Dan Iyan Lafia: Celebrated in life, abandoned in death


To the ordinary people of Nasarawa state who appreciate good deeds and sacrifices even in death For 27, 2005, will forever remain one of the most darkest days as they woke up to the sad news of the demise of one of their most patriotic and illustrious sons Senator Haruna Abubakar. He passed on after a portracted illness in a London hospital.


His death robbed Nasarawa state of its best brain and  political hero who throughtout his sojourn on Earth continued to served as a symbol of hope and emancipation. His demise not only brought the state to a standstill but translated into national mourning with eminent personalities across the country and beyond trooping into the state in an unprecedented manner to commiserate with the people and pay their last respect  to this distinguished Nigerian who lived an examplary life of service to God, country and humanity.
The  pains and tears across the the state and beyond over this irreplaceable lost could only be imagined, a further confirmation of the impacts he made on the lives of so many people across the country. It was indeed a panful loss not only to his family, people of Nasarawa state or Nigerians but the entire humanity. The expectations were that the state which he sacrificed so much for and those he brought to political limelight occupying various positions of power and authority will have a common courtesy to remember, honour and immortalise him.
Alas, they have all abondoned him in his grave without even a common public infrastructure named after him in his own state much more sustaining his legacies. Even his immidiate community of Lafia Emirate where he held the traditional title of “Dan Iyan Lafia” and known to have contributed greatly to its development did not deem it fit to stand with him but instead joined the bandwagon of those who ditched him in death.


What a wicked world! What a life of vanity, betrayal and a bad example of how not to treat this patrotic son of the state who brought honour, dignity and fame to the state in addition to glorifying the name of Nasarawa state in the eyes of the world and brought its politics to national fame and attention.


Where is our sence of reasoning and humanity? Where is our conscience and reward for patrotism and sacrifices to our fatherland? I weep for my state, I can feel his pains in the grave despite what he did for the state and his people. I weep for his departed soul. May the soul of Haruna Abubakar continue to rest in peace with Allah, may Allah make it easy for him, forgive his shortcomings and make Aljannatu fildausi his abode.
Unfortunately, this is happening to him at a time when most of those holding various political offices from the state at all levels are beneficiaries of his benevolence, sacrifices and influence and known to be either his political godsons, associates or benefited from his generosity to be where they are today and under their watchful eyes.
Almost all who is who in Nasarawa politics today with only few exceptions has either passed through his political school of thought or benefited from his magnanimity. The political history of Abdullahi Adamu as governor in 1999, that of the current SSG Mohammed Ubandoma Aliyu, Alh. Yusuf Mohammed Agabi, Amb. Musa Ilu, among other prominent politicians and personalities, cannot be complete without the contributions of Dan Iyan Lafia.
His large heartedness and love for humanity knows no bounds. He also contributed greatly to the struggle that led to the creation of Nasarawa state and never get tired in contributing his quota and deploying his God given resources and connections to fast track development in the state
The  seed of opposition politics which changed Nasarawa under development narrative actualised by former Governor Umar Tanko Al-Makura and is being consolidated by Governor Abdullahi Sule was first planted by Haruna Abubakar. Dan Iyan Lafia started his revolutionary movement in his native local government area of Lafia when he singlehandetly brought an unknown opposition Grassroot Democratic Movement (GDM) to take over power in Lafia from the UNCP which brought the present SSG Mohammed Ubandoma Aliyu to power as Lafia local government chairman in 1998.
With the restoration of democracy in 1999 , he identified with PDP and was instrumental to the emergence of Abdullahi Adamu as the first executive governor of the state among other elected representatives. When the administration which he brought to power started to be  insensitive to the plight of the people and subjected them to untold hardships, he called the bluff of the administration and sided with the masses.

Firstly he brought most Nasarawa stakeholder’s under one umbrella culminating into the formation of the then popular coalition for better and greater Nasarawa state and later took the struggle to the centred stage of Nasarawa politics where he changed  the political landscape of the state and brought the then administration to their knees.
It is this inspiration and new politics bequeathed in Nasarawa politics by Haruna Abubakar that the people of the state used as a moral booster to stage the first successful political revolution in the history of Nasarawa politics which swept away PDP led administration of Gov. Doma of blessed memory and ushered in CPC led administration of the immidiate past Al-Makura. Since then Nasarawa state never remained the same politically and in terms of infrastructural development.

It is therefore pertinent for the state and its elite especially those in authority and his closed political associates who  rose through his influence and sacrifices to to turn a new leaf by honouring him and giving him his deserved place of honour. That’s the only way to appease him in his grave.


This should be a wake up call on the Sule administration and future administrations  in the state, political elites, elected representatives and the entire people of Nasarawa state on the need to embrace the culture of celebrating and honouring those who have given their all for the state. Ignoring their contributions and failing to celebrate them amount to dancing on top of their graves and their spirit will continue to hunt us for the rest of our lives.Abari writes via [email protected]

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