For former military administrator Abubakar Maimalari; former minister of police affairs Boderick Alaowei Bozimo; and former minister of women affairs Hajiya Aishat Ismail; who made headlines while were in positions of authority, not much have been heard of them since they left office. ELEOJO IDACHABA asks where they are now?
Lieutenant Colonel Abubakar Maimalari (retd.) is a former military administrator (MILAD) of Jigawa state. He held sway from 1998 to 1999 under former head of state General Abdusalami Abubakar (retd.). Maimalari handed over power to the democratically elected Governor of Jigawa state Governor Saminu Turaki in 1999.
A son of a former military officer, Brigadier General Zakariya Maimalari, who was murdered in the January 1966 coup that brought Gen Aguiyi Ironsi to power, this former MILAD was among those President Olusegun Obasanjo termed “military opportunists” having held political appointments for long. He was among senior military officers retired by President Obasanjo.
Justifying the retirement Obasanjo had said: “I have no apology but I have explanations. It is because it is necessary to stop the sort of things that took the life of your father prematurely that I had to take decision that all those who have tasted power while they were soldiers should be eased out of the Nigerian Army so that we can have an army that would be completely free from political aberration.”
Since he left office, almost 20 years ago, not much has been heard about his whereabouts.
Boderick Alaowei Bozimo was minister of police affairs under President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 to 2007. He succeeded General David Jemibewon (retd).
Bozimo was alleged have embezzled N17 million from the ministry’s fund, an allegation he denied. According to him, the money was given to him to pay for emergency medical treatment in London.
“But for the grace of God, I would have been a dead man in 2006 when I was hit by a deadly ailment. It was like being at the end of the road. That is why I feel bad about the story. I was hit by a fatal cancer of the colon. I had to undergo series of surgeries.
“The first of the four major surgeries lasted nine hours at the London Clinic where some number of doctors battled to save my life. The money in question is no issue at all, and cannot compare with the issue of my health, although there is no fact to the claims because no money was shared, at least, to my knowledge. What transpired in the spending of part of the money is what I want to let Nigerians know.
“When the symptoms became unbearable, I had to complain to the President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, that I needed adequate medical attention. He expeditiously approved money for a trip to London for the treatment.
“Anybody who knows how government functions would agree that it takes time from the period of approval of a memo for the money to come. So my ministry knew that waiting for the money to come from the ministry of finance would have proved counterproductive because life was involved.
“The story carries the impression that I supervised the sharing of N27 million and in the process got a lion share of N17 million while the rest shared the remainder. That wicked fabrication is just what I want Nigerians to get right,” he said while clarifying the matter.
This Niger Delta-born lawyer now in his 70s has not been in the public space after he left office.
Hajiya Aishat Ismail was minister of women affairs and youth development under President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003, though she was not a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
She is someone that can be described as a ‘through-bred’ women emancipator given her credentials and experience in women related issues.
Hajiya Aishat’s life has been in the field of assisting of women, dating as far back as 1978 when she was appointed a social welfare officer in charge of social work and child welfare rehabilitation scheme in Kano.
In 1988, she became the first female director-general following her appointment as the Director-General, Kano State Directorate of Women and Child Development.
She made history again in 1990 when she was appointed the first female commissioner for Social Development Youths, Sports and Culture in Kano state. Similarly, in 1992, she became the first director-general of the National Commission for Women in Kano state.
She was the President, African Regional Coordinating Committee on Integration of Women of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa between 1992 and 1994. Hajiya Aishat’s was also the alternative head of delegation to the commission on the status of women of the UN in Vienna, Austria 1992.
In 1993, she was a special envoy to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on the establishment of women programme in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In February 2001, she spoke out against the lack of commitment of delegates to the West African Women Association (WAWA) conference. In August of the same year, she championed campaign against the increasing spread of vesicular vaginal fistula (VVF), warning families about the dangers of child marriages.
In March 2002 when Sharia Law was introduced in some northern states she advocated and welcomed the acquittal of Safiya Hussaini, who was sentenced to death under Sharia Law over allegations of adultery maintain that, “It is a victory for all women.”
This member of the then All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), whose track records in office are enviable, has been quiet for a while.