Meet Late Wada Nas; fearless politician, great farmer and 2-times former Minister from Funtua, Katsina
Muhammad Hamisu (popularly known as Wada Nas) was born in 1938 in Nasarawa Funtua, Katsina State to Malam Ibrahim and Amina. He was the last in a family of twelve. He earned the name Wada by his aunty Asibi on his naming ceremony, the name was derived from WADATA in Hausa meaning Abundance.
This was so because on his naming ceremony there were four Rams all for his naming ceremony, one bought by his father, two from Wazirin Katsina and one from the emir of Katsina. He lost his father at the age of two and his mother at the age of six, he was brought up as an orphan by his elder brother Late Alhaji Garba Nasarawa.
He began with the Islamic education (Makarantar Allo) but later enrolled into elementary school Funtua (1945-1949) where his name Wada Nasarawa was cut shortened to Wada Nas. He secured admission into KATSINA Middle school in 1952-1954) and subsequently to KATSINA Teachers College (1955).
It was at KATSINA teachers college that he developed an interest in politics which fronted him to write a letter to Malam Aminu Kano, the leader of Northern Element Progressive Union (NEPU) indicating his interest to join his party.
Malam Aminu replied to him that he should first finish his studies before venturing into politics (a Letter he kept and was proud of).
In 1958 upon graduated from KATSINA Teachers College, he was posted to Dutsinma in Katsina state as a school teacher. He joined NEPU and went to Dutsinma as a NEPU member.
At that time it was a crime to belong to another political party apart from Northern People Congress (NPC) which belongs to the aristocratic class. His NEPU activity didn’t go well with those in the authority because from the district head down to the village head belong to NPC, so the district head then saw him as a treat.
He suffered all kind of humiliation and harassment just because he belongs to NEPU but that didn’t deter him from fighting for what he believes in, which was to liberate the masses from the tyranny of NPC. The district head was very uncomfortable with Wada Nas and requested the native authority to transfer him to somewhere else.
So the native authority after due consultation decided to transfer him to KAITA where the district head Ladan Fari (also happen to be the son of the then emir of Katsina) who was considered to be tough and can curtail the excesses of Wada Nas and his NEPU ideology.
While he was there, some resident of KAITA started coming to him in the darkest hours in the night, asking for NEPU membership card, while some brought him food items and other requirements, others secretly undertook some errands on his behalf.
The number of those coming kept on increasing day-by-day, he continued to organize lectures, educating and enlighting the masses about their right and how to say no to the oppression by the ruling class. This was how NEPU was established in KAITA town and environs. He was given the publicity secretary of NEPU in Katsina province.
Wada Nas was transferred to KANKARA and as the 1959 general election was approaching, late Malam Aminu Kano the then leader of NEPU and one who gave it fearless, purposeful and dynamic leadership and philosophical direction told Wada Nas that the party has resolved to field him as its candidate in the Funtua Federal constituency but Wada Nas advice to be fielded as candidate in KANKARA/KOGO constituency rather than the Funtua his place of origin.
The year 1959 was very important and dear to NEPU members because it was in that year that they first won and election to the federal house, NEPU had eight representatives in the house; Malam Aminu Kano from Kano, Yarima Balla from Adamawa province, Ismaila Bichi from Jos central, Muhammadu Alangade from Ikara, Yusha’u Muhammad from Kubau/Soba, Muhammadu Nalado from Gusau/Tsafe, Ali NaKura from Kauran NaModa and Wada Nas from Kankara/Kogo.
Wada Nas was in the house from 1959-1964 and he was the youngest member in the federal house of representative of the first republic.
After the 1966 coup, he was back to his home town Funtua and ventured into farming. He later in 1968 became an account officer of Northern State Marketing Board in Zaria.
During the second republic (1978) he joined National Party of Nigeria (NPN) where he became councilor for health Funtua Local government then State party secretary (NPN) old Kaduna State (1981-1983). He was also a member Board of University Teaching Hospital Ibadan (1982-1983). Wada Nas went back to farm after the 1983 coup and continue his farming activities.
During the third republic (1991) he joined the National Republican Convention (NRC) and became the Katsina state chairman of the party. He was instrumental in the victory of Alhaji Saidu Barda, the first Executive Governor of Katsina state under NRC (1992) who defeated Late Umaru Musa Yar’adua (the former president).
He was also then a director Board of Universal Bank Kaduna.
After the 1993 coup which Abacha became the head of state, Wada Nas was appointed as the minister of State for education. That was the beginning of his relationship with late General Sani Abacha, which he maintained up till his last breath.
Following reshuffling of the cabinet Abacha again appointed him as Minister of Special duties and later Special adviser on special duties, a post he held till the death of Abacha in 1997.
In 1998 when the ban on politics was lifted Wada Nas was cautious and very observant and after analyzing the political terrain of that moment decided to quit politics and became a national commentator, Critic, and a Columnist especially in the weekly trust newspaper.
But when things went bad and he saw the detrimental effect of Obasanjo government to the nation and to the north, in particular, had no option than to stage a comeback in politics to fight injustice and corruption. He joined All Peoples Party (APP) that later became All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and even contested for the National Chairman of the party, the election that was canceled on the eve of the Election Day.
Wada Nas was the one that persuaded General Muhammadu Buhari to join politics (2002/2003) having the belief that the nation needed somebody with Buhari’s character and integrity to save this country (an aspiration he didn’t live to witness).
Wada Nas found that things were happening in ANPP which didn’t conform with his ideology and about the same time, fortunate for him, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) decided to register new political party, so he and people with his like-mind formed People Salvation Party (PSP Sawaba) and he became the pioneer National Chairman of the party.
During the presidential election of 2003, his party PSP didn’t field a presidential candidate but the consensus was to support General Muhammadu Buhari the ANPP presidential candidate for 2003 general election. Wada Nas toured this country day and night together with General Buhari for the presidential campaign.
Wada Nas died after a brief illness in the early hours of Monday, 3rd January 2005. He left two wives and nineteen children.