Opinion: Who is who in Katsina? By Abubakar A. Fari

The irony of those in power would appear to be their one-sided belief. Unfortunately, in the material world, many are afflicted with this disease of the heart. Indeed, most people regardless of religious inclinations popularize the statement that “Allah gives power” or “God gives power”. With few exceptions, the winners in political contests relish orchestrating “God gives power”. But when the opposite occurs, it is something else. What they choose to ignore is that Allah, the Creator of all things at the same or all times, takes power. Most of us forget that it is the prerogative of our Creator to give honour and or to down grade to the lowest of the low, whoever He pleases. Invariably, those in the seat of power like to believe, yes, God gives power. But they do not like to listen to anyone mention that, the same God also takes power away and for good regardless who.

When “the come comes to become” a la late MKO Mbadiwe, these pretenders lose their senses of reasoning or even their faith. They include those who acquire power dubiously through rigging, treachery and or through diabolical means. In the struggle for who is who, some vested interested pursue the art and science of revising history to confer themselves assumed superiority and relevance over others.

Who is who in Katsina seeks to raise the issue in the domain about who really is who in Katsina. In the epochs of history, it would appear to me that who was who and who did what effective from the 19th century Jihad of Usman Danfodio to date is on record. The Maguzawa too had their days before the Jihad. In Katsina today everywhere is Dikko or his descendants as if they are the only relevant people who made their mark in Katsina. Is that so? Major roads, monuments and institutions are monopolized by one name Dikko and his relations.

The facts remain that Mallam Umarun Dallaje was the the first Amirul Muminin of Katsina (Emir of Katsina) from 1807-1835 and his children and grandchildren who ruled Katsina for 100 years till 1906. His children who became Amirul Muminin and not Emirs before the advent of British anti-Islamic forces were Siddiq (1835-1844) Muhammad Bello (1844-1869), Ahmadu Rufai (1869-1870) and Musa (1882-1887). His grandchildren who were equally Amirul Muminin included Ibrahim son of Muhammad Bello (1870-1882) and Durbi Yaro son of Musa (1905-1906). His great grandson and also the grandson of Muhammad Bello was Amirul Muminin Abubakar (1887-1905).

Late Emir Dikko was the first from Sullubawa. He was appointed Emir of Katsina at the age of 43 years in 1906. If one goes by the records, it would mean that, he was born in 1863 about 30 years after the death of Ummarun Dallaje. He was therefore unknown in the Jihad of Danfodio. He has played his role no doubt. He became the Emir of Katsina under the British colonialists on 19th November 1906 under unusual and strange circumstances. To the extent the people of Katsina were wearing their caps by the side of their heads called “bata zanna ba.” The de facto Emirs were in reality the British colonialists who gave the orders as to what to do in policy directions and implementation. These orders had to conform and be consistent with the wishes of Her Majesty’s viceroy, the Queen of England. The living interests of the colonialists, were to reduce the influence of Islam in the lives of the inhabitants or render it ineffective, among others.

Late Dr Bala Usman wrote a book “The Transformation of Katsina” to the year 1750. He did not go as far as 1944 to exalt his grandfather Dikko. He was open-minded. In fact he became the Secretary to the PRP government of Balarabe Musa which opposed the status quo that the Sullubawa is set to entrench.

I have gone through read the speech of the present Emir of Katsina Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman in Hausa delivered to the Katsinawa on 2nd December 2015. Yours sincerely has also gone through a Book written in Hausa on late Hassan Usman Katsina written by Badamasi Shu’aibu Burji”.

Both acknowledged that the DALLAZAWA have been the “Sarakunan Katsina” for 100 years. Emir Abdulmumini acknowledged in page 2 of his speech that “Wannan Jihadi ne ya haifar da gidan sarautar “DALLAZAWA” wadanda suka yi shekara 100 su na mulki, watau daga 1806 zuwa 1906. He further stated that “Turawan Ingilishi sun amshi Birnin Katsina a ranar 28 ga watan Maris 1903, kuma cikin ikon Allah, a watan Nuwamba na shekarar 1906 suka nada Durbin Katsina Muhammadu Dikko ya zama sarki, wanda ya kafa gidan sarautar “SULLUBAWA”.

In the brief history of the “Sarakunan Fulanin Katsina” the book about Hassan also listed the Dallazawa on page 7. Naturally, as the Sardauna of Sokoto said, ‘if you do not blow your trumpet nobody blows it for you, because they are too busy blowing their own.” The rest of course as expected is blowing the Sullubawa trumpet. But is there nothing in the 100 years of “DALLAZAWA”. The intelligent people of Katsina should ask pertinent questions. They should also discover themselves and their history and accord it the honour it deserves.

This piece is not about Ummarun Dallaje’s only. However, it seeks balance and equity in recognizing who is who in Katsina. It is common knowledge in Katsina state, the Daurawa should like to be identified separately. In southern Katsina the craving for the Karaduwa identity is not fiction. There are prominent people in both areas. Galadiman Katsina Nasir, late Sarkin Maska Shehu, Emir of Daura Bashar were ministers like Isa Kaita under Sardauna. While late Musa Yar’adua was a federal minister under late Prime Minister Balewa. Yet they are not as recognised as Isa Kaita in Katsina. Other federal ministers include Umaru Mutallab, late Sule Riyoji U/Alkali, Sani Zangon Daura and Ismaila Isa among others. Also Katsina has its sway in the judiciary with late Muhammad Bello as Chief Justice of Nigeria and two Presidents of Court of Appeal in the persons of Mamman Nasir and Umaru Abdullahi of the U/Alkali Hambali family. A member of Hambali family became Alkali for Ummarun Dallaje and key advisor.

The capital Abuja was established under the foresight of the military administration of late General Murtala Muhammad. His name does not dominate the landscape of Abuja today. Generals Buhari and Yar’adua from Katsina were part of the decision to create Abuja. Buhari is a two times head of state and Yar’adua a former chief of staff. Late Umar Musa Yar’aduwa was two-term governor of Katsina state and became the President of this country. It is not material whether one likes them or not. Facts remain one cannot in any measure compare what achievements Dikko left in 1944 after his death with developments to date 2016.

The British brought English school system in Katsina. Dikko’s case was like GSM under Obasanjo. Did Obasanjo invent GSM? To name the GRA Jummuat mosque Usman Danfodio while his companion in Katsina was Amirul Mumin Ummarun Dallaje is what? Is it out of a show of ignorance, sadism, insensitivity, vindictiveness or cluelessness? Is it so in Kano, Zaria, Adamawa, Bauchi etc? Given that Katsina excelled in Islamic education and scholarship before the British colonial invasion, who gets the credit? As a fourth grandson of Ummarun Dallaje I stand to be corrected.

In Katsina today, former non-Muslim military governors like Onoja, Akaargegeh, Achinolu, John Madaki and Chama, have streets named after them. It will be unacceptable denying the fact that Balarabe Musa, Abba Musa Rimi, Lawal Kaita, Saidu Barda, Umar Musa Yaradu’a, Shema and now Masari their rightful places in the history of Katsina even though they may not altogether be saints. We should encourage unity and sense of Muslim brotherhood which demands that a good Muslim should love for others what he desires for himself.

Engr. Fari wrote this piece from Kaduna

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