By SaharaReporters, New York
SaharaReporters has learnt that Mustapha Bawa, a radical member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, famous for criticizing Northern leaders, died in the early hours of today in his Zaria residence after a brief illness. Mr. Bawa represented the Zaria constituency in the state legislature.
The lawmaker, who chaired the legislative committee on science and technology, recently blasted past Northern leaders for not living up to expectation. “What our teeming poor people in North need now is genuine and deliberate action to exploit the enormous economic resources to improve their lives and not talk shops,” he said. Mr. Bawa also expressed disappointment that the “agricultural, solid minerals and oil potentials in the Northern region has not been tapped since independence. Nine out of Nigeria’s 13 past leaders since independence were from the North, but they all failed the region and its people.” He urged the leadership of the Northern Governors’ Forum, who were complaining of marginalization and uneven development in the region, to stop complaining and instead work to lift the region out of economic doldrums.
He added: “The Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, left lasting legacies, but his successors failed to improve on the institutions.” He cited some of the late Sardauna’s accomplishments as including establishing Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, New Nigeria Newspapers, Radio-Television Kaduna, Kaduna Textile Ltd, Lugard Hall complex (housing the Kaduna State House of Assembly) and the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC).
Mr. Bawa’s populist and no-nonsense rhetoric made him widely popular with his poor constituents. Our correspondent visited his residence in Zaria and reported that thousands of people were trooping there to attend his burial slated for 11 a.m Nigerian time today. He has been buried in Zaria.