…Joins northern governors in warning against distortion of history, abuse of their leaders
THE Emir of Kano and former Governor of Central Bank, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has again come down heavily on the people of southern Nigeria over the 1966 military coup that claimed the lives of some of their leaders, including the Premier of the defunct Northern Region/Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello and the then Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
The Emir, who was speaking on Thursday when northern leaders converged on Kaduna to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Ahmadu Bello, Balewa and others, warned that the region would not accept the denigrating of their leaders; past and present, especially those murdered in cold blood in the 1966 coup.
Sanusi, it will be recalled, had in a proposal to the 1999 Constitutional Review Committee accused regions in the south of responsibility for all the problems bedeviling the country.
He, along with the northern governors and leaders, also vowed to do all they could to defend their integrity and honour even as some would want to re-write the history through distortion of facts of what actually transpired during the rebellion.
The governors who spoke through Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i of Kaduna affirmed the position earlier taken by the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II during the 50th anniversary of the commemoration of the assassination of Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardaunan Sokoto at Arewa House, Kaduna.
According to the Emir, the history of the 1966 coup is being re-written and even if the North and Northerners have forgiven what happened, they would not allow the history be distorted.
He said “tomorrow marks exactly 50 years to an incident in the history of this country in which a number of leaders were killed. Sir Ahmadu Bello was one, Sir Tafawa Balewa was another, Chief Akintola was another, Chief Okotie Eboh was another, including a number of Generals that hail from this part of the country and from the Western part of the this country.”
“Now this has happened and the events that followed are known but sad, we have gone over them, we have moved on to become one country. But fifty years later, before our very eyes, this history is being re-written and those who killed are claiming to be the victims.”
“It is important that we keep history truthful. Even if we forgive and forget, we should never allow history to be re-written, because what is happening in Nigeria today, is a new story, a new narrative. Sardauna was not a victim, Tafawa Balewa was not a victim, they were the cause of the problem; we cannot accept this.”
“The North and Northerners would not want to open old wounds as everyone has been hurt, offended, marginalized, lost people, produced good and corrupt leaders, and no one has the monopoly of power, corruption or oppression. So people should learn from history and refusal to do so results in farcical result. like every human, Sardauna and Balewa had their flaws but they were heroes and better than anything that this country has produced. Anyone who has problem with the late Sardauna should bring his own Sardauna and compare. Nigeria has moved on and we should not be allowed or be drawn into sectional, ethnic, regional, religious and secessionist battle.”
“I think we owe it to the memory of these gentle men who were murdered, that people do not add insult to injury. And so long as we are alive, we will defend their honour. We are calling for peace, we are calling for unity, we are calling for tolerance, but we are insisting on respect; we would not be disrespected,” he said.