By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
The Governorship candidate of the Accord Party (AP), Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin retd, is no stranger to Kogi’s political sphere.
Popularly called ‘APKABANA,’ is an astute politician who has maintained his political structure across the 21 local government areas of Kogi State since he joined politics.
No wonder he is loved by Kogites and was asked to come and rescue them.
It is a crucial time for the people of Kogi State as they prepare to elect a new governor in November this year.
A lot of people have shown interest in running for the number one position in the state but, there is someone who has caught the attention of the electorates because of the experience he possesses, his career achievements in the Nigerian Navy and his positive contribution to the security and educational sectors in Kogi state and Nigeria in general.
Usman Oyibe Jibrin, CFR GSS AM psc(+) mni LLB PGCPA is a Nigerian Navy vice admiral and the 21st Chief of Naval Staff. Prior to his appointment as the Chief of Naval Staff, he was the Chief of Logistics and Director of Training, Defence Headquarters Abuja
Admiral Jibril was born on 16 September 1959 in Okura Olafia, a town in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria. He attended the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of the 24th Regular Combatant Course where he graduated as the Best Naval Cadet officer and was commissioned as Sub-lieutenant of the Nigerian Navy on 1 January 1982
He began his naval career as a watch-keeping officer on board NNS Damisa and NNS Aradu immediately after he was commissioned as Sub-lieutenant. He served in this capacity for 2 years (January 1982 – January 1984). He later served as base intelligence officer, NNS UMALOKUN for approximately 3 years (July 1984 – 1987) He also served as a flag lieutenant to the Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency and to the commandant officer of the Nigerian Navy Intelligence School, Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria, before he became an instructor at Navigation and Direction School, Nigerian Navy Ship Quorra.
He served in that capacity for 2 years (1989–1991). In 1994, he was appointed as a directing staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, a tenure that elapsed in 1996 and after his tenure in 1996, he was appointed as the executive officer, NNS Enyimiri.
In 1997, he became the commanding officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship Ofiom, and in 1998 he commanded the ship NNS Ambe in Operation Liberty (ECOMOG), where he obtained the Command at Sea Badge. In 2001, he became the Deputy Director Attaché Management, Defence Intelligence Agency and the Naval Provost Marshal, at Naval Headquarters. In 2002, he was appointed as the defence adviser to the Nigerian Embassy Cameroun.
He served in this capacity for 4 years until the end of his tenure in 2006. In December 2006, he was appointed as chief staff officer at the Sea Training Command and later became the commandant officer of the Defence Intelligence School (DIS) Abuja in June 2007. Thereafter, he was appointed as Nigerian Navy secretary and while serving in this capacity, he was promoted to rear admiral. In 2010 he became the flag officer commanding, Eastern Naval Command, coordinating a joint operation involving the 3 services around the Gulf of Guinea, NEMO.
He also coordinated a combined Exercise, called OBANGAME EXPRESS 2012, involving 11 countries including Germany and the United Kingdom. In January 2014, he took over from Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba as the Chief of Naval Staff, and on 5 February 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Throughout his career, he received an overwhelming number of awards. Amongst them are:
* Best Naval Cadet (1982), awarded by the Nigerian Navy
* Passed Staff College Dagger (psc+), awarded by the Nigerian Navy
* Forces Service Star (FSS), awarded by the Nigerian Navy
* Distinguish Service Star (DSS), awarded by the Nigerian Navy
* Meritorious Service Star (MSS), awarded by the Nigerian Navy
* General Service Star (GSS) awarded by the Nigerian Navy
* Command at Sea Badge awarded by the Nigerian Navy.
* Admiralty Medal, awarded by the Nigerian Navy.
While serving as chief of Naval staff, he achieved great security heights for the Country within his short period in Office. Before he came into office Oil theft stood at 2.4 million barrels per month but under his watch, the oil theft was reduced to an all-time low of 300,000 barrels per month.
In the same 2015 Usman Jibrin as chief of Naval staff acquired and took delivery of Four warships which were commissioned by then president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the highest number of warships to be commissioned at once in Nigerian Navy history. Out of his love for the Igala kingdom and his zeal to put the Igala race on the path of global recognition, he code-named one of the warships NNS Okpabana which in Igala means Thunder.
Additionally, he facilitated the establishment of a Naval secondary school at Okura in Kogi state, Naval Base (NNS Lugard), Banda and Naval Base Command, Idah amongst Others.
This profile indeed makes Admiral Usman Jibrin the most qualified among his Gubernatorial candidate counterparts.