I’ve never ever been reluctant about writing on a subject as I’ve been, these past days, on the life of the recently deceased former Governor of Niger state, Abdulkadir A. Kure – especially the recollections of his stewardship between 1999 and 2007. The reason being some personal relationships with people close to him, which ought to stoke a familiar sentiment.
I’m going to treat the late Kure as a political figure, a human being, and not a private person whose administration is now being described as an unusual brand of humanitarianism in eulogy after eulogy.
Reading the tributes that trailed the passing of Kure, I had to go read what some of his political opponents said and wrote about him, and compared them to their romanticization of his politics and governance in death. This hypocrisy isn’t Islam.
The same Islam that enjoins believers to speak no ill of the dead asks us to ensure “the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts” – referring to the dead in Surah Al-Nisa 4:11.
So to say it’s against the teaching of Islam to address the political life of Kure in order to establish the facts of his management of public funds while in office or in the service of this nation, isn’t a honest representation of Islam. For even recently his company was listed as a beneficiary of Dasuki’s largesse, justifying the adoption of Qur’an 4:11, for it’s possible the family may want resettle identified debts.
When Kure left office, there was a jubilant atmosphere and I challenge anyone to fault this history, the same way Aliyu’s exit was celebrated. Governor Aliyu, on assuming duty, met an unimaginable financial mess that he set up a seven-man commission of inquiry led by Justice Muhammad Mayaki to investigate malpractices relating to the awards of contracts, payments made for jobs not executed and recovery of such payments.
The result of this was arrests and imprisonments of Kure’s friends and allies. The truth is, in the history of Niger state, there’s never been a resurgence of criminally enriched politicians, from Abubakar Magaji to the late Bala Guna, as there was under Kure.
Some said Kure was manipulated by his political allies and used, but he was elected to be in charge, and this means he’s responsible for the financial transgression of those criminals who controlled Niger’s political enterprise from 1999 to 2007.
The truth is, Kure’s misuse of public funds was so recklessthat he even funded a private school owned by the family of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, as a mark of loyalty to the parasitic elite. This abuse of trust was discontinued by Governor Babangida Aliyu when he took over and began a revolution hijacked half-way through.
In fact, the day Kure showed up for Justice Mayaki panel, there was screaming of “barawo” by youths from my end. I know this because I was there. So, my friends, do not tell us not to assess the political life of the late Kure unless you’re willing to redeem the havocs perpetrated under his watch. As a Muslim, I wish his soul peace, but as a citizen it’s my responsibility to be factual in documenting the history of my place and time.