Since they left public service, they are not seen or heard of anymore. ELEOJO IDACHABA in this report wonders where they could be at the moment.
Bashir Yuguda was the minister of state for finance in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan especially towards the end of that government. Yuguda was first appointed minister of state for works in 2011 and later as the supervising minister for national planning in 2013. He was no doubt one of the strong men of the Jonathan administration from the North. As the life of that administration ended in 2015, after some investigations, Yuguda and others came under the scrutiny of the anti-graft agencies over what the Buhari administration considered their roles in what was famously known as the arms deal.
Yuguda was at other times the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In April 2016, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted him bail on medical grounds to proceed to Dubai for treatment. Since then, not much has been heard about him and the corruption case anymore, an indication that he might have merely been victimised.
Abdulrahman Hassan Gimba was the minister of sports and chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC). He was appointed on July 27, 2007, by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to serve in his cabinet, but he was shown the way out on October 29, 2008, as a result of a minor cabinet reshuffle.
He is a product of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he studied Law and was called to the Bar in 1979.
Gimba began his career as registrar of the High Court of Justice Sokoto between 1975 and 1980. He also served as senior counsel and later as chief draftsman in the Niger state judiciary from 1983 to 1989. Gimba also had a stint in the private sector as he principal partner, Summit Chambers, as well as chief executive officer, Century Policy Consultants, Abuja and a member of the Northern Nigerian Strategic Analysis Group from 2005 to 2006 just before he was appointed into the cabinet.
Since he exited office in 2008 as sports minister, rarely was his input heard in both political and legal circles. This, according to analysts, is probably because he found himself on the wrong side of the political landscape as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Others believe he decided to tone down every activity on account of his age. He was said to be a sports minister who had the passion for the industry but could not stay on to fulfill his plans for the sector; however, he was unable to call Amos Adamu to order despite the numerous allegations against him. At the present time, no one knows where he could be and what he is doing.
Rear Admiral Samuel Bitrus Atukum (retd.) was the military governor of old Plateau state between 1984 and 1985 under the administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as head of state. To date, he is someone who is said to be close to now President Buhari because of the relationship they had shared from the past, but since the present administration came to office in 2015, he has not been visible at any moment. As military governor in Plateau state, he was confronted with many challenges especially as the country’s resources were lean then. That was not a surprise because the period was when Nigeria went through what was called Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) leading to take-over of power by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in August 1985.
To cushion the effect while as governor in Plateau, he introduced community and cattle tax in order to augment the finances of the state. He also sold off all Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot 505 official cars in the government fleet and replaced them with less expensive Peugeot 504 cars. That was not all; he went ahead and banned after-hours use of government vehicles by civil servants in order to save fuel. Furthermore, in August 1985, he proposed that the labour unions should accept a 20% cut in salary in view of the state’s financial difficulties.
Finally, he went ahead and merged Plateau Television (PTV) and Plateau Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) into the Plateau Radio Television Corporation. Atukum expressed concerns over what he called the use of non-indigenes and indigenes, saying it caused disharmony among people in the state. In 1985, he declared that anybody who harboured illegal immigrants after the 10 May departure deadline set aside by the military government would be treated as a saboteur. Analysts say that was when the War Against Indiscipline was not a mere slogan under him. While launching a state-wide tree-planting campaign in 1984, he noted that 70,000 hectares of valuable farmland were lost to illegal mining activities in the state and, therefore, called on the federal government for assistance in the conservation and reclamation of eroded lands. For a long time now, not much has been heard about this man again.