THE outpouring of accolades that trailed the death of Second Republic Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, is a rich testimonial of appreciation of the exemplary life and political legacies he left behind.
A diehard exponent of “democratic humanism”, a form of socialist ideology of the Mallam Aminu Kano school of politics, Musa also lived an ascetic lifestyle devoid of corruption and material pursuits that are emblematic of today’s politicians.
He studiously shunned the ideologically-rudderless large political parties which corruptly controlled public office because they had very little interest in the well-being of the people of the grassroots.
He was impeached in 1981 by the Kaduna State House of Assembly, whose majority members were of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, a centre-right party that espoused a strong capitalist ideology.
Balarabe Musa was removed because of his perceived intention to turn Kaduna State into a socialist enclave.
Those were the days when ideology still drove politics in Nigeria unlike today when politicians change parties like undergarments for selfish and corrupt reasons.
Throughout his post-impeachment era, Balarabe Musa was always available to the media with his radical, insightful and fearless views on the state of the nation. Having nothing to hide, he had no reason to keep his views secret.
He was, indeed, one of the few remaining members of the radical order which helped make Nigerian politics so vibrant.
Born on August 21, 1936 in Kaya, Kaduna State, Musa studied at Zaria Middle School (1947–1952) and at the Institute of Administration, Zaria (1952–1953). He also later attended different institutions in London where he studied Accountancy.
His working experience consisted of his stint as an accounts clerk (1953–1955) and a school teacher (1955–1960). He also held various managerial positions between 1960 and 1976. As a leftist-leaning politician, Balarabe Musa belonged to the Northern Elements Progressive Union, NEPU, founded by Mallam Aminu Kano.
He was later elected Governor of Kaduna State in 1979 on the platform of Peoples’ Redemption Party, PRP, a party also founded by Aminu Kano and drew others of like minds such as Abubakar Rimi, Sabo Barkin Zuwo, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Michael Imoudu, Chinua Achebe, Yusufu Bala Usman, Uche Chukwumerije and Sule Lamido.
Unfortunately, his ascendancy to the pinnacle of political power in Kaduna State and desire to use same to improve the lot of his people were cut short by his controversial impeachment instigated by powerful elements within the Federal Government then controlled by the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN.
While joining millions of Nigerians in mourning Balarabe Musa’s passage, we take solace in declaring, like President Buhari, that he left “a bold footprint on Nigeria’s democracy, and his role in promoting good governance and development will always be remembered and appreciated by posterity”.