Not much has been heard about this one-time chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Alih, the former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Ringim, and a former chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Hakeem Bello-Osagie. ELEOJO IDACHABA, in this piece, seeks to know why they have not been heard in a long while.
Ahmadu Ali is a one-time chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was before that in the Senate in the Second Republic, representing the people of Benue South comprising Igala and Bassa people. The PDP under Ali witnessed what many say was the tortuous beginning of the mass exodus of party faithful from its fold following a punitive membership verification exercise embarked by the party which many were not happy with mainly because of its politics of exclusion. A close ally of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he is also a retired military officer having risen to the rank of a Colonel. He was the former deputy director, Army Medical Services and chief consulting physician at the Military Hospital in Kaduna, in 1973.
When the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was established, following the end of the civil war, Alih became its pioneer Director General; so the blueprint for the NYSC of today was drawn under him.
He was in that capacity until Gen. Yakubu Gowon appointed him as the Minister for Education, while Obasanjo was in charge of Works. It was while he was minister that the famous Ali Must Go aphorism became popular in higher institutions across the country. Under his watch, however, what is today known as Federal Government Colleges, otherwise known as Unity Schools, across the country as well as many polytechnics, came into existence. Ali may not be strange to controversies, but he is someone that understands the importance of education having being a product of one of the finest institutions in the land.
While commenting on his passion for education in his book, Many Colours of the Rainbow, he said of his alma mater: “Ibadan has meant everything to me. It has helped me to shape my life in a very long way. That Ibadan provided me with meals ticket is not as important as what it stands for in my life. I not only passed through the portals of the university, the university also passed through me. Ibadan defined who I am and what I eventually become.” This Kogi state-born politician whose age is far above 80 reportedly told the press in 2016 that he would quit politics after his party conducts a successful convention. This was done in December 2017; therefore, it is expected that the old man may have successfully retired into a private life. At a time when governance seems to have gone awry in his home state of Kogi, this politician appears to have allowed the younger generations to continue from where he has stopped, but report says that he is working on releasing another book in days ahead to chronicle what is allegedly known as maladministration by younger generations.
Hafiz Ringim was the former Inspector General of Police between 2010 and 2012. This Jigawa state-born former police chief left Louis Edet House at the height of Boko Haram insurgency in the country following embarrassing bombings under him in several parts of the country and Abuja in particular. Ringim is reportedly taking refuge in the UK for fear of being haunted by some powerful forces in the country. Under his watch as the IGP, several high powered bombings took place; for example, the Force Headquarters bombing which occurred just as his convoy was about to enter the premises thereby fuelling suspicions that he was the prime target. There was also the UN Building which was also bombed and the Independence Day bombing at the Eagles Square, Abuja. Under him, a Deputy Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Ningi, and his orderly were killed by Boko Haram. Also, a Civil War veteran, Gen. Mamman Shuwa, was murdered.
Perhaps, one major reason for his removal as IGP was the disappearance from detention of one Kabiru Umar alias Sokoto who was the mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, in Niger state, who was kept under the custody of one Zakari Biu, a police commissioner. An online medium’s investigation about the man Ringim shows that his poor performance in office even when he had all the arsenals was not unconnected with his poor record of service both academically and on field works. It said: “Mr. Ringim was officially number 10 in the police hierarchy as at the time of his appointment which means that he jumped over nine others. In the top 10, he was the least qualified academically as his highest qualification was an Advance Diploma while nine others had degrees and masters. His last posting until his appointment as IGP was AIG Zone 9, comprising Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra states. On the day he was appointed, banks in Abia state had not operated for a week due to armed robbery incidents. Under his watch as AIG, four journalists were kidnapped in Abia”, the medium reported. At the moment, it’s not clear if this former police chief is still in the UK or in somewhere in Nigeria.
Until recently, he was the chairman of the telecommunications giant, Etisalat Nigeria, before he retired following the dwindling fortunes of the company. Keem, as he is known by his colleagues in the corporate world, was a former chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forced him to vacate office following some infractions even though he was later absolved of any wrongdoing. He shot himself to limelight in the late 1980s when he was appointed as special assistant to Dr Rilwanu Lukman, the late former Minister of Petroleum and Energy under former Military President
Ibrahim Babangida. This Edo state-born boardroom guru can be described as a lucky man because of the fast-growing career he had, both from the government circles to the private sector. According to a popular news print medium, “since he left his plum position as chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, all it took for many to know that Hakeem Bello-Osagie, a former chairman of United Bank for Africa is not nursing any pains in his heart was the wedding of his beautiful daughter, Adesuwa, recently.” Until that memorable day, many had thought erroneously that the brainy boardroom guru might not be inspired to engage in any loud celebration after he lost his plum position as chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, now rebranded 9Mobile.
Bello-Osagie is, however, one Nigerian that has been quiet in recent time even though he is not among those whom one can say age is no longer on their side.