By Dahiru Maishanu
Your Excellency, It’s with a lot of emotions and euphoric nostalgia that I write this piece. I feel, if I miss this opportunity, I might have lost a golden one and therefore would not be fair to you. I may also be losing a free chance of celebrating with you on your retirement from active politics as you unexpectedly announced this week. I may also miss the opportunity of reviewing objectively our rag-tag relationship over the decades.
It is without doubt that, I contributed through my write-ups, actions and reactions to your Party’s (DPP) defeat in 2006/2007. I engaged your entire government and political machinery to a standstill. Whether or not either of us was right or wrong, is best left for posterity to judge, now that you’ve thrown-in the towel.
I still remain resolute that good governance, democracy, and the progress of our dear state was paramount and sacrosanct in my actions then and now.
Sir, both of us might have gone wrong somewhere but our state was the winner as both of us took ourselves to the banters.
What started for me as mere past-time in my office in Brixton, London in 2004, catapulted me from a carefree observer to a full time politician; thanks to you and your boys who also engaged me kobo for kobo.
My opinion of you was that of a politician of a Machiavellian ideology where the end justifies the means. I thought you were deficient in some political thrusts and exploited that from a vantage position of a Nigerian from the Diaspora with some European education to boot. Your boys gave it back to me with zeal and dedication. At the end, the elections were won and lost and the finger licking set in.
Your Excellency, I must however admit that, your other-you, manifested itself later on two occasions.
The first was in 2007 shortly after I was appointed a Special Adviser and we met in the Aircraft travelling from Sokoto to Abuja. As I boarded the plane, we met eye to eye and to my surprise, you were the one to call first when you called me with my first name as usual. ‘Dahiru, congratulations, what will I call you now, Dangaladima, Honourable or Doctor’ and I replied, ‘Sir, call me Kanenka’, meaning your younger brother and we both laughed. As I was moving to the economy, you mocked me by saying ‘I still have Professor Hamza Maishanu from your Family’. Jarman Sokoto, Alhaji Ummarun Kwabo was sitting beside you obviously amusing himself to what ensued.
The second time was in 2015 when I briefly joined the PDP and clinched the ticket for my federal constituency and you were the undisputed leader. To everybody’s surprise, you made me the leader of all the PDP House of Representatives contestants. Those pleasantly showed me the other-you, Sir.
As you retire from active politics Sir, we are still in different political camps and I have no intention of switching for now. I must however thank you for your maturity and political dexterity.
I congratulate you for calling it quits while the ovation is loudest.
Your Younger brother, Dahiru Maishanu
*Maishanu, a former Commissioner for Information in Sokoto State, and ex-Commissioner for Solid Minerals and Natural Resources, writes from Abuja