Makeri Danjuma Mohammad is a humanitarian Advocate for underprivileged individuals and groups, a critical stakeholder in Rijana, Katari and Kilbu communities, The President of the Katari Development Association who also doubles as the spokesman of the three communities, narrating how he has been able to advocate for the communities, he said “being an humanitarian advocacy is not by accidents in fact it was a product of three distinct factors which are hereditary, training and interaction, “apathy of the people on whose account my activism is persecuted” my people are victims of banditry, lamenting that “Their apathy and lack of commitment on their part and lack of stability is holding me back in my advocacy” in this exclusive interview with Lola Seriki-Idahosa, he bears his mind on how he will continue to engage the relevant government agencies on how to put an end to insecurity in their various communities, excerpt..
Q.. Tell us about yourself
My name is Makeri Danjuma Mohammad a Jerusalem pilgrim (JP), a retired public servants, a former senior legislative aide and in the national assembly and presently a political cum humanitarian activist, a prolific writer a motivational speaker, a freelance journalist, public affairs commentator, social media influencer a small-scale farmer just to mention a few legitimate endeavours that I indulge in. Additionally I hail from Kachi local government Kaduna state. I’m also into church activism by virtue I am a counselor in my church and also the secretary and LCC delegates to the katari decc in kaduna state.
Q..What attracted you to being an advocate?
My interest in humanitarian advocacy is not by accidents in fact it was a product of three distinct factors which are hereditary training and interaction. From the hereditary point of view my father the legendary Muhammad Makeri was an activist in his own rights he was an active participant in the nationalist activities in attaining political independence in 1960.
My late father a product of teacher training centre (TTC) Bauchi but an indigene of kaduna state. Having gotten the school training at TTC he secured a teaching appointment in a primary school. In 1947 he later dived into politics and he later became a household name in my community and even beyond and growing up as a child l naturally keyed into his footprints.
Again when I was in the university I got inspired by advocacy in fact some of my lecturers made me more interested in activism and made me have interest in studying unionism, when I graduated I got an appointment with the government as an academic staff in the secondary school section. I rose to the rank and eventually became the principal and I was posted into a rural area then I came face-to-face with squadron life the problem which characterized rural communities in Nigeria. I got tempted to go into advocacy for these vulnerable people in these rural communities. For three consecutive years I served as a school principal and I started making contributions as a freelance writer to some of the print media projecting the aspirations of these vulnerable people in the rural communities. Being a rural personality myself born and bred in a rural community in Kachi local government kaduna state. I felt there is a need to step into that void and speak for the voiceless in the community. I am a trained sociologist we had course units in developmental strategies, law, political science, history and others. I later got involved in politics in school, I became a student union government leader in Murtala Mohammed university I started in the peripheral level and I got entangled in higher wire politics.
Having graduated I got the exposure and singular privilege of serving in a company where I had contracts with people in need and I worked as an admin officer in an insurance company in port Harcourt rivers state where I had the privilege of interacting with higher-profile personalities. During insurance coverage I was able to get myself involved I became truly inspired and to that extent I became truly inspired to take active role in The Society as an advocate for people in need.
When I left the insurance company after serving as a copper in 1985 I secured an appointment in kaduna ministry of education as an academic staff I rose to the rank and became a school principal posted to one of the rural areas and because of my patriotic instinct I accepted and for 12 consecutive years hours in the rural area I came face-to-face with deprivation with problems that characterizes human life in rural communities, at that point I started writing and projecting the yearning and aspirations of the rural population. I felt there was a need for somebody to stand in and fill the gap and become a voice for these voiceless people. At that point I became a freelance writer and started sending articles to the printing media. At a point the then deputy speaker at the house of assembly Honourable Emmanuel Imasuengu Audu got captivated by some of my writings and personally paid me a visit in my duty post. He was hugely inspired and captivated by what I was doing in the rural community, he summoned me to Kaduna and gave me a car gift a Mercedes 190 as a gift to me. Later when he contested and won the election to represent the good people of kakarku federal constituency in the house of representative national assembly he gave me an offer as his senior legislative aide a position that saw me serving as a chief of staff coordinating all his political staffs, that singular privilege and exposure further added flesh to my activism. I started making outreach to the grassroots and to the authorities at some point some people were saying I should come out and contest but I said no that would put me at power with my principal. When I finished my tenure in the year 2007 to 2011 and couldn’t secure a return ticket I went back to my mother ministry and became a quatier assurance officer in the ministry. At that point I became so popular in my community for my very captivating write ups and it endeared me to the populace. In the year 2020 I went into mainstream broadcast adventuring, I started making more robust advocacy, I went into inclusive advocacy and became president of my community in the year 2017 later in the year 2021 I became a spokesperson for the Adara nation and a DRRM advocacies (Disaster risk reduction and management), humanitarian advocacy under the office of the prudent Christian urban-rural association of Nigeria a nonprofits, non-political society organisation and aspires to make advocacy for Disaster risk reduction inclusive governance, humanitarian advocacy and the likes, I have been very visible on this fronts and in my communities where there’s are breakages in the people’s rights therefore I stand to feel them and to speak for this vulnerable people there are instances where people from our community has had issues to sort out with the security operatives posted in the area they have had issues with the youths and community, issues of right abuse by the security operatives.
I’ve always been able to stand speak and write statements trying to protect the rights of the indigenous people I have been that bold to co address the press and make write ups to authorities. I saw that there are some people that are on able to speak up for themselves the rather lament on the sidelines without being frontal. I saw the need for basking in the footsteps of my father, I knew that someone must be there to stand in for the people. I saw her people fought for others in the past and I felt the need to replicate it in my time. A good name is better than riches and that is why I’m doing this.
All-round I fight against environmental degradation and the need to restore sanity in the environment and also fights to restore inclusiveness in governance, I fight for rights of the people. I tried to bring together communities along the kaduna Abuja road by insinuating about the banditry issue having some collaborations of banditry, I stood out boldly to confront and challenge this corrosive insinuation of the government I was bold enough to lead a representation from the communities and we need an elaborate press statements until today I have always been on that position that our people are victims of banditry and we have made clear suggestions on what government should do about the problems along kaduna Abuja highway and the bold proactive measures the government need to take.
We have been mobilizing the people to volunteer actionable information that could assist government in arresting the situation or bring it under control. I believe that with God and people with like minds we will arrive somewhere. I have offered myself to stand with history and posterity. I will not be part of those that recoiled into cowardice not to stand in the side of history and the people. I’ve given myself as an advocate of the people and there is no retreat no surrender to God be the glory.
Q.. what are the challenges in your advocacy?
In my advocacy I am hugely incapacitated by lots of challenges prominent among which include not limited to the following: lack of resources, apathy of the people on whose account my activism is persecuted.
The apathy there is because most of the people I speak for are vulnerable people downtrodden people, the people at the grassroots. Some of them are seemingly disengaged or disoriented hence my struggles.
At a time when I expect them to key into my efforts they disappoint me or when I mobilize some to do the needful during elections they dodge and shy away, they take bribes and vote in self service politicians to this extent my activism is being brought down. It is disappointing that they expect the people to stand for and some of them even rise up to challenge me when I try to present their issues for the needful to be done.
Q..What are your expectations during the electioneering period
My people collect peanuts and do as the self serving politicians want only to come back to lament, this is the problem we are facing in some of these people. Their apathy and lack of commitment on their part and lack of stability is holding me back in my advocacy.