BY BEN YAMUSA
Those who are committed to overall good, are often not weary of exploring ways and means of reaching the peak of their vision. So it is with Air Cdre Emmanuel Kabirat Jekada (rtd), whose inspiring life has comforted the underprivileged and supported the distressed, including providing support for the unsupported, bringing affordable educational opportunities for children of the poor, thus advancing their educational prospects.
Before his emergence as the Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in May 2018, Jekada’s footprints have since been defined by untainted service to both humanity and his profession. He remains an enigma of a sort, whose passion in the service of his people, state and country has never been in doubt. Not only has he supported the weak, he provides succour across regions and religions. This retired Air Force officer symbolises excellence in service to humanity in various fields of human endeavours.
His entrance into politics came after his meritorious service in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and his sting with the prestigious National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru as a directing staff/ Director of Studies Department of the Institute; marked the commencement of an impeccable service delivery to fellow citizens through and establishment of a post- primary institution in science and technology and other Educational platforms; platforms where he has been touching the lives of many pupils/ students and parents. Jekada has ensured that excellence of service is properly anchored on his passion for humanity, which remains his propelling force. He is bent on improving the lives of people irrespective of tribe, religion or creed. This has been the major plank upon which he continues to serve his people for community and national development.
Still serving as the Chairman of the Kaduna State APC, he has continued to deploy his intellectual capacity and commitment to wield the party into a strong and formidable organisation in the State and beyond, despite some man-made challenges. Considering his pedigree in NAF and NIPSS, Jekada remains one of the nation’s best hands endowed with academic prowess and distinct inspiration to the service of his Fatherland.
He is a cerebral retired officer, who combines his academic attainment with unique qualities of standing for the truth and common good. His present disposition of saying the truth, no matter whose ox is gored, is anchored on his belief that leadership without sincerity cannot deliver the best for the people.
Some clear platitudes about Air Cdre Jekada (rtd) would provide light as to what he stands for. After completing his primary education in Madakiya, in present-day Zangon Kataf LGA, he proceeded to the Basawa Teacher’s College, Zaria, where he obtained his Grade II Teachers’ certificate. He joined the Nigerian Air Force as a potential Pilot cadet and a member of the Cadet’s Military Training Course 2 (CMTC) in 1977. Thereafter, he was commissioned as a regular combatant officer in the rank of Pilot Officer in 1980.
He walked to the peak of his academic career when he obtained a PhD in International Relations and Strategic Studies from St. Clements University TURK & Caicos Islands, British West Indies, London Graduation Centre. He had earlier obtained a Masters of Business Administration and Management (MBA) in 2000, from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and a Masters in International Relations and Strategic Studies ( MIRSS) from the Lagos State University in 2002.
Besides attaining excellence in his academic endeavours, he displayed exceptional competence during all military training and courses that he attended. After his Primary Flying Training School at the NAF Base, Kaduna, in 1978, he was at the Technical Training School, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, in the United States of America where he acquired the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Specialist Certificate and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Rating in 1979.
He shone brightly at the Armed Forces Command & Staff College Jaji, Kaduna State, where he obtained Pjsc (Passed Junior Staff College) in 1989 and Psc (Passed Staff College) in 1996. He was at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, where he obtained the mni certificate in 2008 (Member of the Nigerian Institute). He attended several seminars, amongst which include ‘Operational Readiness and Essential Pillars of Credible National Defence Systems, NAF administrative workshops and conferences , and other national and international summits.
Jekada’s military promotions reveals him as a man whose excellence was recognised through his dint of hard work and dedication to duty; rising to the rank of Air Commodore in 2006, he held several positions in the military, which include: Administrative Officer (AO) Air Traffic Squadron, Flying Training School Kano (1981); Officer Commanding (OC) Air Traffic Services Wing/ Academic Instructor, Air traffic Control (ATC)/Meteorology (Met) in 301 Flying Training School, Kaduna (1994-1995); Battalion commander/ academic instructor in ATC & MET at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, 1997-98. Administrative officer (AO) to the Chief of the Air Staff, NAF HQ Abuja )1998-1999), Commander, NAF Station Maiduguri (1999-2000); Deputy Director, Relief and Disaster Management, Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja, (2005-2006); Director, Research and Rescue operations, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Abuja,(2006-2008) and Directing Staff,/ Director of Studies Department, NIPPS, Kuru, from 2009 to 2018.
He also attended military operations that included Operation Sea Dog in Calabar (1980); Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) Peace Keeping Force in Chad (1981); Assigned military Operational Exercises of Tactical Air Command (TAC) in Makurdi/Maiduguri (1982-1989) and Operation Takute Expe JOPEX in Lagos (2004).
It is incontrovertible to say that Air Commodore Jekada has not only left indelible footprints on the sands of his military career and service at NIPSS; he is poised at pressing the buttons for a stronger platform that will enable the APC to provide dividends of democracy for the electorate
In a nation endowed with renewed hope for citizens in search of transparency and good governance, the Kaduna APC Chairman remains a fine military officer, a brilliant public servant and a community development enthusiast who remains an enigma that combines passion and intellect in the pursuit of the common good for the people. His life and achievements remain an inspiration and hope for a nation that is still enmeshed in searching for committed patriots who are sincere and versed in the knowledge of providing leadership for national development.
Yamusa, a public analyst, writes from Kaduna and can be reached via: email@example.com