Dikko: A Paragon of Patriotism Retires from “NEPA”

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By Abubakar Imam

Come Sunday, March 17, 2024, an outstanding son of Ilorin and foremost financial technocrat, Alhaji Ayodeji Jimba Dikko, would formally join the informal but enviably distinguished League of Senior Citizens of Nigeria (LSCN). He would be retiring from the services of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) upon his attainment of the age of 60!

I have known Alhaji Dikko for more than two decades and I can vouch for his integrity, patriotism and loyalty. He is a man who always exhibit resilience and perseverance and someone who often prepared for the next phase of anything he does.

While he was a player in the nation’s electricity industry between 2001 and 2014, yours sincerely came across and interacted with many indigenes of Ilorin Emirate who were also employees of NEPA/PHCN and its succeeding firms. Many of these individuals put up enviable dispositions and patriotism in the discharge of their responsibilities, which promoted the alluring image of Ilorin Emirate while a few showed nonchalant attitude that did injustice to the good corporate image of our beloved ancestral community. Among those that made yours truly and many of his compatriots hugely proud is the subject of this piece.May I put it on record that Alhaji Dikko was one of the few indigenes of Ilorin that worked in NEPA/PHCN/IBEDC and who I knew took great interest in issues concerning the individual and collective welfare of the people of Ilorin. He was so concerned about this that many of our colleagues from other places “nicknamed” him Mr Ilorin.

As an auditor in NEPA/PHCN/IBEDC, Alhaji Dikko always ensured that the ordinary electricity consumers within the franchise of Baboko and Challenge as well as Jebba Business Units, who are majorly indigenes and residents of Ilorin Emirate, are not cheated either through the procurement of energy meters or billing and associated tendencies.

Throughout, Alhaji Dikko never relegated the interests of the Ilorin Emirate. He did this to the amazement of his contemporaries and younger compatriots, who always commended him for fighting corruption among all categories of employees of the firm to the advantage of their people. He was so patriotic that he became known as the “Defender of Ilorin”, even among the management staff of the Ilorin offices of the firm.

Alhaji Dikko was born in Ilorin on March 17, 1964 into the family of Alhaji Saliu Dikko Jimba, who died on May 19, 2006 and Alhaja Adamo Dikko Jimba (d.August 31,2021), both of the famous Ologun Jimba family of Ilorin. His father was a sibling of the immediate past Daudu Ologun Jimba of Ilorin, Alhaji Aliyu Oba Folorunso Jimba.

The subject of this piece is no doubt a proud member of the famous Jimba family of Ilorin. The family, whose distinguished progenitor, Mallam Jimba Dan Gwari, migrated to Ilorin from Ibeto near Kontagora in the present-day Niger State in the early days of the southernmost Emirate’, has produced many outstanding members with fascinating places and positions in the annals of Ilorin.

The progenitor of the family, who was a fantastic community builder and fearless warrior, was the hero who led the contingent of Ilorin Army that eventually destroyed the capital of the Old Oyo Empire. The efforts led by the progenitor of the Jimba family ensured that the capital of the ancient empire became outrightly ruined, completely deserted and absolutely unattractive for human settlement till date and subsequently culminated in its movement to its present-day location!

Other prominent members of the family were the late Alhaji Safi Ajibola Jimba, the first and only Samaki of Ilorin, who was also a notable author on the history of Ilorin and a prominent legal practitioner as well as a foremost newspaper columnist; Alhaji Abdullahi Amori Jimba, who retired from public service as the Secretary of the Kwara State Teaching Service Commission and Mr Ishola Sanni, who served as Principal of Mount Carmel College, Ilorin; and, of course, the new Daudu Jimba of Ilorin, Alhaji AbdulRahman Kayode Shonibare Jimba, who is the 11th holder of the title.

Mention must also be made of Alhaji Shonibare Ajao, the penultimate Daudu Jimba of Ilorin, whose prominence, affluence and generousity attracted the adulation of the Share-born singer, Hassanat Abake, in the early 1980s and, of course, Alhaji Shuaib Oba Owoyale, an uncle of the subject of this piece, who was a prominent political player.

Other outstanding members of the family include my secondary school Physics teacher at Barakat Community Secondary School, Ilorin, Alhaji Hassan Baba Jimba; a retired Director in the Kwara State Civil Service, Alhaji Oladimeji Oba Jimba; a retired topnotch of the Department of State Services, Alhaji Muhammad Dare Jimba and the Chairman of the Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, who is also the Dean, Postgraduate School, Kwara State University, Malete and a distinguished author, Prof. Moshood Mahmud Jimba. They also include Alhaji Yusuf Dikko, a prominent legal luminary; and Imam Bashir Dikko, who is a Canada-based clergyman; Alhaji Babatunde Salami, a retired banker and Alhaji Suleiman Oba Dikko, a retired senior immigration officers, among several others.

