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  Balarabe Musa, until his death, was not only renowned for being a one-time progressive governor of Kaduna state, he was also a major critic of successive Nigerian governments and friend of major pro-democracy movements. Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa was born on the 21st August 1936 in Kaya, Kaduna State. He attended Zaria Middle School (1947–1952) and the Institute of Administration, Zaria between 1952 and 1953.
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He worked as an accounts clerk from 1953 to 1955 and as a school teacher between 1955 and 1960. While studying at different colleges in London between the period of 1960 to 1976 to gain additional qualifications, Musa held various other managerial positions related to the accounting profession. Musa, as a protégé of Aminu Kano, had joined Aminu Kano’s Northern Elements Progressives Union (NEPU) back in 1953. On getting back home in Nigeria, Musa was elected governor of Kaduna State in 1979 on the platform of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) – partly based on his strong ideology on improving the lot of the masses and his credible antecedents. As a member of the PRP, a party founded by Mallam Aminu Kano, Musa formed a purposeful and united base with other intellectuals/governors such as Abubakar Rimi, Sabo Bakin Zuwo, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Michael Imoudu, Chinua Achebe, Yusufu Bala Usman, Uche Chukwumerije, and Sule Lamido. Musa’s party, PRP was initially a member of the PPP alliance in opposition to the NPN, but later quietly withdrew. It was the same inter-party politics between PRP and NPN which made Musa the first impeached governor in Nigeria. As governor, Musa ran into a stalemate with the NPN dominated  Kaduna State House of Assembly early in his term that he was unable to form a cabinet after he refused to nominate NPN members. The opposition-dominated State House refused to ratify his cabinet candidate nominees and he was eventually impeached in June 1981.
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Musa would later comment that he was impeached because he planned to have the state open small and medium-sized industries that could deny the NPN State House members the opportunity of establishing their own enterprises. As governor, Musa also set the tone for the development of the modern state of Kaduna through massive infrastructural and other development footprints. Musa was a rare breed politician who was able to synchronise the populist ideals of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) with a development blueprint influenced by Marxist economics bordering on pro-poor policies. To his credit and mixed legacy, the state-owned enterprises which Musa established during his term in office were unprofitable and all eventually had to close down. Balarabe Musa quit partisan politics rather late in his years. He remained the chairman of the People’s Redemption Party until 31st August 2018 and only quit due to health issues when he announced his immediate resignation from the party. Balarabe Musa died on 11th November 2020 in Kaduna due to a heart attack. Featured Image Source: Daily Post NG
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This article was first published on 2nd December 2020


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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