Saturday, 17 October 2015

Nigerian Elite Connexion I

This is an old article that I never get tired of reading over and over again. It was originally published in Leadership Confidential, the subscription only publication by Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah, the publisher of Leadership Newspapers. Even though a lot has happened since the publication, it still makes a good read and throws light on how intricate the connections between the Nigerian elite are.

 To the casual observer, the events that shape and continue to configure what happens on Nigeria’s socio-political and economic firmament are either coincidental, mere happenstance or outright accidental.

Far from it, as Leadership Confidential can authoritatively confirm that many developments were/are carefully conceptualised, planned and implemented by the country’s elites, who are intricately entwined by either fraternity, business interests, blood relationships or marriage linkages.

Such marriages cut across ethno—religious boundaries and had pre—dated 1914, when the British colonialists through Lord Lugard amalgamated the Northern and Southern Protectorates into the present day Nigeria.

For example, do you know that Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno State, Yobe State Governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Ibrahim Bunu and former Nigerian ambassador to the US, Senator Jibril Aminu are all married to the sisters of Ammuna Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Nigeria’s Country Governor at OPEC? Ammuna is the wife of former managing director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Ibrahim Ali, who is the brother of former Governor Mala Kachalla of Borno State.

Similarly, Abba, son of the late General Murtala Mohammed, Nigeria’s former head of state is married to Ammuna’s daughter. You may also not be aware, but it is true that Umaru Mutallab, an accomplished banker is married to the elder sister of Mouftah Baba-Ahmed, former chairman of NAL Bank and director of NEPA, who in turn is married to the daughter of Mutallab from his other wife.

Leadership Confidential can also authoritatively inform you that former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, his former Director of Military Intelligence (DMI), Brigadier-General Halilu Akilu, and Dr. Abdulsalam Mustapha, proprietor of Mustapha Clinics in Minna, Niger State are married to siblings.

From across the Niger, the first wife of Michael Ibru, (patriarch of the Ibru dynasty), Muriel, had a son, Nnaemeka, for Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. She was then the secretary of African Continental Bank (ACB), which Zik founded in the 1955. Nnaemeka, through the Ibru connection (maternal) set up Emene Motors Ltd, which is an offshoot of Rutam Motors, owned by the Ibrus.

Are you aware that Mohammed Ibrahim, former director—general of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Dr. Mahmud Tukur, a one-time vice chancellor of Bayero University, Kano and Minister of Commerce during General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration; and Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar (Mairago), Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) are married to the sisters of Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, former military governor of Kaduna State? Equally, the other wife of Dr. Mahmud Tukur is the elder sister of Nuhu Ribadu, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Mairago's other wife is the daughter of the late Hamza Zayyad, chairman of the Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC). Dr. Mahmud Tukur’s daughter is married to her cousin, the son of Bamanga Tukur, Awwal.

The daughter of Senator Isaiah Balat is married to the son of AVM Ishaya Shekari, former military administrator of old Kano State. Likewise, do you know that the wives of General Domkat Bali, Nigeria’s former defence minister and Solomon Daushep Lar, former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are sisters? Senator Aliyu Zego Aziz (Wazirin Jaba) and Air Commodore David Jonah Jang, former military governor of defunct Gongola State are also married to sisters.

Unknown to many also, is the fact that the wives of Mamman Daura, chairman of Kaduna Furniture and Carpets Company (KFCC), Abubakar Alhaji, former minister of finance and current Sardaunan Sokoto, General Aliyu Mohammed, National Security Adviser (NSA) and Munnir Ja’afaru, former director—general of Nigerian Maritime Authority (NMA) are the daughters of Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki.

Examples of marriages that cross the ethnic barrier include that of Ebitu Ukiwe, former number two to General Ibrahim Babangida, who married Amina, the daughter of Ahmed Talib, foremost Northern Nigerian leader and General Mamman Remawa’s daughter, Fati, is married to the son of Ambassador Tunji Olagunju, Nigeria’s ambassador to South Africa.

Leadership Confidential can also affirm that, the son of consummate politician, the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Murtala, is married to the daughter of Dr. Sadiq Wali, physician to five past Nigerian leaders. It is also true that General John Temlong and General Jerry Useni, former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are in—laws.

It is also authoritative that one-time General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Joshua Dogonyaro married the daughter of elder statesman Ali Monguno, Fatima, and they have five children. Also, the late General Joe Garba, former Nigeria’s External Affairs Minister was married to the sister of one—time Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie, with whom they sired a daughter, Fatima, who got married to Omar Ado Ibrahim’s son. Ibrahim is the Attah of Ibirra.

Former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Murtala Nyako is married to Justice Binta, who is General Remawa’s very close niece. Engineer Nura Khalil, ANPP Katsina State gubernatorial candidate in the 2003 elections, Waziri Mohammed, chairman Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) and Ladan Lema Jibrilu are married to the daughters of wealthy Dantata family of Kano.

Edo State born Christopher Abebe, former chairman/CEO of United African Company (UAC) is the father of Stella, wife of President Olusegun Obasanjo, while the Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Aliyu Mustapha, sired one of the four wives of Vice President Atiku Abubakar. General Buba Marwa’s first wife, Zainab, with whom he has all his grown up children (all lawyers), is the elder sister of Phil Agbassi, currently Vice President Atiku’s special assistant, who was married to Sonia. Chiikwuemeka Chikelu’s elder sister. Chikelu is the current Nigerian minister of information.

Chikelu himself is married to the daughter of Adamawa State born General Anthony Hananiya, Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
Former Minister for Special Duties, Yomi Edu, is married to the daughter of Alfa Wali of Kano State, one-time Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence.

Governor Ibrahim Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State is married to the daughters of Dr. Awwal Ibrahim, Emir of Suleja and the late Mukhtari Bello, former managing director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). Likewise, businessman, Lawal Idris is married to the daughter of Justice Mamman Nasir.

Unknown to many also is the fact that Umaru Shinkafi, Marafan Sokoto, former head of the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO); Shehu Malami, one-time Nigeria’s ambassador to South Africa and Mamman Bashar, Emir of Daura are in—laws to the late Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

Mohammed Haruna, and the late Kere Ahmed, director of the NTA are in-laws, while the son of the late Mahmoud Attah, Bello, is married to the daughter of General T.Y. Danjuma, Gloria The daughter of one-time executive governor of Kano State, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar Rimi is married to the son of businessman, Isyaku Rabiu.

To be continued...