Alh. Musa Baboko Mohammed, 75, is a tested and seasoned public administrator with track records of unbeatable excellence in public service that span over 33years.  He stated that his life is all about service to humanity.  
In this fascinating encounter with Ayantunde Ayangbayi, JP, Baboko spoke about his career, life experience, its challenges and youths development in Nigerian society among other issues.
EXCERPTS
 

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Alh. Musa Baboko Mohammed, FICEN, Baagambere of Borgu Kingdom, New Bussa

Newsline on Sunday: Our readers will want to know who you are, sir.
Musa Baboko: My name is Alhaji Musa Baboko Mohammed, I was born on 3rd January, 1942 to a Muslim family in Bussa town, I had my formal and Islamic education in my hometown.  I worked as a civil servant in Kwara and Niger States, held various positions and appointments.  I retired as a permanent secretary and later served the Niger State Government in various capacities.  I speak Bissa, English, Hausa and Yoruba languages fluently.  I am married with children and grandchildren.
Newsline on Sunday: Briefly, Let’s have your educational profile, Sir?
Musa Baboko: I obtained my junior primary certificate in 1954, senior primary school certificate in 1957, clerical certificate in 1963, GCE O’level certificate in 1964, Diploma in Local Government Studies from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1969, Advanced Diploma in Local Government Studies in 1970, again, advanced Diploma in Public Administration in 1978.
Newsline on Sunday cuts in… your working experience Sir?
As a youngman, I worked with Borgu Local Government Authority in 1958 to 1971 as a Clerical Officer (Administration) till 1964.  I was opportuned to go on study leave to improve myself. 
 I changed my cadre from Administration to Treasury in 1964 and work as Senior Accountant (Treasury) till 1965.  From 1965 to 1967, I was a Tax Registrar/Revenue Officer.  In 1967, I was on acting appointment as Local Government Treasurer till 1968.  As the pendulum swings in my favour, I was appointed Local Government Council Secretary in 1970 to 1971.
There and then, I moved to Kwara State Government Civil Service.  New Bussa was then in Kwara State. While in Kwara State Civil Service I held various appointments and promotions.
In 1971-1974, I was a Local Government Officer in the Ministry of Local Government, later in 1974; I was moved to Administration as Assistant Secretary, Civil Service Commission.  Between 1975 to 1977, I was Divisional Officer, Igbomina/Ekiti Division, Omu Aran.  I served creditably well and I was then moved to the Military Governor’s office as Senior Assistant Secretary from 1977 to 1979.  
From 1979 to 1983, I was Secretary, Kwara State Council of Chiefs.  Later, in 1983, I was moved to Ministry of Health as Under Secretary for one year.
1n 1984, I became the Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Finance till 1987.  After that, I was graciously appointed Sole Administrator, Ilorin Local Government Council from 1987 to 1988.  In 1988, I was appointed Director-General and posted to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, later I was moved to Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, till 1991, when more states were created during the administration of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in 1991, Borgu Local Government was carved out of old Kwara State to Niger State.  I was given the responsibility to move Civil Servants from Kwara State to Niger State.
In Niger State, I was Director-General, Political, Cabinet and Special Services – for 3 months, that is from October, 1991 to December, 1991.
On 1st January, 1992, I retired from the Civil Service having put in 33 years of meritorious service.
Newsline on Sunday: Congratulations Sir!!!
Musa Baboko: Thank you very much.
Newsline on Sunday: You really have a wonderful CV; can you let us have a brief of positions held?
Musa Baboko: Let me thank almighty Allah, for creating me and for giving me all the zeal to be of service to the people, my community and humanity in my journey around the globe, so far.
In 1982, I was appointed Chairman, Kwara State Board of Survey to 1988; Member, Niger State Land Use Allocation Committee from 1992 to 1993; Delegate, National Constitutional Conference from 1994 to 1995; Director, Niger State Trust Fund, 1996. Member, Niger State Land Use Allocation Committee from 1996 to 2000; Permanent Commissioner, Civil Service Commission, Minna from 1998 to 2005; Adviser (Admin/Finance), Borgu Emirate Council from 2006 to 2007; Borgu Emirate Council Secretary from 2007 to 2009; Borgu Emirate Education Foundation, Permanent member from 2009 to 2011; Member, Whitepaper Implementation Committee on Maiyaki Judicial Commission of Inquiry from 2009 to 2011; Member, Screening Committee, Niger State Primary School Management Board  from 2011 to 2012; Member, Borgu Emirate Council, New Bussa from 2011 to date.
Newsline on Sunday: Let’s have information about Borgu Emirate Council, having served as Secretary to the Council.
Musa Baboko: There was an edict that was established in 1976 refered to as– ‘Dasuki Local Government Reform.’  Before then, the emir used to be Chief in Council with all powers.
The 1976 reform isolated the traditional rulers from the local government administration, to enable the council discuss freely.
The two local government chairmen, Agwara and Borgu are members of the council and are always invited for official meetings.
Newsline on Sunday: You have spent most of your working experience at the grassroot and in the civil service, what is your advice to the Federal Government on giving constitutional roles to the traditional institutions?
Musa Baboko: The purpose of establishing the emirate councils was to insulate traditional rulers from the local government councils.This will also ensure that the position of the traditional rulers continue to be respected and preserved in the society so that they can maintain the laudable roles they play as fathers of their people, custodian of peace, tradition and culture.
Another reason for the establishment of the reform was to insulate traditional rulers from partisan politics.  Since the membership of the local government council would be elected and to enable members discuss matters without fear since the presence of the traditional rulers will make it impossible for some members to hear their views freely for fear of conflict with their traditional rulers.
Let me enumerate the functions of the councils:
