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Mohammed Badaru Abubakar: Meet Nigeria’s new Defence Minister

Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, the former governor of Nigeria's Jigawa State, served from 2015 to 2023 and has left an indelible mark on the state's history.

Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, the former governor of Nigeria’s Jigawa State, served from 2015 to 2023 and has left an indelible mark on the state’s history. As a politician, entrepreneur, and public servant, Abubakar’s contributions have influenced the development of Jigawa State and Nigeria.

Born in 1962 in Babura city, Jigawa State, Abubakar pursued higher education at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, earning a B.Sc. in Accounting. He engaged in community activism, sport, and business ventures at the university. Later, he completed an advanced course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru.

Abubakar began his entrepreneurial journey in 1991 when he established the Talamiz Company. The company later transformed into Talamiz Nigeria Limited and has grown to encompass various industries. Under his leadership, Abubakar also serves as Chairman of Socar Talamiz Limited, AML Bonded Terminal, and Oil Mill. His business acumen earned him prestigious traditional titles, such as Wali of Jahun in Jigawa State and Sardauna of Ringim Emirate.

Apart from his business ventures, Abubakar’s political career is also noteworthy. In 2015, he ran for the governorship of Jigawa State as a candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC). In a tightly contested race against PDP contender Aminu Ibrahim Ringim, Abubakar emerged victorious, with the Independent National Electoral Commission declaring him the winner on April 13, 2015.

In his second term as governor, Badaru secured a resounding victory in the 2019 Jigawa State gubernatorial election, garnering 810,933 votes, significantly more than his closest rival, Aminu Ibrahim Ringim of the PDP, who received 288,356 votes. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Bashir Adamu Jumbo, trailed with 32,894 votes.

As governor, Badaru was known for making unconventional appointments, including appointing special assistants for street lights, population control, and even for each of his three wives. Sa’adatu Bashir Muhammed, Mariya Muhammed Muktar, and Aisha Garba were appointed special assistants to the governor’s first, second, and third wives, respectively. However, their specific roles were not detailed.

Controversy arose when Habibu Muhammad, a media aide to Governor Badaru, was imprisoned in February 2023 for accusing a contractor, Isah Gerawa, of executing substandard road projects. Magistrate Mustapha Datti of Court No 14 in Kano State detained Muhammad on defamation charges following a police complaint. The incident drew attention to the challenges of governance and transparency.

Following his tenure as governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar was appointed Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. His extensive experience in governance, business, and public service positions him to make valuable contributions to the country’s defense sector.