By Tunde Opalana
The Senate, on Tuesday, resolved to send a delegation to condole the people of Yobe State; and the State Government over the death of Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim.
The upper chamber also held a minute silence to honour the deceased who was a three-time Senator between 2007 and 2019; and former Governor of Yobe State.
The delegation to visit Yobe State is headed by Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central).
Members on the delegation include: Senators Ahmad Lawan, Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central), Victor Umeh (Anambra Central), Saliu Mustapha (Kwara Central), Ibrahim Bomai (Yobe South), Ahmed Wadada (Nasarawa West).
The resolution to send a delegation was reached by the upper chamber, sequel to the adoption of prayers contained in a personal explanation by former Senate President Ahmad Lawan on the floor during plenary.
Relying on Order 42 of the Senate Standing Orders, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC – Yobe North), drew the attention of his colleagues to the death of Sen. Bukar, which occurred on Sunday, February 4, 2024.
He notes that the Late Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim was born on the 1st of October, 1949, and hailed from Goniri town in Gujba local government area of Yobe State.
The former Senate President further notes that, “the young Bukar was enrolled at age seven for his primary education at the Goniri Central Primary School in 1957 and rounded up in 1964. He then proceeded for his secondary education at the Government College, Maiduguri, in Borno State, between 1965 and 1970, and obtained the General Certificate of Education (GCE) upon completion of his studies.
“Determined to make his pursuit for higher education a reality, Sen. Ibrahim enrolled for the Preliminary Science programme at one of Nigeria’s premier institutions, the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, for a duration of two years – between 1970 and 1972. He was then admitted to a full-time programme at the same university to study for his first degree in 1972. Three years later, he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Quantity Survey in 1975.
“Sen. Ibrahim was, thereafter, deployed to the Federal Ministry of Education for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and served between July 1975 and August 1976.
“Upon completion of the one-year NYSC scheme, he gained employment as a Pupil Quantity Surveyor with the Borno State Ministry of Works, Land and Survey in September, 1976. His productivity during the course of service pivoted him to become a Principal Quantity Surveyor, and Acting Head of Department six years later, in 1982. Driven by his quest for education, Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim embarked on a Post Graduate Professional Training in the United Kingdom (1981–1982), which earned him Membership of the Institute of Cost Engineers, United Kingdom; and Associate Membership of the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors in 1983.
“Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim, in his bid to explore the private sector, had a short stint with Partnership in Konti-Sab Associates, between 1982 and 1985. He was later appointed in 1985 as Honourable Commissioner for Works, Housing, Transport, Land and Survey, in Borno State, a position he held until 1988.”
Senator Lawan recalled that, “Upon the creation of Yobe State out of old Borno State by the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida-led military government on the 27th of August 1991, Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim answered the call of his people and joined partisan politics in the same year. He contested on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and was subsequently elected in 1992 as the first Executive Governor of Yobe State. He held sway from 1992 to 1993, when the civilian government in Nigeria at the time was aborted by the military take-over of November 17, 1993.
“After his exit as Governor of Yobe State, he founded his own company – Berema Nigeria Limited in 1998.
“During the period of Nigeria’s transition from military to civilian rule in late 1998, Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim again contested for the Governorship of Yobe State; this time under the platform of the All People’s Party (APP), which was later renamed the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim took office on 29 May 1999, for a first term of four years; and was re-elected to serve a second term from 29 May, 2003 to 29 May, 2007.
“Senator Ibrahim was a committed leader, and a dedicated politician and public servant who contributed immensely to the development of Yobe State and Nigeria. During his tenure as Governor between 1999 and 2007, Yobe State witnessed significant progress in various sectors, including education, infrastructure, healthcare, and agriculture.
“He introduced a free education programme in Yobe State in 2004, which provided free education to primary and secondary school students in the state. This program helped to increase school enrollment and reduce the illiteracy rate in the state.
“After completing his 8-year stint as Governor of Yobe State, he contested to represent Yobe East Senatorial District in the National Assembly during the 2007 General Elections, under the platform of the ANPP. He was re-elected in 2011 and 2015, respectively. During the 2015 General Elections, he contested under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, the APC.
“As a three-time Senator, he served as Chairman and member of several Senate standing committees.
“In recognition of his meritorious service and outstanding academic accomplishments, the late Sen. Bukar Ibrahim was inducted as a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (FNIQS); Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Agricultural Engineers; and Member of the Institute of Directors.
“As a detribalized Nigerian, he held several traditional titles across parts of the country, prominent amongst which are: Walin Gujba, Ardon Yobe, Mukhaddam of Damaturu, Dan Masanin Ngelzarma, Omo Tunde of Yorubaland; Otunba of Ijesha; Ugo Mba 1 of Ancient Kingdom of Umudioka, Imo State; Obioha Ndigbo and Udemba Nnewi, respectively.
“He also bagged numerous local, national and international awards, including the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award in 2004. He was conferred with the national Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by His Excellency, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.
“Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim was married and blessed with children.
“The passing of Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim is a great loss not only to his family, but to us the people of Yobe State and, indeed, Nigeria as a whole. I seize this opportunity to express our heartfelt condolences to his immediate family; our Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Mai Mala Buni, CON, and the people and government of Yobe State and, indeed, Nigeria over this irreparable loss. May Almighty Allah (SWT) grant the Soul of late Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim Aljannatul Firdaus. Amin.”