Mammbayya House, otherwise known as the Centre for Demo­cratic Research and Training, an affiliate of Bayero University Kano (BUK), was filled to the brim as political heavyweights, royal fathers and the Talakawa (the masses) in Kano and neigh­bouring states, gathered for the 17th anniversary lecture of the first civilian governor of Kano State, the late Alhaji Abubakar Muhammadu Rimi.
Apart from reminiscing on the political life and times of the late ‘Strong Man’ of Kano poli­tics, who pulled considerable weight in the Second Repub­lic, top politicians reviewed his exploits and concluded that he was in the habit of standing firm on the side of the masses.
Emotions, howver, went higher when the state gover­nor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Gan­duje, recounted how Rimi stood firmly on his side in 1999 when godfathers in the Peoples Dem­ocratic Party (PDP), ganged up against him and deprived even­tually him the opportunity of becoming governor then.
Ganduje said Rimi and other good fellows in the PDP hier­archy wanted him to become the state governor, but the as­piration was thwarted by some individuals within the PDP. Governor Ganduje later became deputy governor to the imme­diate-past governor of the state, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwa­so, a political enemy to the late Rimi, who curried the favour of PDP godfathers who preferred him against the choice of Gan­duje and the wishes of the ma­jority of party members.
According to Ganduje, “In 1999, he (Rimi) wanted me to become the governor but some people hatched a plot (to ensure that I was schemed out) dur­ing our party primaries at Ga­basawa. They later confessed to me that they were involved and asked for forgiveness,” asserting that he pardoned them and car­ried on because of his convic­tion that one can only become governor at Allah’s preordained time.
Governor Ganduje said he became close to late Rimi be­cause of his political philoso­phy, pointing out that, “history would continue to remember him as a gentleman, a man of great vision and someone who had the ordinary man at heart.
Rimi had shoes that have got rubber soles. If he steps upon you, the impact is trouble-free, unlike a governor who had shoes with steel soles.”
Ganduje noted that Rimi left several outstanding legacies in the old Kano state, “as many of his administration’s projects and programmes, such as the adult education programme, the state agricultural supply company and public infrastructure have won international awards and became models in the country.
The Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi 11,who was represented at the event by former governor of the state and former Minister of Educa­tion, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau (Sardaunan Kano), described Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi as a leader who never allowed his ego to prevail over truth. He narrated experiences where as governor of Kano state, the late politician allowed superior ar­guments from his subordinates to take precedence over his per­sonal opinions or even decisions of the state executive. “Rimi is our mentor who listened to ad­vice from his superiors and we tried to emulate him while we were in government,” he added.
Political associates of Rimi, Alhaji Rabi’u Shua’ibu Ringim, Alhaji Musa Magami, his child­hood friend and Alhaji Sule Yahaya Hamma, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) during Rimi’s administration in the second republic, all paid glowing tributes to the man whom they described as a dy­namic and visionary leader. - The Authority