Namadi Sambo. The Profile of a Silent Achiever

There is an uncanny similarity between his nomination as Vice-President and that of President Goodluck Jonathan as Presidential running mate in 2006. Much like Jonathan, Governor of Kaduna State Mohammed Namadi Sambo is a silent operator.  Nigeria's Vice President DesignateAnd, he was just minding his business of running his home state when he was nominated as VP on Wednesday night. The VP designate was largely unknown until late 2006. Then, he had emerged, against all odds, as the Kaduna State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He went on to win the elections and was sworn in on May 29, 2007. In the three years that he has been in power as the Governor of Kaduna, he has remained rather quiet, preferring, as many of his aides would say, to let his actions speak for him. And, they may have a point here because in spite of his rather modest posture, Sambo has an intimidating private and public service resume. Born in Zaria on the 2nd of August, 1952, he started his primary education at the Baptist Primary School, Kakuri in Kaduna in 1959, completing it at Kobi Primary School, Bauchi in 1966. He received his secondary school education at the Government Secondary School (now Alhuda-huda College), Zaria from 1967 to 1971 and his higher secondary education was at the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria between 1972 and 1973. In 1973, he gained admission into the prestigious Department of Architecture of the Ahmadu Bello University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc) in 1976 and a Masters degree (M.Sc) in 1978. He was posted to Oyo State by the NYSC for the one year compulsory national youth service and he served at the Oyo State Ministry of Works from 1978 to 1979. After the service year, he joined the public service of newly created Bauchi State as an architect, becoming directly responsible for development, control and actual production of master plans for Bauchi and other major towns in the new state. When he left public service in 1981, he went into private practice and participated in the design and construction of iconic buildings and projects across the country. He had design and construction inputs in major projects such as the National Stadium, Abuja, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) headquarters, Katsina Polytechnic and Bank of the North Headquarters in Kano. Having garnered enough experience, he decided to establish a firm of architects in 1985. The firm, which was initially known as Environmental Design Consortium was to later become Coplan Associates, a consortium that went on to become a major player in the nation’s design and construction industry. It was about this time that the Kaduna State government first invited him to help with his wealth of experience. He was first appointed Commissioner for Agriculture in 1986 when he was just 34 years old. As Commissioner for Agriculture, he is credited with the transformation of the state into a major food basket in the country. He also helped develop Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) facilities in the state. He was to later serve as Commissioner for Works, Transport and Housing. At the end of his tour of duty in 1990, he went back to private practice, traversing the length and breadth of Nigeria as one of the most sought-after architects in the country. He also ventured into the Oil and Gas services and Turnkey Projects through a new company, Nalado Nigeria Limited, which he founded in 1998. Not previously known to be interested in political office, he suddenly became a gubernatorial aspirant in 2006. Against all political permutations and in spite of the fact that he was a dark horse, he went on to win the PDP ticket and eventually became governor in May 2009. He unveiled an 11-point agenda which he has been pursuing with vigour since he was sworn in. On inauguration day, he had declared that, “Our 11-point Agenda will address all the development and social needs of Kaduna State and bring tools of empowerment to youth and women in the state. “Operation Yaki is meant to address the issue of security and our e-government strategy will uplift the state economically. I wish to reaffirm my total commitment to the service, welfare and interest of the people of Kaduna State. We shall spare no effort to make sure that our tenure brings succour and prosperity to our people.” His supporters believe that he has delivered creditably on all these promises. There is a consensus however, that he has done very well in the area of security. He is credited with bringing enduring peace to a state that used to be the hotbed of radical and violent tendencies. His nomination as VP came as a surprise to many. He was not known to be interested and was definitely not one of the major contenders for the post. But he has emerged, much in the same way that he emerged as gubernatorial candidate in 2006. Many of his supporters believe that he has achieved much of his goals for his native state. Now that he is set to debut as a national politician and statesman, he may need to lean heavily on his repertoire of private and public sector experience to deliver


2 Responses

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