Ernest Ndukwe, Abubakar Maimalari: Where are they now?

For a very long time now, these individuals who once served their fatherland in various capacities have been out of public space even as age is still in their favour. ELEOJO IDACHABA wonders on where they could be at the moment.

Ernest Ndukwe

Dr. Ernest Ndukwe was the executive vice-chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC). He is a telecommunications engineer with over 38 years experience in business management and in the telecommunications industry.

He is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE), Nigerian Institute of Management (FNIM), and Nigerian Academy of Engineering. Engr. Ndukwe has represented Nigeria at various international events and is a regular resource person at local and international conferences and events. He was appointed the chirf executive officer (CEO) of NCC in 2000, by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to midwife the mobile telecommunications revolution in the country; an assignment he successful carried out in 2003, following the licencing of two telecoms companies, MTN and ECONET.

After his first tenure, he was re-appointed for a second term of five years because of his exceptional performance. Ndukwe proceeded to preside over the building of an internationally- respected institution earning a reputation as a strong, transparent and open regulatory agency. Also, under his tenure at the NCC, the ICT industry witnessed tremendous growth and transformation, leading to what is now referred to as telecommunication revolution.  Prior to his stewardship at the NCC, he had held several senior and top-level executive positions in leading multinational telecommunications companies to the extent that he became the vice chairman of the International Telecommunications Union Telecom Development Advisory Group representing Nigeria.

He began his professional career with Radio Communications Nigeria (RCN) Limited in 1976, and left for an in-service training while in the service of the Radio Communications Nigeria to the United States. On his return to Nigeria in August 1977, he continued his service with RCN and rose to the position of a maintenance supervisor in 1978 and later assistant engineering manager in 1979.

Much later, he was appointed as president of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON). Aside from serving as chairman of the Administrative Council of the African Telecommunications Union, he was also chairman of West African Telecom Regulators Assembly (WATRA), he had served on the Presidential Committee on Jobs Creation, served as co-chairman of the Presidential Committee to develop strategy and roadmap for universal Broadband Access for Nigeria. After the expiration of his second tenure, he left office and went into private practice.

It is not certain where he could be at the moment.

Olusola Obada

Olusola Obada was both the deputy governor of Osun state from 2003 to 2010, as well as former minister of state for defence and later as substantive minister from 2012 to 2013. A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), she was a member of the Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation in 2015, but her efforts and those of others could not return the party to power, the reason for which she appeared to have lost out entirely since then. Her last known public appointment was as chairman, governing council of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma in Jigawa state; a position that ended shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari dissolved all appointments made by the PDP administration preceding him. Apart from a few society weddings and public functions this former minister attended, not much has been heard about her again.

Abubakar Maimalari

Lt.-Col. Abubakar Maimalari (retd.) is among the class of former military officers referred to as MILADs. He was administrator of Jigawa state from 1998 to 1999 under former head of state, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (retd.), before he handed over power to Saminu Turaki as governor in 1999. Maimalari is also the son of a former military officer, Brig.-Gen. Zakariya Maimalari, who was murdered in the January 1966 coup that brought Gen Aguiyi Ironsi to power. This former MILAD was among those Obasanjo called military opportunists who had held political appointments for so long, the reason for which he said they should be retired.

Obasanjo, while justifying the retirement of the young Maimalari said, “I have no apology, but I have explanations; it is because it is necessary to stop the sort of things that took the life of your father prematurely that I had to take decision that all those who have tasted power while they were soldiers should be eased out of the army so that we can have an army that would be completely free from political aberration.”

Since he left office almost 20 years ago, not many people know where he has been and what he is doing presently despite the political activities in the country.