Death has dealt too many thoughtless blows on Nigeria’s Northern Governors in the last seven days. Losses from insecurity in the region have persisted despite several counter measures. The novel coronavirus disease and other unexplained circumstances claiming tens of lives daily in Kano and other Northern States have yet to be overcome.
Revenue cuts leading to frozen infrastructural development, limited welfare interventions especially for rural poor, and general economic meltdown caused by the Coronavirus may have equally resulted in depression and hunger related deaths.
These perhaps add to losses directly or indirectly affecting the Governors, possibly draining their peace of mind. On April 22, 2020, Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu lost his mother, Hajiya Fatima Adamu Baaba. This deeply grieved the Northern Governors Forum.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong in a condolence message, described the death of Hajiya Fatima as a great loss to the Adamu family, the people of Bauchi State and Nigeria at large. Fatima’s death came barely 24hrs after the tragic death of Alhaji Modu Sheriff, Galadima of Borno Emirate, and the father of former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff in a fire accident.
On April 26, the Northern Governors Forum was thrown into mourning again after the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi lost his mother Hajiya Kareematu Abubakar Bichi. Safe for her “good works and positive impact on the community brings a lot of comfort”, the demise of the late Hajiya Kareematu, Chairman of NGF, Simon Lalong said creates a “vacuum”.
Two days later, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State lost his mother, Hajiya Fatimah Umar Badami. This “devastated” the NGF as according to Simon Lalong, Hajiya Fatimah was a “great pillar”.
Last Sunday again, the Northern Governors Forum was saddened by the death of Emir of Rano in Kano, Alhaji Tafida Abubakar Ila Auta Bawo. Chairman of the Forum in a statement described the death of the Emir as “shocking and painful.” Within the same period, the Forum was mourning the passing of the first civilian Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Mohammed Goni.
“As pioneer civilian Governor, late Alhaji Goni stood for good governance and prepared the ground for a strong democratic culture that keeps resonating, despite the challenges of insurgency that Borno State and Nigeria has had to contend with in recent times,” said Simon Lalong in a press statement through his Press Director, Simon Macham.
Yesterday again, the Forum had to stand with Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State as he mourned his mother-in-law, Hajiya Fatima Ibrahim Maude (Tagari). The Government and people of Nasarawa State was during the same period mourning the death of a member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Suleiman Adamu. The NGF in a condolence message described Mr. Adamu’s death as “sad”.
Presently, the Forum is mourning the death of the Emir of Kaura Namoda Alhaji Muhammad Ahmad Asha.
The “sad event”, Lalong said is a “great loss” to the Emirate and Zamfara State.
Governor Simon Lalong turned 57 today, but has yet to show interest to mark it in any special way. The Coronavirus pandemic and the unfolding sad events might be part of the reasons, but no official statement to that effect yet.