*By Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
It came as a rude shock. Just recently, we had a robust telephone conversation which was more like a reminiscence of the good old days, when politics was played along ideological persuasions. He was loud and firm, as usual, espousing his thoughts about building a united Nigeria where tribes and tongues no longer matter in deciding our nationality.
It didn’t strike me then that I was having my last conversation with this great pan-Nigerian consummate politician, a thoroughbred progressive, who deployed honesty in all his political engagements. He was not just a politician’s politician, he was one who brought ideology to flourish in his political engagements and nurtured that ideal under the People’s Redemption Party, till his very last breath.
I remember vividly how he appointed me into a board during his time as Governor, even though I was not an indigene of Kaduna state. He never hesitated to cultivate the support of anyone who could add value to his policy focus of bringing good governance to the reach of ordinary folks in the state.
With the late Dr. Bala Usman as his Secretary to the Government, it was always a robust engagement, for the benefit of the people. He was more concerned about delivering services than what the office could afford him. He was neither materialistic nor was he carried away by the allure of power and the paraphernalia of office. He was simple, ideologically grounded, and dialectically opposed to politics of acquisition. We have lost the last man standing, the last of the mohicans, the last man who represented the ideological underpinning of politics.
Alhaji Balarabe Musa will be greatly missed. He was a father figure to me as we often engaged in telephone conversations like father and son. He never shied away from speaking his mind on any issue no matter the risk involved. He was blunt and his vitriolic “missiles” were often directed at the right quarters. He was bold and fearless. Any time he had opportunity to interact, he always espoused those ideals that defined his politics and humanity.
Even though a former Governor, he lived like an ordinary Nigerian.
He refused to bend the ultra leftist ideology of PRP to accommodate the dominant rightist NPN of his time. This led to his paying the painful prize of impeachment from office rather than clinging to the Governorship by compromising his well cherished PRP ideology. He lived and died for the masses.
His life will remain a good example for Nigerian politicians and those who occupy public office. He will remain a reference point in political discourse especially on the subject matter of ideological politics. May his soul rest in peace. May Allah forgive him his sins and accept his soul amongst the saints in the hereafter.
Adieu, Alhaji, Balarabe Musa, the people’s authentic Governor and leader.
NB: Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole is the immediate past Governor of Edo State and former national chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC