…“My father quitted Sokoto because of Tambuwal’s election.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Son of the foremost 1st Mayor of Enugu, Abdulkareem Balarabe Umaru Altine, has revealed that his father, late Alhaji Umaru Altine, quitted Sokoto state because of election into Federal House of Representatives, Tambuwal federal constituency, Sokoto state.
Abdulkareem Altine made the striking revelation on Christmas day when Senator Shehu Sani paid a familiarization visit on the wife of the late Mayor of Enugu Municipal Council at their residence in Kaduna state.
He said his father (now late), who was two-times Mayor of Enugu, but was not happy that he was forced to step down before the primary election for his opponent, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, also now late.
“My name is Abdulkareem Balarabe Umaru Altine, son of the first mayor of Enugu. Late Umaru Altine is from Sokoto. My father was a prince from Sokoto caliphate. He left Sokoto because of Tambuwal’s House Representatives federal constituency election he contested with late Shehu Shagari.
“He left because he was forced to step down for Shagari before the primary election. That was the reason he left Sokoto and continue with his political ambition in Enugu, where he contested for Mayor of Enugu Municipal Council, under NCNC party and won,” said.
Abdulkareem further stated that, the second time his father contested, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe wanted him to step down for somebody, but he refused. He then continued as an independent candidate and won as Mayor of Enugu the second time.
According to him, “At that time, Enugu was the headquarters of the Eastern Region. He was so popular that even market women protested in his support, in Enugu. That was why he left NCNC, and still won.
“Up till today, there’s no recognition for us, his family, from Enugu, Sokoto or Nigeria federal government. He left Enugu there because of Biafran war as a northerner, you know,” he lamented.
Earlier, Senator Shehu Sani said the history behind late Umaru Altines’ two-times victory as a winner of elections into the exalted office as Mayor of Enugu, the then Capital of old Eastern Region, was the reason for his (Sani’s) visit to the family, only to discover that he’s also part of the family.
According to Senator Sani, “Alh Altine is such a unique personality, who stands for peace and unity, and deserved a national honour in his name as the only Nigerian, who has set such record for being a true liberate person, whose love by Igbos earned him Mayor twice in elections with protest support from Igbo women, even over and above then President Zik’s candidate.”
Shehu Sani has called on government to honour late Umaru Altine by (re)naming Niger Bridge after him and be given recognition to his family, especially the late, Hajiya Aishatu H.
Umaru Altine, a cattle dealer, had left then Sokoto Province to sojourn in Enugu. There he married an Igbo lady, Esther, and was president of the Enugu branch of the youth wing of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). He was widely acclaimed to be a completely detribalized Nigerian.