Today has been fixed for the launching of Sir. Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation Appeal Fund in Kaduna, The state.
Secretary to the Niger state government who is also chairman of Secretaries to the Northern states government, Dr. Mohammed Kuta Yahaya and prominent member of the launching committee spoke with our Niger state correspondent, Wole Mosadomi on the Legend, what led to the steps taken to immortalize him and the level of preparation towards making the launching and execution of the project a reality.
What informed this attempt to immortalize Sir Ahmadu Bello again and how far is the preparation?
Attempt to immortalize Ahmadu Bello has been on for over two decades before the current crop of Northern governors under the chairmanship of Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu who is the chief servant of Niger state.
The steering committee under the chairmanship of Honorable Justice Mamman Nasir and a host of other distinguished Nigerians have been working tirelessly to establish a foundation in honor of sir. Ahmadu Bello. After over 20yrs of trial, the steering committee leadership approached the chief servant of Niger state when he assumed office as chairman of the Northern governorâ€™s Forum to assist in the actualization of this noble objective.
What was the response of the chief servant and other governors to the proposal?
Infact, before the approach by Mamman Nasir led committee, the chief servant had during his maiden speech when he assumed office as chairman of the Northern governorâ€™s Forum on 30th of August, 2007 paid glowing tribute to Sir, Ahmadu Bello with emphasis on what he represented, what he stood for and what wonders he did in his short reign between 1965 and 1966 when he was one of the political heads in the North. He did everything humanly possible to unite the North, to lay a solid foundation for the future development of the Northern region by way of education through various programmes that really mobilized the entire region to embrace Western education along their traditional Islamic education that was predominant.
So from that background, the Chief servant mobilized his colleagues to key into this vision the moment he was approached by this steering committee and they took up the challenge and with the support of his colleagues, they all accepted to assist in actualizing the noble objective and he went ahead to get the legal framework by getting registered with the Corporate Affairs and other apparatus needed to give the foundation a Legal entity which he achieved within one year.
In other words, the sir Ahmadu Bello memorial foundation is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as a non profitable and non governmental organization but of the mandate to promote values and service which the sardauna represented during his life time.
With all these, the governors met to fix a date to formerly launch the Sir. Ahmadu Bello Memorial foundation and also directed all the 19 Northern states to establish a state committee each to mobilize towards actualizing the Fund which they are also doing.
How far have you gone with the launching?
You know, the programme is not a northern affairs but a national one because we are celebrating a Legend, a man of many parts, a man who believed in the invisibility of the North, a man whose actions are unequaled in governance, in practice and relationship with fellow human beings. So, we are all working towards the success of todays launching.
What is the target of the committee?
The target is about N20billion. We intend to carry out some of the activities which include planning for the Foundation to promote the footprints of Sir. Ahmadu Bello.
These include his foot prints on education, poverty alleviation and other social endeavors which will be cardinal to the goals and aspirations of the Foundation.
We are infact looking forward to a Comprehensive Centre that will address issues of poverty, issues of education which include both Quranic and Western education that will make education the corner stone and indeed Foundation of development because in this supersonic age, only educated people can compete with the peers across the world.
What assurance do we have that this foundation will be a success?
The present leaders especially in the North are aware of this and the fear of failure is always the watchword of our leaders nowadays. Everybody wants to succeed as nobody wants to fail.
The only unfortunate thing is that many people fail to plan and that is why this time around, we are involving the major stake holders. Everybody that is associated with Sardaunaâ€™s legacy is working towards actualizing this dream.
Beyond making it a National Affairs, it is even going International because we are aiming that it can compare with those global Foundations in America , Europe and other developed societies.
Transparency, Accountability and Service is the watchword of those involved in the planning and execution of this project. There is no room for anybody to come and think that the foundation of this nature will be personal.
It is not and will not be under the ampit of any individual but a collective responsibility and that is why the governorâ€™s are deeply involved and working tirelessly toward making the Launching a success.
What specifically is the Northern governors aiming at with this Foundation?
It is mainly for value promotion and indeed, we are looking at the issues Sardauna lived and died for that are key to the development of theÂ region with more emphasis on eradicating poverty, the issue of integrated educational system whereby every child will have access to quality education because when you give a child education, such a child will be able to compete with his/her peers not only in Nigeria but across the globe because there is no any biological explanation for the backwardness of any individual or group but how the society or the people take their own destiny in their own hands.