By Abubakar Imam
Last Thursday (December 26,2019) the 54th annual delegates National Conference of the apex socio-cultural organisation of the very good people of Ilorin Emirate,the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union(IEDPU), which was attended by more than 100 branches from within and outside Nigeria,elected a retired top-ranking security personnel, Alhaji Otta Aliyu Uthman,simply known among his friends,contemporaries and compatriots as O.A.U., as the new National President.He is the 20th individual to occupy the exalted but thankless office.
Ever since his election and subsequent inauguration,along with other members of the new National Executive Council who will run the affairs of the Union for the next two years (2019-2021), there have been calls from both functional/regular members and other relevant stakeholders of the Union for all and sundry to know who “the new man” is.
The new IEDPU National President, a trained teacher, Historian, Public Administrator,Islamic Scholar and versatile security expert, was born a little over 61 years ago.To be specific, on December 31st,1958.His father was the very popular businessman and reputable block-maker,Alhaji Usman Baba Otta(d.1996) of Kejebu Compound in the Agbaji Quarters of Ilorin while his mother is the 98 years old Alhaja Ummuani Baba Otta, a daughter to the Magaji Ala’ase family of Idi-Ape Area of Ilorin.
As a D.S.S official, he worked in 18 different states of the federation confederating with others at preventing the escalation of internal wrangllings and nipping potential crises and conflicts, amongst different interest groups at different places, which may aid external aggression,in the bud.
The new President attended the famous Ansarul Islam Primary School, Okemale, Ilorin, between 1963 and 1969. He was also educated at the Ilorin Grammar School,Ilorin,from 1970 to 1975 where he obtained his West African School Certificate,making him the first product of the school established by the IEDPU to serve the Union at the top-most level.
Alhaji Uthman was subsequently trained as a teacher at Lokoja Teachers’College, Lokoja, the capital of the present-day Kogi State,between 1975 and 1977 at the end of which he received the Teacher Grade II Certificate in flying colours.
As someone who was determined not to limit his knowledge, the new President proceeded to the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, where he pursued and earned his Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) with specialisation in Islamic Studies and English Language. He also trained at the better by far University of Ilorin where he obtained his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in History in 2003. He, again,returned to the same institution for his Master of Public Administration(MPA) degree,which he successfully earned in 2008.
Alhaji Uthman started his exciting working career in 1981 as an N.Y.S.C member of staff of the famous School of Arabic Studies, Kano, where he taught between August,1981 and August,1982.
He, thereafter, joined the public service of the Federal Government of Nigeria as a Member of Staff of the Secret Service apparatus formerly called National Security Organisation (N.S.O) in 1983.The organisation,which the Yorubas called “ote le muye”was later, in 1986,ten years after its establishment under the Directorship of a distinguished Ilorite, Major-General Abdullahi Mohammed(Adangba),CFR, GCON, compartmentalised into two different organizations i.e the National Intelligence Agency and the Department of State Services. He was at the latter,which is tasked with the internal security of the country from 1986 to 2018.
As a D.S.S official, he worked in 18 different states of the federation confederating with others at preventing the escalation of internal wrangllings and nipping potential crises and conflicts, amongst different interest groups at different places, which may aid external aggression,in the bud. He was at Borgu LGA of old Kwara State from 1983 to 1989.He also worked in different Local Government Areas of Katsina State from 1989 to 2000 as the Officer in-charge of Dutsinma, Zango, Baure, Kongolam, Mai-Adua and Funtua LGAs of the northern-most state at various times.
Alhaji Uthman was at the North-Eastern geo-political Zone of Nigeria.He worked at the Metropolitan (Damaturu) LGA of Yobe State from 2000 to 2001 before he was redeployed to the neighboring Gombe State where he worked from 2004 to 2006.
As a top management staff of the Secret Service,Alhaji Uthman was the Assistant Director(Operations & Intelligence)in the Sokoto State Command in 2006.He held the same strategic position at the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) Command of the D.S.S. from 2006 to 2010. He was the holder of the same position in the Kano State Command of the Service between 2010 and 2012.
Alhaji Uthman was the Directing Staff (Research Assistant) at the Institute For Security Studies (ISS), Abuja, from 2012 and 2015 during which he helped in generating more manpower for the protection of the life and property of Nigerians.
He was,again,redeployed to Delta State where he served as the Assistant Director (Operations & Intelligence) from 2015 to 2017. He finally served as the State Director of Security (SDS) in-charge of Adamawa State between 2017 and 2018, a position from which he glowingly bowed-out after thirty-five years of meritorious services to his fatherland.
As a well-trained and sophisticated security guru, Alhaji Uthman,a distinguished Fellow of the Security Institute, had the privilege of functional participation in no fewer than 11 high-grade courses on various aspects of his profession, which is concerned with the protection of life and property,all of which variously and collectively contributed in sharpening his intellectual, professional and managerial capacities.
From his composure, interactions and dispositions so far, Alhaji Uthman has left no one in doubt that he is in office as the Number One Member of the Union to work for the progress and greatness of the Union and the Ilorin Emirate Community at large. His words and actions have proven to be those emanating from someone who is prepared and equipped to pilot the affairs of the Union beyond the next level. One can only wish him and his team consisting of his Deputy, Alhaji Abdulmumini Yusuf, a son to the Ogele community in the Asa Local Government Area and Dr.Oba Yusuf Abdulhamid, a distinguished Lawyer and son to the famous Alfa Ajongolo family of Popo-Giwa, the very best as they lead other elected officials in the acceleration and accentuation of the desires of the good people of Ilorin Emirate,both at home and in diaspora, to have an umbrella socio-cultural organisation not in name but a body that will cater for the general interests of the people of Asa,Ilorin East,Ilorin South, Ilorin West and Moro Local Government Areas of Kwara State no matter whose ox is gored.
Alhaji Uthman is, no doubt,versed in administration and is also at home with the Holy Quran and Hadith as a scholar of Islamic studies.He enjoys watching football,travelling and listening to news and watching wild life as his hobbies.
The new President,who speaks English,Yoruba and Hausa Languages fluently, is married and blessed with children.
Imam is the IEDPU National Publicity Secretary