All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been described as a worthy progressive, whose contribution to Nigeria’s democratic struggle cannot be quantified.
Chairman, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund), Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam stated this on Tuesday at the inauguration of the upgrade of Arewa House Library, sponsored by Asiwaju Tinubu.
Ibrahim-Imam, who said he has known Tinubu for more than 30 years described the APC national leader as an epitome of progressive politics, adding that he, along with others, suffered greatly in the march to ensure that Nigeria returned to democratic rule.
“Arewa House is very important to every northerner. The man of the moment, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who took it upon himself to renovate the library, I know him as a friend, brother, comrade in the progressive struggles to ensure democracy in this country.
“I have known him for over thirty one years. Since 1990, he has been a dogged fighter as he lives, breathes democracy. His contribution to the enthronement of democracy of this country cannot be calculated at all and I recall our days in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), when SDP won the most freely conducted election in the history of this country and the subsequent struggle to reclaim our mandate and we had to flee into exile.
“I will like to thank him and put on record his contribution to the formation of the APC, his campaign for Buhari and the fact that he has been very selfless and has made great sacrifices;, he suffered tremendously in the process of doing this and his family too.
“I am happy he found it worthy to identify with us by contributing to the renovation of the library of the Arewa House. I want to thank him to continue to do more in the service to the father land,” he said.
The Tetfund chairman also recalled Tinubu’s tremendous achievement when he was the governor of Lagos State, noting that Lagos is working today because of the solid foundation he laid in terms of revenue generation.
Also speaking at the event, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu commended the Arewa House Library for retaining its relevance as a Centre for documentation and research in history and contemporary issues in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat stated that for several years, the Arewa House Library has served and fulfilled the purpose of its establishment by sustaining its enviable status as a reliable centre for documentation and research in history and contemporary challenges.
The governor added that it is heartwarming to note that the centre has not only provided documentation of the history and culture of the people, it has also provided abundant documented materials and resources relating to contemporary studies on policy, peace and leadership. This, he said, has no doubt served as a rich reference point and source for scholars in writing papers and presenting seminars that have been locally and internationally recognized.
Sanwo-Olu thanked Asiwaju Tinubu for seeing the need to upgrade the Arewa House Library and pledging to commit his private funds and resources towards the upgrading during the Arewa House 11th Memorial Annual Lecture.
The governor therefore expressed gladness that a centre of such exists in the country to document historical occurrences which present and future generations can learn from to either avoid repeating certain mistakes or provide knowledge to act better in future.
“I am glad that a centre as this exists in Northern Nigeria and in Nigeria at large to document historical occurrences that both we in this present time and even the future generations can learn from to either avoid repeating certain mistakes or to provide us with the knowledge to act better in future,” the governor said.
While expressing optimism that with the upgrade of the Arewa House Library, the centre is now well placed to meet the need of 21st century researchers and challenges facing documentation in this modern time, Sanwo-Olu expressed hope that the library will continue to retain its relevance as the first stop for cultural and historical documentation in Northern Nigeria.
In his speech, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari described the Arewa House as one institution that binds northern governors, regretting that if the north had built institutions to cater for the people, the issue of banditry would not have raised its head.
He urged northerners to unite and fight a common enemy, noting that issue of insecurity is the responsibility of everyone.
‘The issue of insecurity is the responsibility of all. We have a role to play as bandits belong to communities and states. So, if they are not known by me, they will be known by you and we have to look at this situation which was not there 30 to 40 years ago.
“We use to have everything in common but now we are enemies of each other. What surprised me is that the banditry in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, parts of Kaduna and Niger states, these are people who share a lot in common and they just woke up and start committing these crimes.
“We should ask ourselves what really went wrong. If we have not gone wrong, what is happening now won’t happen because what we are witnessing in the north western states is not an organised banditry. They are not operating under one entity.
“So, we should find out what went wrong as it is not the responsibility of government officials alone. It is a collective responsibility even though people in government provide leadership but we are all responsible and we are all in this,” Masari said.
He thanked Asiwaju Tinubu “for doing our job.”