By Omonu Gowon-Nelson
In line with the saying that there’s always a payday for every good deed, Alhaji Yaqub Salisu Abubakar and 16 other illustrious Igala sons and daughters were honoured with the prestigious Igala Merit Awards at a ceremony that took place at the Chida Event Centre, Abuja, on Monday, 1st of May, 2023.
The Award, which is the highest in Igala land, organised by “Who’s Who in Igala Land” is given once in every three years, usually in recognition of contributions to the course of humanity.
Speaking on the Awards, Salisu gave gratitude to Almighty Allah for the recognition, noting that, he was not particularly doing his bit for humanity to be recognised or to receive award but as a way of thanking the Almighty Allah for His benevolence.
He however noted that the recognition will certainly spur him to do more for humanity, while encouraging other well-offs to give back to the society that made them. He clarified that “giving back to the society that made you is not about how much you have but the heart to give.
“When we do our bit, we make the world a better place for all of us,” he said.
In a speech, a women leader and chairlady of the occasion, Chief (Dr) Jummai Ahmodu, urged Igala men/women to close ranks to foster unity for development and to promote their beautiful cultural heritage which according to her is one of the best in Nigeria.
She advised the awardees not rest on their oars, saying that men/women are remembered for the good things they did lived even after their end.
“The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honour heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honour the Pharaohs.”
“Igala Land is in dare need of development and it’s through the collective efforts of all that we can achieve lofty objectives for the Igala Land today, tomorrow and the future,” he poeticised.
While encouraging the Awardees, she urged them to pick people to mentor, saying a tree cannot make a forest. According to her, the Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a shinning example of how mentorship works.
“You know our president-elect mentored lots of people all through his life, and when it came to when it matters, those he mentored showed up for him. Igala sons and daughters can borrow a leaf from Tinubu’s living example,” she said
The citation of Alhaji Salisu Yaqub Abubakar before Awards presentation reads:
Alhaji Salisu Yaqub Abubakar was born in Aloko-Oganenigu, Dekina LGA of Kogi State on 5th May, 1974. He had his First School Leaving Certificate at Local Education Authority (LEA) Aloko-Oganenigu, Dekina LGA, Kogi State.
Yaqub took his Educational carrier to Nasarawa State, where he obtained SSCE and National Diploma (ND) from Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa 1998.
Education to the famous University of Maiduguri, Borno State, where he bagged Bsc (Hons) Economics in 2004. He also obtained MSc in (International Business Management & Finance) from prestigious Heriot Watt University, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2019 and he is currently a Ph.D student in the same University.
He’s is married to a God fearing Woman, Hajiya Amina Yaqub. Allah in his infinite mercy blessed the family with four (4) well cultured children.
Yaqub began an illustrious Civil Service career, with the defunct Ministry of Federal Capital Territory in July 2002 to September 2004. Alh Salisu was later internally deployed to Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) as Head of Power of Antorney between October 2004 – November 2006. Due to his quest for career progression and professionalism in the Civil Service, Alh Salisu applied for posting to the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation as a pool officer.
The application was considered and approved by the then Honourable Minister of FCT, Mall Nasir el-Rufai where he worked briefly in Professional Department saddled with pension arrears claims and certification responsibilities between December 2006 – March 2007.
As mention earlier, he joined the federal Civil Service through MFCT before he was moved to the main stream in 2006. Thereafter, he was posted to Federal Ministry of Finance from OHCSF in 2010 between to 2018 he worked virtually almost all the lucrative departments in the ministry, such as Economic Research & Planning (ERPM), International Economic Relations Department (IER).
In June 2018, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in posting instruction directed Alh Salisu to Federal Ministry of Justice to relief an officer in the Office of the Permanent Secretary who was on United Nation assignment. Upon return of the officer, Alh Salisu was reposted to Presidential Initiative On Continuous Audit (PICA) Office of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning as a Chief Planning Officer responsible on National Assembly Matters and rent arrears for MDAs.
In the year 2020, he was internally posted to Special Projects Department, where his schedules of duty includes, Airport Concession, Federal Government Asset Tracking Management Local and International.
As a professional Scientist and a seasoned administrator per excellence, Alhaji Salisu, obtained a Diploma Certificate in Cyber Security from University of Brooklyn College, New York. He also received the Kennedy School Certificate in Public Policy and Management having spent 11 months as an Edward A. Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management from July 2018 to June 2019. He is also a Fellow Nigerian Institute of Management (MNIM). He has travelled across the seven (7) continents of the world.
His hobbies include helping the less privilege in the society irrespective of religion, tribe and ethnic; reading and writing, etc.
Highlight of the event was a paper presentation by the guest speaker, Dr Adejoh Edogbanya, who focused his lecture on “Igala Rebirth and Development.”