“But be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon’em.”- William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.
Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila was born on the 23rd of March, 1946 to the family of Mallam Aliyu and Hajiya Amina. He has the Jobawa Clan of the Fulani blood from his grand-mother Binta, the daughter of Maryam who is the senior sister to Dansumaila Isa the village Head of Sumaila then, while his paternal grand uncle Abdullahi Maikili ( he was named after him) was a renowned Islamic teacher at the Southern Part of Kano , it was said he met Binta when she visited her relatives at Wudil after her first marriage failed, he was a resident of Kadawa a village in the present day Warawa Local Government Area of Kano Stae at that time. It was that marriage that led to the birth of Aliyu the father of Mallam Abdullahi. The mother of Aliyu died during child birth as such he was taken care of by his maternal aunt.
The Jobawa is a powerful Fulani clan in the Kano Emirate, on the successful taking over of power from the Hausa rulers in Kano, Mandikko the son of Ahmadu (Malam Bakatsine) became the first Madaki of Kano, during the reign of Sarki Suleiman.
During the reign of Ibrahim Dabo, he offered one of his daughters to Mandikko which he refused and also it was said that Mandikko had cultivated the habit of proffering handshakes to Dabo. It was clear that Mandikko felt he should be the Emir and not Dabo and Dabo immediately sacked him. Mandikko had the ambition to become the Emir and clearly resented Dabo. He saw himself more as an aristocrat than Dabo because of descent. Dabo did not participate actively in the Jihad at Kano. He was believed to be from Bina in Nupe from where he was a muezzin at Gulu in Nupe and he moved to Kwassalo in north-eastern Zaria. Later he moved northwards to Kanwa in Karaye and there attached himself to Suleibawa leader Malam Jamo, the Kano flagbearer. Dabo served as one of Jamo’s closest aides and advisers. After the Jihad Mallam Jamo asked Dabo to be the Liman at the mosque in the ward adjoining his compound. it was Dabo who demoted Mandikko from Madaki to Makama on his ascension to the Emirship of Kano.
Mandikko was the first acting head of a founding lineage in the Fulani Jihad at Kano to be sacked from office.
In his place he appointed Mallam Isa, the son of Mallam Saidu (Mallam Bakatsine’s younger brother).
Other Makama’s that came after Mallam Isa included the following:
Makama Haruna -1878
Makama Ismaila -1890
Makama Fulailu -1893
Makama Iliyasu -1894
Makama Hamza -1894
Makama Abdulkadir ( Mujeli ) –
Makama Umaru Danmaisaje -1895
Makama Abdulkadir (Mujeli) (re-appointed) -1905
Makama Dahiru -1907
Makama Aminu -1917
Makama Isa II -1923
Makama Dahiru dan Makama Hamza -1926
Before ascension of Emir Tukur, Makama Haruna died and was replaced by his brother’s son Ismaila, who died shortly after and was succeeded by Fulailu a son of Makama Isa who had succeded Mandikko and who was himself a son of Bakatsine’s younger brother. After 30 days in office Fulailu also died and Makama Isa’s grandson Iliyasu succeded him as Makama. During the Kano Civil War most of the descendants of Makama Iliyasu were loyal to Emir Tukur while most of the grandsons of Malam Bakatsine and other Jobawa lines were loyal to Yusuf. When Makama Iliyasu died Emir Tukur appointed Mujeli but when Emir Aliyu took over he dismissed him and appointed Hamza the son of Dabo’s Makama Isa and when Hamza died in 1895. Aliyu appointed Umaru whose links with the Jobawa were traced through his father’s mother Habiba, the sister of Malam Bakatsine. Umaru was once the village head of Takai (Sarkin Takai) so also was his father called Sarkin Takai Maisaje during the civil war when Gaya was conqured by the Yusufawa, Umaru Sarkin Takai was appointed as Sarkin Gaya before he was eventually appointed by Emir Aliyu as Makaman Kano.
