Hon KINGSLEY KEMEBRADIGHA KUKU, born on 14 February 1970, hails from Arogbo, a town in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State and the traditional headquarters of the ljaw people in the state.
He obtained a Bachelor of Education (English Language) from the then Ondo State University in 1995. As early as his university days, he was already showing good promise of leadership. He was a student leader, specifically the National Mobilization Officer of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
On graduation, Kuku performed the one-year mandatory National Youth Service from 1995 to 1996. Thereafter, he became the state Administrative Secretary of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in Ondo State. From 1997 to 1998, he was a Compensation Clerk with Western Geophysical Seismic Company. From 1999 to 2001, Kuku served as Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the Ese Edo Local Government Council.
He was also a senior and active member of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), an ethnic rights group. As pioneer spokesman of the Council, he is said to have demonstrated unusual capacity in the face of many challenges, particularly while working on several peace efforts in the Niger Delta.
In 2003, Kuku took the bold step of contesting for election into the Ondo State House of Assembly – and he won. He served in the State legislature, also as chairman of the House Committee on Information, till 2007.
On leaving the House, Kuku was appointed Special Assistant/Head of Conflict Management Unit, at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In the same year, he was also appointed Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger Delta, a position he held till 2009, when he was appointed a Member of the Presidential Committee on Amnesty.
In January 2011, he was first appointed Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta. In July, after President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn into office, he was re-appointed to that same strategic post.
Hon Kuku holds a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the University of Cambridge, and is also a Member of the International Dispute Resolution Institute. He has also served as a member of the board of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
At a ceremony marking his 40th birthday on 14 February 2010, a former Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Hon. D. I. Kekemeke, described Kuku as “a focused person who is able to bring people of different divides together”.
Chief Eddy Olafeso, a former Commissioner for Information and Mobilization in Ondo State, described him as “a man who knows his onions from the beginning…one man who has fought many battles while still very young”.
Hon. Kennedy lkantu Peretei, Chairman of the lnterim Management Committee of the Ese-Odo Local Government Council, described him as “a bridge-builder, a good family man, a good husband, a good son of the soil”. He said Kuku was, above all, a peace maker.
Kuku is married and has children. His hobbies include reading, writing, swimming and engaging in debates.
Mohammed Ali Ndume was born on 20 November 1959, in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. His father, Alhaji Ali, was a Muslim, while his mother, Magdaliya, was a Christian.
He attended Gadamayo Primary School, Gwoza, and Comprehensive Secondary School, Mubi, before proceeding to Kaduna Polytechnic where he obtained the National Diploma (ND) in 1980 and the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Marketing in 1982. He then went on to the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA, where he gained a Masters Degree in Accounting and Computer Science in 1990.
Returning to Nigeria, he became a Senior Lecturer at the Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri, Borno State, and Managing Director of Water Ventures Nig. Ltd, also in Maiduguri, until 2003, when he turned to politics.
In April 2003, Ndume was elected to the House of Representatives (Lower Federal Parliament) to represent the Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State, on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). In April 2007, he was re-elected and appointed Minority Leader in the House.
Ndume was seen as a passionately ANPP man, one of the pillars of the party in the state, and vigorously opposed to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In an August 2010 interview, he said: “The PDP, in the last 11 years, has vandalized Nigeria; they have only introduced kidnapping, assassination, militancy, armed robbery, power degeneration and widespread religious crisis”. In a September interview, he again said: “The PDP government has been holding the Federal Government for 11 years now and they have done nothing, except cause chaos in Nigeria”. He praised the ANPP’s record in Borno State, especially for building roads and hospitals.
However, only three months later (in December 2010), Ndume decamped from the ANPP and crossed over to the PDP. Explaining his action, he said he had not been given a level playing field in the competition with other ANPP aspirants in the contest for the Senatorial ticket. Apparently, he had fallen out with Governor Ali Modu Sheriff. His defection to the PDP was seen as a major blow to the ANPP.
Following Ndume’s defection, Alhaji Sanda Garba, who had been the only aspirant for the South Borno Senate seat in the PDP, stepped down to make way for him as the party’s candidate.
In the election, Ndume won 146,403 votes, beating the ANPP candidate, Dr Asaba Vilita Bashir, who scored 133,734 votes and Alhaji Unaru Ibrahim of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), who got only 20,414 votes.
Arriving at the Senate in June 2011, Ndume said his agenda would focus on ensuring the supply of portable drinking water in each local government of Borno South; providing health care, especially free eye surgery; and creating opportunities that would facilitate access to public, private or self employment for his constituents, especially the youth. He said he was also committed to promoting education and security, especially in Southern Borno.
