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Shettima, Abdulsalami, govs, others present as Gen Garba Duba buried in Abuja

Vice President Kashim Shettima and former military head of state , General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), were among the top personalities who paid respect to a…

Vice President Kashim Shettima and former military head of state , General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), were among the top personalities who paid respect to a former military governor of Bauchi and old Sokoto states, Lt-Gen Garba Duba (retd), who was laid to rest yesterday.

He was buried in Abuja after the janazah prayer held at the Abuja National Mosque.

Also present at the event were the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd), the Niger State governor, Mohammed Umaru-Bago, Katsina and Zamfara governors, some deputy governors who represented their principals, as well as ministers among others.

Governor Umaru-Bago described the death of Duba as a huge loss to the state and Nigeria in general.

Bago, in a condolence message by his chief press secretary, Bologi Ibrahim on Friday in Minna, stated that the passing away of Duba was very painful.

He described the deceased as a very resourceful military officer, saying that this was why he served as military governor in two different states under two different administrations and with remarkable achievements.

Bago commiserated with the Emir of Kontagora, members of his emirate and the family of the deceased, praying Allah to comfort them and make Aljanna Firdaus the final abode of the retired general.

Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who represented Kebbi South senatorial district in the 9th Assembly, said the late Duba would be missed.

Na’allah, in a condolence message sent to Daily Trust Saturday, noted that his death would create a very big vacuum in the leadership of the country and the North in particular.

“I have just received with shock the demise of a respected leader and gentleman soldier, General Garba Duba. He was such a wonderful person and humility personified. 

“May Allah grant him Aljanna Fidausi and comfort the family. His death will create a very big vacuum in the leadership of the country and the North in particular

The late Duba, born in 1942, joined the army as a cadet officer at the Nigerian Military Training College, Zaria in 1962 and rose to become a lieutenant-general.

He was the governor of Bauchi State from July 1978 to October 1979 during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, and an administrator of Sokoto State from January 1984 to August 1985 during the military regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari. 

He was educated at Kontagora Primary School, Kaduna (1951–1954) and Provincial Secondary School, Bida, Niger State (1956–1962).

One of his school classmates and army colleague was Ibrahim Babangida.

Duba later attended the Indian Military Academy and was appointed ADC to the military governor of the old Northern Region.

He was one of the northern officers who participated in the Nigerian countercoup of 1966, which led to the killing  of the head of state, General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, after which General Yakubu Gowon (retd) came to power.

As a captain, he served in the Nigerian civil war (1967–1970), commanding a squadron of armored vehicles.

As a colonel, Duba was appointed military governor of Bauchi State in July 1978.

He provided infrastructure in the form of residential accommodation and offices, including secretariats for the 16 local governments. Steyr Nigeria Limited, a tractor manufacturing company, was founded during his tenure.

He also established the Bauchi State Polytechnic, using one of the teachers’ colleges as premises.

Apart from his appointment as a military administrator of Sokoto State (1984–1985), he was also the commander of 2nd Mechanised Division (1987–88), commander of 3rd Armoured Division, and commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (1990–1992).

He retired in 1993 after 31 years of active military service and later joined business interests.

As a businessman, he held positions that included the chairmanship of the New Nigerian Development Company; SGI Nigeria Limited; Director of First Bank of Nigeria; a non-executive director of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, and chairman of the Board of Leadway Pensure, a pension fund administration company, among others.


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