On Wednesday, 10th of November 2020, news spread across the media about the death of Alhaji Balarabe Musa; Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State and Chairman, Board of Trustees of Peoples Redemption Party.
The news, which was confirmed by his son, Dr. Ibrahim Balarabe to pressmen as well as on Twitter handle of Shehu Sanni, a former Senator of Kaduna Central in the 8th Assembly.
Born Abdul-Kadir Balarabe Musa on August 21, 1936 in Kaya, Kaduna State, he attended Zaria Middle School from 1947 to 1952, then the Institute of Administration from 1952 to 1953. He was a trained Teacher and an Accountant where he occupied several top positions in his area of expertise between 1960 and 1976.
The late politician’s journey in public service can be traced to the second republic. A period that succeeded the military government formed after the overthrow of the first republic between 1979 and 1983. Alhaji Balarabe Musa teamed up with Mallam Aminu Kano to form the People’s Redemption Party, a rebirth of the Northern Elements Progressive Union. The party had in its fold some well-known personalities like Abubakar Rimi, Sule Lamido, Umar Musa Yar’Adua, Ghali Umar Na’Abba and Chinua Achebe. Following the Military Coup of 1984, the party was banned and in the fourth republic, it re-emerged with Balarabe Musa as the leader.
Balarabe Musa then emerged as the governorship candidate of Kaduna state which he won in 1979. He came into power on the back of socialist, democratic, humanist, and social liberalism ideological principles of the party. His tenure was however fraught with problems that were primarily caused by his decision not to form a cabinet. The majority of National Party of Nigeria(NPN)) members in the State House of Assembly also did not endorse the candidates he selected because there was no NPN member.
He remained Governor until 1981 when he was impeached by the state’s legislature. His impeachment was quite historic as he became the first Nigerian State Governor ever to be impeached. Fast-forward to the turn of the millennium, he also contested the Presidential election in the year 2007 as well as the governorship seat of Kaduna in 2011 but lost to the late Governor Patrick Yakowa.
Despite his impeachment in 1981 and the Governorship loss, he never took a back step in politics as he continued to take a front seat in topical issues in the country’s political circle. In the latter part of his political career, he was widely known as a man of the people who lived a modest lifestyle. He always showed support for the common people and grassroots.
In an excerpt from his last interview with Daily Trust, he said, “Money and power should not be the deciding factors in the leadership of a country, the system should be controlled by credible people.” He believed that good governance should have positive impact and improve the lives of the people which can only be achieved when competence and credibility is used as a yardstick.
Following his death, tributes have continued to pour in from notable politicians in the country who all allude to the selfless and magnanimous act of the late politician. Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said that, “Alhaji Balarabe Musa was a sincere and committed patriot and statesman who held fast to people oriented progressive ideals throughout his political life.” President Muhammadu Buhari through his spokesman, Garba Shehu remarked that, “He reflected the passion and vigour that heralded Nigeria’s Independence which steadily translated to activism for return to democracy at the height of military interregnum and remained steadfast in the call for good and inclusive governance.”
He was buried according to Islamic rites at Isa Kaita Cemetery after a funeral prayer at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna at 4pm. He is survived by wives and children.