During the reign of Emir Abass, the resident at Kano, Mr. Cargill asked the Emir to provide a suitable accommodation for the deposed emir of Katsina Abubakar after his removal by the British. Abass instructed Makama Umaru to vacate his palace for Abubakar’s use but he refused, Abass had to arrange for Abubakar to occupy the Nassarawa Palace. Makama Umaru had started becoming ambitious of becoming the Emir thinking that the British would dispose Emir Abass, because it had happned in the neighboring Emirates of Daura and Katsina. At Daura the old Hausa ruling family was restored and at Katsina a Sullubawa lineage with no previous claims to royal rank replaced the Dallazawa dynasty on the deposition of Yero, Abubakar’s successor in 1906. Makama Umaru felt that this developments meant that the Sullubawa dynasty in Kano may also be replaced, on learning of this seditious thinking by Makama Umaru Dan Maisaje, Emir Abass dismissed Makama Umaru and re-appointed Abdulkadir Mujeli who had earlier been appointed by Emir Tukur at Kamri when Makama Isa died but was dismissed by Emir Aliyu. When Makama Abdulkadir Mujeli died in 1907 his brother Dahiru was appointed as Makama and when Dahiru died in 1917 his son Aminu was appointed as Makama.
In 1923 when Makama Aminu was dismissed for emblezzment of tax, Wudil District was divided into two with Headquarters at Wudil and Sumaila respectively.
Dandarman Isa ( a grand son of Dabo’s Makama was appointed as the District Head of Sumaila with the title of Dandarman and on his death in 1925 his cousin Aliyu was appointed as Dandarman, District Head of Sumaila. In 1931 during the time of Emir Abdullahi Bayero, Dandarman Aliyu, District Head of Sumaila died and Emir Abdullahi Bayero appointed Aliyu’s younger brother Abdullahi but he dismissed him in 1936 for ineptitude. Emir Abdullahi Bayero then appointed Muhammadu Bello ( a son of Makama Mujeli) as the District Head of Sumaila. When Dandarman Muhammadu Bello died in 1939 the Jobawa’s lost their hereditary jurisdiction. Emir Abdullahi Bayero conferred the title to his own son Isa. In 1944 when Dan Darman Isa was dismissed for tax emblezzment he was replaced by Dan Buram Faruku (another Bayero son). In 1949, Emir Abdullahi Bayero transferred Dan Buram Faruku to Gwaram without change of title and transferred Dan Amar Yusufu (his first cousin) from Jahun to Sumaila.
At Wudil District Makama Isa II (also another grandson of Dabo’s Makama) was appointed as Makama, District Head of Wudil, when he died his younger brother Dahiru succeeded him as Makama, District Head of Wudil. In 1958, Makama Dahiru II, was dismissed from office, having been warned on demotion from Wudil to Ungogo three years previously.
Just like in Sumaila, in Wudil the Jobawa lost their seniority hereditary office to a bayole Dan Amar Alhaji Mamman Bello who was appointed to the title of Makama thereby transferring it temprorarily from the Jobawa to Yolawa.
The Jobawa were only lucky in Wudil to get back the title of Makama when Ibrahim Chigari was appointed the Makama of Kano, in Sumaila till date the Jobawa have not been given the District Head position rather the Sullibawa are appointed as District Heads. Garko Local Government which was curved out of Wudil has a bajobe as the District Head. Sumaila is the one still yet to get a bajobe back to the saddle. The present District Head of Sumaila, the Danruwatan Kano is from the Sullibawa family.
Takai which was curved out of Sumaila also do not now have a bajobe as the District Head.
One thing to note is that apart from District Head, the Jobawa hold different titles pertaining to village heads. In Sumaila for instance the village head of Sumaila town and that of Alfindi town are from the Jobawa Clan of the Fulani.
Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila attended Sumaila Junior Primary School from 1956-1959, and Sumaila Senior Primary School from 1960-1962, his classmates at the Senior Primary School included Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu a former Nigerian Bar Association Presidential Aspirant, founder of Freedom Radio Kano he earlier on attended Dutse Primary School from 1956-1959 before becoming the classmate of Mallam Abdullahi at Sumaila Senior Primary School from 1960-1962, Bashir Dalhatu after Sumaila Senior Primary School attended Government College Kano now known as Rumfa College from 1963-1967 while Mallam Abdullahi attended the Teachers College, Wudil. Bashir Dalhatu bagged a LL.B. Degree from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria where they met again with Mallam Abdullahi though studying different courses. Dalhatu worked with the Kano State Government before becoming the Assistant National Legal Adviser of the N.P.N. 1979-1981, Secretary of the Kano State Branch of the N.P.N. 1981-1983, Minister of Transport and Aviation under the Interim National Government of Shonekan, Minister of Power and Steel 1993-1997, Minister of Internal Affairs 1997-1998,He served as Member Board of Directors at Nigeria Ports Authority, Kano State Judicial Service Commission , Member Constitution Review Committee, Chairman Nigerian Agricultural Commercial Bank (NACB), Chairman Committee on FCT, Constituent Assembly, Chairman National Inland Waterways, Chairman New Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC) , Chairman Highland Waters and Marketing Limited. Another classmate of Mallam Abdullahi at Sumaila Senior Primary School was Mallam Idi Salihi Dal a former Permanent Secretary in the Kano State Civil Service and Executive Secretary of the Kano State Pilgrims Board.
Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila was a student at Wudil Teachers College from 1963-1967 where he was classmates with Alhaji Ado Shehu Ringim a former Permanent Secretary in the Kano State Civil Service and Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission, Alhaji Farouk Iya former Chairman of P.D.P. Kano State, he was also a former Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly and a former Commissioner of Education, Kano State, Late Alhaji Adamu Yahaya Dukawa, Alhaji Isyaku Indabo, Umaru Danbatta, Wada Danbatta and Alhaji Sani Rock (T/Wada).He successfully bagged a Higher Elementary (Grade 2) Teachers Certificate from the institution. He had a Credit in Physical and Health Education and Religious Knowledge and Merit in Principles of Education, Arithmetic Processes, History, Rural Science and Geography. The Grade II system was introduced in 1964 and started at the College with about thirty five students, before that students stayed for 3 years for the grade III course, with coming of grade II another two years is spent making it 5 years. The coming of the New National Education Policy of 6-3-3-4 system changed the institution from Teachers College Wudil to Government Senior Secondary Wudil. Presently the Kano State University of Science and Technology Wudil is in its premises. Mallam Abdullahi finished the school in 1967.
He attended Advanced Teachers College, Kano, Institute of Education, ABU Zaria from 1968-1970 for the Nigeria Certificate of Education he left in his 2nd year at the College for a University Degree. He was at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1970-1974 where he bagged a B.Sc. Social Sciences-Government (Political Science). The Department was established in 1967 as the Department of Government. The degree that was awarded by the Department was the Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences, with specialization in Government. In 1976 the department changed its name to the Department of Political Science, and the degree program became Political Science. He took his Part I Examination in June 1972 in Government, History and Education. In his Part II he took Political Thoughts, Elements of Administration, Comparative Politics and International Relations, History and Sociology. In Part III he took Nigerian Government and Politics, Development Administration, Government and Politics in the United States and Research Paper (Thesis). The Courses he enjoyed most was Government and Politics in the United States and Nigerian Government and Politics. The Department started a vigorous recruitment of its brilliant graduates as Graduate Assistants in an effort to Nigeranize in 1974, the year Mallam Abdullahi graduated. He was also at the Department of Political Science of his alma matter from 1976-1977 for Post Graduate Studies in Political Science.
He started his Civil Service Career at the Kano Local Education Authority where he was an Assistant Headmaster Tsangaya Primary School in Albasu Local Government from December, 1967-1969 among his students were Architect Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya a former Governor of Kano State and Hajiya Hauwa Sule Gaya a former Commissioner of Women Affairs in Kano State. He served his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Etuno Grammar School, Igarra, Midwestern State from 1974-1975. He was an Assistant Secretary II, Cabinet Office in 1975, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Information January, 1976-October 1976, Secretary Kano State Executive Council from 1977-1981, as the Secretary of the Executive Council he headed two divisions which included Council Affairs and Security. The name of Security Divison was later changed to Special Services during the Civil Service Reform. The Council Affairs was responsible for recording Councils deliberations, Preparation of its conclusions and circulation of same as well as formal conveyance of specific directives. It also appraises draft memoranda notes and reports submitted by the Chairman and members of the Council as well as the circulation of same and issuance of meeting notices while the Security Division now known as Special Services had the responsibility of all issues that are of security relevance in the State. He was the Principal Secretary to the Executive Governor Kano State from November 1979- October 1981, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport, Kano State from 1981-1982 and Permanent Secretary Civil Service Commission, Kano State from 1982-1983. He resigned from the Civil Service in May 1983.
