DOING IT THE OTHER WAY:THE MAISHAYI CONTROVERSY

By Aliyu A Jibia.
Politicians, when in power, are very wonderful people. My little experience with politicians in power, forced me to write this piece in order to share with my Fb friends the tragedy of these hurry hurry politicians, who , because of greed, and sometimes vanity, implement good things in half measure.

Let me start with the more recent: The MAISHAYI melodrama. The idea was the brain child of HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY GROUP an NGO four of us plotted after I returned from my PhD in The Sudan. The aim of the NGO was to empower Kano youth by engaging them in gainful commerce for self reliance. We registered the NGO with Corporate affairs Commission and our pilot project was THE MODERN SHAYI PLAZA. It was an entirely a new concept, value chained aimed to achieve multiple purposes and at the same time take care of the indigents in our society. The whole concept was in our custody and we never shared it with anybody knowing fully who our governors are (for fear of piracy). All we did at the time was to explain the concept in two or three sentences to whomsoever we wrote to. When I returned to Sudan to do my Defence, my colleagues wrote to the then governor, proposing to him the modern Shay plaza as an empowerment project for the teeming unemployed youth of Kano. But due to some problems between one of us and the governor, it never saw the light of day. I learnt later, that my colleagues sourced some money from a community bank and implemented the plaza around an open-place at the entrance of Gadon Kaya. It was doing well, according to my colleagues, but because of the misunderstanding between one of us and the governor, KANUPDA levelled the plaza in the middle of one fateful night (as I was told). That ended the dream of the MODERN SHAYI PLAZA.

After a sojourn of many years in the Sudan, first for sabbatical (lasting 3 years) and doctoral study for four years, I return full of ideas; ideas I shared during long hours, days and months of campaign in the same vehicle with my bosom friend, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. Notable among them were: The Sudanese Qur’anic school system, The free-feeding of the poor during Ramadan, The Society marriage etc. We spent long hours discussing these issues and after winning elections, Mallam Ibrahim implemented all. But I was neither consulted nor invited. Each was very poorly done, often in half measures and all hardly successful.

Thirdly, a national magazine requested me to write a lead paper in August 1999, on “what gain has AREWA made by voting Obasanjo” to mark the latter’s 100 days in office. I changed the topic to AREWA: THE END OF AN ERA. The paper was given to a famous Northern editor to vet. The following day he went on air using the content to kick start the debate on the plight of AREWA via a foreign radio station.

Fourthly, after a Hausa discussion programme at Liberty radio on how to start The Restoration of AREWA, weeks later, a staff of the station asked me to surrender the paper I wrote concerning the restoration of AREWA because, according to him, the then Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, had learnt about the idea and wanted to call his colleagues for a Northern Summit to actualize it. I gave a copy and to date, it has never seen the light of day.

Sixthly, my encounter with dropouts at different times in different places, made me to write a paper on how to mobilize the youth, organize them and set up a permanent empowerment fund to ensure self dependence and self reliance. A community organization learnt about it and invited me to present it at their Annual Convention in Bauchi. An important dignitary represented the Hon. Minister of youth. Several months after the paper, I was called from Dubai, to email the paper to the same dignitary who was then with the minister. I enthusiastically did. To date, nothing happened.

Seventhly, when I learnt that Mr. President has vowed never to fund APC with government money, I took six months to devise sources outside government through which the party could realize billions of Naira. I took time off travelled to Abuja, and for the first time in my life visited the National Headquarters of my party (APC) in order to present the little I could offer to assist the party; but I was told that the National Secretary would not see anybody that day. I returned to Kano, frustrated and tired.

As for my experience at The Kano State Government House couple of years back, it was my own student, holding an important position in the governor’s office who killed the project. That, needed no mention. Dara ce ta ci gida; no regret, no ill-feeling, and I am not surprised.

Finally, through these experiences, I have learnt lessons.I have learnt to do things by myself, whenever I am in a position to do so. Hence the incubation of the idea: AREWA SUMMIT ORGANIZATION, a process and a phenomena that is spreading, by the grace of Allah, like a wildfire! WA BILLAHIL TAWFIIQ, WA BIHI NASTA’IYN!

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