An elder statesman and former Chairman of the PDP in Anambra State, Dan Ulasi has disclosed how the relationship between the Igbos and northern Nigeria led by Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello began several decades ago.
Speaking during an interview, Ulasi said in 1937 Ahmadu Bello made attempts to become the Sultan of Sokoto but he was not successful. He said soon after that, he was charged to a magistrate court in Guzau (in present-day Zamfara) over tax evasion and he was locked up. According to Ulasi, it was an easterner, the late Chief Okonkwo who was Ahmadu Bello’s best friend at the time that organized about eight Igbos and got them to donate two pounds each which was used to hire the lawyers that got Bello free and he never forgot the kindness.
About 1:38:30 into a video shared on YouTube by AIT , Ulasi said: “In 1937 Ahmadu Bello ran for the Sultan of Sokoto and he failed. His brothers organized and sent him to a magistrate court in Guzau to be jailed for tax evasion. My father was just about three or four years in the north where he was trading. The best friend of Ahmadu Bello was an easterner from Anambra State, late Chief Okonkwo, he organized about eight Igbos including my father and all of them contributed two pounds each.
My father and Okonkwo went to Lagos to hire H.O Davies and Barrister Egbuna and they came to Guzau to free Ahmadu Bello. Soon after that, the Hausa-Fulani made him the Sardauna of Sokoto and pushed him into politics. That was the beginning of the NCNC and NPC alliance that later after the civil war you heard of the NPP and NPN alliance. Ahmadu Bello never forgot that”.
By Chief Dan Ulasi