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Tourism: Stakeholders seek upgrade of Tafawa Balewa’s tomb

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Tourism: Stakeholders seek upgrade of Tafawa Balewa’s tomb

Tourism: Stakeholders seek upgrade of Tafawa Balewa’s tomb

Stakeholders in the tourism sector have advocated the upgrade of the tomb of Nigeria’s sole Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to attract more visitors.

Some of the stakeholders who spoke in Bauchi said the mausoleum needed total rehabilitation in line with international standards, to make it more attractive to visitors.

Balewa’s tomb is one of the monuments, heavily patronised by tourists in Bauchi State.

It was declared a national monument on Aug. 29, 1979, by the then military administration.

The construction of the tomb and the building enclosing the grave began in 1977 and was inaugurated in July 1979.

Within the enclosure are a reference library, gallery, mosque and grave of the former Nigerian leader, often referred to as the Golden Voice of Africa.

Balewa was born in December 1912 in Bauchi, and started his education at a Qur’anic school in Bauchi town and later attended Katsina College, now (Barewa College).

On completion of his secondary education in 1933, he returned home and started teaching at the Bauchi Middle School where he rose to the position of headmaster in 1941.

In 1944, Balewa went to the University of London’s Institute of Education, and on his return, he was appointed Inspector of Schools.

His political sojourn started in 1946 when he was elected to the Northern Nigeria House of Assembly, and in 1951 elected as the Vice President of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC).

The party nominated Balewa to Lagos as a Member of Parliament in 1952. He was appointed Minister of Works and Transport in the same year.

In 1957 the NPC won the election with the majority of the MPs and Balewa was elected as Prime Minister.

At independence in 1960, Balewa became the Prime Minister of independent Nigeria and was re-elected in 1964. He was killed alongside other prominent Nigerian leaders during the Jan. 15, 1966 coup. 

Mr Mukhtar Baba, a librarian at the mausoleum, said the library and gallery are prone to flooding that submerged the facility during the rainy season due lack of drains.

He said the construction of drains and remedial projects would check perennial flooding in the facility.

The librarian called for the provision of modern gadgets to digitise its operations.

“Provision of IT equipment will transform our operation from analogue to digital which is obtainable across the globe.

“Through digital applications photos and other personal belonging of the late prime minister could be showcased on TV screens and other IT appliances.

“This is imperative to ensure safe keeping and preserve the quality of the items,” he said.

He said it would also enhance awareness creation to educate the people on the facility so as to attract more visitors.

Mohammed Akuyam, a senior tour guide at the tomb, said the edifice was designed to reflect the simple life Balewa lived.

Akuyam said the “darkness greeting visitors’’ at the entrance to the tomb signifies the hardship encountered by Balewa and his colleagues in the struggle to gain independence from the British colonial administration.

He said the light shining through a thin window by the right-hand side after the first darkness, represents rays of hope for the nation to be freed from the colonial administration.

“The second darkness on the corridor to the tomb signifies struggle continues for Nigeria’s independence, while the full brightness illuminating the tomb’s courtyard signifies attainment of Nigeria’s independence in 1960,” he said.

The intercessions on the pathways to the grave reflect the crises and civil disorder that greeted Balewa’s assassination.

On the rough staircase leading to the tomb, Akuyam said, signifies hardship experienced by Nigerians under the colonial administration, while the smooth one symbolises freedom enjoyed after attaining self-rule.

He said: “The colours on the walls of the tomb represent different ethnic groups in Nigeria, and the late Balewa served those interests at heart and tried to unite them as one nation.

“The open roof of the tomb signifies the open-mindedness of the late Prime Minister and the simple life he lived.” 

According to him, the tomb is in good condition and records a high number of visitors, especially students who are on excursions to learn and see some of the personal belongings of the late prime minister.

According to the tour guide, visiting the tomb is free, but adult visitors to the exhibition section (gallery) are charged N100 per head and N50 for children.

He disclosed that over 7,000 students from schools across the country visit the tomb annually.

The tour guide also said that 75 students of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPS), Kuru, Jos, were in the study tower at the tomb in September 2021, while 22 foreign students or tourists also visited the tomb last year.

He listed important personalities that visited the tomb including former President Olusegun Obasanjo on July 16, 1999,

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, in September 2011, and former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in May 2022, among others.

Akuyam, however, said that the tomb was renovated in 2012 by the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, while the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) upgraded the gallery.

“All the personal belongings of the late prime minister kept in the gallery are in good condition.

