Mallam Aminu Kano ,the emacipitator of Talakawa's died 26 years ago.He founded and led the Northern Elements Proggressive Union (NEPU) in the first Republic and People Redemption Party (PRP) in the second Republic.
The people of Northern part of Nigeria during the pre-colonial and post-colonial period were living in a period that the aristocrats and feudal class subject the talakawa's to a status that do not even befit a slave . It was a period that naked and brutal tyranny , oppression , suppression , domination and exploitation were foisted on the talakawa's.
The talakawa's were subjected to all sorts of hardship by the aristocratic and feudal class ofd the time. They were made to pay different types of exobitant taxes , they(talakawa's) were forced to provide free labour by farming in farmlands owned by the feudal class , when the feudals are on tour to districts under their control owners of houses are forced out of their homes for their accomodation using all household materials and in some cases with the maiden inclusive!
It was during this period of tyranny and oppression that Mallam Aminu Kano emerged . He called on the people to resist oppression and tyranny , to be regarded also as humans with freedom and dignity. With formation of NEPU , the talakawa's joined the party enmassed which made the local authoirities and traditional rulers to be uncomfortable with ideology and members of NEPU.
Due to NEPU's call for the emacipitation of talakawa's , thousands of NEPU's members and supporters were jailed , forced into exile , tortured and some even killed . Mallam's NEPU was indeed the real mass movement in the modern history of Nigeria.
Mallam Aminu Kano's type of participation in politics was not to acquire wealth .The talakawa's emacipitation was the foremost in his agenda .Freedom ,equality and dignity for everyone was what he fought for till the end of his life.
Without capturing power at the centre one will ask what has Mallam achieved ? He achieved alot throughout his life of struggle against oppression . He fought the feudal class to a stand still by checkmaking their oppressive and tyrannical system of leadership .People are no longer forced to farm in any feudal farmland free of charge . Taxes such as Haraji and Jangali were abrogated . The children of talakawa's can acquire education to whatever level and acquire political position also, which were exclusively before vfor the aristocrats and feudal class .
People all over Northern Nigeria were sanitise to know their rights and to actively participate in democratic dispensation of their nation. Their is freedom of speech and expression which the feudals had denied people of their region . Mallam Aminu Kano led thousands of sung and unsung heroes for us to enjoy this present status some NEPU members were hacked to death like well known case of Mallam Audu Angale who was crucified and left to die in public for allegely abusing the fathers of the feudal lords without trial .Thousands send to jail without trial or even if there is trial there is no oppurtunity whatsoever for self defence. This has made many NEPU members to escape going to jail by saying that they are "Dan Mission"(Christain) where they were charged to magistrate court and freed as there is no any subtantial charge against them.
Mallam is not like the present set of politicians of today ,who are into politics to enrich themselves ,cronies and member of their families, he left behind one house and farm.Unlike politicians of today who some before winning elections do not even own cars , some of them went to swearing in ceremony ground on okada in borrowed dresses but are today owners of collection of exotic cars ,mansions , fat foriegn accounts and chain of companies , inshort they had become billionaires overnight.With all their years in power they had nothing to show on ground which they had done for their people.
If Mallam will return today he will be sad as even those who claim to be his students in politics are also not left out today in the mad rush to loot the nation's treasury.He will see those politicians that are using his name to deceive the masses as their ideology is not for emacipitation ,growth and development rather to acquire wealth , influence and power.
The Arewa of today is not the Arewa Mallam knows in his days .Those today parading themselves as leaders and elders of Arewa of today arte bunch of oppurtunist who had lost out in the power game . They had all the oppurtunity when holding political office to better the live of their people , buy nay that was not in their agenda .Wealth either legal or illegal was what they blindly went after untill they boxed themselves in a tight corner .
Freedom and dignity for women was another area that Mallam Aminu Kano fought for diligently .Women's right to inheritance was denied to them in many parts of the North .He sees to it that inheritance is duely given to them as the Holy Qur'an prescribe. Women's education was also an area that Mallam fought for the women's rights. He encourage women to also to participate in social ,economic and political activities within their societies and the nation in general.
The present political class should emulate Mallam Aminu Kano through putting the concern of the common man as their first priority . The struggle for power and influence which the politicians are deep neck into are mostly for personal and selfish intrest not for the betterment of the masses . The political class should change for good as when the history of Nigeria mention them , they should be on the positive side of our history .
History will always remember Mallam Aminu kano positively , as the champion and emacipitator of the talakawa's , who lived and died for the struggle of emacipitation , freedom , dignity and equality of the poor and downtrodden who the feudals in collaboration with the colonial masters gave the status that even belittle a slave .
Tijjani Aliyu Hadejia