By Dirisu Yakubu
Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa was born on August 2, 1936 in Kaya, Kaduna state. He was educated at the Zaria Middle School (1947-1952`) and the Institute of Administration, Zaria (now Ahmadu Bello University) from 1952 to 1953. He later acquired additional qualifications from different colleges in London, United Kingdom.
A student of the Aminu Kano School of political thought, Musa became a national figure with his election as governor of the old Kaduna state (now Kaduna and Katsina) on the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP in the defunct Second Republic. His electoral victory was a triumph of sort for the PRP and Mallam Kano whose populist ideology won the hearts of many Nigerians, particularly millions of youths spread across the country.
Although his election in 1979 was expected to usher in an era of welfarism considering the ideals of PRP; Musa never had a grip in power as the National Party of Nigeria, NPN made life hellish for him. From his election in 1979 to 1981; he governed Kaduna state without an Executive Council as the NPN-dominated House of Assembly refused to ratify his commissioner designates.
The cat and mouse relationship eventually degenerated to a point of no return with the governor’s impeachment on June 23, 1981; thus becoming the first elected governor to be shown the way out of office via impeachment.
It’s a testimony to the conviction of the astute politician who upon the return to democracy in 1999 revived the fortunes of PRP to join forces with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, All People’s Party, APP (now defunct), the Action Congress, AC and other political parties to shape the politics of that epoch.
In 2003, he ran unsuccessfully for the Presidency on the platform of the PRP. He later became chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, an umbrella body of the then opposition parties in the land. Under the auspices of the CNPP, Balarabe Musa provided constructive criticism to successive governments; a feat that won him accolades across the land.
In 2009 at a public lecture and reception in honour of former Oyo state governor, Chief Lam Adesina, Musa caused a stir when he called on Nigerians to effect a legitimate change in the nation’s political leadership with a purpose-driven revolution in the next election cycle. “We need a revolution in Nigeria to have a positive change in the political system,” he said, as the audience rewarded him with a standing ovation.
On August 31, 2018, Musa quit partisan/active politics owing to health challenges. Despite his decision to stay away from politics, Musa continued to offer sublime perspectives on issues of governance, democracy, development, insecurity amongst others. Three months ago, he advised the All Progressives Congress, APC to let the 2023 Presidency go South, arguing that it won’t be appropriate for the party to retain its Presidential ticket in the North beyond 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to quit after eight years in office.
Alhaji Balarabe Musa died on Wednesday in Kaduna at the age of 84. May Allah grant him eternal rest in Jannah. Amin