Gowon Pays Tribute to Bamanga Tukur in ‘Legacies of a Legend’


*Book for launch Nov. 4

Former Minister of Trade and Industry and former General Manager of Nigerian Ports Authority during the intractable Cement Armada in the 1970s, Bamanga Tukur, has been showered huge praises by the then Commander in Chief, General Yakubu Gowon, in the foreword he wrote for of Tukur’s new book LEGACIES OF A LEGEND due for worldwide launch on November 4 in Abuja.

In his nearly fifty years of public service and private enterprise, Tukur, Tafida of Adamawa and former President of African Business RoundTable, gave important speeches across the board from, traditional, political, economic and technically motivated speeches to the world, a collection that surely would become an important handbook of great speeches for great occasions. The certainty of the book becoming a speech writer’s delight is well assured.

The book covers five sections from Bamanga’s Life of Public Service, Stepping Into Politics, and the Private Sector which encompassed Business, Travel and Investment. The book then dovetails into Politics and governance, as well as general remarks and other speeches. One of the great political speeches Bamanga ever delivered would surely include the speech entitled THE UYO DECLARATION, REPOSITIONING THE PDP FOR DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP and the epic TIME TO HEAL THE WOUNDS OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND TRANSFORM THE NATION.

Tukur is s former national chairman of PDP. In one of those politically loaded speeches, Bamanga wrote: “I have to commend President Jonathan for setting the ball rolling by instructing Ministers to commence briefing the National Working Committee on their respective activities…I also enjoin all Governors to take a cue from the Ministers and embark on the same thing at the state levels’’.

He added in one of those great speeches that I commend the PDP Governors for having the wisdom and foresight to form the PDP Governors Forum. It was however in the foreword to the book that General Gowon was able to capture the essence of Bamanga Tukur, the London School of Economics educated Transport expert for it was after that stint at High Holborn that Tukur became the Ports Manager and faced the biggest shipping crisis of Nigeria and his own career to decongest the Lagos port clogged by an armada of cement laden ships on the shipping lanes to Lagos, Nigeria.

The Head of State at the time, General Yakubu Gowon wrote a glowing foreword and he said:

“I have the privilege of knowing and working with him between 1966 to 1975 when I was Head of State and Commander-in-Chief and he was a staff and later the Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority, NPA. To be precise, it was during the Federal Government consideration and inauguration of the Third National Development Plan 1975-80, with a massive demand for infrastructural material, particularly cement, required for the building programme virtually blockaded the entrance to Lagos and Apapa ports and went back as far as the eyes can see to the horizon. It made the late President of Ivory Coast (Cote d’lvoire) to suggest that the cement ships be directed to Abidjan ports from where they would move them to Nigeria by road.

“The policy ultimately adopted was to decongest the Lagos/Apapa ports by dispersing the ships to other major ports in the country, viz, Warri, Port Harcourt and Calabar. It was also decided to expand Apapa wharf by building Tin Can Island Wharf, Apapa, which was eventually done. The truth about the congestion was that the Third National Development Plan required a large quantity of cement that the Nigerian Cement Companies could not meet up the demand and had to resort to importation of cement from foreign sources. Our officials have gone round the world, particularly Turkey and Bulgaria that were supposed to have excess capacity to be able to supply our needs, but turned out not to be so”.

As a long term admirer of Bamanga Tukur, Gowon said of Tukur: “I used to call and refer to him in Hausa language as ‘SARKIN AIKI’ Chief Worker, a workaholic. The launching of the book was to have taken place to coincide with Bamanga’s 86th birthday anniversary on September15, 2021, but had to be shifted to November 4, 2021 to enable the author return from medical checkup in the United Kingdom.

There is no doubt that LEGACIES OF A LEGEND, selected speeches of Ambassador Bamanga Tukur, CON, COM, Tafidan Adamawa will be a handbook for speechwriters, students from secondary to university level and special advisers to officials of government and the private sector. Bamanga Tukur’s long time special duties assistant, Engineer Awwal Hayatu Wakil compiled the speeches while veteran journalist and author, Chief Tony Amadi, edited it.