On 2 August, the Federal Government appointed him a member of the seven-man Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North-East Zone of the Country, otherwise known as the Galtimari Committee. The committee studied the Boko Haram crisis and submitted its report to the government on 26 September.
Ndume is married to two women – Aishatu and Maryam – and has 10 children.
On 21 November 2011, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, a former political thug and spokesman of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, who had been arrested by the State Security Service (SSS), named Ndume among politicians whom, he alleged, had been sponsoring his group’s violent activities.
PROFILE: Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, Chairman, Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North-East
Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, the man President Goodluck Jonathan has chosen to lead his government’s engagement with the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, was born in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, in 1938; but his home base is Galtimari, formerly a village unit of Yerwa district, now a district of its own in the Maiduguri Metropolitan Area.
He started his elementary education in Yerwa Central Elementary School, Maiduguri, in 1947, and moved on Borno Middle School, Maiduguri, in 1951. In 1954, he proceeded to Government College, Maiduguri, where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1959.
From 1960 to 1961, he was at the Institute of Administration, Zaria. In 1962, he gained admission into Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, to read for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration which he obtained in 1965. From 1966 to 1967, he was at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, where he further bagged a Master of Arts in Public and International Affairs (MPIA).
He started his civil service career in April 1960 as Assistant Executive Officer in Training, in the then Northern Nigeria Public Service. In July 1965, after he had obtained his first degree from ABU, he was promoted Administrative Officer Class IV. In the same month, he transferred his service to the Federal Civil Service and served there as an External Affairs Officer till May 1966 when he returned to the Northern Nigeria Civil Service and then proceeded to University of Pittsburgh, USA.
On his return to Nigeria in early 1968, Galtimari took up appointment as a lecturer at ABU. However, in April of the same year, he was redeployed to the then North-Eastern State and posted to Muri Division (Jalingo) as Divisional Officer.
From December 1968 to March 1970, he was the Principal Assistant Secretary in charge of the Local Government Department, in the Office of the Military Governor of the now defunct North-Eastern State. In April 1970, he was promoted to the rank of Under Secretary, Government House, Maiduguri, where he served for over two years.
In September 1972, he was appointed Permanent Secretary, Economic Planning and Political Division, Military Governor’s Office, still in the former North-Eastern State. From August 1975 to April 1976, he was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in the state.
In May 1976, he again transferred to the Federal Civil Service where he was appointed Director, National Policy Development Centre (an in-house Think Tank), under the Cabinet Office, in Lagos. By June 1977, he had risen to the rank of Federal Permanent Secretary, first in the Political Department and later in the Public Service Department of the Cabinet Office, still then in Lagos. He was the Federal Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Power from April 1978 to September 1983, and thereafter Permanent Secretary, Steel Development Department, from October to December 1983.
In January 1984, he was appointed Secretary to the Borno State Government, a post he held till August 1987.
In September 1987, he was appointed by President Ibrahim Babangida as the Ambassador Extra-Ordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Chad Republic. He served on that post till March 1991.
In May 1991, Ambassador Galtimari voluntarily retired from the Federal Public Service, but that was not to be the end of his involvement with the public service.
In December 1995, the then Head of State, General Sani Abacha appointed him a member representing Borno State on the Federal Character Commission. In February 1998, he was further appointed Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission. He resigned from the chairmanship of the commission in July 2001.
In the course of his public service career, Ambassador Galtimari has served either as chairman or member of many boards and government committees. Among others, he has served as a member of the following: North-Eastern State Consultative Committee; North-Eastern State Local Government Reform Committee; Advisory Board, Institute of Administration, ABU, Zaria; and New Nigeria Development Company, Kaduna. He is also a member, Board of Trustees of the Kanem-Borno Foundation.
He has also served as Chairman of the following: National Youth Service Corps Committee, North-Eastern State; Nigeria Coal Corporation, Enugu; Nigerian Uranium Mining Company, Lagos; Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, Kano; Chad Basin Development Authority, Maiduguri; and the High-Powered Committee on the BluePrint for Enhanced Public Sector in Borno State.
In 2009, after the Boko Haram uprising in July of that year, he was appointed by the then Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, as Chairman of the Administrative Committee of Inquiry which investigated the crisis in the state, and submitted a detailed report to the state government.
Ambassador Galtimari is married with children.
In recognition of his services to the nation, he was decorated with national honour of ‘Commander of the Order of the Niger’ (CON) by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.