Looking at the above caption, one may think the letter is aiming at diminishing the leadership capacity of the current crop of elite in Katagum, Bauchi state, many of whom have carved a niche for themselves in various fields of calling. This is a contrary notion, actually. This piece is only an appeal to Katagum sons and daughters, especially those who drop water in the nation, to fill the shoes of their predecessors.
Gone are the good old days when everyone listens to elders and obeys their commandments because they were selfless and never partisan. Sadly, Katagum is now weak, divided and vulnerable. Disagreement surpasses agreement, political rivalries persist, rural/urban contempt continues, internal conflict multiplies, and youths continue to lose confidence in elders, all thanks to lack of good leadership.
Every community has a leader or group of people who give direction or serve as arbiters when there is a dispute among them. Such leaders are non-partisan, spotless, highly revered and upright. Katagum has been blessed with such kinds of people.
The late Emir of Katagum, Alhaji Muhammadu Kabir, late Alhaji Sule Katagum (Wazirin Katagum) late Alhaji Aminu Saleh (Wamban Katagum) and late Muhammadu Danmadami (Sa’in Katagum), among others, have provided leadership during their life and time. The demise of these larger-than-life personages has created a huge vacuum. Their exemplary leadership and relentless efforts in uniting the region shall not therefore be allowed to go in vain.
As we mourn the departure of these remarkable fathers of the land, Allah in his infinite mercy raised amongst us another set of notable personalities who are equally endowed with leadership quality. This is the right time to begin the discussion and search for a leader among the elders who have excelled in various human endeavours as diverse as diplomacy, military, academia, administration, business and politics.
I am not oblivious of the fact that some will think it is the prerogative of the emirate council to unite the people, mend internal disputes, end inter-towns conflict and champion a common agenda. This may sound appropriate. But it would be a great injustice to put this burden on the emirate council. The hypocritical colonial masters’ policy relegated their role to the background.
Traditional institutions have been deliberately weakened by colonial fiat. The emirs, who hitherto exercised genuine power and authority, are now at the mercy of the politicians. State administrators who are politicians of different persuasions are leveraging on that policy to get control of monarchs. Hence, they relegated them to mere advisory bodies.
The fact is we (Katagum) are currently experiencing leadership transition, realignment and tortuous learning curve occasioned by the demise of our indefatigably formidable leaders mentioned earlier. Among the plethora of our people in the government, academia, politics, and the business circles, we need some with powerful will, who first see the improvement in the quality of our people above personal consideration and aggrandizement.
Until we find some who fit this description, Katagum would continue to wallow in confusion and remain vulnerable and divided. Our earnest prayers, is for the present set of leaders to seamlessly occupy and steer our affairs selflessly. May Allah, the God of majesty and splendour, continue to guide us aright.
Adamu Bello Mai-bödi,
Apapa, Lagos state.