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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Usman Jibrin, first military Governor of Kaduna State, dies at 69

On 9 September, retired Group Captain Usman Jibrin, former military governor of the defunct North-Central State and later the old Kaduna State, died in his hometown Marmara in Nasarawa State.
His younger brother, Senator Walid Jibrin, told newsmen that the late Jibrin died in his sleep in the early hours of the day. Some family sources said he had been ill. He was aged 69 years.
Jibrin was born in 1942 in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. He attended Abuja Middle School and Government College, Kaduna, and started his working life with the radio and television station in Kaduna.
In 1963, he joined the Nigerian Air Force. Rising to the rank of Group Captain in 1975, he was appointed military governor of the then North-Central State by the then Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed. After Kaduna State (then comprising the present Kaduna and Katsina states) was carved out of the North-Central State in February 1976, he was appointed its first military governor and continued in that office under General Olusegun Obasanjo, who became Head of State following the assassination of Mohamed. He retired from the military in 1978, amidst policy disagreements with Obasanjo.
Jibrin settled into retirement as a private businessman, but was also appointed to several boards, by successive federal governments. In the early 1980s, he was appointed a state Chairman of the Green Revolution Programme under the Shehu Shagari administration. He was later appointed to the chairmanships of the Nigerian Productivity Research Institute, Ilorin, Kwara State; Jos Steel Rolling Mill, Plateau State; and Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank. He was a member of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), under the Gen Sani Abacha administration, and also served as a member of the Steering Committee of the Ahmadu Bello Foundation. In 2010, he was Chairman of Nasarawa Community Bank.
In his later years, Jibrin devoted himself mostly to Islamic activities. He was treasurer to the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (the umbrella Muslim organization in the country) and also a member of the board of directors of Jaiz International Bank, an Islamic financial institution.
News of his death drew tributes from several quarters. In Kaduna, a Government House statement said the State Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, received the news of Jibrin’s death with great shock. Yakowa described Jibrin as “a responsible elder statesman, who contributed immensely towards the development of Kaduna State in particular, the North and Nigeria in general,” adding that “his demise was a great loss to the north and the nation’’.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF),  a pan-northern Nigerian political organization,  said it was saddened by the news of Jibrin’s death. A statement by the ACF's National Publicity Secretary, Mr Anthony Sani, observed that in his public life, Jibrin “demonstrated easy grace, public intelligence and patriotic courage in his unwavering pursuit of peaceful coexistence and prosperity of Nigerians and the North in particular". It concluded that: “The best way to remember Group Captain Jibrin, therefore, is to live up what he stood for: common good”.

Jibrin’s remains were buried later in the day, at the cemetery in Marmara. He is survived by four wives, 22 children and several grandchildren.

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