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Inuwa Abdulkadir: Lawyer, Politician, Public Servant Goes Home



The Nigerian political class recently lost one of its best and brightest. In his lifetime, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir proved himself as a versatile politician with the will to manoeuvre through the mine field that the country’s political terrain can sometimes present itself. In some cases, he is perceived as a controversial personality while at the same time regarded as adept at the act of scheming that is usually the nature of politicking. But no one doubted his abilities as a highly capable administrator who once served as Secretary of the Sokoto Sultanate Council before later becoming Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum – a high profile political and cultural association of leaders in Northern Nigeria.

Inuwa cut his political teeth while studying law at the Usmanu Dan Fodio University in his native Sokoto State. In those early days, with the drive of a budding politician, he was active in many associations including Students Union, Sokoto State Students, Law Students and Hausa Students. That certainly prepared him for the role he was to play later in the nation’s democratic process.

Even as a Youth Corps lawyer in Kaduna State in the early 1990s, he was providentially deployed to Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi’s Choice ’92 campaign office. In that capacity, his political qualities were dazzling so bright that the campaign office appointing him the State Secretary, a position ordinarily reserved for political grandmasters. That was in the early days of President Ibrahim Babangida’s political re-engineering of Nigeria which led to the disqualification of his principal, the Marafan Sokoto, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi

Following that unfortunate development, he returned to Sokoto to pick up a job as a State Counsel in the state’s Ministry of Justice. It was a time-bidding decision as he was soon to be redeployed to Sultan of Sokoto’s Palace as the Secretary to the Sultanate Council. Anyone familiar with palaces will agree that they are a hotbed of intrigues and manipulation as everyone seeks to find relevance within the system. For Inuwa, it was an appropriate breeding ground for political brinkmanship. Expectedly, the young politician ran into some rough weather during the heady days of the General Sani Abacha administration, was redeployed back to the Ministry from where he resigned to take up politics full time. He reconnected with his mentor, Shinkafi, on the platform of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) and later defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Sokoto while remaining in APP at the national level. He was, indeed, a hyperactive individual and got mixed up with many top politicians in those years.

During the 2003 elections, he was Nigerian Democratic Party’s (NDP’s) governorship candidate in Sokoto State but made little impact against Bafarawa. He played an even more complicated role in 2007 when he became presidential running mate to Kalu Uzor Kalu in the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). In 2007, Inuwa became Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the Governor Aliyu Wamakko government and later, in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, he served as Minister of Youth Development.

Inuwa Abdulkadir was born on January 12, 1966. A lawyer and consummate politician, he was also National Vice Chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He attended Ahmadu Bello Academy in Farufaru from 1977 to 1982, before proceeding to the Usman Danfodio University in Sokoto from 1982 to 1990 where he studied and received a bachelor’s degree in law. In 1990, he attended the Nigerian Law School and was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991. He later attended the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in Lagos in 1995.

He was a Member of the Sokoto State Penal Law Review Panel, Sokoto State Arabic and Islamic Board, National Youth Service Corps (Sokoto State), and Secretary of the Robbery and Firearms Tribunal under successive military governments in the state.

In 1999, Inuwa was a counsel at the Oputa Panel where he defended the Arewa Consultative Forum against Afenifere. He later became the Assistant National Organizing Secretary of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He also served as the legal adviser and Company Secretary of Sokoto Newspaper Company Limited, before joining the then ruling PDP. He and seven serving governors formed the G-7 faction within the PDP (nPDP). In November 2013, he defected to the then opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and became its founding member.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him Chairman of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). After calling for Adams Oshiomhole’s resignation in July 2019, he was removed as National Vice Chairman.

Earlier in 1996, Sultan Muhammadu Maccido had conferred on him the traditional title of Magatakarda (Chief Scribe) of the Sokoto Caliphate. He died on July 6, 2020 and was married and had 10 children. May his soul rest in peace.