Once, I called General Muhammadu Gado Nasko on phone , and I told him I was coming to see him in Nasko, his hometown and headquarter of Magama LGA of Niger State.
He said to me, he always goes to farm but he will wait for me the next by 3pm, I thanked him and hanged up.
On my way to Nasko from Minna the state capital of Niger State, my car engine started mixing oil and water, so it couldn’t move faster and I was already far from Minna, but not yet in Kontagora before Nasko.
There was also no GSM network within where I was, even if there was, I didn’t intend to call the General, so he doesn’t cancel my appointment because it was already getting to 3pm.
I got a road side mechanic, he managed to hammer some senses into my old jalopy car. So I got moving.
I arrived the home of the General in Nasko at about 6pm.
I told the guards I came from Minna based on an appointment with the General for 3pm, I was ushered into the house, someone went into the inner house to inform him, before then heavy, heavy variety of food flasks have started landing before me.
One of the aides said “Baba )Meaning General has being waiting for you, he even cancelled his farm visit to wait for you” I shivered inside but didn’t allow it tell on my face, a General cancel his schedule to wait for me? This must be a different kind of General. I thought.
I felt highly elated and honored, after eating I was ushered into another parlor where I met the General gentleman was already seated waiting for “ordinary me”, I greeted him and we chatted, he said I have arranged a place for you to pass the night so when we finished what brought you, you go there to sleep and then you can leave in the morning, he added, or do you want to leave now? I said no, I was running multiple thoughts, how could a man of this status, cancel his schedule, prepare meals and reserve place for me to pass the night only for me to reject? No! No!! I won’t dare it.
We chatted for about an hour, he told me a very interesting story about IBB and General Maman Kontagora, his days in Secondary in Bida, his days in the Army, his thoughts about Nigeria Democracy, we talked about Niger state and Nigeria.
I also asked him why he choosed his hometown to all the big cities of Nigeria and the world, to retire into? He smiled and said he loved his people.
Our discussions were private and I choose to keep his answers private. He has chosen a very private life after rising to the top of his military career, been Governor, several times minister and traveling all over the world.
I look forward to interviewing him atleast for public consumption or for a book about his life in future.
Today General Muhammadu Gado Nasko celebrates his 80th birthday, I wish him and his entire family longer live, good health and many more birthdays to come.
Yahaya Mohammed Usman
Publisher, Nigerwatch Newspaper