By Muhammad Sabiu
The governor of Ekiti State and a key figure of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Kayode Fayemi, celebrated the late Malam Aminu Kano over his patriotism, advocacy for education and support for the poor.
Delivering a speech on Saturday to commemorate the 21st anniversary of Mambayya House at the Sa’adu Zungur Auditorium Complex in Kano, Governor Fayemi said he was so delighted to be invited to give a talk at such an event, adding that “Mallam stood out in our entire post-colonial experience as the very anti-thesis of money politics.”
Mr Kayode’s speech partly reads: “Born on the 9th of August 1930, and as an early beneficiary of both Quranic and Western education, Mallam as he came to be known affectionately very quickly carved a niche for himself as the pre-eminent voice and champion of the talakawa – that mass of peasants, the urban working poor, and the déclassé.
“His emergence and growth into this role emanated from a deep-seated set of values that he embraced and honed at an early stage in his political career and held on to tenaciously for the rest of his life.
“Concerned by the reported excesses that were built into the colonially-licensed native authority system and convinced that the system needed to be overturned in order for the talakawa to be able to have a fighting chance to lead a decent and dignified life free of oppression, he committed himself to organise the mass of the people to exercise their agency to imagine and create an alternative political order.
“The principal agency through which he did this was the movement which he helped to found in 1950 and which was named the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU). The establishment of NEPU was to mark a significant milestone in the history of political radicalism in Nigeria. The tradition of radicalism which it represented was carried over into the late 1970s and beyond by the Peoples’ Redemption Party (PRP), which Mallam Aminu Kano also led.”
Malam Aminu was a famous political figure, especially in Northern Nigeria. Public institutions named after him include an airport, a teaching hospital, and a college in Kano and other states.
Many dignitaries from around Nigeria graced the occasion. These include Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar; former Deputy Governor of Kano State, Prof. Hafizu Abubakar; Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Sagir Adamu Abbas, among others.