Disruption Of The Katsina State Dialogue For change Lecture: My Narration -By Mustapha Saddiq

Filed under: Political Issues |

On saturday November 9th, as the announcement stated that there will be a public lecture organised by a non governmental organisation (NGO) with the name ‘Katsina State Dialogue For Change’ to be delivered by a very prominent opposition figure Alh. Dr Usman Bugaje, the theme of the lecture is ‘The future of the opposition political parties in Katsina State; what went wrong and what needs to be done. The venue of the event was Makera Motel -a very cool and silent venue I must say.

The theme of the lecture was what really caught my attention not only because it was organised by an NGO that has no any political party affiliation but also because it was timely. I then promised that by the grace of God I would not miss the lecture as such I even marked it on my calender. God so kind, I did not missed it, in fact, I went there before the event commenced. Thank God.

On that faithful day, as I entered the premises of the hotel, a fair and very charismatic person I believed in his early 30’s walked directly towards me with a smile on his face. We shook hands while he was introducing himself to me as Abubakar Kurfi. I later learnt that he is a medical Doctor (turned activist) by profession and the president of the Katsina State dialogue for change. I introduced my humble self to him too and we exchanged phone numbers. He’s very kind. I then walked into the hotel’s hall and grab a sit in the second row -you can see how determine I was not to miss a bit of the lecture.
The guest speaker, Dr Bugaje arrived at the venue some minutes after 10am and immediately the program got started proper. The ‘Master of Ceremony’ started by introducing the important dignitaries present to the ‘high’ table. Among them are; Dr Bugaje (a former gubernatorial candidate in the state of the defunct ACN), Hon. Aminu Bello Masari (a former gubernatorial candidate in the state of the defunct CPC) being represented by Alh. Elmarzuq, Hon. Abdullahi Mahuta (Minority leader, Katsina state House of assembly), Col. Abdulaziz ‘yar’adua, Dr. Abubakar Kurfi, Hon. Sani Riko, Barr. Aminu Maigari, Hon. Ahmad B. Kaita (current member House of representative) among others.

The program proper was then kick started bfy a very short and precise opening prayer by Mal. Abdullahi Dutsin-ma, then the welcome address my Dr. Abubakar Kurfi. The president offered a very convincing address in which he introduced him self and stated the purpose of the lecture. He also narrated a very heart-touching story which according to him compelled him to initiate the forum, Katsina Dialogue for change. According to him “it all started one day while I was going to a village in Safana Local Government in the state. Normally, it should be a 10mins journey by car but it took me about 50mins because the road was bad. I also noticed the teeth of the villagers to be red possibly because of the lack of clean water. Out of sympathy, I felt it is necessary for me to think of a possible way to bring change in our state”. That was how I got started, he concluded.

The guest speaker then took on to the podium and started his paper presentation. At that time, we started hearing shouting and all sort of noise around the parking space of the hotel area. The person next to me (and many others) decided to go out and see what was wrong. He later came back and told me that somebody gave some thugs money to share and that was the reason for the chaos.
Some few minutes later, the lousy noise resurfaced again, this time around more intense. These thugs -whom I prepare calling PDP political rascals’ were approaching the hall at the same time the guest speaker had already started delivering his lecture. As I (and I think many) expected, those thugs started abusing everybody in the hall as well as shouting ‘Nigeria sai Shema’, and ‘Katsina sai Musa Adamu’ which literally means ‘we (they) will vote Shema for President and Musa Adamu for state Governor. Both of them are PDP members. One unfortunate thing that happen however was how no any security personal tried stopping them, not even the hotel securities!

We later learnt that the thugs were been paid N1,000 for them to come and disrupt the lecture, intimidate anybody they could in there and finally beat and destroy the cars of the opposition political party members present.
Finally, those PDP political rascals gained their entry into the hall and started abusing everybody in there and throwing chairs at the participants. It was obvious that the lecture can no longer continue. The attention of the organisers and the very few of us then was how to guard and protect the defenceless opposition party members from the thugs and escort them safely to their vehicles and out of the hotel. It was a very dangerous risk we took, I’m telling you. We tried that with all our efforts but no way, those thugs were many, they out numbered us and they were very determined to commit their evil act. They wanted to pleased their sponsors.

Many of the guests lucky escaped un harmed but of cause intimidated while others were trapped in the hotel premises, among them was the guest speaker Dr Bugaje. The thugs are many while we were few, they out numbered us, they got to him, grab his shirt and tried to dragged him away. It was a very horrible experience. Thank God we finally succeeded in snatching him and moved him up stirs to an undisclosed location. On the other hand, Hon. Ahmad B. Kaita luckily escaped un harmed but the thugs succeeded in breaking his car’s glass.
What I couldn’t comprehend up to this very moment is what the Katsina State Government really achieved  or hoped to achieve by doing this? Does that mean that there should be no opposition whatsoever in the state? Does Shema (a Barrister by profession) really use his head at all? How can his government use thugs to disrupt a peaceful political gathering? Does that means there is no rule of law in the state? Or does he and his political party -PDP- think they can win our hearts to vote them in 2015 by doing this?

One thing I know for sure is that disruption of the lecture will only make the Forum and the opposition party members more popular, it will also wins them public sympathy. If Shema and his co workers think this will make us the youth to retreat or surrender, then they are making the worst mistake of their life. We want to be rule by intellectuals and we want to be governed well. This is what we made up our mind to pursue since and their is no going back. The least they could do is jail us and the worst is to kill. This is a fight we entered quite sure with its consequences and we are forever ready to fight to its logical end.

Mustapha Saddiq wrote from Batagarawa
Email:[email protected]
Twitter:@mustysaddiq

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