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Shehu Sani: The unrepentant activist, By Yemi Adebisi

By News Express on 20/08/2015

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When I read through the reactions of some Nigerians as published in the social media network against the outburst of the lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on the governance style of Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, I was shocked and worried.

Recently, Sani had insisted that he would call the governor to order if he does not deliver on the promises made during the gubernatorial campaign. He also accused the governor of introducing unpopular policies and apparently running a government that does not consider the interest of the people of the state.

Mr. Sani said while he never intended to be in discord with the present Kaduna administration, Governor El-Rufai’s policies are harsh, inconsiderate and anti-people.

It would be recalled that Governor El-Rufai recently banned street begging in the state and insisted that the ban will not be reversed saying it is in line with planned agenda for the state.

In addition, the government reiterates that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly known as Achaba remains in force.

Sani, who has a long standing record of being a great voice to the masses over decades, however, saw this decision as harsh and undemocratic, arguing: How many of the promises made by the governor during the campaign has been implemented?

The Senator said: “He is a technocrat, while I’m an activist and a revolutionary. So, my power base is the common people the masses who constitute my strength. They are the people I have lived with and fought for over the years. The way the governor is running the affairs of government in Kaduna State is the one which, if care is not taken, we will all sink.

“He has to take consideration of the fact that he met people that were impoverished, that were muscled, harassed and demoralised by the government of the PDP. So, first of all, they don’t need harsh policies that will further impoverish and alienate them. We need to carry them along, taking cognizance of the situation which we find them in. I fundamentally differ with him on that issue. For that reason, he has decided on his own not to even appoint people who identify with me in anyway and who are also seen to be from my camp.”

A rugged fighter for justice, equity and peace, Sani had been in progressive campaign for a united Nigeria for several years. A prolific writer of his own right, playwright and poet, he has used his rare intellectual prowess to address salient issues that have delivered the country from eventual collapse from inherent abuse of power and corruption as recorded in the past nation’s republics.

In one of his books, Prison Anthology, written while in solitary confinement, the renowned comrade and political prisoner examines numerous hiccups to Nigeria’s development such as bad leadership, corruption, violence, intolerance, injustice, crime, greed and value misplacement among others.

The book also explores a wide range of issues touching human life including love, peace, time, justice, sleep, parenthood, finance, goodness, freedom, integrity and power.

Sani was accused of sharing 12 camels, eight cow and food items during the last Ramadan fast. Some critics claimed that for that singular reason, he has joined the corrupt politicians.

But for real, Sani hates poverty to the core. No wonder in his book entitled, Poverty In Northern Nigeria, published in 2008, he x-rayed the concept, dimension, causes and mitigation of poverty and its impact particularly in the Northern Nigeria. He also traced out how Northern Nigeria has suffered from debilitating poverty that had resulted to sickness, death, increased violence and traces of terrorism and proffering solution to all these issues systematically.

While the former minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), El-Rufai was busy with demolition of both ancient and modern buildings at Abuja in the name of beautifying the capital city, Sani was consumed with thoughts of how to create an enabling environment for the survival of a common man in the street.

Predicting the infiltration of terrorism due to mismanagement of treasured information and lack of security in the country, Sani had warned the leaders on imminent dangers ahead of today’s Nigeria. In such books like, Scorpions Under Pillow – Terrorism In AfricaThe Killing Fields; The Phantom Crescent (a play); Political Assassination in NigeriaCivilian Dictators of Africa, among others, the foremost writer stigmatised the leaders with a detailed research document about the philosophy, trends, patterns and consequences of violent terrorist plots and their heinous activities in the African continent, Nigeria inclusive.

Without further sentiment, Sani’s relevance as Nigeria senator, coupled with these intellectual profiles must have shown his transparency to good governance.

In one of his last set of books published in 2013, When Clerics Kill (a play), Sani with his witty style writes on a troubled and violent society that was stoked by a vicious and violent culture of intolerance and extremism.

Shehu Sani has spent all his life fighting for the emancipation of the wretched of the earth. No wonder he is at loggerheads with the governor of his state whose policies he sees as aggravating problems of the poor people of his state instead of alleviating them.

•Adebisi is a journalist based in Lagos. Photo shows Senator Shehu Sani

Source News Express

Posted 20/08/2015 04:47:45 AM


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