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Open Letter to Alhaji Umarun Kwabo, AA

Author: Aminu Aminu Skokto
Posted to the web: 12/8/2005 9:57:29 AM

Dear Sir, Alhaji, Chairman, Doctor, Khalifa, Prince of the Rima,


I know this letter will come to you as a surprise, for you cannot imagine a pauper like this writer having any business reaching you. But our people say what a person sow is what he reaps.  Permit to take a few minutes of your time to reflect some issues that are in the minds of millions of the people of our dear State, Sokoto where you are undoubtedly an enigma of sorts. I know you are a very busy man; with your busy business schedules and litany of bootlickers and hangers-on; you’d hardly have any time to read letters.


Let me start by congratulating you for metamorphosing from a noble mallam to a multiple titleholder of Alhaji, Prince, Khalifa, Jarma and Chairman, all within six years. Additionally, you were so ingeniously endowed that you could suddenly earn a PhD without first having to qualify for even an Ordinary Diploma.


My congratulations also for the sudden riches that came your way; turning you from a glorified go-between to a mega-rich mogul with chains of companies, housing estates and exotic cars to boot. Your 20th century mud house in the centre of Sokoto has given way to numerous mansions and palaces scattered at choice residential areas in Sokoto, Kaduna, Abuja and may be, even London, all within the span of six and a half years.


Your hatred for the educated in the society has been boosted to rival your sudden high profile position. After all, if you can attain what you attained within this short period of time, of what use is it for anybody to waste his or her time to spend more than ten years in school?


Your companies are so numerous that for every contract you get, you create one for it and I know the contracts are running into the hundreds. The sweet thing is that you don’t have to register them with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) because as the Prince of the Rima, your wish is the command of the occupants of the government house.


Your chief accomplice graduated from a kerosene and petroleum vendor in 1987 to a cross-border smuggler and finally to big time multi billion naira business man and politician with executive powers that only you can curb. In your type of business, the articles of trade need not to be known to the public, the most important thing is money is being realized at the end of the day. The subjects of connivance, inflation of contracts, intimidation of opponents are not taught in the classroom, therefore they do not require a syllabus or an exam to pass. They are survival tactics to people in your class of politicking.


Doctor, lest I forget, I want to ask how you are faring at the Pilgrims Board. I hear the board has become a hallmark of profligacy and official thieving. That is only rumours though, coming from those enemies who don’t see anything good in you and your business partner. I don’t need to advice you, as I know you are capable of dealing with them using the assemblage of street urchins a.ka. area-boys that are always at your beck and call. My only prayer is that the owner of the House, which those Pilgrims visit annually, will not send any Katrina, Rita or Tsunami to visit anybody at the Board. But I know him; He is the most patient of all.


I’m very annoyed with those boys at EFCC for ‘violating’ your human rights. How come they come to your Palace and arrest you for such flimsy excuse of inflation of contracts. Didn’t you tell them that, it was only a minor offence compared to getting paid in the billions for non-existent contracts? Tell them next time they come calling, to include money laundering, connivance with police authorities to put opponents behind bars and illegal peddling into appointment of commissioners into the charges. Tell them also to tell the Hizbah boys to come, for shariah related offences are being committed daily. Tell them to undergo a working tour to the Pilgrims’ Board where monies destined to the holy land are being diverted for mansion building at Polo Club and Sama Road.


Sir, with the various titles that you already have to your credit and with the retinue of commissioners and members of parliament both at state and federal levels, lying prostrate to seek for your favours, what is next for the Prince? You have already provided the answer by indicating that you are ready to finish the journey that you started not too long ago.  That journey will eventually terminate at the government house as the executive Governor. After all, you are the Khalifa.


 Sir, spend as much as you can for your campaign organization, the Jarma 2007 project, for you know it will only take the first federal allocation to recoup such expenditure when you become governor.


Don’t mind people who think you cannot make it because of limited education or lack of it. How come your friend made it? They are only jealous of your rising profile. The way you got your PhD, you will also rent a crowd of computer semi-illiterates that would write speeches for you and engage with columnists on your behalf. All you can do is buy them a second hand ‘tokunboh car’ and a refurbished House some where near mammy market. At least they will not run foul of Shariah when they are so close to the army barracks. You will not be the first person to do these.

For some of us, the loud mouths, just cut the flow of our scholarships if we have any. Call us fugitives, tell us not to come to Sokoto again or else you will brand us saboteurs and enemies of progress even if the progress is that of chop I chop.


Call us names and tell the MG Mohammeds of our state to run after us. But sir, don’t forget to tell them to go back to school if they really want to square even with us. When they are in your midst, they are your intellectual guides but when they engage us, I bet you they will crumble like a pack of cards, the sooner they come.


Sir, I hope you have the spirit of reciprocity in you. The reason I said this is because one good turn deserves another. After 2007, you and your present benefactor will switch sides and positions. While you will be your Excellency, he will be the one with the lighter fingers. All contracts would be in his name and you will have section 308 to protect you. That will be the time to invoke the spirit of espirit-decorps he so religiously invoked for you now that your fingers are the lighter ones.


We are all expecting a greater collaboration between the two of you in building more roads and many more fly-overs in Sokoto as a continuation of your liaison. After 2007, we expect to see a fly-over built from Sokoto Airport to the Sultan Palace. That would gulf many more billions of naira just enough to pay him back for his initial deposit. When citizens of Sokoto are afflicted with chronic hunger, illiteracy and disease, your main preoccupation would be road construction and fly-over ‘building’ because that is the most efficient way of satisfying your insatiable appetite for kleptomania and official ‘light-fingerism’.


Chairman, as the Jarman Sokoto, you are the chief of the warriors. You are the head-boy of all the boys. You are their benefactor, mentor and leader put together. Send the boys to any one that dares to challenge your authority.


God will bless you for building those edifices you built in Sokoto even though they are only meant for the comfort of yourself, your immediate family and cronies. As the MG Mohammeds of our time would say, Sokoto people would be ingrates if they don’t appreciate those personal sacrifices and gestures borne out of genuine love and patriotism for Sokoto State. They would say Sokoto people have never had it better.


Sir, pray that the third term succession bid of President Obasanjo would succeed. As the President of Nigeria beyond 2007, Obasanjo would be more than willing to come to Sokoto and commission as many fly-overs as would have been ‘built’ by your ‘caring administration’. He would come to Sokoto and flag every thing you want him to flag. As soon as he leaves, you will claim victory for intimidating the president of the country who though not from your party, had no option than to praise you for jobs well done. Among the present presidential gladiators, only Obasanjo would be that vulnerable.


Sir, I hear the siren blowing in the air, I guess your partner is coming to confer with you as usual. Or may be it is those commissioners you generously helped to install that are coming to pay their daily homage to the Khalifa. In either case I have to leave you now to attend to these important personalities. Thank you for your time and see you in 2007.

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