Dr Modi @ 50: That side of Buhari’s in-law many did not see

During the heat of the race for the governor’s seat in Adamawa in 2018, the then first family became a subject of the news media and the rumour mill. The narrative then was that Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s then first lady, wanted to impose her brother on the people of her home state – Adamawa, whose […]

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During the heat of the race for the governor’s seat in Adamawa in 2018, the then first family became a subject of the news media and the rumour mill. The narrative then was that Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s then first lady, wanted to impose her brother on the people of her home state – Adamawa, whose then governor, Muhammadu Jibrilla Bindow, was also seeking a re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

But what many did not know was that even with the opportunity to exploit his relationship with the first family, Dr Mahmood Halilu Ahmed, mni, Aisha’s younger brother, decided like he had always done to pursue his aspiration with the same conviction that has propelled him in life – to let his qualities, goals and achievements speak for him. Though many people had thought he had reached out to his sister to soften the path for him, as most humans in his shoes would have done without any guilt, Modi, as he is popularly known, did not take that route.

In fact, as he narrated in an encounter after the whole process, he went into the contest as an ordinary citizen that was desirous of rescuing his people. Modi, like other contestants, went through the processes, although he would later find out the process itself had been skewed to favour the person of choice for the party’s leadership. But even when the handwriting was becoming clear on the wall, Modi did not exploit any of the privileges at his disposal; including that of his sister, the president’s wife nor his personal relationship with the then party’s national chairman (Senator Adams Oshiomhole). In fact, to avoid being caught up in the situation where he could be compelled to take advantage of these relationships, Modi did not visit Oshiomhole since he purchased the form, so that he wouldn’t be compelled to favour him. In fact, he recalled that he did not consult his sister before going into it. With his political structure on the ground, he decided to contest when they (Buhari and his wife) were outside the country; when they were in China, as he recalled. He did not contact them on the telephone nor consult with them in any way but like every other citizen with an aspiration to better the lots of the people, decided to buy the form and throw his hat into the ring.

While most persons close to the seat of power found it difficult to rock the boat by speaking up against perceived wrong decisions of government, Modi at several times, took judicious advantage of his relationship with the then first family to bring to the ears of the then President the real feelings of Nigerians about certain policies of his government. In his own little ways, he constantly looks for ways to communicate the stark truth and it is this his straightforwardness and candidness that not only earned him the respect of the former president but direct and unfettered access to him.

But beyond the politician that most people know, Modi is a media man. His passion to inform, educate and positively impact on his people has propelled him to invest in mass media, founding one of the leading private FM stations in Adamawa, Nas FM, with stations in Yola and Mubi and a reach across the state and some parts of Cameroon.

Dr Modi, the philanthropist-cum-businessman is also involved in agric-business as the owner of rice processing and milling company, employing hundreds of persons and contributing to the country’s food security project initiated by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. He is the chairman, Board of Directors of Bedmod Integrated Farms Ltd, a firm focused on farming and allied services, agro-chemicals, fertiliser, organic products, rice farming and agricultural exports.

As a traditional title holder with the highly respected title of Sarkin Gabas of Adamawa, Modi remains passionate about changing the political fortunes of his home state where he believed the people have not fully benefited from the dividends of democracy.

And he is not giving up on contributing more to his state. After all, he has been involved in partisan politics since 2002 when he registered and joined the defunct All People Party (APP) before contesting for the House of Representatives, representing Yola North, Yola South, and Girei Federal Constituency, under the of platform of ANPP in the general elections in 2007. He remains committed to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a party he played parts in its formation as a member of merger/convention committee and has served in several other committees since then.

The alumnus of the prestigious Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, is a mentor to many up-and-coming business leaders and managers and a strong believer in the power of public-private partnership as a catalyst for economic development. With this mindset and overriding passion to impact on more lives, Modi currently sits on the board of directors of several companies including as the Chairman, Board of Directors, Hinterland Group (Financiers, Real Estate Investment, Communications, Healthcare, Logistics, Hospitality, Tourism, Forex and Corporate Support Services).

His peers have at different fora lauded him for possessing apt and measureless knowledge in government as well as a far-flung experience in leadership with an edge in strategic thinking, which formed part of his learnings at the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.

As he turns 50 today, the wish across board is for Almighty Allah to continue to give him good health to be able to continue to impact positively on the human race.

Shehu sent this piece from Abuja

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