Men of Honor: Lessons from the Biography of Mallam Aminu Kano

AREWA AGENDA – Mallam Aminu Kano after the 1966 counter coup was a minister in the Gen Yakubu Gowon Military Government.

Gowon trusted and often relied on his wisdom when confronted with a herculean decision making task on a tricksy political matter.

This attracted a lot of jealousy from other politicians serving in the same government.

So they plotted to bring him down by souring the pupil master relationship between Gowon and Mallam Aminu Kano.

As part of the plot they conspired to go to his house and gave him 25 thousand pounds Sterling. He naturally asked what was the money about.

Their leader responded and told him it’s his share of the proceeds of a contract already executed for less of the contract sum.

So they decided since it’s a festival occasion, the amount might help the ministers take care of some urgent personal financial matters.

Mallam collected the money but did what was the best right thing to do at that moment and forgot about the matter.

Then when the council of minister under Gowon was in session, the Head of State repeated what the other minister considered as preferential treatment towards Mallam.

Gowon turned to Mallam who all along has been attentive and quiet at the meeting and asked him; Mallam what do you think?”

It was a bomb shell explosion.

The jealous ministers were livid with anger and confronted the Gowon with their displeasure on this behavior of his; asking Mallam his opinion before taking a final decision in the Council on most crucial matters.

They told Gowon if he thought Mallam was the cleanest in the Council morally, that’s wrong.

Their spokesman went ahead and narrated, and gave full account of how “Mallam” himself also received sleaze money from them, with date, time and all.

The Council was so quite for few moments in shock of the “exposé”.

Then Gowon later found his voice and courageously asked Mallam; ” is that true?”

Mallam Aminu who had not lost an iota of his equanimity and composure replied lightly; “yes it’s true, these people gave me money and I collected it.

But let’s consult so so bank to find out in whose name that same amount was lodged on so so date and time, the same time the sleaze money was given to me by these ministers”.

After the necessary investigation, it was discovered Mallam Aminu had lodged the money in the Federal Government account and was given a receipt for same which Mallam tendered before the Council after the bank has corroborated Mallam’s account of what transpired between him and the bank.

Gowon was said to have stood up in awe for Mallam and hugged him and dropped a tear or two to express his elation.

Then a standing ovation for the saintly politician rancourously filled the air in his praises and eulogy.

From Biography of Mallam Aminu Kano

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives.

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