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Unravelling Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, the 11th emir of Gombe

His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III CFR, a charismatic leader, philanthropist and a compassionate emir, was born on December 17th, 1977, in…

His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III CFR, a charismatic leader, philanthropist and a compassionate emir, was born on December 17th, 1977, in Gombe Local Government Area of the then Bauchi State.

His father was His Royal Highness, late Alhaji (Dr) Usman Shehu Abubakar CON, the 10th Emir of Gombe, who was a renowned administrator, and a fountain of wisdom and knowledge.

Thus, His Highness was born into a royal family that is reputable for its compassionate and selfless service to humanity.

His Royal Highness, Emir Abubakar III, completed his basic Islamic education before enrolling in primary school and subsequently secondary school at the age of 11 years. He acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the prestigious University of Maiduguri in 2005.

He served briefly in the Federal Ministry of Defence, Abuja.

One of the greatest influences that shaped his character as a leader was the very close mentorship he benefitted from his late father, the 10th Emir of Gombe, late Emir Shehu Usman Abubakar.

Upon the demise of his father, on May 27, 2014, he was found worthy of leadership and fully ripe to build from where his father stopped. Thus, the kingmakers of Gombe Emirate unanimously elected him to occupy the Modibbo Babayero throne on June 6th, 2014.

The Gombe kingmakers, out of their wisdom, therefore, selected out of several candidates from the royal family, Abubakar Shehu Abubakar, as the new Emir of Gombe. Their selection was respected and approved by the Gombe State Government.

Because of his accommodating nature and humility, anyone who gets in contact with him leaves his presence fulfilled. Indeed, he embodies royalty in the true sense of the word.

Both the elite and masses massively supported his ascension to the throne. The people of Gombe emirate and beyond, from the rich to the poor, the old and young, those related to the palace and those who are not, were in complete support of his appointment as the emir.

And in the last one decade, Emir Abubakar III has epitomised symbols of honour, respect, dignity and pride for the Bubayero family, the Gombe emirate and Gombe State at large.

His presence on the royal throne presents hope just as he strives to maintain the socio-cultural and religious beliefs of the people.

Emir Abubakar III is the final point of call for the Gombe masses when it comes to the need to truly represent their collective conscience and communal aspirations. He maintains an open-door policy, so much so that anyone irrespective of his or her social status is free to visit the emir’s palace to seek assistance at any time.

He is pro-poor in his leadership style, always rising against unpopular polices. In addition to securing jobs for hundreds of youths, he has on several occasions settled the debt of those in need and sponsored several others to get married.

Being a direct descendant of Modibbo Bubayero, it is not a surprise that he possesses the qualities required of a person to ascend this venerated royal throne.

Emir Abubakar III has all the attributes required to be a leader, including humility and simplicity.  He is always quick to fight for anything that will help to develop his emirate and the state.

Since his appointment in 2014, Emir Abubakar III was from day one, deemed to make a difference as not only the Emir of Gombe, but also the Chairman of Gombe State Council of Emirs and Chiefs. Upon ascending the throne of his late father in 2014, he was appointed as the second Chancellor of the Gombe State University, Gombe.  The humanitarian and public support programmes embarked upon by him have not gone unnoticed as the federal government of Nigeria recognised his goodwill and appointed him as the Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State.

He was also honoured with the prestigious insignia of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) by former President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2022. Recently, the management of the first private University in Gombe State, the Northern Eastern University (formerly Pen Resource University), Gombe also appointed him as their pioneer chancellor.

On ascension to the prestigious throne of Modibbo Bubayero (one of the flag bearers of the great Usumanu Danfodio Jihad of 1804), HRH, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, guided by his force of character, resourcefulness, empathy and the fear of Allah (SWT) came up with humanitarian innovations and policies that impacted on the lives of the people.

So far, from 2014 to date, he has empowered many youths across all communities within the emirate and beyond; donated food to thousands of the less privileged and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs); drilled boreholes in water-scarce areas and IDP camps; catered for the financial needs of hundreds of indigent students in tertiary institutions; built and fully equipped hospitals for the care of women and children; provided fertilisers, herbicides and certified seeds to farmers; and provided financial aid to people suffering from various health challenges.

His biggest intervention is in the education sector where he built schools and enrolled over 3000 children in about 33 primary schools. He also supports thousands of Almajirai across many Tsangaya schools in Gombe with feeding, beddings and books. He built an Islamic education facility with the capacity to accommodate 10,000 students (obviously the largest in the region); he provided solar lighting facility to over 100 Tsangaya schools; and, he facilitated the provision of internet facilities and equipped computer laboratories in over 50 schools in Gombe State. These philanthropic interventions and the reformation of the emirate leadership system on which he applies almost all his resources can best be described as legendary.

The positive impact on the people is unquantifiable. His commitment to public service and investment in philanthropic programmes for the improvement of the condition of his people is the simple definition of his persona. The exercise of his royalty is rooted in his virtuous, courteous, and generous nature. He sweats to draw resources from various sources, (largely from his investments) and commits almost everything to the development of his people and the emirate. The emir’s philanthropic drive is, therefore, no doubt, second to none.

The emir has initiated a reform process in the royal affairs of the emirate, giving several good and worthy sons of Gombe traditional titles as they have been playing important roles in the development of the emirate, its good people and Nigerians at different levels. He is at a prime age, looking forward to a brighter future in the service of his people and humanity.


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