Beyond Honor, Resonating Baraden with Lukman Mustapha’s Personality, Philosophy
By Ibrahim Sheriff (Gold).
Okuta Emirate, one of the Emirates in the Northern part of Kwara state with Baatombu origin, known for its rich history and traditions, has recently installed Mallam Lukman Olayiwola Mustapha as its first Baraden, meaning “leader of army”, which can be likened to the Balogun title in Yoruba land. The title, according to a Baruba friend of mine, is of Hausa origin and more like an effigy of godliness. “The title of Barade has a long history that is affixed to the early days of the Sokoto caliphate and the revered title, until recently, was a preserve of the possible heirs of the throne of Sultan of Sokoto”, says my friend who is an enthusiast of traditional history.
The installation of Mustapha as the Baraden of Okuta Emirate on Saturday, 14th October, 2023, which witnessed presence of Kwara state Governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), HE AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq represented by the 10th Kwara Assembly Speaker and Chairman APC Speakers Forum, Rt. Hon. Engr. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, first class traditional rulers and several government officials was marked by a vibrant display of colors, tradition, and elegance. The ceremony captivated attendees with its rich cultural heritage and served as a reflection of Mustapha’s radiant personality and his philosophy of social empowerment through commerce and industry.
One of the highlights of the installation events was the traditional Takai Dance of the Borgus. This captivating dance, performed by skilled local artists, showcased the grace, agility, and cultural significance of the Emirate’s traditional dance forms. The Takai Dance symbolized unity and camaraderie among the people and exemplified Mustapha’s commitment to fostering a sense of community and togetherness.
The celebration also featured the mesmerizing sounds of the Algaeta, a local trumpet that holds deep northern historical and cultural significance. The resonant melodies of the Algaeta filled the air, evoking a sense of pride and heritage among the attendees. This musical performance paid homage to the Emirate’s rich musical traditions and served as a reminder of Mustapha’s dedication to preserving local customs and traditions.
Furthermore, the installation ceremony included an exhibition of local fabrics and costumes, providing a platform to showcase the unique cultural heritage of the Okuta Emirate. Attendees were treated to a stunning display of intricately woven fabrics, traditional attire, and exquisite craftsmanship. This exhibition not only celebrated the Emirate’s rich artistic traditions but also acted as a source of inspiration for local artisans and entrepreneurs, aligning with Mustapha’s philosophy of social empowerment through commerce and industry.
The fusion of tradition, elegance, and vibrant cultural displays throughout the installation events represented more than just a celebration. It exemplified the emirate’s commitment to tourism-induced economic stimulation, showcasing its unique cultural offerings to visitors from far and wide. Mustapha’s radiant personality and dedication to social empowerment resonated deeply with the event, highlighting his vision to leverage the Emirate’s cultural heritage as an economic catalyst.
Needless of espousing the prestigious nature and rich historical contributions of the Sokoto caliphate to development of Islam and human development in Nigeria and Africa as a continent, the Barade is bestowed on valiant soldiers who exhibited high level bravery during wars.
While in this clime and time, traditional titles are usually perceived as mere honor on distinguished and accomplished members of the society, whom perhaps, have made one or two contributions to their respective communities, or otherwise, to spur them to do so or do more. This is so, because it is believed that the traditional administrative structure under which they may perform such functions historically attached to such title is no longer in existence. However, life is evolving and times and changing, and so are our ‘wars’.
In the classical era, our forefathers engage in battle of sword and guns for social protection and economic survival. Their warlords are therefore those whose mastery are in the art of fighting. In todays world however, to fight economic inequality, social imbalance among other societal woes, the warlords are those whom have demonstrated the wherewithal to positively cause all factors that affects social justice, economic growth and human development. In this light therefore, the Baraden Okuta title bestowed on the Captain of the Kwara Rebirth Movement, Mall. Lukman Mustapha fondly called LOM is not a coincidence, as the rich history behind the Barade title resonates with his person, his ontology, epistemology and way of life.
This title is a testament to LOM’s exceptional accomplishments and expertise in various fields, including banking, politics, community development and social empowerment. With decades of experience in the banking sector who rose from been a transaction office otherwise known as Tellers and retired as an Executive Director in charge of Commercial and Business Banking at a prominent financial institution, Mustapha has contributed to fighting economic battles in Nigeria.
