Writing off debts – another Aminu Kano Masterclass

In the late 40s, while Aminu Kano worked as a teacher in Bauchi, Sir Ahmadu Bello worked as Councillor or Works in the Sokoto Native Authority. For some inexplicable reasons, Sir Ahmadu Bello was imprisoned over some unfounded allegations. Some of his friends got together to raise money to finance his defence in court. Alhaji Adamu Jumba, who later became emir of Zaria, was one of those friends of Sir Bello. He encountered Aminu Kano at the railway station in Kaduna as he and his wife prepared to board a train going to Bauchi. He requested Aminu Kano’s contribution, which he obliged him. The case was prosecuted and Sir Bello cleared of the allegations.

Time passed and fate took Sir Bello and Aminu Kano into politics, making either leader of Northern Peoples’ Congress, NPC and Northern Elements Progressive Union, NEPU. The one became the leader of the northern political establishment, while the other, the leader of the masses of the people. The one kept the list of contributors to the fund used to finance his defence, and made efforts to reach everyone on the list to say, ‘thank you,’ the other having no recollection of the good deed.

After turning down the first couple of requests by Sir Bello to see him, wondering what the Premier wanted to see him about, Aminu Kano eventually accepted the invitation to see Sir Bello. At the meeting, Sir Bello brought out the list and then began to express his gratitude to Aminu Kano, who nodded in acknowledgement. Subsequently, Sir Bello gave him gifts of money and clothes but he declined, saying, ‘This (referring to the gifts) is not what I gave you.’ Of course, Sir Bello’s admiration for him, increased many notches higher.

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