Kano 2015: Why Risqua is the man
In this knowledge-driven and youth-oriented world, the greatest treasure of a people is to have a leader who is in sync with modernity to lead it to the utopian world of progress. If a state as historic and important as Kano routinely gets into the news for the bad reason – from drug abuse to breakdown of epidemics, it certainly needs redemption. We need someone to rescue the state to a better clime.
The Kano of today requires a pragmatic leader who is in tune with current events trends and development all over the world. Indeed, the future of Kano depends largely on a quintessential leader blessed with vision, focus, commitment, resourcefulness, exposure, dynamism, hard work, fearlessness, noble family background and above all, credibility and the fear of God. For the state to fit rightly into the modern society, the major catalyst is for it to be steered by one who knows exactly the direction developed all is headed to. Abba Risqua Muhammed perfectly fits this description.
Abba Risqua Muhammed, for outsiders, is the only surviving son of late Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Muhammad. When his father was tragically murdered by some people opposed to Nigeria’s progress in 1976, Abba Risqua was only six years old. He is now 45: fully made man and accomplished in all respects. A graduate of Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos, he also holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the prestigious Cardiff Business School, Wales, United Kingdom. He is also a trustee of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation, an NGO that has done a lot for Kano people and other Nigerians.
In terms of leadership and management acumen, Alhaji Abba Risqua had served as the Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo on International Relations from 2000 to 2007. He is now managing his booming business empire as the Group Chief Executive of AMG Petroenergy Limited, one of Africa’s foremost energy service providers.
Coming from that golden heritage of a hero that was late General Muhammed, Abba has no hiding place for people looking for credible individuals to take critical leadership roles. It is therefore for this and his personal attributes as an accomplished man that a number of times people of Kano approach him to make himself available to serve the people by standing in for election. This time around, the magnitude and intensity of the demand is huge. As the 2015 general election beckons, the call is for Abba Risqua to come and take up the governorship seat of Kano per chance the state will have a Midas touch of a scion of late General Muhammed.
There is no gainsaying that General Murtala Muhammed is still regarded as one of Nigeria’s true heroes. He was not only one of those fiercely patriotic sons of the land who defiantly fought to keep Nigeria as one united country; he possesses startling qualities that are cherished by all. He was detribalized, he was authentic, he was enthusiastic about the progress of the country, he was extraordinarily bold, and he was a patriot who truly loved his country. He was a man in a hurry to accomplish great things. He died in that hurry, in the prime of his life. Imagine what he could have done with power had he lived for a little longer?
It is also worthy of note to mention that as a mark of his prudence and uprightness, when he was assassinated in 1976 while serving as Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he left only N13,000 in his account and one bungalow in Kano – this was despite serving in various other positions at a time of the celebrated oil boom.
Already, a group, Kano Good Governance Project, is spearheading a movement for Abba Risqua Mohammed to answer the calls of the people to throw his hat in the ring. The coordinator of the socio-political movement, Alhaji Shehu Usman Umar, said their call followed “careful and acute dispassionate study of the low and high profile Kano indigenes” the result of the group’s survey revealed that “none has even the semblance of convincing capacity to recapture the state than Risqua Murtala Muhammad the only surviving son of the remarkable General Murtala Ramat Muhammad.”
According to the group: “As the only surviving son of General Murtala Ramat Muhammad, we find it desirous and needful to approach Alhaji Abba Risqua Murtala Muhammad with sincere proposal to come forward and serve people of Kano State, as we are also confident that he would bring to bear the numerous inborn noble leadership qualities bequeathed to him by his great father. Needless to say, this fame and ideal leadership capacity demonstrated by Abba Risqua’s father, have been unequivocally appreciated by uncountable immortalization gestures to the family by individuals, institutions and organizations in both public and private sectors, from local, state and Federal levels”.
This is an ideal time for Abba Risqua to come forth to complement the efforts of his late father in the development of our nation, with Kano as his primary ground. For those of us engaged in the lobby to have Abba Risqua accede to our demands, our message to him remains that this maybe discomforting, or even disruptive of his other engagements but he has an obligation to serve his people whenever they so desire, which we believe would please the resting soul of his late father, of blessed memory.
It is not surprising, however, that Abba Risqua is not jumping at our demand. It is the humility that is characteristic of the lineage. His father showed similar attitude when he was approached to take over Nigeria’s mantle of leadership as the Head of State, for he was quoted as saying to them, “To hell with you! I have said I don’t want to be anybody’s Head of State”. But when he eventually accepted to head the nation, fatefully for 199 days, the nation went through the most remarkable socio-economic revolution ever in the country. Again, like his father, Abba Risqua is only invited, by the people to lead the Kano State Government, because of the confidence they have in him being the most suitable to give Kano the dynamic, purposeful and efficient leadership it requires. Kano identifies with Murtala’s son because he would do what he would be asked to do and even much more to give his fellow indigenes a sense of belonging, hope and strength in the Kano project.
To rescue Kano from some bad influences and turn around its development pace, Abba Risqua is the man for the job. Having Abba Risqua in Kano Government House come 2015 would, in addition to giving Kano a new lease of life, offer the state the benefit of dynamic leadership driven by youthful exuberance with a touch of deep knowledge of issues.
- Mohammed is of Kano Good Governance Project