In his over three decades sojourn in the Banking and Financial Services sector, Lukman Mustapha has great milestones, which has impacted millions of lives positively to his credit. As far back as 2006, while serving as the South West Regional Manager of First Inland Bank, he was instrumental to the development of 4 different Housing Estates providing accommodation to over 3,000 low to middle income earners in Ondo, Ekiti & Kwara States.
As the Regional Head for the North at FCMB, he was equally involved in the packaging of Bank Guarantees of about N10Billion to Family Homes Funds on behalf 3 States Government in the Northern part of Nigeria for the home ownership programme for teachers and civil servants in their respective States. As a social investment enthusiast, Mustapha led the FCMB in pioneering participation in the homegrown school feeding programme of the Federal Government with landmark achievements with the on-boarding of 17 States with over 286,000 hitherto unbanked Food Vendors and Caterers brought into the financial inclusion net.
He also led FCMB’s active participation in the laudable and landmark Anchor Borrowers Programme that have seen over 643,000 Peasant Farmers been brought into financial inclusiveness with loans of N2.5Billion, that boosted Rice, Wheat, Castor and Soya beans cultivation and production with reputable Conglomerates as Anchors. As the Head of Commercial and Business Banking of FCMB, he contributed, initiated and concluded the financing of 7 Agriculture related facilities of N5Billion, thereby boosting livestock and food production in the country. Under his watch as the Executive Director in charge of Loans, the FMBN has granted tens of Billions of Naira in loan for the purpose of developing and constructing over 5,500 housing units across the country.
As a seasoned politician, Lukman Mustapha is an household name, he is known for his principled politicking base on a philosophy of honesty, fairness and collectivism. As the Captain of the Kwara Rebirth Movement, he has demonstrated his dedication to combatting critical societal issues such as unemployment, social and economic inequality and injustice. This is the reason why he remains an unforgettable among frontiers of the glorious Otoge political revolution of 2019 in Kwara state.
As an entrepreneur, recognizing the implications of lack of adequate information, disinformation and misinformation on socioeconomic justice and equity, Mustapha championed the establishment of the now most popular radio station in Kwara state, and the best in North Central Nigeria, Sobi 101.9 FM, with an underlining ideology of ‘Social Rebirth’, demonstrating the premium placed on social good over the economic benefit of the establishment. Through this strategic initiatives aimed at information empowerment, Mustapha has employed his expertise to bring about positive change within the State by giving everyone a voice.
Through the now 6years old Sobi 101.9FM, platform, Mustapha is fostering a sense of community solidarity. The radio station acts as a powerful tool to educate, inspire, and engage residents in important conversations that aim to uplift their lives.
Recognizing the importance of education for the empowerment of the younger generation, Mustapha has to his credit, scholarship sponsorship for a number of young people. One of these that fascinates me is the adoption of a young brilliant chap, who gained admission to study medicine at the University of Ilorin but could not fund it. While we were trying to raise funds for him on social media, LOM called and informed us of his decision to adopt him. The young man is today a 400Level medical student under his scholarship.
This is just one of several other beneficiaries of his scholarships at different levels of education, providing deserving individuals with the opportunity to pursue higher education, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary for personal and professional growth.
The decision to bestow upon Mustapha the esteemed title of Baraden is a direct consequence of the unwavering dedication he has demonstrated to the betterment of communities, including Okuta Emirate. His vision and commitment to social equity, justice, and youth empowerment have earned him the trust and admiration of the emirate’s residents.
As Baraden, Mustapha will lead the emirate’s armies in the constant battle against social and economic challenges, championing the cause of progress and development. His extensive experience in banking and politics will undoubtedly prove invaluable in these efforts, as he continues to work towards creating a more just, equitable, and prosperous Okuta Emirate, as pledged by him in his acceptance speech, during the turbanning ceremony.
With Mustapha at the helm, Okuta Emirate can look forward to a future driven by a shared sense of purpose, unity, and progress. As the leader of armies, he will guide the emirate towards a new era of social rebirth, empowerment, and educational excellence, ensuring a brighter tomorrow for all its residents.
Mustapha’s installation as the Baraden of Okuta Emirate signifies the beginning of a new era, where tradition and modernity harmoniously coexist. Through his partnership, the emirate is poised for continued progress and development, with an unwavering commitment to social empowerment, commerce, and industry.