vulnerable to challenges by rival institutional systems be they derived from traditional authorities, devised by communities under conditions of stress that see little of the state (in terms of security, development or welfare), or be they derived from warlords, or other non-state power brokers. Fragile states might also offer citizens multiple, overlapping institutions from highly variant power sources that are competing for legitimacy. While, as opposed to a weak state, these different institutions might not be in direct conflict, they do offer strong competing narratives that hamper the progress of good governance.

Fragile state is an analytical category that gained prominence from the mid-1990s onwards and gained further traction after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Background is the belief held by many policy-makers and academics alike that the potential for contemporary conflict is harboured within, not between, states. Low capacity and low-income states of the Global South are thought to pose direct threats not only to their own populations but by extension also to their neighboring Western countries. Following this logic, fragile states are in need of development in order to be able to provide security and basic services to their citizens, decreasing vulnerability and increasing resilience to internal and external shocks. In this way, fragile states exhibit a series of similar threats as failed states, but at a markedly lower magnitude. Their failures are an effective omen of what is to come if their administrative course remains unaltered.”

For sure Nigeria is in the category of countries listed above either as failed or fragile.


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