Con­tenders Buhari may ‘re­tire’ in 2019

I’ve been im­pris­oned 19 times, Kaduna man claims

Weekly Trust - - Front Page - Ibra­heem Hamza Muham­mad

Four of my own fights led me to serve prison terms, and the re­main­ing fif­teen were as a re­sult of de­fend­ing oth­ers. The first fight was be­cause of my love af­fair with a lady. We loved each other but her par­ents dis­ap­proved of the re­la­tion­ship

Sani Ma­muda, oth­er­wise known as Sani Dankanin Adamu Babuje, short­ened for Sani Dankani, is Nupe by tribe and the son of a sol­dier, Ma­muda Bida or Ma­muda Lokoja who served in 4 Bat­tal­ion of the Nige­rian Army. His mother, Juda, hailed from Be­beji Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Kano State.

Sani Dankani said, “I don’t know my ex­act age but my fa­ther said I was a tod­dler when he took me on his shoul­ders to watch the dur­bar in hon­our of Queen El­iz­a­beth when she vis­ited Nige­ria in 1957. I might be around 64 years old now. I was born in Kon­tagora Road in Kaduna metropo­lis and at­tended a Qu­ranic school in Jos Road. I was later en­rolled in High So­ci­ety Pri­mary School now re­named Sheikh Ab­dul­lahi. We how­ever re­lo­cated when my fa­ther com­pleted his house in Rafind­adi Road, Un­guwan Shanu.

“I started at­tend­ing Sul­tan Bello Pri­mary School with my elder brother Adamu. I liked ed­u­ca­tion, so most par­ents whose chil­dren were tru­ants handed them over to me so I could ac­com­pany them to school be­cause I was very strong phys­i­cally and also a fast run­ner.

One of my teach­ers called Musa kept flog­ging me for not do­ing well in Arith­metic and English, but the daugh­ter of the Emir of Ilorin who shared a seat with me then started coach­ing me and I improved but the teacher’s beat­ing didn’t abate so I aban­doned school in Class 3.”

Sani formed a group of ten boys who usu­ally go to the house of the late Premier of North­ern Re­gion, Al­haji Ah­madu Bello, in search of money. When they spent some time without see­ing him, they would hit one of the boys who would cry out so loud un­til the Sar­dauna emerged. They would tell him that the one cry­ing wanted to see the Premier. He would smile and hand over some coins (kobo) to each of them.

Sani de­tested in­jus­tice and bul­ly­ing, which was why when­ever he felt some­one was be­ing un­justly treated, he in­ter­vened and which most times re­sulted in fights.

He said, “Four of my own fights led me to serve prison terms, and the re­main­ing fif­teen were as a re­sult of de­fend­ing oth­ers. The first fight was be­cause of my love af­fair with a lady. We loved each other but her par­ents dis­ap­proved of the re­la­tion­ship. One day, I didn’t know her mother was with her when I gave her money. The woman burst into tears, with a stern warn­ing that she didn’t want me near her daugh­ter.

“A passerby slapped me in the process and when I re­mem­bered that I was slapped in the pres­ence of my girl­friend, I beat up the man. He re­ported to the po­lice and a po­lice­man was sent to ar­rest me, but I beat him too. They sent 10 po­lice­men and we fought for two hours be­fore they over­pow­ered me and I ended up in prison.”

“When I left prison, the late chief of butch­ers Al­haji Hus­saina Sarkin Fawa held his daugh­ter’s hand and told me she would be­come my wife on one con­di­tion - if I didn’t fight for the re­main­ing 13 days of Eid or Sal­lah celebration. Al­haji Muham­madu Dan-Danbe said he would give me money on the wed­ding day and Shaiubu Na­man-Gayu said he would give me clothes.

“In or­der to meet the con­di­tion, I went in com­mu­ni­cado for ten days. On the 11th day, I went out in the evening and close to Al­haji Ali Gumi’s house, I saw a bully who pushed down a lit­tle boy, throw­ing away his food in the process. I asked the elders around why they didn’t in­ter­vene and they told me that the fa­ther of the bully owned a ‘chemist’ and has a lawyer who de­fended his child.

“As I bent down to as­sist the boy, the bully at­tacked him again and when I in­ter­vened, he de­manded to know who sent me. I beat him up and he ran to his fa­ther. His fa­ther came and chal­lenged me and I also beat him up. In the evening, 10 po­lice of­fi­cers came and ar­rested me and I went back to prison be­cause I had no lawyer to de­fend me. That was how I lost the op­por­tu­nity to marry the lady and the gifts as­so­ci­ated with the pro­posal.”

Sani said he found him­self in prison for the third time when a man ac­cused him of of­fend­ing him but he told him he couldn’t re­mem­ber him or the of­fence. “The man cursed my fa­ther and be­ing con­trolled by the sub­stances I was con­sum­ing and smok­ing then in youth­ful ex­u­ber­ance, I re­moved my shirt to fight but the giant hit me and I fell. He hit me re­peat­edly and in the course of the fight, I hit him hard in his eye and he started cry­ing and left. Af­ter many days, he came with a big stick and wanted to hit me but I grabbed a butcher’s knife and threat­ened to slash his stom­ach with the knife. That ended the stand-off.”

There were times when Sani re­ported him­self to the Kawo Po­lice Sta­tion when he learnt that they came to ar­rest him if he fought and wounded some­one.

De­spite his daily fisticuffs on the streets, Sani never stole a kobo as he was a pro­fes­sional butcher. The cat with nine lives out­lived all his non-ag­gres­sive brothers and sis­ters, as he is the only sur­viv­ing mem­ber of his fam­ily. He is mar­ried but yet to sire a child, though he has adopted the nine chil­dren -four males and five fe­males, left be­hind by his brothers and sis­ters.

It is how­ever sur­pris­ing how Sani Dankani re­tired per­ma­nently from street fight­ing. He said, “I was head­ing out of prison when a boy of about six years con­fronted me and said he had not seen me for some time. I told him I trav­eled but the boy said I was ly­ing be­cause his fa­ther told him that I fought and was thrown back in jail. The boy

When I left prison, the late chief of butch­ers Al­haji Hus­saina Sarkin Fawa held his daugh­ter’s hand and told me she would be­come my wife on one con­di­tion - if I didn’t fight for the re­main­ing 13 days of Eid or Sal­lah celebration

told me to de­sist from fight­ing and I told him I would not. He told him that if I did not fight that day, he would bring me his evening meal and he came and sat near me. I told the boy to run along with his er­rand but he re­fused. I took him to his fam­ily and they brought me his evening meal.”

Sani Dankani has not fought for al­most two decades now; he doesn’t drink, smoke or eat kola nut. He prays five times in con­gre­ga­tions and urges youths to try as much as pos­si­ble to avoid law­less­ness.

PHOTO: Ibra­heem Hamza Muham­mad

Scarred for life: Sani’s old life­style gave him nu­mer­ous, un­pleas­ant mem­o­ries

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