In the State Government he was appointed the Chairman Board of Directors of Kano State Television Corporation from 2000-2003, where he served with people like Wada Kachako, Farouk Umar Usman, Adamu Ibrahim Getso, Zainab Magashi, Sani Zorro, Musa Abdullahi Dagumawa, Kabiru Mohammed (Black), Marwana Manladan, Abdullahi Abubakar Shanono, Garba Halilu, Mohammed Sa’ad, Ado Suleiman Sharfadi, Bello Sani Galadanchi, Adamu Saeed Ahmed and Magaji Ango Fulatan. Mallam Abdullahi was able to bring about some of the following to the Television among others:
1. Installation of a new transmitter
2. Purchase of 2 vehicles
3. Installation of 350 KVA Electric Generating set
4. Renovation of Offices
5. Purchase of new furniture
6. Promotion of Staff
Mallam Abdullahi at the Federal level was the Chairman Board of Directors of Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority from 1993-1994 where he served together with Engr. Salihu Ben Musa, Ibrahim Baba, Jibir Wudil, Shehu D. Abdulqadir, Muhammad I. Wabi, Ibrahim Ashu Abubakar, Garba Muhammad, Emir of Ningi Yunusa Danyaya Ningi, and Engr. Sadiq Mahmood. He also served as the Protem Chairman of KADFRU Limited which was a company in which Hadejia-Jamaare River Basin Development Authority and Kano State Investment and Properties Limited floated for the production of canned tomatoes. Some of his achievements as the Chairman Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority included the following among others:
1. Galala Dam and Irrigation Scheme
2. Completion of the Kano River Project Phase I through direct labour by the Authorities Construction Unit
3. Construction of Hadjia Valley Project, Phase I, Stage I to be used for irrigation
4. Erosion Control Works
Mallam Abdullahi’s tenure witnessed the ability of the Authority to crop about 13,458.45 hectares and another 8,945.7 hectares were cropped under the informal irrigation by farmers using their pumps to pick water from the Authrities irrigation canals, night storages, drainages and river courses totaling the hectares cropped to 22,404.05 hectares as at February, 1994.
In the private sector he was the General Manager, Arewa Steel Works Limited from 15/12/1985 to 12/4/1986, Director Arewa Steel Works Ltd from 12/4/1986 to 30/7/1993 so also a Director at United Confectionary, Dayekh Tiles Nigeria Limited, Hayder Trading and Manufacturing Limited and Precise Oil Resources Limited, He was also the Chairman of Aurum Nigeria Limited.
In the political arena he was a member of the NEPU-Zaharahaqu (Student Wing of NEPU) at Sumaila when he was a Student at Teachers College, Wudil. He was the first person to walk pass the palace of the District Head wearing his shoes without removing them at Sumaila. He was the Secretary, Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) Imodu’s Faction, Kano State Chapter from 1980-1983, Campaign Manager to Abubakar Rimi in 1983 elections. Member, Peoples Front of Nigeria (PF) 1988-1990. Political Secretary to S.D.P. Gubnetorial Candidate Alhaji Ahmadu Rufa’i from 1991-1992. Vice-Chairman III, Social Democratic Party (SDP) -22/2/1992. There were 18 executive positions in the elections apart from him, Ammani Inuwa emerged as the Chairman of the party while Muhammadu Dauda Dangalan became the Secretary, Zubairu Abdulhamid-Vice Chairman I, Kamilu Maiskeli-Vice Chairman II. He was a Member, Peoples Democratic Movement (P.D.M.). Member Peoples Consensus Party (P.C.P.). Member of National Contact and Mobilization Committee of United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP). Founding Member Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Member of its Screening Panel and Conduct of Gubnetorial Elections of PDP Kano State 1998.
He was also a member of the Turaki Committee chaired by the former President Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari. Other Posts he held included the following:
Secretary Muslim Students Association
Advanced Teachers College, Kano (Registration Number 3116)
Member, Kano State Student Association Week
National Secretary Kano Students Association 1973
Member, Seminar Committee, Kano State Students Association 16/6/73
Member, Blood Transfusion Services 1963-1974
Treasurer, Third World Association of Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru Zaria 1972-1974
Chairman Kano State Hockey Club 1979-1983
Secretary Late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed Committee 1981
Treasurer Dr.Bala Mohammed Memorial Committee 1981 Other members of the Committee included Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman -Chairman ,Lekan Balogun, Rufai Ibrahim, Lawal na Rogo, Apostle Omo Alile, A.B.O. Obata, A. C. Aihie, A. A. Ibrahim, Balarabe Lawl, Nuhu Maishanu, Hamza Ahmed Bichi, Umaru Aji, Auwalu Anwar, George Ohemu, Sanusi Abubakar, and Suleiman A. Mohammed as Secretary.
