Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former governor of the old Kaduna state, was named the winner of this year’s Civil Society Anti-Corruption Defender Award.
The award will be presented to Musa on Sunday 9 December 2012 at a public award presentation ceremony at the Hubert Ogunde Hall of the Cultural Centre in Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the late legal luminary and anticorruption activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, (SAN), and the late legal legend and jurist, Justice Kayode Eso, won the award in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
In a joint statement today, the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism; Socio-Economic Rights & Accountability Project (SERAP); Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC); Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), and Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), which made up the award jury said Musa deserved the award for his “incorruptibility, unquestionable integrity, and longstanding uncompromising stand against high level official corruption.”
The statement, signed on behalf of the groups by SERAP Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni, said,
“Mr Musa was chosen for the 2012 Civil Society Anti-Corruption Defender Award for his consistent record over the years of standing up against corruption including as a former governor of Kaduna State, and for his leadership, courage and shining example to future generation of politicians and leaders. He is a great source of inspiration to the anti-corruption movement in the country.”
“Mr Musa once described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s policies as 'phantom and mirage', doing nothing for the people and serving only to enrich politicians and government officials.” He has also said that electoral rigging had to be stopped, and that 'we need a revolution in Nigeria to have a positive change in the political system.'”
"Elected as governor of Kaduna State in 1979 on the platform of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), a party founded by Mallam Aminu Kano, Mr Musa was impeached in June 1981 by the Kaduna state House of Assembly because he refused to be corrupted by the largely National Party of Nigeria (NPN) dominated house. He thus became the first Nigerian state governor ever to be impeached,” the groups also stated.
According to the groups, “Mr Musa has continued to be active in politics. He was the PRP candidate for the presidency in the April 2003 elections. However, without even enough money to buy posters he was not successful.
As chairman of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Mr Musa has remained uncompromising and relentless in his public condemnation of corruption at the highest level of government and seeking accountability for the spending of the country’s natural resources and wealth.”
As governor, Mr Musa established some industries like the Kachia Ginger factory and the Ikara Food Processing Company.
Musa was born on 21 August 1936 in Kaya, Kaduna State. He studied at Zaria Middle School and at the Institute of Administration, Zaria (1952 – 1953). He was an accounts clerk and a school teacher (1955 – 1960). In the 1970s he studied at different colleges in London to gain additional qualifications.
According to the groups, “This award is intended as an inspirational tool to recognise the courage, tenacity and contributions of outstanding leaderships who have championed reforms for better governance against formidable odds and risks. The award aims to recognize the important contribution of individuals and human rights and anticorruption non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working at great risk to expose and eliminate systemic and high level official corruption.”