OPINION: A History of Biu” ( 2015) And The Lingering Bura – Pabir Question (2)

By: Balami Lazarus
This is the conclusion of my previous article on the above caption. I appreciated those that commented positively in respect of the part (1) on the one hand. While some tongue lashed me calling me agent of disunity forgetting that the piece is and for the purpose of Bura cultural identity , coupled with some historical corrections of Dr. Bukar Usman’s book “A History of Biu ” ( 2015) that carried some false historical virus of Babur as cultural identity. The conveyors of such identity are merely but bears in the market of cultural history of Biu people on the other. Therefore, the Bura – Pabir question is full of divides and indeed hooded in sentiments that has affected relationships intentionally seasoned by some selfish individuals nailed in the coffin of fake Babur identity that has no origin or history. And this brings to the heavily tinted manipulation in order to disintegrate and displaced the Bura people of their proud cultural identity, deliberately stirred in black mark to incapacitate them in cultural identity crisis with the term Babur; a self created identity that has became ingrained in the minds of many. Recently my attention was drawn to a book ” Bura Language For Beginners ” (2021) by one Dr. Ahmed Dahiru Balami where some persons wanted to add Pabir to the title to read Bura – Pabir Language For Beginners , but the author refused and rejected the idea vehemently. This shows that Pabir has no cultural identity to stand independently on its own. Why must it lean on Bura language? What is then the position of Babur during and after Yamtara – Wala? One of the major challenges among many of the indigines of Biu town is basically the issue of cultural identity that many are faced with as either Pabir or Babur. And when and if you addressed them as Pabir or Babur you put them on a cross- road . Similarly, the word Babur is a name of an ancient orient Emperor who once ruled India centuries ago. May be or may be not, those that called and addressed themselves as Babur might have come from the bloodline of Emperor Babur through Yamtara – Wala. The Bura man is very conscious of his cultural identity through either his first name like Thalma, Ajikwe, Hyelni. And more importantly his clan name. Their clan names are living cultural history that gives them high sense of belonging among theirselves, which equally distinguished them from other clans such as: Zoaka, Mshelia , Bwala , Shalangwa, Dibal , Balami, Mhya, Mbaya ,Ndahi, Mshellbwala , Mibwala , Mshelizah among many others. What are the Pabir or Babur cultural identity/clan names are called? Therefore, for the reason of your book and for the clarity of cultural identity and understanding I ask you Dr. Bukar Usman what and who are you? Do you have a clan name/ ancestral root? Finally, I came to understand that some of the families in Biu that I had interacted with , who are claiming to be Pabir are really not but Bura, who are infested by the bug of Babur are now surfing in inferiority complex cloaked and lost in the mist of cultural identities like “Piano and Drums” (clash of cultures) one of the works of Gabriel Okara. This set of people are long conditioned to feel is wrong, blemish and clammish to be Bura but okay to be Babur. Probably Dr. Bukar Usman is one of such individual. And for the aim of historical and cultural identity, I hereby rest my pen. Balami , a Publisher/ Columnist. 08036779290


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