Chairman, Kano State Committee Against Apartheid 1978-1981 Other Members include Sule Y. Hamma, Alhaji Saidu Gwarzo, Sadisu Buhari,Abubakar Masud, Mahmud Turajo, Suleman Ibrahim Jahun,Kabiru Bashir while Ibrahim Salim was the Secretary. They usually had their meetings at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Information.
Financial Secretary Wudil Teachers College Old Students Association(WUTCOSA) 1986
Chairman Finance Committee, Kano State Foundation, Wudil Local Government Chapter 1986
Member Steering, Kano State Foundation, Wudil Local Government Chapter 1986
Member Parents Teachers Association Kano Capital School 1988-1995
Member Parents Teachers Association ,St.Thomas Secondary School 1991- 1994
Patron Kano State Youth Council of Nigeria 20/10/1988
Member, Sports Revival Committee in Kano State 1988
Member, Constitution Co-ordinating Committee 1998
Member, Transition Main Committee, Kano State 1999
Patron Kano State Students Association 1996/97 Session
Certificate of Merit awarded by Kano State Students Association 1996/97 Session.
Fellow awarded by Kano State Students Association Bayero University, Kano. 1997/98 Session.
Post Humous Award by National Association of Kano State Students, Bayero University Kano.
He would be remembered for the various roads constructed by the Ministry of Works and Transport, Kano State when he was the Permanent Secretary such roads include:
1 Gujungu- Hadejia Road
2 Madama-Dakaiyawa Road
3 Auyo-Kafina Haausa Road
4 Gumel-Gujungu S/Gari Road
5 Gumel-S/Tankarkar-Babura Road
6 Danzomo-Medu Road
7 Kiyawa-Jahun Road
8 Gezawa-Ringim Road
9 Ringim-Gujungu Road
10 Bichi-Gwarzo Road
11 Rano-Kibiya-Sayasaya Road
12 Dal- Sumaila Road
13 Kwanar Sumaila- Sumaila Road
14 Dawanau-D/Tofa Road
15 Tiga-Rurum Road
16 Gwaram-Busurka Road
17 Kano-Madobi-Yako Road
18 Karaye-Rogo Road
19 Dal –Gani -Sitti Road
20 Rano-Kumurya-Garko Road
21 Sabon Gari-Jahun Road
22 Garki-Jigawa Road
23 B/Kudu – Kiyawa Road
He would also be remembered as the person who converted the Road to Kasuwar Kurmi which would take you up to Palace Cinema which the Government of Sabo Bakin Zuwo converted into a Maternity Clinic into a One Way.
He was the Secretary of the Kano State Executive Council from 1977-1981 when many developmental land marks were achieved in Kano State such as the establishment of Science Secondary Schools, Institute for Higher Education and the Hospitals Management Board by the Col. Sani Bello Administration which was in government from July, 1975 to September, 1978 and the Agency for Mass Education in 1980 by the Rimi’s Administration. Mohammed Abubakar Rimi was chosen as the P.R.P. Gubnetorial Candidate on June 25, 1979, elected as Governor on July 28, 1979 and sworn in on October 1, 1979. The State witnessed tremendous development from the programs. The Science Schools were able to produce many doctors and engineers while the Agency for Mass Education was recognized internationally by UNESCO.
Mallam Abdullahi got married on 15th January, 1973 to his only wife Hajiya Saude Abdullahi the daughter of Abdullahi Maikano Sarkin Fulanin Wudil a village head in Wudil Local Government who died in 1961. She was born around 1952 to the royal family of Wudil. They had seven children namely Aliyu, Ahmed, Yusuf, Musbahu, Aminu, Rabi and Abdullahi who survived for only some days. She was a School teacher who rose to become a School Principal at the State and Federal Government owned Schools. She retired as a Substantive Director (Education) on GL 17 of the Federal Civil Service and a Federal Permanent Secretary nominee. She worked for a period of about 43 years before her retirement from Public Service in 2014. She started as a Pupil Teacher at Dorayi Primary School in March, 1971, Kwalli Primary School January –December, 1972, Shekara Boarding Primary School 1/11/1973-1974, Wudil Primary School 1975-30/8/1976 where she was granted a leave without pay for her to pursue further studies. She served under the N.YS.C. Scheme at her alma mater the Women Teachers College from 1979-1980. In 1980 she left the Local Education Authority and joined the Kano State Civil Service Teacher and was posted to Gwammaja II Secondary School. She was at Women Arabic Teachers College Kano from 6/4/84-January 1985, Gwammaja II Secondary School from January 1985 -September 1989, Government Girls College Dala from September 1989-March, 1991, Women Arabic Teachers College, Goron Dutse 23/4/1991-October, 1992, Shekara Government Girls Secondary School from 29/12/1992-1/2/95. She joined services of the Federal Civil Service Commission in 1995 and was appointed the Principal Federal Government Girls College, Kazaure from 1/2/95-2001, Principal Federal Government College Minjibir from 2001-2003, She was posted to the Federal Inspectorate Service, Kano as an Inspector of English Language from July 2003-November, 2004, She was the Acting Co-ordinating Inspector, Federal Inspectorate Service, Kano from 2nd November, 2004-3rd January 2006 , Co-ordinating Inspector, Federal Inspectorate Service, Kano from 3rd January, 2006-15/1/2010, Principal Federal Government Girls College Potiskum from 15/1/2010-1/6/2010 and Principal Federal Government College, Kiyawa from 1/6/2010-25/9/2014. She is now a full time farmer and also Chairs the companies already established by her late husband such as Aurum Nigeria Limited, A. A. Sumaila & Sons Limited, Sauda Voyager Nigeria Limited, Ramy Palace Limited, Indepth Metropolitan Plc., Indepth Markets Limited, Hyadar Consult and Saymar Restaurant.
