Kano state witnesses star-studded social and political ceremonies once in a while, but that of May 11, 2018 was something else. Conjure adjectives such as ‘colourful,’ ‘eye-catching,’ ‘wonderful,’ ‘riveting,’ and you would be right on target. And this isn’t surprising considering the calibre and pedigree of the man of the moment on the one hand, and the uniqueness of the somewhat historic ceremony, on the other. Retired Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, the Minister of Interior was being turbaned with the enviable title of Baraden Kano. To get an idea of how really enviable and prestigious the traditional title is, it is pertinent to note that no personality has been bestowed with it in the state in living memory.
Apparently impressed with the retired general’s glittering track record of performance and industry, the paramount royal father of Kano, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, decided to bestow the honour on this gallant gentleman. Hence, pomp and panache held sway in the ancient city of Kano that red-letter day. Lo and behold men and women of calibre filling the Emir’s palace from the East, West, South and North in their hundreds to witness one of the Interior Minister’s days of glory. In the same vein, a legion of common folks from far and near trooped to the venue, determined to be part of the historic event.
Not unexpectedly, encomium upon encomium were showed upon the man of the moment with gusto. Speaker after stood up to enumerate what, in their respective views, are the virtues and qualities that have set Dambazau apart from many of his peers in the past couple of decades. Words such as “Distinguished Officer and gentleman,” “An uncommon soldier,” “Mercurial Minister of the Federal Republic,” “One of his kind,” and “The man who the cap fits as the new Baraden Kano,” flowed like confetti.
Understandably so. Over the years, the man of the moment has marked himself out as a trail-blazer first in his chosen career and then in his current job as a cardinal member of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Indeed, barely had he mounted the saddle in 2015 than he hit the ground running, dazzling all and sundry with his peculiar brand of man, material and machinery management. Ask any staffer of the Ministry of Interior and he or she would wax lyrical about how the retired Lieutenant General has tirelessly reinvigorated their operations in the sort of skillfull and effective way which none of his predecessors had ever mustered.
Amidst the frenzied excitement, pomp and outpouring of accolades, the retired general, as is characteristic of him, remained his amiable, humble and unassuming self. This trait dated back to his days at Barewa College, Zaria, from where he graduated in 1974. Thereafter Dambazau, who was born on March 14, 1954, before proceeding to the highly reputable Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna. A member of NDA’s 17th Regular Course, Dambazau was commissioned into the Army’s Infantry Corps before subsequently proceeding to the United States Army Military Police School in Fort McClellan, Albama. He followed this up by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Kent State University in 1982. As if to add an icing to his impressive academic laurels, he obtained a PhD in Criminology from the University of Keele in 1989.
A harbinger of what was to come in his highly decorated military career manifested in 1979 when he served as the Aide de Camp (ADC) to the Chief of Army Staff (a position which, as fate would have it, he himself would occupy barely few decades later). As a military police officer, he was privileged to command a number of military police units across Nigeria and also served as a Special Investigator between 1984 and 1985 before occupying the post of Chief Inspector, Support Weapon Wing of the Infantry Centre and School from 1999 to 2001. Dambazau then ventured to hold sway as Directing Staff of the National War College from 2004 to 2006 and as General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 2nd Division Ibadan from 2007 to 2008. The highest ambition of a typical Army brass is to be elevated to the position of Chief of Army Staff and this was what fell into Dambazau’s lap in 2008 when President Umaru Musa Yar’adua made him the Army Chief. In November 2015, Danbazau was appointed Minister of Interior by President Muhammadu Buhari.
What not many Nigerians are aware of is that this retired General is a sound scholar and author of a couple of books, just as he is also a member of several international and professional organizations. These include the World Society of Criminology, World Society of Victimology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology, British Society of Criminology, International Police Executive Symposium and Fellow, Institute of Public Relations.
With such a rich vein of experiences across the broad spectrum, it has come as little or no surprise to those familia with Dambazau’s pedigree that he has been installed as the new Baraden Kano. All hail the newest traditional title holder in town. Indeed, the general consensus is that with a man like Danbazau as the new Baraden Kano; a man whose patriotism is as legendary as his philanthropy and selflessness, Kano state has found a “Daniel cometh to judgment.”
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