That letter by Dangiwa Umar


The open letter to Buhari by Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd) is as frivolous as its author.
Col. Umar was appointed the military governor of Kaduna state when he was a bachelor and an ordinary major in the Nigerian Army. The immaturity and incompetence with which Dangiwa handled the Kafanchan crisis were a clear testimony for his unsuitability to govern one of the most sophisticated states in the country.
Along with Dangiwa were other junior officers of Northern extraction who were appointed as either governors or ministers by General Ibrahim Babangida military junta even in the abundance of more senior and experienced officers. We did not see Dangiwa rejecting his appointment or writing a letter to Babangida as he has done to President Muhammadu Buhari and to Umar Yar’Adua of blessed memory. 

Now, if I may ask, does Col. Umar only get disappointed when appointments to public offices are skewed in favour of Northern Muslims? Otherwise, how many letters did he write to challenge President Olusegun Obasanjo or Goodluck Jonathan over their appointments that were dominated by the Christian South? While service chiefs under Buhari are 50:50 between Christians and Muslims, it was 80:20 in favour of Christians in the time of Obasanjo.

And what is in an appointment? How has the appointment of Tukur Buratai as the Chief of Army Staff and/or Babagana Munguno as the National Security Adviser changed the lots of Borno people? The North-east state is still ravaged by killings as her sons call the shots in the Abuja power corridor. 

The people of Faskari, Batsari and Jibia, where I hail from, would prefer an Igbo man as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) boss in place of a Katsina man if that would prevent them from the daily killings by Fulani bandits. Back to the 1980s, how did the appointment of Major Dangiwa as the Sole Administrator of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and later Kaduna state governor better the lot of Kebbi statepeople?

What I thought Dangiwa, or any other statesman, writing Buhari would hammer on is the insecurity of lives and property in which Buhari’s state of Katsina is among the worst hit. Unfortunately, for people of Dangiwa’s generation the blood of Muslim northerners is very cheap. That is why we did not see him or his master taking any serious action against the killers of Muslims in Kafanchan, Kaduna state in 1987. Their inaction was what emboldened Zamani Lekwot and his cohorts to unleash mayhem on Zangon Kataf, a thing Babangida ‘forgave’. 

We are fed up with the hypocrisy of these so-called nationalists. Dangiwa Umar and his co-travelers should please leave us alone to bury our dead and heal our wounds as attacks on us continue in the North-west. If they like they can take all the public offices to the South. The rest of us have no problem with that.
Prof Jibia writes from Bayero University, Kano

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