During his life time Mallam Abdullahi was arrested several times due to his revolutionary Political Activities the first was when he was a member of the NEPU Zahara haqu (Students Wing of the NEPU) when he was a student at Wudil Teachers College in the 1960’s for walking pass the Palace of the District Head of Dansumaila but the arrest was just for some minutes due to his biological connection to the Village Head of Sumaila, at that time his Grandmothers cousin Muhammadu Nura was the Dansumaila (Village Head of Sumaila) as such there would have been a clash between the two traditional rulers, that prevented, the Dogarai from taking negative action sensing who he was, decided to release him so that his grand-mothers cousin would not feel offended.
In 1964 there was a clamp down on all NEPU adherents and an informant informed Mallam Abdullahi of plans to arrest him before the 1964 general elections on the day planned as the people sent to arrest him lay siege in the front of the house he jumped the wall from behind and ran away to Kano but their candidate for the Federal Parliamentary elections Musa Said Abubakar a school teacher at Kofar Kudu Elementary School was not that lucky he was jailed for alleged incitement to violence, he spent seventy-five days in detention before he was forced to withdraw due to parental influence his father asked him to choose between the two: his candidature or him the father, threatened to disown him for life and for death knowing what that would mean on the religious side he had to withdraw from the elections. The father of Musa Said Abubakar was the Village Head of Magami as such it is not clear whether the Native Authority used threats on the father such as removing him from the throne to make his son withdraw from the Federal Parliamentary elections, at that election Mohammed Abubakar Rimi also indicated his interest to run for the Federal Parliamentary election as an independent candidate he was also arrested and jailed and withdrew from the race leaving the Magajin-Garin Kano Alhaji Inuwa Wada with an easy ride to victory.
On 18th August 1981 when Mallam Abdullahi was the Secretary of the Kano State Executive Council, Principal Secretary to the Governor and Secretary Peoples Remediation Party, Kano State Directorate,(Imodu’s Faction) he was arrested together with Sully Abu the Press Secretary to the Governor on the allegation that they printed and circulated posters that would breach the peace. The poster showed a Policeman beating a common man while the judge was laughing. They drove him to Suleiman Crescent his official residence in Kano where he found many mobile police vehicles at the front of the House and inside the House. The Police surrounded the house with his wife and two children inside (twins Aliyu Abdullahi Sumaila and Ahmed Abdullahi Sumaila). They entered the house without a search warrant and conducted a search. The police and a battalion of mobile police took them to their Headquarters at Bompai and one S.P.Kayode asked them to write a Statement in respect of the allegation. S.P. Kayode was about to release them on bail when the Commissioner of Police asked that their statements should be sent to him at his residence he became annoyed after reading the statements because he wanted them to indict Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi as the one behind the posters which they refused to do. They were later taken to the office of the Commissioner of Police where together the Commissioner, his Deputy and ACP Ma’aji preached to them that they knew the big men in the State who produced the posters why could they not mention them.
