Abubakar Yar’Adua, Ibrahim Kefas: Where are they now?

Two former military administrators (MILADs) who served in the same capacity, but in different states and at different times plus a former boss of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are the persons under focus this week. ELEOJO IDACHABA writes.

Daniel Akintonde

Col. Daniel Akintonde (retd.) was the former military administrator (MILAD) of Ogun state between 1993 and 1996. He served under the late Gen. Sani Abacha while the latter was Head of State. He was retired from the military in June 1999 by a presidential directive, along with all officers who had served as ministers, governors or administrators during the Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Abacha and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar regimes, respectively. One of his remarkable achievements as a MILAD in Ogun was that in 1994, Akintonde renamed the state’s College of Education to Tai Solarin College of Education in honour of the late sage, Dr Tai Solarin. Akintonde was, however, among military officers arrested for their involvement in the December 1997 alleged coup against the late Gen. Abacha. On April 20, 1998, it was announced that he had been cleared of the charges brought about by his involvement in the said coup; nevertheless, that particular incident tainted his reputation in the military just before he was retired in 1999. While settling down to enjoy his retirement, in August 1999, the Ogun state House of Assembly summoned him for questioning about issues bordering on some contracts he awarded during his tenure.

In that investigation, reporters were barred from the hearing, but report indicated that the ex-MILAD was said to be embarrassed during the investigation. Unconfirmed reports had it that this former military officer on retirement later joined the clergy as a way of spending his later years in retirement, but no definite report on which church he pastors or serves. One thing is certain, since he left public service, despite the political developments in the country, both at the state and national levels, he was not known to show any interest, probably the reason for which not much has been heard about him since then.

Abubakar Yar’Adua

Abubakar Yar Adua was the former group managing director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under the late former president, Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua between 2007 and 2009. Yar’Adua, according to investigation, never worked anywhere outside the NNPC. He joined the corporation as a corps member at the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) in 1976. As usual, when he took over the mantle of leadership in NNPC, he declared the normal rhetoric associated with former chief executives that there would be zero tolerance for corruption during his tenure. This was during the valedictory session in honour of Dr Funsho Kupolokun, his immediate predecessor, who was removed from office. He admitted that the downstream sector posed a big challenge to the management of the corporation and that little or nothing would be achieved without the support of his staff. To that extent, he pledged that should the corporation fails to address the challenges posed by the downstream sector, he would be the first person to go.

According to him, “I believe that staff are the greatest assets of any organisation and so we shall train and retrain our staff. Our staff remains one of our top priorities. The perception that NNPC is a black box is a hoax and we welcome anybody to confront us to know what we are doing. We believe it is the right of every Nigerian to know what we are doing.”

The NNPC, he said, would contribute its quota to government’s desire to revamp the energy sector and make Nigeria one of the world’s 20 most developed economies by year 2020. In 2009, in what were referred to as major reforms in the oil sector, Yar’Adua was sacked along with other top management staff of the corporation. Since then, nothing has been heard about him.

Ibrahim Kefas

Group Captain Ibrahim Kefas (retd.) is a former air force officer who served as military administrator of Cross River state between 1993 and 1994, and later posted as administrator of Delta state until August 1996, during the military regime of Gen. Abacha. This Taraba state-born officer sacked Professor Frank Mene Adedemiswanye Ukoli, the then vice-chancellor of the state university for political reasons; a move that was condemned by many, but he refused to give in. He, like other military adventurers in politics, was asked to voluntarily resign in 1999. He later joined politics and became a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) all in a bid for further leadership position and was later appointed as the party chairman. In March 2002, as the state chairman of the party, Kefas and other PDP politicians were attacked by over 200 youth who invaded a PDP rally, but he narrowly escaped death.

He was subsequently nominated as National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for governorship in the 2007 elections for the state, but Danbaba Suntai later won in that election. Kefas was born into a Christian missionary family and was the oldest of many children. His father, a devout Christian, put him in a Bible college at a very tender age with the hope that he would become a preacher. He completed his programme and because he was fascinated by planes and wanted to fly them, he joined the Nigerian Defence Academy and became a pilot before he was 20 years old. That was how he carried on in the military until he resigned in 1999. Since then, not much has been heard about him.

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