Air Vice-Marshal Hamza Ibrahim, former Minister for Works, then the FCT and then Internal Affairs under the General Ibrahim Babangida regime actually died at Frankfurt Airport on arrival in Germany yesterday. He never made it to the hospital he was to be admitted.
The 73 year old former Military Governor of the old Kano State from 1984 to 1985 had caught cold the previous day but resisted going to hospital even in Nigeria. And when one of his sons eventually persuaded him to go, he resisted the usage of certain medical technologies. The hospital in Abuja, therefore, merely stabilized him for the flight to Germany which he also accepted upon further persuasion.
Sources Intervention spoke to credited the late Air Force Officer with presiding over the construction of several landmark structures as FCT Minister. The most notable would be Transcorps Hilton, several of the secretariats, some of the ministerial quarters before they were monetized and much of the city road network.
As governor of Kano State, his areas of strength would include the re-organisation of the state media, (CTV 67, Triumph Publishing Company and the State Radio); securing government plots and buildings from encroachment on them, a fad in Kano then as well as collecting debts owned government institutions.
But his landmark achievements must be the clinical distribution of Essenco, (essential commodities – omo, sugar, grains, toiletries, etc which was almost impossible for the masses to access immediately after the coup against the late Shagari’s government in late 1983; a methodical implementation of the War Against Indiscipline, (WAI), a cardinal programme of the Buhari regime in 1984/5. The most successful of his exertions then was initiating the expansion of the Hadeija River Valley for wheat farming before the international politics of wheat killed the dream in Nigeria.