Sir Ahmadu Bello, was a conservative Nigerian stateman who masterminded Northern Nigeria through the independent of Nigeria in 1960 and served as its first and only premier from 1954 until his assasinated in 1966 in which capacity he dominated national affairs for over a decade.

Sir Ahmadu Bello wrote before he died:

"I am not unaware that I have often been a controversial figure. I have been accused of lack of nationalism and political awareness because I considered that independence must wait until a country has the resources to support and make a success of independence.

I have been accused of conservatism because I believe in retaining all that is good in our old traditions and customs and refusing to copy all aspects of other alien civilizations have been accused of many things, but the views of others have never made me deviate from the path which I am certain is the one which will benefit my people and country. I have always based my actions on my inward convictions, on my conscience and on the dictates of my religion".

Sir Ahmadu Bello was born on June 12, 1910. He received Islamic education at home, where he learnt the Qur'an, Islamic jurisprudence and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. He later attended Sokoto Provincial School and the Katsina Training College (now Barewa College). He is a direct descendant of Uthman Dan Fodio, founder of the Sokoto Caliphate.

In the 1940s, he joined Jamiyya Mutanen Arewa which would later become the Northern People's Congress (NPC) in 1951. In 1948, he traveled to England on a government scholarship to study Local Government Administration, which broadened his understanding and knowledge of governance.

In the 1959 independence elections, Bello led the NPC to win a plurality of the parliamentary seats. Bello's NPC forged an alliance with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's NCNC (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons) to form Nigeria's first indigenous federal government which led to independence from Britain. In forming the 1960 independence federal government of the Nigeria, Bello as president of the NPC, chose to remain Premier of Northern Nigeria and devolved the position of Prime Minister of the Federation to the deputy president of the NPC, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

His northenization agenda has grown way beyond the Northern Province to engulf the whole of Nigeria today. It is the keg of gunpowder that the nation plays with mischievously. Every thing that has a national value from the Presidency to government parastatals and security has been northernized. It is the power of an agenda persistently and ruthlessly executed.

Placing his story side by side Azikiwe and Obafemi, one is compelled to think of Moses and the home training he got from his biological mother who was forced to act as his nanny. In my opinion, his Islamic home training bore more fruit than the ambitious oversees trainings of the other two as far as charting the outcomes of Nigeria is concerned. Notice how he stepped back for Tafawa Balewa to take the position of Prime Minister.

His vision of northenization remains a major fault line but no one can blame him for desiring the best for his people. That is what all great leaders do. 

Zik said, “Let us forget our differences….”

Ahmadu Bello replied, "No, let us understand our differences. I am a Muslim and a Northerner. You are a Christian, an Easterner. By understanding our differences, we can build unity in our country.”

Where there is no vision the people perish. Where there is a selfish vision, the people perish and the vision becomes a nightmare, haunting survivors.

The Church can redefine the narratives.

For if the foundation is destroyed, Nehemiah can rebuild it.



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