Balarabe Musa: Iconic Leftist Politician Leaves the Stage

Balarabe Musa: Iconic Leftist Politician Leaves the Stage

Balarabe Musa
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Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, a Marxist politician and former civilian Governor of Kaduna State, passed on at his residence on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. He has been buried according to Islamic rites after the funeral prayer at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a condolence message to the people of Kaduna State stated that the former governor was a ‘voice for the voiceless who remained steadfast in the call for good and inclusive governance.’

Alhaji Musa was born on August 21, 1936 in Kaya, Kaduna State. The politician, who is noted for his firmness on issues, began his education at Zaria Middle School in the year 1947–1952.

He studied at the Institute of Administration, Zaria in 1952–1953. After his program at the Institute of Administration, Zaria, he worked as an account clerk from 1953–1955, then turned to teaching in the year 1955–1960. Balarabe held various managerial positions in the field of accountancy from 1960 to 1976, while acquiring additional qualifications at different colleges in London.

His underlining passion for service to humanity made him go into politics. He was very outspoken and as such became the voice on critical matters that cut across his home state.

In spite of the dominance of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the Northern region, the late Musa was elected governor in 1979 under the platform of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP).

As governor of Kaduna State, his administration was bent on birthing a modern state through infrastructure and other developmental programmes. The governor’s efforts were, nonetheless, stalled largely because the state legislature (the Kaduna State House of Assembly) was dominated by NPN members.

Alhaji Musa was impeached in June 1981 which makes him the first Nigerian Governor to be ousted. His removal from office was said to have been the implication of his plan to have the state open small and medium-sized industries; a plan that would clearly deny the NPN members the opportunity of establishing their own enterprises. Unmoved by his impeachment, the resilient Musa remained active in politics.

As a notable leader in the progressive front, he worked with reputable statesmen who shared his ideas that opposed the military junta of late Gen Sani Abacha. Following the return to democratic rule, Musa Balarabe, emerged presidential candidate for the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) in the April 2003 elections.

In the Fourth Republic, Musa was a leader of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), a coalition of opposition parties. The coalition was denied permit to hold a rally in Kano by the then Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun, in May 2003. Musa didn’t let that ruffle him as he devised other ways for the CNPP to carry on with their political campaign.

In 2007, the CNPP endorsed Muhammadu Buhari as a credible alternative to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the PDP candidate.

Speaking at the public gathering in honour of former Oyo State Governor Lam Adesina in 2009, Musa stressed that electoral rigging had to be totally squashed. He stated that, ‘we need a revolution in Nigeria to have a positive change in the political system.’

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Also in February 2009, Musa in his statement said, ‘Capitalism is returning us to the era of slavery. The solution to the current crisis is the abolition of greediness and antagonistic competition in our economic systems.’ Buttressing the problems of the Nigerian economic system, Musa in November 2009 opined:

‘Nigeria’s economic system is narrowed down to self-interest, with an upshot in the level of corruption, theft and waste of public resources.’

Nine years later, Musa announced to the 54th National Executive Committee Meeting of the PRP, in Kaduna, of his retirement from active politics consequent on his age:

‘In this regard, it is appropriate to inform members that this will be the last time that I will personally be chairing NEC as our party’s National Chairman.’

‘Due to declining energy and failing health, it has become necessary for me to vacate the seat for young and fresher blood.’

‘I shall, however, always remain available for party assignments within the limits of my fading energy and failing health.’

In one of his last interviews in October 2020, Musa said that, ‘The country has not fared well at 60. It is very disappointing that this is where we are. But things can be better; we can still achieve the dreams of the founding fathers if we all play our role in nation-building.’

Adding that, ‘We need to restructure the country politically and economically. We need to ensure that power actually resides with the people. The economic and political models we are currently operating only empower a few.’

In his lifetime, the late Balarabe Musa matched his words with actions. His three-bedroom apartment which he acquired in 1970, and where he lived till he passed on, served as home for the disadvantaged children, and school to the young leftist progressives.

Nike Omosanya

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