Bukar Abba Ibrahim and the way we are governed today
By John Eche
Alhaji Bukar Abba Ibrahim, the former three-time governor of the Boko Haram-troubled Yobe State is in the news for the wrong reasons. He is the one that was caught on tape, dressing up after what appears to be some dalliance with women that he is not publicly associated with.
For those who do not know him he ran Yobe from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007 after having earlier served as governor of the state from January 1992 to November 1993.
He is also not one who shot in from the blues. Trained at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the Quantity Surveyor had from 1985 to 1988, worked as a civil servant in Borno State, before rising to become Commissioner of Works.
A Muslim, he is married to three wives: Hajiya (Dr) Maryam Abba Ibrahim, Hajiya Aishatu Ibrahim and Hajiya Khadijat Ibrahim.
On the political front, Ibrahim’s story did not end after his three governorship-bout. In 2007, he was elected to the Senate for the Yobe East constituency. He ran for reelection in the 9 April 2011 Senatorial contest for the same Yobe East and even as we write remains a member of the Senate.
So we have a case of one who has literally been in the political limelight for some three decades.
Underscoring the fact that Nigeria has indeed been good to Ibrahim, one of his wives, Hajia Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim has also been, and remains a major player on the political stage.
Born into the illustrious political family of Waziri Ibrahim (of the ‘politics without bitterness’ fame), she went into private business she had received her B.Sc degree in Business Studies and Sociology from Roehampton Institute for Higher Education, an affiliate of the University of Surrey and worked briefly in a couple of concerns.
Her firm, ZAFACA Nigeria Limited was involved with government and private contractual works as suppliers of computers, security gadgets and hardware.
In 2004, she was appointed Commissioner for Transport and Energy, Yobe State. In 2006, she was appointed Resident Commissioner, Nicon Insurance, Yobe State.
‘In politics, the Honourable Minister has also made a mark. She was a three time member of the House of Representatives, representing Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency of Yobe State, She was first elected in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011 and 2015. While in the House of Representative, she served in different capacities. From 2007 to 2008, she was the Deputy Chairman,House Committee on Rural Development; between 2008 and 2010, she was the Deputy Chairman,House Committee on Communications; from 2010 to 2011, she served as the Chairman,House Committee on Rural Privatisation and Commercialisation.She was also a member of House Committees on Power,Water Resources, interior, Women affairs, Appropriation, etc.’
In 2016, she was nominated as a Minister of State for Foreign Affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari, with her screening being a mere ‘take-a-bow’ formality.
And then, given their imposing political weight in a nation where the will of the people scarcely counts, it is almost clear and certain that even this ‘small embarrassment’ will very well pass almost as soon as it began. Or is the infant-marrying former Zamfara Governor, Sani Yerima not yet one of those that are still pontificating in one of those ‘hollow,’ sorry, hallowed chambers. Sad.
Now contrast the conduct and disposition of these our modern-day traducers with their more noble predecessors of an era gone by. Asked for example to explain what accounted for his very many achievements in public life, the most illustrious Chief Obafemi Awolowo had said: While many men in power and public offices are busy carousing in the midst of women of easy virtue and men of low morals, I, as a few others like me, am busy at my desk thinking about the problems of Nigeria and proffering solutions to them. Only the deep can call to the deep.’
Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim