September 27, 2022

The Kanuris fly their flag again (2)

The Kanuris fly their flag again (2)

By Eric Teniola

From last week, the piece continues the narrative of some outstanding politicians and leaders of Kanuri origin who made their  marks in the history-making processes of Nigeria over the years. 

Alhaji Shettima Ali Monguno was member of parliarment in 1959; education secretary and councilor for education, works and social welfare Borno Local Government, 1959-65; Federal Minister for Air Force and internal affairs, 1965-66; Federal Commissioner for Trade and Industries,1967-71; Minister Mines and Power, Petroleum and Energy, 1972-75.

Ali Monguno was also President, OPEC, 1972/1973 and a presidential candidate during the Option A4 elections in the early 1990s in Nigeria.

In politics, Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri was initially a member of NEPU; he organised the Damaturu branch of the association in 1950 and was the branch chairman in 1951. However, towards the end of the 1950s, Waziri  joined NPC and was appointed the Federal Minister of Health in 1958. 

In 1960, he was part of the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations when the country was accepted as the 99th member of the organisation. In 1962, as Minister for Economic Development, he presented to the Nigerian Parliament an ambitious capital expenditure budget over a six-year span based on a projected four per cent annual growth in GDP and investment of resources in productive projects to foster development. Among the major planks of the budget was the development of the Kainji Dam. However, close to half of the capital expenditure resource was to be obtained through foreign aid.

In 1962, Nigeria conducted a controversial census that was rejected by political leaders from the Eastern and Western region; the office of the census officer was under Waziri’s ministry. Accusations of over-counting were made on all sides, with Waziri accusing the Eastern Region of inflating population figures while the Southern leaders labelled the Northern head count as over-inflated. The controversy generated by the head count led to the cancellation of the census results and official figures were never publicly acknowledged. 

After the military coup of 1966, Waziri went into private business. During the Nigerian Civil War, he was involved in arms dealing and consultancy and afterwards, he established a defence consultancy firm. Waziri established a group of companies under the corporate name Herwa which included a tin mining venture in Jos and a soap and flour mill in Maiduguri. He opened a N5 million Herwa clinic in Kano.

He was the father to Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim (55). In 2016, she was made the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari. In October 2018 she defeated her stepson to clinch the ticket of her party to run for Federal House of Representatives.

Alhaji Dipcharima Zanna Bukar Suloma was born in 1917 in Dipcharima village in the Borno Province of Northern Nigeria. Dipcharima attended the Maiduguri Middle School and later trained as a teacher at the Katsina Higher Training College, the former Northern Nigeria’s highest institution of learning at the time.

He began his teaching in 1938, working at various schools until 1946 when he embarked on a political career. He first joined the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon, NCNC, being led by Dr. Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe(16 November 1904 – 11 May 1996), and was in the party’s delegation to Britain in 1947.

He left the NCNC to become a manager for John Holt. Dipcharima re-entered politics in 1954, this time as a member of the Northern People’s Congress, NPC, on whose platform he was elected to the Borno Native Authority. An extremely popular politician, Dipcharima soon rose to become president of the Borno Province branch of the NPC and head of the Yerwa District in 1956, taking the traditional title of Zana. 

He won a seat in the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos in 1954 and was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Transport. In 1957, he became Minister of State without Portfolio and later Minister of Commerce and Industry, before taking the portfolio of Transport in 1964.

Dipcharima was holding this office when the federal civilian government was overthrown in the military coup of January  15,1966; he made the headlines when, in the absence of the abducted Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (December 1912 – 15 January 1966) , he presided over the Cabinet that handed power to General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi (March 3, 1924 – 29). Dipcharima died in an air accident in 1969. 

There are other prominent Kanuris who equally flew the flag for the Kanuris. They include Air Marshall Al-Amin Daggash, Alhaji Kam Salem, Engineer Bunu Sheriff, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Major General Abba Kyari(rtd.), Alhaji Abba Habeeb, Alhaji Mohammed Goni, Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Kur Mohammed, Lt-Colonel Abogo Largema, Hajiya Ammuna Ali, Alhaji Goni Aji, Dr. Baba-kura Kaigama, Dr. Buka Shaib, Professor Nuhu Alkali, General Sani Abacha. Even in Niger Republic, the former Prime Minister of that country Mamane Oumarou and the former President of Niger, Tandja Mamadou are both Kanuris. 

We also have Major General Mohammed Shuwa(1 September 1939-2 November 2012), Professor Mujammed Mala Daura, Professor Babagana Umaru Zulum, Amina Dawaram(Singer), Alhaji Modu Gobama, Alhaji Yusuf Saida (Chemist)Alhaji Garba Daya, Alhaji Umar Ali Adamkolo, Alhaji Ahmadu Ngariya, Alhaji Bukar Koo Muhammad, Alhaji Zannah Ali Yirima, Alhaji Baba Shehu Abubakar Garbai, Galadima Mai Duboma, Alhaji Shuwa Mamman, Dr. Gona Abdullahi, Ambassador Baba Ahmad Jidah, Alhaji Muhammad Aliyu, Sheikh Abubakar El Miskin, Professor Muhammad Waziri, Mohammed Shettima Kubari, Alhaji Imam Ahmad, Shehu Umar Ibn Muhammad, late Shehu Sunda Kyanmi, Alhaji Ibrahim Maina Damcida, Abba Ali Monguno, Bunu Ngamdu, Buba Ahmad Talib, Bukar Bolori, Ambassador Abba Ahmed Zoro, Mustapha P. Jango, Alhaji Bukarr Kuya Monguno, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, Sheihk Awad, Alhaji Modu Tela, Asheik Jarma, Maina Maaji Lawan, Alhaji Mala Kachalla, Alhaji Abba Kyari, late Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Ibrahim Talba, Alhaji Buba Galadima, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Alhaji Liman Ciroma, General Alkali Idris, Garuba Talba Adamu, Adamu Waziri,  and many too numerous to mention. 

To be continued…