“We have over 20 staff working in the tomb, including guides, cleaners, receptionists as well as auditorium and library personnel.

“The tomb is being managed by the Bauchi State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, while the gallery is under the National Commission for Museum and Monuments,” he said.

Also commenting, Muhammad Yusuf, General Manager, Bauchi State Tourism Board, called for a review of laws governing the control and ownership of the monument to enhance good management of the all-important national asset.

Yusuf said the measure was imperative to fast track upgrade of the tomb to meet international standards, raise tourism potential and attract more visitors.

For his part, Mr Ibrahim Isa, a tourism expert, who corroborated earlier Yusuf, opined that Balewa’s tomb was being maintained effectively by the relevant authorities.

He said the review of the extant laws on such monuments is critical to ensure the protection of tombs of other national heroes. 

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Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

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Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

By: Our Reporter

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum received the House Committee on the North East Development Commission (NEDC) led by Chairman, Hon. Usman Zanna, on a visit to Maiduguri. The committee assessed the projects executed by NEDC under the leadership of MD/CEO Alhaji Mohammed Goni.

Hon. Usman Zanna commended NEDC for its remarkable work, particularly the road construction projects in Jere and Mafa Local Government areas. He also praised Governor Zulum’s administration for its achievements in infrastructural development, security, and other areas. He wished the Governor a long life to continue serving humanity.

Governor Zulum expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for establishing NEDC and commended the commission for its developmental projects in the Northeast Region. He requested support for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes, as funding and feeding by the state government and NGOs are no longer sustainable.

Additionally, as Chairman of the Northeast Governor’s Forum, Governor Zulum requested NEDC’s support for a hybrid solar power plant with a capacity of 10MegaWatt, to complement the one being constructed by the states. This will provide sufficient power to the region.

The Governor thanked the committee for their visit and wished them a safe journey back to their destinations.

In attendance were the Head of Service, Commissioners, Special Advisers, and other officials.

Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

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Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

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Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman and CEO of Global Links Limited, Alhaji Yakubu Yunusa (Alias Alhaji Bakoji), has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Emir of Tikau, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, in Sabon Garin Nangere, over his recent demise.

Alhaji Bakoji, who is also a renowned transporter in Nigeria, describes the death of the emir of Tikau, Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, as a great loss to the Tikau emirate, Yobe state, and Nigeria at Large.

“The late Emir of Tikau, HRH, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, was a first-class cheif and Paramount pillar of the Karai-karai people.” Alhaji Bakoji said.

According to him, the late monarch was a pillar of strength and wisdom and dedicated his reign to serving the Tikau emirate and upholding our traditional values as a people of Yobe state origin.

He expressed his deepest sympathies to the Emir’s family, the Chiroman Tikau, Alhaji Ibrahim Talba, and loved ones, and prayed to Almighty Allah (SWT) to grant the soul of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, rest in Aljannatul Firdaus. 

Alhaji Bakoji also prayed to Almighty Allah to grant his soul eternal rest in Aljannatul Firdaus, as well as grant his family and the entire people of the Tikau emirate council the fortitude to bear the loss.

Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema died at Specialist Potiskum on May 10th, 2024, after a protected illness. May his soul eternal rest in Aljannatul Firdaus. Ameen.

Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

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Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

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Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

By: Yahaya Wakili

The President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Sardaunan Bade, Yobe North Senatorial District, said it was a pleasure for him to join his successor, the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, CON, for the public presentation of the 10th Senate Magazine during plenary on Wednesday.

Senator Ahmed Lawan revealed this in a statement issued and signed by him, which was made available to Newsng in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.

The magazine is a compilation of the achievements of the senate during the 10th legislative session under the leadership of the president of the 10th Senate, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, in the last year.

“During my time as Senate President between 2019 and 2023, we worked tirelessly to serve Nigerians and create impactful legislation to improve the lives of our citizens. I am confident that the 10th Senate Magazine will continue to showcase the hard work and contributions of all Senators who work tirelessly to achieve our legislative agenda,” Senator Ahmed Lawan said.

“I want to congratulate the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for ensuring that the magazine accurately reflects the accomplishments of the 10th Senate.

It is my hope that under his leadership, the Senate will continue to make significant strides in moving our nation forward.

The president of the Ninth Senate further said, I look forward to celebrating the many successes of the Senate with my distinguished colleagues and fellow Nigerians. Together, we will continue to work towards a brighter future for our great nation.

Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

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