Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Arc. (Chief) Gabriel Yakubu Aduku, FNIA, PPNIA, OON, AMANA-OGOHI 1- ATA IGALA: A Towering Cypress @80

It was William Shakespeare, the iconoclastic poet, playwright, actor and perhaps, the greatest writer in English language, who in his 1602 writing in the play Twelfth Night, noted that “some people are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”. Four hundred and twenty two (422) years after Shakespeare uttered that phrase, every line of the literary quotation is as relevant today as it was then.

The life and time of our pioneer Executive Chairman, Archcon Nigeria Limited, Arc. (Chief) Gabriel Yakubu Aduku, bear great testimony to that timeless saying by the iconic playwright. As we celebrate the watershed 80th birthday anniversary of our benefactor today, we have deemed it fit as one of the foremost architectural firms north of the Niger, to do a reflective introspection about this great man.

Unlike those born great or had greatness thrust upon them, Arc, Gabriel, was birthed without the luxury of the proverbial silver spoon. However, with an uncanny determination, perseverance and a never-giving up spirit, sharpened by an uncommon faith in God, he has, 80 years down the line, weathered several storms and achieved greatness in virtually all ramifications of life, for which we remain eternally grateful to God, his creator! We chronicle these landmark achievements of our iconic erstwhile Chairman through the following subthemes dedicated to this great icon.

In The Beginning

Your birth on Thursday 3rd February, 1944 in Anyigba, Dekina L.G.A of Kogi State to the family of Aduku Aguye Aga of Ameh Ohiga clan was unheralded because neither of your parents was a great personality in the mold of a king or queen. However, while growing up, you struggled through thick and thin, between 1956 and 1970, to acquire both basic and tertiary education, the climax of which was a Bachelor of Architecture 2nd Class Upper degree from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where you met and eventually married the matriarch of the Aduku family, Lydia!

We recall with nostalgia that before enrolling into the University in October, 1964, you worked as an Assistant Technical Officer at the Institute of Agricultural Research, Zaria, before opting for internship as Architectural Assistant at the staff Architects Department, ABU Zaria.
Professional Calling and Achievements

Fondly called ‘Daddy’ by every member of the Archcon family, we are delighted to note that you carved a niche for yourself very early in life by choosing to be a job provider instead of being a jobseeker.

That visionary stance saw you co-found the architectural firm by the professional name Archcon, in 1970, from where you rose to the exalted position of its pioneer Executive Chairman. Apart from your architectural prowess which is manifest in various works located all over the country and beyond, we are excited that you have remained committed to the cause of the architecture profession which is so dear to your heart.

Remarkably, you have served the institute in various capacities, rising to its presidency in 1991 as well as being Council /corporate member of the NIA, ARCON, the International Union of Architects, UIA, and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), respectively.

As President, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) from 1992 to 1997, you envisioned and indeed, promoted a strong and virile institute that is absolutely on top of the building sector of the Nigerian Economy both from the point of knowledge of its members and professional credibility and the respect enjoyed from various governments and the general public.

You ensured, as one of your landmark achievements as ARCON President, that the Councils of both ARCON and NIA vigorously commenced the monitoring of the practice of architecture in the country to stamp out possible quackery. This was backed up by individual development programs for the professionals through seminars and workshops.

A Man Of His People

From your hey days as a youth, you have championed the cause of your people, variously as President, Igala Students Association and currently, as Chairman, Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC), a platform which you have consistently used to canvass for a better deal for the Igala/Bassa speaking people in all aspects of social, economic and political development of the zone, within the context of Kogi Sate and Nigeria as a whole.

Political Feathers

Undoubtedly, you are a man of diverse parts. Your foray into politics since 1989 has seen you navigate through the murky waters of Nigerian politics albeit not without bruises, yet victorious at all times. Beside your numerous contributions to Nigeria’s political development we are happy and proud to note that, in 1994, as Chairman of the Revenue Allocation Committee of the National Constitutional Conference, you birthed the 13% derivation formula which is embedded in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria. Also worthy of note is that you designed the party logo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998.

The climax of your political career and service to the fatherland was your appointment in 2007 as a Cabinet minister by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. As Minister of State for Health, you passed through one of the most turbulent moments of your life over spurious allegations leveled against you by detractors in a bid to get you off the way because of the quintessential professionalism and commitment for good governance which you brought to bear in the ministry.

We, are however, delighted that you fought your detractors by challenging the trumped up charges against you through the Appeal Court up to the Supreme Court where you were eventually discharged and acquitted by the apex court.
Another attempted but failed bid to smear your sterling and impeccable record of service was your recent unceremonious removal as the seventh Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on December 12, 2023, after barely 7 months in the saddle, without the benefit of official notification or opportunity to defend yourself against any wrong doing. As it has turned out, the premature truncation of your tenure without any official reason has become a moral burden which the BoT of the ACF would have to carry for a very long time to come.

One thing that is never in doubt and for which are eternally proud of, is that you, Arc. Chief Gabriel Yakubu Aduku, RIBA, FNIA, PPNIA, PPARCON, OON, Amana Ogohi 1 Ata Igala, are a man of many enviable parts, indeed, an Architects’ Architect, a leaders’ leader, a politicians’ politician, a devout Christian and an outstanding member and Elder of the United Evangelical Church of Nigeria (Qua Iboe Mission) Church, a happy and fulfilled family man, a lover of peace and above all, a towering cypress among pliant shrubs!

As you mark your 80th birthday today, we at Archcon Nigeria Limited, which you watered and nurtured to maturity, join your numerous other admirers to wish you more productive years in life and pray for God’s protection, wisdom, strength and above all, His abiding grace upon your eventful and remarkable life.
Once more, Congratulations. Abo!!!

Signed:
Archcon Nigeria Limited

 

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