Among the surviving outstanding female members of the family are Hajiya Fatima Wahab,a retired senior nursing officer; Alhaja Salamat Oba, a retired secondary school Principal; Hajiya Salamat Issa, the spouse of the National Vice President of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), Alhaji AbdulRauf Babatunde Issa (aka Hajj Young); Hajiya Kuburat Mashood Mahmud Jimba, the Manager, News and Current Affairs, Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Kwara); and my own “wife”, Hajiya Saadat Iyabo Moshood Pakata, a senior nursing officer at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, to mention just a few.

As a young boy, Alhaji Dikko, whose “suna” is Hussein, was enrolled as a pupil of Oke-Aluko Primary School, Ilorin, in 1970. On completion of his primary education in 1976, he swiftly proceeded to the famous Mount Carmel College, Ilorin, from where he obtained his West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1982.

For his tertiary education, Alhaji Dikko attended the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin. He earned his Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accountancy from the institution in 1995. He had earlier obtained his Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in the same discipline and from the same institution in 1992. He also received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

In addition to his academic qualifications, Alhaji Dikko also attended many local and foreign trainings, which sharpened his professional skills and widened his worldviews. These include training on Leadership, Ethics and Governance at Pittsburgh, United States of America in 2012 and International Reporting Standards (IFRS) workshop in June, 2021.

This admirable son of Ilorin is also a member of related professional bodies. He is a Certified National Accountant (CNA). He is also an Associate Member of the Nigeria Institute of Management (ANIM) and the Institute of Internal Auditors(IIA), among others.

Prior to joining the services of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) on August 26,1997 courtesy of another outstanding patriot and former President of the Third Estate Group, Ilorin Emirate, Alhaji Ahmed Bolaji Nagode; Alhaji Dikko was a staff of the Kwara State Teaching Service Commission, Ilorin.

Alhaji Dikko was not the only indigene of Ilorin Emirate that was helped into the defunct NEPA by Alhaji Nagode, who was then a Senior Manager in-charge of Promotions at the Personnel and Administration Unit of the firm. Alhaji Nagode, who obviously enjoyed the full backing of Mallam Isiaka AbdulRazaq, who as at that time the General Manager, Finance and Accounts of NEPA, and was able to facilitate the appointments of several indigenes of Ilorin Emirate. Others who were employed by NEPA, as recalled by Alhaji Dikko, were Alhaji Tunji Belgore, Alhaji Saka Yusuf, Alhaji Aminu Alaya, Mrs Dembo and, of course, Alhaji AbdulRasaq Lawal, who served as the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties in the administration of the late Admiral Muhammad Alabi Lawal as the Governor of Kwara State between 1999 and 2003.

This renowned financial expert was employed into NEPA as an Officer II (Accounts). He was immediately posted to the old Oyo District of the firm. He became an Officer I on November 1, 1998 and retained at the same location.

On June 1, 2002, Alhaji Dikko, who had been promoted to the rank of Assistant Manager, redesignated his employment into the Audit Unit of NEPA. He became an Assistant Manager, Audit. He was subsequently posted to the Benin Transmission Region. Being an industrious employee, he was again promoted to the rank of Manager in the strategic Audit Unit of NEPA. Later, he was again posted to the Port-Harcourt Transmission Region on October 1, 2006.

On June 1, 2010, Alhaji Dikko was posted to the Osogbo Transmission Region following his promotion to the rank of Senior Manager at the Audit Unit. He became the PHCN Zonal Auditor on November 1, 2010. He was stationed at the Challenge District of the company in Ilorin with the jurisdiction covering all the PHCN formations in the entire Kwara State and parts of Niger and Osun States.

Following the privatisation of the defunct PHCN on November 1, 2013, Alhaji Dikko was one of the not too many legacy workers of the erstwhile company that were retained by its new owners. He was subsequently appointed as Ag. Head, Audit & Risk, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC). He held the position till February 1, 2014. From February, 2014 to July 1, 2021, Alhaji Dikko served as Senior Manager, Audit of the IBEDC.

Having seen all and being part and parcel of the transformation of the nation’s electricity industry from a government monopolistic outfit into private-driven firms, this outstanding son of Ilorin is retiring as a Principal Manager and Head, Enterprise Risk and Management Control, Audit & Risk Division of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

Alhaji Dikko is happily married to Alhaja Fatima Olaide Dikko. His spouse hails from the popular Alakuko family of Agbaji Quarters, Ilorin. His wife is a younger sister to Hajiya Medinat Bello Hanafi, the senior wife of Alhaji Hanafi Oladimeji Bello of the Ubandawaki chieftaincy family of Pakata, Ilorin, and who is the pioneer Director, Finance and Accounts, Court of Appeal, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The marriage of Alhaji Dikko is blessed with four outstandingly promising children. They are Alhaji Habeeb Dikko of Challenge Business Unit of IBEDC; Hajiya Engr. Habeebat Dikko, who works at the Omu-Aran Business Unit of IBEDC and Lawyer Halimah Dikko as well as Mr Hamza Danjuma Dikko.

As this outstanding patriot retires from the services of IBEDC after 27 years of hard work in the nation’s electricity industry, I like to join his numerous relations, friends and colleagues in wishing him a very rewarding, peaceful and productive life in retirement.

Imam is National Secretary, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.

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