Isyaku Tofa:Royal Elevation for Makaman Bichi
By Ahmad Muhammad Danyaro
The elevation on 3rd August ,2020 of Alhaji Isyaku Umar Tofa from Dan Adalan Bichi to Makaman Bichi by Emir of Bichi ,Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero will remain a red letter day to the family, well wishers , friends and admirers of the resilient entrepreneur turned monarch.
The Makama according to the history of the Fulani Dynasty of the Usman Dan Fodio empire is among the four kingmakers of the emirate .
The story of the new Makaman Bichi & Tofa Group of Companies Helmsman is that of triumph of the human vicissitude. His life is a proof that with strong will to succeed in life and divine nod to one’s actions, one can turn all obstacles to blessings.
The effort of this gentleman makes him to attain greatness by building Tofa Business Empire which he uses as the base of his philanthropic activities.
He started life with a humble beginning and by a dint of hard work, strong determination and dedication providence or nature lifted hum unto his present enviable position of National and International repute and recognition.
Alhaji Isyaku Umar Tofa, the District Head of Tofa in Bichi Emirate Council, was born on 22nd November 1947 in Tofa, he began his education career with the Islamic education, where he memorized a great portion of the Glorious Qur’an and later proceeded to Junior Primary School, Tofa between 1954-1957.
He was later at Senior Primary School, Gwarzo from 1958-1959.
The cerebral entrepreneur obtained his West African School Certificate at Government Secondary School Kano between 1960 – 1965 and Higher School Certificate from the same institution from 1966-1967.
After his graduation from the famous Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated with B.Sc Economics from 1969 – 1972 his thirst for knowledge took him to University of Pittsburgh between 1975 – 1976 for a Master in Public Administration.
Alhaji Tofa perfectly described the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, when he postulates (to be yourself in the world that is trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment).
A man who is tall, his accomplishments are taller than him. A man of lofty ideals, humility and generosity; he paradoxically has a simple philosophy of life and corresponding approach to challenges.
Makaman Bichi is a man with extreme generosity who was prepared to play the role of bringing succor to the poor, bringing smiles to the deprived and employing an army of unemployed in his group of companies.
Dr. Tofa began his working career at MDS (a division of UAC Trainee) in 1968. He later joined Kano State Civil Service to contribute his quota to the development of the state. Alhaji Isyaku Umar Tofa, OON, was at various times between 1972 – 1976, Administrative Officer, Assistant Secretary, Principal Secretary to Military Governor and Secretary, Drought Relief Committee.
The journey through life is often one that carries with it a very strong desire for self fulfillment, fulfillment of one’s dreams, desires, aspirations or even goals. Sometimes, this manifest celebration over accomplishments or bowed heads over dashed hopes.
Before he broke into national reckoning by establishing his company, Tofa General Enterprises Ltd in 1979, he has a stint at Mai Nasara and Sons Ltd.
This very peaceful and quite life was soon to change. A change which was borne out of a very strong desire, not only to transform the individual, but a greater need to improve the economic and social conditions of his countrymen where he employs hundreds of young people, where he empowers families and bringing succor to the poor through extra ordinary philanthropic activities that span many years.
Among the national assignments and contributions he has made in both public and private sectors include, Board Member, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (1979 – 1982), Board Member Kano State Housing Corporation, Board Member, Water Resources and Engineering Construction (1989 to 1991), member, Presidential Taskforce on Nigeria Airways Limited, Director, New Merchants Bank Ltd, Chairman, TRAIANON Shipping Co. Ltd, Chairman Kano State Environmental Protection and Planning Authority (KASAPPA), Chairma, Equity Bank of Nigeria (1999 to 2005), Council Member, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (1994 – date), Council Member, Nigeria Stock Exchange (1999 – 2006) and member, National Political Reform Conference among several others.
Though not a noise maker, his patriotic intentions and accomplishments stand him out and at various times fetch him awards and laurels including National Honour (Officer of the Order of the Niger, 2003), appointed village head of Tofa with traditional title Dan Adalan Tofa by His Royal Highness, late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero in May 2002 and was elevated to the status of District Head of Tofa with the title of Dan Adalan Kano in February 2008, appointed Ihimu of Ugaga Kingdom, Cross Rivers State in 2005, awarded an Honourary Doctorate Degree by Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Anambra State 2008 and much recent Achiever Per Excellence by National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in July 2014.
Makaman Bichi, a serial entrepreneur and community leader unwind through discussion of current affairs, badminton, squash and intellectual debate. Indeed, those who bring sunshine to others cannot keep it away from themselves; this man has done enough for his self and has done Nigeria proud.
When young emerging leaders are hunting for a role model, Alhaji Isyaku Umar Tofa, OON, a cerebral business mogul, philanthropist, traditional ruler, and indefatigable pillar of sport perfectly fits the search.
Danyaro writes from Abuja and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08032633848.