i-Maintenance of law and order.
ii-Questions relating to chieftaincy, religion, art and cultural matters.
iii-Customary laws including land tenure under customary laws.
iv-Rendering advice to the local government council on development projects. 
v-Link between the community and government.
So to my mind, the traditional institution are fully recognized and have specific roles to play in Nigerian State.
Newsline on Sunday: What is your advice as regards the educational system of the country?
Musa Baboko: My candid advice is that our young pupils should start school at the age of seven (7) years.  Our educational system lacks qualified NCE teachers to teach the young ones.  Primary school education is the foundation and federal government should work hard to see that this segment of our educational system is taking care of with qualified teachers. A situation where a teacher teaches over sixty pupils in a class is unacceptable.
Newsline on Sunday: How can you rate the educational and moral standard in the present day society?
Musa Baboko: Lack of discipline and hardwork is obvious in our educational institutions.  Students go to school at will, attend lectures at will, and wear dresses that are irresponsible, without checks.  Most students are not serious at all with their studies just because they are in the high institution of learning.  Most students study only when an exam is approaching. I will implore universities and other high institutions to monitor their students and have a standard dressing code.
Newsline on Sunday: What is your advice to parents?
Musa Baboko: Parents should be a comrade at arms with lecturers and school authority to see to the discipline of their children and school activities.  For primary schools, pupils there should be lesson teachers to teach their wards after school.  Parents should check on their pupils/wards at school randomly and should know the teachers of their children.  There should be a synergy between parents and students so that areas of interest can be improved upon.  This is very necessary.
Newsline on Sunday: What is your message to Borgu youths generally?
Musa Baboko: As a father, compassionate family man and a traditional title holder in Borgu Emirate, I can authoritatively say that our youths in Borgu are very lazy.  They look for areas to cut corners, most of  them are not prepared to face the challenges of life or work hard to earn a living in a society that demands absolute struggle.  So my advice in a nutshell, they should take up the challenges of life holistically by getting employed, fixing up, and going to school to read and achieve results by being educated.
Education is not meant to get a government job but to enlighten them on how to be successful in all aspects of human endeavour.  Education is for a person to decide what he wants to become in life not for employment or necessarily getting a government job ‘entrepreneurship’ is now the vogue – self-employment.
Newsline on Sunday: What is your advice to Borgu Traditional Institution and its stakeholders?
Musa Baboko: With the creation of so many village/district heads, it has eased the role played by Mai Borgu.  Most problems are resolved at village and district levels. Only problems that cannot be resolved at those levels are referred to the emirate council.
My advice to the people is that their loyalty should be to the traditional ruler of Borgu and they should be re-orientated about traditional institution through seminars/conferences that will inform them about their limits.  If they are not well informed, they will misinform and misdirect the community at large.  
To stakeholders, they should give active support to the traditional ruler of Borgu Kingdom and at all times they should be their brothers’ keepers.
Newsline on Sunday: At 75, you are waxing stronger, what is the secret behind it sir?
Musa Baboko: Glory is to Almighty Allah (SWT), I appreciate and very much satisfied with everything in and around me.  I don’t nurse any grudge against anybody and I have a free mind towards everybody.  I remain a happy man in all my endeavours just as I see my children growing well and doing well in their chosen careers.  So this is the secret.
Newsline on Sunday: Can you mention few of your classmates dead or living?
Musa Baboko: Oh yes! yes! Alh. Ibrahim Bidi Mohammed, Garkuwan Borgu; Alh. Ahmadu Aliyu Garafini OON, Shettiman Borgu; Alh. Inuwa Mohammed Gunu, District Head of Kokoli; Alh. Ahmadu Bako Mohammed, Sardaunan Borgu are all living while Malam Mu’azu Mohammed Sani; a gentleman of honour and friend of the people is now late.
Newsline on Sunday: What impact is your childhood experience having on you today?
Musa Baboko: I don’t see my work as difficult and there has never been a time I find myself idle. Laziness is not in my dictionary.  God has worked on me in such a way that I can stand and face challenges that comes my way because I believe they won’t last forever and I will overcome them.  I thank God because his grace has got me thus far: I regard those hard times as training period.  Today, due to determination and dint of hardwork I am ahead of some of my colleagues.  This training of self-confidence and hardwork I imparted in all my offsprings and they are better for it.  I have them in all spheres of life, they have distinguished themselves.  My life is a life committed to service of the people and humanity.
Newsline on Sunday: Finally, Sir, what is your message to the entire people of Borgu Kingdom, Nigerlites and Nigerians?
Musa Baboko: To my fellow brethren in Borgu, we should remain an indivisible entity.  Our destiny is in our hands, we should forge ahead with common destiny and absolute loyalty to Mai Borgu, Borgu Kingdom is destined to be great and I believe that one day it will be a state on its own.
To Nigerlites, we should remain stoically committed to the present administration under the able leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello; I believe he will deliver on his mandate.
To Nigerians, the economic recession period will be over, it is a matter of time – there will be a relief.
Annabi Muhammad (SAW) said, after hard times there will be a relief.  We should pray for our leaders, our economy, and our environment that Almighty Allah (SWT) should continue to intervene in our affairs so that relief will come sooner than expected.
I thank you Newsline for finding me worthy to comment on my life experience, challenges and other sundry issues.
Once again, thank you very much.

TAURARUWA