As accolades continue to pour in for the newly turbaned Dan Baiwan Hausa of Daura, and former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Nigerians should emulate the honouree’s selfless, patriotic and charismatic attributes. These special traits in Kalu endeared him not only to Daura Emirate but the country at large. I say this because Kalu remains one of the few prominent Nigerians, who do not allow religion, ethnicity and politics affect their relationships with people. Kalu’s large humility, boundless compassion and profuse goodwill wouldn’t allow him to discriminate against anyone.
As part of activities marking the 2018 Eid-el-Kabir, on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, Daura Emirate Council rolled out the drums and laid the red carpet to honour Abia-born Kalu. The event which was held amid pomp and circumstance at the ancient palace of Emir of Daura, had in attendance prominent Nigerians including Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong; Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu; Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa (representative of Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State); Eze Ndigbo of Daura, Igwe Ferdinand Osunkwo; Hon. Edozie Madu; Senator Uche Ekwunife; Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu; Mr. Bayo Fatusin; Hon. Ben Kalu; Hon. Chibuike Jonas; Senator Ayogu Eze and Prince Flavian Enwezoh.
The gesture by the Daura Emirate Council, not being the same region Kalu comes from, is a further testament that Nigeria is united and indivisible. Anyways, the honouree was born in Aba, had his university education in Maiduguri and settled for business in Lagos and other parts of the country. Considering these highlighted attributes and coupled with Kalu’s unending contributions to nation building especially in the areas of peace advocacy, humanity, wealth creation, politics and international diplomacy, the honour is well-deserved. Hence, the emirate council made a right choice.
In his letter of offer of conferment of traditional title of “Dan Baiwan Hausa” on Kalu, Emir of Daura, HRH Alhaji Umar Farouk Umar, said: “Your achievements in youth development are commendable and appreciable apart from your contribution to Abia State and the country, let alone your philanthropic behaviour of supporting less-privileged ones.
“Based on such outstanding and commendable contributions, my council and I resolved to honour you with this very important traditional title of “Dan Baiwan Hausa.
“Therefore, on behalf of the entire members of my Council and its entire staff, accept my congratulations and I wish you God’s guidance and protection in facing the challenges ahead.”
Like the Emir rightly stated in his message, Kalu had, over the years, demonstrated his capacity to the world as a consummate politician, a renowned global business mogul, a statesman and a philanthropist par excellence. Kalu’s boldness, forthrightness, goodwill and intimidating profile paved way for the honour by Daura Emirate Council. This is a manifestation that whatever you are doing, do it right.
Promising to sustain his good works, Kalu, in his letter of acceptance, emphasized that the chieftaincy title bestowed on him is a reflection of the Emir’s patriotism and disposition to a united Nigeria.
Kalu’s acceptance letter goes thus: “I am indeed happy to confirm my acceptance of the highly revered traditional title of “Dan Baiwan Hausa” of Daura, in recognition of my outstanding contributions to Daura Emirate and Nigeria at large.
“Your Highness, this honour is not only timely but encouraging. I will continue to support and promote selfless and patriotic activities toward nation building.
“It is interesting to note that the conferment of the chieftaincy title on me is a reciprocal gesture considering the fact that the same honour was bestowed on your son and Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR by the people of my community, Igbere in Abia State, when he visited my Igbere country home, during my stint as Governor of Abia State. It was also during this period that President Muhammadu Buhari alongside former President Ibrahim Babaginda and Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu were conferred with honorary doctorate degrees by Abia State University.
“Sir, with this gesture, you have again demonstrated to the world your passion and determination for a united and indivisible Nigeria. This feat must be acknowledged, respected and emulated by other notable Nigerians”
Lest I forget, let me advise a few disgruntled individuals, who do not acknowledge the noble feat of others, not to talk of celebrating them, to desist from making negative comments on positive developments. While I am not standing in for Kalu or his aides, it is imperative for me to state that the honour bestowed on Kalu is not a day’s job.
To Kalu, I say “Ranka dede, the People’s Dan Baiwan!
•Prof. Adisa writes from Bida, Niger State
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