On 19th August, 1981 at 11.00 pm a plane brought two police officers Muhammadu Nguru and Abdulmumini who were to take them to Lagos but fearing the Santsi supporters can foment trouble and release them forcefully the police decided not to take them by plane and dropped the idea, instead at 2.45 a.m of 20th August, 1981 they were put in a Peugeot car with eleven mobile lorries and a land rover that took them to Kaduna. On arrival at Kaduna they were taken to the Police Headquarters and at about 7.30 a.m. they were taken to Kaduna Airport with the mobile police following them. Their plane left Kaduna around 9.00 a.m. Interrogation continued there it was after some days in detention that they were brought back to Kano and charged before Wada Rano who was then a Magistrate, he was a junior to Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila at the Teachers College Wudil he lambasted the Police for arresting them without a warrant of arrest and subsequently released Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila and Sully Abu on bail. The Federal Government later discontinued the prosecution but in 2001 when we went for Hajj with him, he showed me the spot where he stood in 1981 when he went for lesser Hajj together with Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi and prayed for God to intervene in the matter and days after coming back from the lesser Hajj the case was withdrawn.
During the July 10th Rampage after the killing of the Political Adviser to the Governor Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi, Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila received instructions from the Governor that the Santsi faction should organize and retaliate even if blood would run in the gutters of Kano that was the instruction of Limamin Chanji Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi the police swiftly arrested Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila to avoid the santsi group retaliating. He was the engine room of the Santsi group in Kano during the Second Republic and gave his life, wealth, education and experience over the years to see that the Common Man in the Northern part of Nigeria was liberated.
There was a time when the crisis between the Santsi and Tabo faction became very high. Mallam Aminu Kano was coming back to the country after a trip abroad and Rimi did not like a large crowd to welcome back Mallam, as such in connivance with Mallam Abdullahi they released a press statement informing the public that Mallam Aminu has shifted the day he was coming back. All hell let loose the tabo faction of the P.R.P. threatened to burn down the state owned Radio the media organization which announced the postponement. The police interfered and investigated the matter, they invited Mallam Abdullahi and after some time he decided to answer the invitation of the Police, he denied knowledge of the episode until when the statement of Alhaji Bagudu of the Radio Station was brought to him to read where he categorically stated it was Rimi and Sumaila that masterminded the announcement. He was released on bail based on self-recognition without any body coming to bail him out from the Santsi Faction he belongs.
In the Third Republic we saw a less radicalized Mallam Abdullahi in terms of his approach to politics may be due to age. He joined the Peoples Front of Major General Shehu Musa Yar’adua, with the Babangida Administration not registering it as a Political Party he joined the Social Democratic Party where he actively played a role in the campaign of Alhaji Ahmadu Rufa’i he was his Political Secretary, In the first primary elections held in October 19, 1991 Sani Bello got 804 votes, Nasiru Mukthar got 1,209 votes, Musa Magami-3,339 votes, Magaji Abdullahi-62,808 votes, Aminu Inuwa-76,728 votes and the winner Alhaji Ahmadu Rufa’i got 137,593 votes. The primaries were cancelled and another one conducted under the watchful eyes of Hammani Baba Baza the National Treasurer of the S.D.P. and the sole Administrator for Kano and Jigawa States on 13th November, 1991 and Ahmed Rufa’i won it again. It was later cancelled for a third primary election to be conducted. Alhaji Ahmadu Rufa’i won the conducted primary elections twice but was always cancelled, on the exercise been conducted the third time Engineer Magaji Adamu Abdullahi (m.n.i.) emerged first while Aminu Inuwa of the Santsi group came second, while Alhaji Ahmadu Rufai came third (from the Tabo / Yaradua faction) but there was nobody in the primary elections who had the required percentage for a winner to be declared and hence there had to be a run-off between Magaji Abdullahi and Aminu Inuwa.
Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila played a vital role in the coming together of Magaji and Rufa’i groups. The santsi group wanted an alliance but elders such as Tanko Yakasai who knew the influence of Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila summoned him and told him it would be a mistake for him to allow such an alliance since the Santsi group which he had left after the second republic do not value him he should allow for their down fall furthermore he had been friends with Engineer Magaji since the 60’s and 70’s infact he learnt how to drive using Magaji’s car so he ensured the merger of Kurdawa (Magaji’s faction) and Tabo/PF Faction (Ahmadu Rufa’i’s Faction) . Engineer Magaji Abdullahi running as the Governor and Ahmadu Rufai as the Deputy when the Kano State Television showed the declaration the camera captured three of them sitting together Magaji Abdullahi, Ahmadu Rufa’i and Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila they went into the primaries and trounced Aminu Inuwa. Magaji Abdullahi had 95,138 votes while Aminu Inuwa had 79, 433 votes. The Santsi group supporting Aminu Inuwa decided not to support their party the S.D.P. in the general elections giving reason for Architect Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya to emerge as the Governor from the National Republican Convention (N.R.C.), coincidentally Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila taught Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya in the Primary School and respected him very much because apart from being his teacher he was his senior brother’s friend and Kabiru Gaya was the one sent every day on errand to bring Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila food because as at then Mallam Abdullahi was not yet married, that respect continued till the death of Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, infact when Kabiru Gaya was a Governor and the Federal Government appointed Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila as Chairman Board of Directors Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority he organized a Dinner to celebrate the appointment of his teacher and as it is a protocol standard when someone goes on a courtesy visit to the Governor he stands up to address him and when Mallam Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila visited the Government House when he was the Board Chairman of Hadejia-Jamare River Basin Development Authority the Governor Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya refused for Mallam Abdullahi to stand up but insisted the he should make his address while seating down because he taught him in the primary school.
In the aborted Abacha transition he was a strong member of the United Nigeria Congress Party (U.N.C.P.) at that election he sponsored the candidature of Suleiman Abdurrahman Kawu Sumaila as the Chairman of Sumaila Local Government on the platform of the party, he was also one of his sponsors when he contested for the State House of Assembly later in the P.D.P.
Mallam Abdullahi played an active role in ensuring the victory of Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso when he contested the Governorship primary elections against other candidates such as Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Mukthari Zimit and Kabiru Rabiu prelude to the 1999 general elections. He was serving as a member of the screening panel that screened and conducted the primary elections. Loyalist and Supporters of Kwankwaso were sent as returning officers to strategic local governments during the primaries and Mallam Abdullahi as a member of the panel ensured that the results they brought in were accepted despite the protest from the camp of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Mallam Abdullahi also informed the P.D.M./Kwankwaso group of the decision of the Committee to disqualify Mallam Abba Dabo from contesting the primaries the bulk of the N.P.N./A.N.C. were backing Abba Dabo. Mallam Abdullahi hence advise Kwankwaso to give an early handshake to Abba Dabo so that when the news is out, he would back Kwankwaso and that was what exactly happened. Abba Dabo was a junior to Mallam Abdullahi at Wudil Teachers College and was in the same dormitory with him infact due to the smallish nature of Mallam Abba Dabo when he was in the Teachers College, Mallam Abdullahi exempted him from conducting certain duties which all students were expected to be doing. Abba Dabo graduated from Teachers College Wudil in 1971, and attended School of Basic Studies 1972-1973, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria from 1973-1977. He worked as economic correspondent of New Nigerian Newspapers from 1979-1980, Editor, Gaskiya Tafi Kwabo 1981-1982,Editor, Sunday New Nigerian 1982-1983, Chief Press Secretary to President Shehu Shagari November-December 1983, Managing Director, Triumph Publishing Company 1984-1986, Publisher The Insider-1987, Member Constituent Assembly 1998-1989, former Secretary to the Kano State Government, former Chairman Kano State Investment and Properties Limited and Former Special Adviser (Political) to the Vice President.
Mallam Abdullahi played the role of an elder statesman from then on to the Government of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso until his death in 2003. He first came across the young Rabiu Kwankwaso when he was the Principal Secretary to the Governor in the Second Republic and Kwankwaso was then the Assistant Secretary of the Kano State Students. Other young turks of the Association such as Alhaji Aminu Dabo were also acquainted to Mallam Abdullahi during the Second Republic.
Mallam Abdullahi was a humanitarian and participated in Daawah. He for instance helped in the establishment of Maaji Islamiya School in Sumaila where he donated the sum of =N=500, Abubakar Rimi as Governor gave =N=1000 and B. B. Farouk as Deputy Governor gave a donation of =N=200. He was blessed with seven children, six males and one female, all of the children have been blessed and have rose to become captains in the Public and Private Industry of the Nation with the exception of the last of the seven who died in infancy.
In Dagora he established the Primary School in the town, Mallam Mukthari Iyali Dagora, and Alhaji Malam Na Tofa met him and asked for help in establishing a Primary School in the area, Mallam Abdullahi Sumaila bought a piece of land and gave out building materials for the Primary School to be established.
Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila Foundation has been established in his memory concentrating on developmental projects such as construction of feeder roads, boreholes, mosques, cemeteries in the Southern Part of Kano and more precisely the Old Wudil Local Government comprising of Wudil, Garko, Sumaila and Takai.
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amin