Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that his administration is proud of the public service that Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, the second republic governor of old Kaduna State, rendered to the State and its people.
A statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, on Wednesday, said that Governor El-Rufai has sent a condolence message to Alhaji Balarabe’s family, following the ex-governor’s death.
El-Rufai noted that “Alhaji Balarabe Musa will be remembered as a progressive politician who tried in his time as governor to expand the horizons of opportunity for ordinary people.’’
According to the governor, the deceased ‘’ made notable contributions to industrializing the State.’’
‘’ As a leader, he demonstrated at the ballot box, the capacity of a political party devoted to the protection of the interest of ordinary people to acquire power democratically.’’
El-Rufai pointed out that ‘’as a private citizen, he projected the qualities of principled politics, decency, integrity, consistency and commitment to improving the lives of our ‘talakawa’ in Kaduna State and Nigeria.’’
“Despite the setback of his unwarranted impeachment from the office of Governor, Alh. Balarabe Musa remained steadfast to his principles and spoke his mind often, helping to project a radical voice in public discourse in defence of democracy, and to advance social justice.’’
The statement also paid ‘’tribute to his life of unblemished public service, we pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings, grant him al-Jannar Firdaus and to comfort his family.”
Also, the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) on Wednesday joined other sympathisers to mourn the death of Balarabe Musa, describing him as a “very good friend of the Union”.
This was contained in a statement issued by the National President of the Union, Comrade John Adaji.
In the same vein, the former governorship candidate under the Labour Party (LP) in Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu mourned the deceased.
According to Textile workers leader, “We acknowledge the significant contribution of the late elder statesman and patriot, Alhaji Balarabe Musa to the political, social and economic development of Nigeria. Alhaji Balarabe Musa stood for democracy and good governance. He also stood for a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria. He was a selfless leader with principle and remarkable integrity.
“The Nigeria labour movement, in particular, will forever remember him as the first governor under the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) together with the late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi of Kano State to implement the minimum wage in their respective States and to declare May-Day, a public holiday in 1981 before it was eventually declared a national holiday by President Shehu Shagari administration.
“On behalf of the National Executive Council of the Union and the generality of members, we commiserate with the family of the late elder statesman, the government and good people of Kaduna State and the country in general on the irreparable loss”.
On his part, Aremu said, “I have been privileged to engage with Alhaji Balarabe for over forty years as a student and trade union activist. He was also my political mentor as a budding progressive politician. Alhaji Balarabe in 2019 in Kaduna was the first to endorse my Labour Party ( LP) candidature for Kwara State governorship (in his words “99%, but would have been 100 % if you are contesting under PRP platform”!).
“I bear posthumous witness that Nigeria, Africa and the progressive world had lost an audacious principled selfless statesman. He commendably stood for good principles in governance. He never cheaply fell for corruption. On the contrary, he stood for all that was good, integrity and service to the downtrodden, the talakawa!
“His imprints as the first elected governor of Kaduna State are indelible; first together with his late counterpart, late Abubakar Rimi of Kano State, to declare May Day a public holiday in 1980 and implement the first minimum wage Hassan Sunmonu NLC leadership, unprecedented aggressive Industrialization which made Kaduna State an investment destination and investment in mass literacy that made Kaduna a centre of learning.
“Alhaji Balarabe’s “weakness” is too much of principles NOT political opportunism. He was a member of NEPU( PRP), and died a member, unlike present-day butterfly politicians who moved from one party to the other in search of cheap power and unearned money.
“Alhaji Balarabe Musa was not allowed to form a cabinet by NPN dominated legislature because of his commitment to party principles. Eventually, he got impeached, after 18 months into his tenure, precisely in June 1981. The struggle of Alhaji Balarabe and many of his compatriots have been along the same line; How to build an inclusive better Nigeria, Africa and progressive world. Alh. Balarabe Musa undoubtedly epitomizes the best of values that you can get among the best of the past and contemporary African leaders, that include late Late Aminu Kano, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Tuore”.