Reminiscing on witty, oratory, humorous Yusuf Maitama Sule
What Nigerians will continue to remember about Dan Masani Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule is his wit and oration manifested in his statements and comments on virtually all issues, national and international, soft and hard stuff.
Underscoring the peculiar quality of each of the three major tribes of Nigeria, he once said, “Everyone has a gift from God. God endows the Northerners with leadership qualities. The Yoruba man knows how to earn a living and has diplomatic qualities. The Igbo man is gifted in trade, commerce, and technological innovation. God so created us equally with purpose and different gifts.”
Decrying value degeneration in all facets of Nigerian life, he once said, “symptoms of revolt loom large in the horizon. There is meaninglessness in philosophy, chaos in politics, immorality in society, corruption in economy, frustration in act and lack of credibility in literature.”
But as an incurable optimist, he envisioned Nigeria as a great and one united country, saying, “I have a dream not only for the north but for the entire country, Nigeria.
“I have a dream that Nigeria will be truly united one day.
“I have a dream that Nigeria will have a buoyant and strong economy.
“I have a dream that Nigeria will have the political clout that will enable it to lead the rest of Africa and of blacks all over the world.
“I have a dream that Nigeria will come to regard one another as their brother’s keepers.
“I have a dream that Nigeria will take her proper place in the comity of nations and will be one of the leading nations of the world.”
His dream for Nigeria was premised on the philosophy that “everything, good or bad, that has a beginning will have an end. So, bad governance in Nigeria must end one day.”
He anchored what he described as Nigeria’s glorious past on “equal justice to all Nigerians irrespective of their religion and ethnicity.” He therefore admonished the current crop of leaders thus: “Justice should be given to everyone equally no matter their religion. If you deserve justice, it must be given to you. “The world can never be governed by force, fear and power. What governs is the mind and the weapon for conquering the mind is justice.
“It is necessary to visit the past so that we may know what we were before and compare it with what we are today so as to adjust the present and plan for the future. “Our past was glorious. Our founding fathers were excellent people. Not only in the north but Nigeria as a whole. They were decent people who went into politics to serve but not to be served. To give but not to take.
“They had their differences. Some were Muslims and some were Christians from different cultural grounds but they were able to accommodate one another. They respected one another and cooperated with one another.”
Humour is another side of Alhaji Maitama Sule, which was exploited fully. On Lagos as his second home: “Lagos was my second home. In fact, I used to be more at home in Lagos than in Kano. After the 1966 coup, anytime I felt moody, anytime I felt uncomfortable, all I had to do was to go to Lagos and spend a couple of days. Not only would I stay there, even my skin would change; I would look fresher.
“I liked Lagos because people in Lagos liked me. I was the Onikoyi of Ikoyi (a chieftaincy title in Lagos Island) and the Bada of Lagos, as I was the Ada Ida Akei Igburutu of Calabar. In those days, I remember, parties (social occasions) in Lagos and Lagos people are fond of partying – would be incomplete without us – that is, me, T.O.S. Benson, J.M. Johnson, I.S. Adewale (popularly called The Boy is Good) and, of course, the late Ooni of Ife, who was then Prince Sijuade. If we were not there, the party was not okay. Even the girls would insist we must be there, otherwise they would not be there.”
Meanwhile, tributes have continued to rain on the departed elder statesman. Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, yesterday, described the death of Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, (Danmasani Kano), as a colossal loss, not only to his family, his friends and political associates, but also to the entire Nigerian nation.
According to Yakasai, Dan Masani was a highly remarkable character, who was a friend to all and enemy to none, adding that he has been together, with the late Danmasani, since their younger age, adding that their friendship transcended to their children.
‘’Even though, we parted ways politically at a certain stage of our political life, fate brought us together when Kano State was created, where we both served as pioneer members of the state executive council to the end of the lifetime of our administration.’’
During the Second Republic, Yakasai recalled that they were again brought together by Almighty God under the banner of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), under whose government they both served.
While he served as Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Yakasai served as Presidential Liaison Officer in the National Assembly. ‘’We remained as best of friend’s right from our childhood, never had any personal quarrel. Extremely jovial person, there was never a dull moment, with Maitama. I wish to extend my heartfelt condolence to his beloved wife, Hajiya Nusa, his children and extended family. May God repose his gentle soul in eternal peace. May Almighty grant his family, all of us his friends and associates courage and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
Former Governor of Kano State, Mal. Ibrahim Shekarau condoled with the family. The former Minister of education who expressed shock over the loss said the demise of Alhaji Maitama Sule was not a great loss to Kano but to the nation, particularly and global community in general.
According to a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant Media and Public Relations to former governor Sule Ya’u Sule, the Sardaunan Kano said the state and nation will dearly missed his oratory, diction and sense of humor in the delivery of speech.
According to him, “the people at the position of authority, especially in Kano do enjoy the wisdom and guidance of late Danmasani.
“While in the service of Kano as Governor, I truly tapped from Danmasani’s experience, his guidance has greatly assisted me to pilot the affairs of the state. We pray Almighty Allah to forgive all his shortcomings and grant him Aljannah Firdausi”, Shekarau noted.
Also, the State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) Kano Directorate, Mallam Yalwan-Danzial, described Maitama Sule as one of Nigeria’s finest patriots, with a rich treasure of values.
Yalwan-Danzial, said that Kano populace were proud to associate, with Yusuf Maitama Sule being an Elder Statesman, who has established himself in the hearts of all Nigerians, as a national mobilizer for peace and sustainable development.
‘’Yusuf Maitama had always challenged Nigerians to be the best in whatever position they found themselves, as this will forever resonate in the minds of Nigerians. Maitama has also carved a niche for himself, as a sincere nationalist, and international hero, a detribalized statesman and a formidable grassroots man.”
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