BY USMAN ABBA ZANNA, SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 | 02:24 PM
Kanuris, the precolonial rulers of Borno and some greater part Lake Chad region, have a long business relationship with the people of the rest of the Nigeria and beyond, spanning for centuries. This continued in colonial and post-colonial periods.
As such, you will find them spread across various parts of the country—north, south, east or west. YERWA EXPRESS NEWS spoke to the leader of the community settled in Ogun State.
These commercial and trade items largely include livestock and kola nut, among others. Whereas the northeastern part of the country supplies livestock, Ogun State is one of its largest source of kola.
Photograph of truck filled with kola nuts from Ogun State to Borno State.
Many Kanuri people have settled in the south-western state; and thrived, even, in the business of kola.
To this effect, a whole community—of the Kanuri—emerged in Sagamu, a local government area of the state.
Mohammed Mallam Gana, Mai Kanuribe of Ogun (meaning a leader of Kanuri people in Ogun) in an exclusive interview with YERWA EXPRESS NEWS, commended his hosts and expressed his appreciation for the hospitality accorded to him and his community.
Mohammed Mallam Gana, Mai Kanuribe of Ogun State.
He explained that Ogun is full of business opportunities and people of Borno enjoy staying there.
‘Ogun is hospitable and full of business opportunities,' Mai Gana said.
The mai’s family were seasoned importers of kola nuts from Sagamu to Borno.
Mr. Gana inherited the business from his grandparents in 1985, which caused him to settle in the southwestern town ever since.
'My parents started the kola business many years ago. My family and I find Ogun a home.
‘This long ties have indicated a long lasting unity and progress, a value shared amongst the Kanuri people living in this blessed land,' Mai Gana added.
He was appointed in 2017 by the authority of Mai Karunibe of Lagos based on the instruction of Shehu of Borno, Alh. Abubakar Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi.
The Shehu said Mal. Gana's ‘personal merit, honesty and commitment in promoting the Kanuri culture, traditions and values’ was what gave him the title.
His office is thus recognized by Akarigbo and paramount ruler of Remoland, His Royal Majesty Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, Torugbuwa II.
He is also the first person to be so appointed.
He said his ambition and dream is to further build a stronger relationship between the two states.
Mai Gana is of the view that government support can enhance more bilateral cooperation that can boost the economy of the two states and further reduce the rate of unemployment.
He said many people from the state have moved into Ogun and other states across the country in recent times as a result of the Boko Haram crisis, noting that they now need support and assistance.
The crisis which started in 2009 and turned more dreaded in 2012 has caused displacement of several people in Borno and the rest of North East, at a point reaching over 2 million.
According to the titleholder, many of these people are taking shelter in Ogun.
‘We have IDPs here from Borno, who came here about eight years ago when the insurgents terrorized some communities in Borno,' Mai Gana.
With relative peace now, reconstruction have reached advanced state and resettlement of displaced persons jointly by the state and federal government of Nigeria have begun.
Mr. Gana called on government to also remember the victims who fled to Ogun.
‘Some of these people need support and assistance. I urge the government to help them and alleviate their sufferings.
‘I pray for more unity in our country and may God give us the best as the next general election is coming soon,' he added.
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