Hon. Musa Mante Baraza: A Breed of Septuagenarian Leaders by Idris Kamal Ibrahim
Dass and indeed Bauchi State was plunged into a moment of grief when a gang of masked gunmen gunned down Hon. Musa Mante Baraza in the wee hours of Friday night, August 14th, 2020.
Hon. Mante, member representing Dass constituency in the Bauchi State House Assembly, is the single servant of the people of Dass in recent memory. Who else?
He lived a life full of legacies and invaluable lessons to be taped by those who cared to lower their eyes and, blessed with sober and inquisitive minds.
You must not be in any form of physical or social contact with him to appreciate his novel outstanding characters worthy of emulation by all against the dividend of party affiliation, sect, tribe, religion, region, or sex.
As I am typing this piece, I cannot remember in my short and weak memory, a second I saw him physically or even in portrait until after his death.
Low and behold, I must drive through the ancient city of Dass down to my countryside. Anyone with a fair knowledge of the nature of politicking in Nigeria would question the extent of my curiosity. Perhaps.
Hon. Mante’s saint-like ways of life illuminate more when he was no more. Till then, people within and outside his constituency seem to be unmindful of the life he was living when he was alive but after he has lived his life when he died.
This reality is often tenable in our society today. People don’t spare time to appreciate the novelty of the noble contributions some individuals are making to make our society a better place than they met it until after they breathed their last.
Born out of the bastard imposed tenants of capitalism, advocated in many noticeable and unnoticeable ways such that our communities and individuals living within the same jettison house-house; person-person supportive feeling and care to adopt alien egalitarian and sedentary modes of life.
But our poor socio-economic condition and crocket governance would have addressed the challenge had we been lucky to have tens of Hon Mantes in our mid. Trust me. But his like minds are acute in supply and shy of politics because of the bad reputations bad politicians of our country accorded politics, governance, and leadership.
This is why people like zealot Zullum, Buhari, and Fantami find it hard to make a voyage in the Nigerian political arena let alone making tangible breakthroughs to change the normal way of doing business which was normalized in power corridors from Lagos-Maiduguri; from Sokoto-Calabar. They are working and succeeding in the chameleon-like phase. I wish Nigerians appreciate what these and many unknown dedicated people of proven integrity are doing to make Nigeria better now not later.
I am privileged to have the opportunity to draw firsthand inferences about Hon. Mante four days after his brutal assassination and abduction of two-out his three wives and a baby out over 20 children in his home town, Baraza.
I was asked to cover the condolence visit of the three-man delegation sent to the family of his and Emir of Dass by the Chairman, APC Caretaking Committee, and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
Hon. Mante lived his life and died in Baraza, a riverine; agrarian community seated on a clip surrounded by two rivers. Eyes raising mountains circumambulate the community.
Untared road. No electricity. No pipe born water. This was were a God-fearing serving member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly lives a fulfilling life with his family.
The building housing Hon. Mante and his family is a simple structure akin to that of an average income earner. It is surrounded by long maize stalk covering the apartment entirely with the exception of the entrance or better put, gate.
Roofed with normal zinc which is on the verge of assuming a brown color because of the number of years it was put to use to shield the exemplary lawmaker and his family from sun, cold, rain, and wind. Calm down. The house is not up to contest for a local prize.
By positioning, the domicile is a carped area out of the nexus of houses of the Baraza central community. Call it an island. This description was captured explicitly by the sparse nature of a typical nonlinear rural settlement my Geography teacher taught me.
Not carried away by the temptation of living a greedy materialistic life a year after being a member of the state assembly, Hon. Mante did not relocate to Bauchi metropolis or even Dass, the headquarters of Dass Local Government, where Emir of Dass, Alhaji Othman Bilyaminu Othman, a First Class Emir, lives. Local narratives suggested that he owns the one and only house he has in his home town. He has none elsewhere.
He did not sleep anywhere but in his house with the family no matter how late night he stays outside. This he does without bodyguard(s) or convoy. He has just a car.
Unlike our materialistic leaders, he gave no primacy to keeping an expensive car fleet to show up. He can in his capacity and right but opted to keeps his head below the earth.
Simplicity characterized how the lawmaker interacts with people. Both high and low placed people.
Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly noted this noble character of Hon. Mante such that tears flooded his eyes and his voice stuttered only to call in his deputy to lead the valedictory session organized for Mante.
The historic valedictory session stands out because of its emotion-laden eulogies. Watching the replay of the session on screen stirs up love for Mante and the kind of life he lived. Every lawmaker that stood behind the microphone to eulogized the venerable septuagenarian Dass lawmaker, struggles to control the pool of trickling tears which moist his chin. May his soul rest in peace.
People across different cultures cried over losing loved ones in different passions and for different reasons. Some wail, for instance.
Thanks to the cultural civilization Islam brought to Muslims all over the world which helped them throw away old fashioned traditional practices while morning a deceased person. Northern Nigeria, is a region where most of the people inhabiting it practice Islam, benefit from this noble gesture of Islamic civilization in many ways.
Most of the people who shed tears because of Hon. Musa Mante Baraza’s death shed lion tears. Those tears are not honest and sincere. Yes. They are not. Some cried because Mr. Do it right is no more. They now have space to do as they please.
This is probably why they sponsored for his brutal assassination. Just to make way for them to actualize their political dream. This is the explanation of most conspiracy theorists who attempted to explain circumstances surrounding the death of Hon. Mante offered.
Though am not a firm follower of this school on matters like this, the magnificent ineptitude of police who broke the news of the rescue of the two abducted wives and baby of the lawmaker only four days after Mante was killed without parading any suspect or casualty or divulging how the abductees were rescued, leaves so much to be desired.
Hon. Musa Mante Baraza lived a lesson full life only comparable to that of septuagenarian leaders who find themselves in corridors of power and leadership positions to serve people not to sabotage peoples’ interests, wishes, and aspirations for the improved social, economic and political condition.
May his soul rest in peace.
Hon. Musa Mante Baraza: A Breed of Septuagenarian Leaders – Idris Kamal Ibrahim
Idris Kamal Ibrahim is a journalist/teacher based in Bauchi. He can be reached via