Who is Buba Marwa?

General Muhammed Buba Marwa is a Nigerian politician and a former military governor of Lagos and Borno state. He is well known for his expertise in public administration.

Early life and education of Buba Marwa

Buba Marwa was born on September 9, 1953, in Kaduna state, into a prominent family. He is also an indigene of Michika Local Government Area in Adamawa state. His father, Buba Marwa, served in the Royal Nigerian Army, and his grandfather Buba Yola served in the Royal West African Frontier force. Growing up in a family of military personnel, Buba Marwa decided to continue on that path.

After his primary school education, he attended the military schools in Nigeria and also underwent various training in Nigeria and abroad, all in pursuit of a military career. Some of those training are:

● Communication Instructors course, School of Armour Nowshera, Pakistan

● Junior and Senior Staff College courses at Command and Staff College (CSC), Jaji.

● Armour Officer Basic Course, Fort Knox Kentucky, USA.

● RSO (All Arms), Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Mhow, India.

● Regimental Signal Officers (RSO) course, Nigerian Army Signals School, Apapa.

● Advanced Armour Officers Course in the Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmadnagar, India.

Military career of Buba Marwa

In 1966 and as early as age 13, Buba Marwa already joined the Nigerian Military school in Zaria and later went to Nigeria Defense Academy in Kaduna.

While in the army, In 1983, he furthered his education and obtained a master’s degree in international relations at the University of Pittsburg. In 1985, he got another master’s degree in public administration at Harvard University. 

Buba Marwa rose through military ranks and served in several high military positions. He was the Brigade Major of the 23 Armoured Brigade, an Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant-general Theophilus Danjuma (the then chief of Army Staff), and a deputy defense adviser in the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC. 

Between 1990 and 1992, he became the military governor of Borno state during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. In 1992 he was transferred to the Nigerian Defense Academy, where he served as an academic registrar. Shortly after that, in 1993, he left Nigeria to new York in the united states, where he served as a Defence Attache at the Mission of Nigeria.

In 1996, he received unexpected news that he was the new military administrator of Lagos state. As an administrator, he was prudent in spending N14billion in the budget assigned to him by the state. In the three years he spent as the Lagos state military administrator, he never borrowed from the bank and instead handed over cash of 2billion naira to his successor. This rare and exemplary action got him the title of “Nigeria’s man of the year 1997” by Newswatch Nigeria.

In 1996, Marwa was appointed as the Military Governor of Lagos State. his administration was known for setting up programs that immensely developed Lagos state. He improved road transportations by carrying out projects such as the “Operation 250 Roads”. He refurbished some infrastructures in rural areas, reformed the public health institutions, introduced free malaria treatment and made sure it was available to all. 

One of his notable achievements was the “Operation Sweep” project, which helped to scale down the high crime rates In Lagos state. The police and the military joined forces to make this happen.

In 1996, Buba Marwa was appointed as the military Governor of Lagos state under the late Sani Abacha regime. In 1999, he retired from the army and handed over power to Bola Tinubu.

Buba Marwa After his military career

After Buba Marwa completed his term as the Lagos state military Governor, he founded Albarka airline in 1999 and the Buba Marwa endowment in 2003. 

In 2003, Buba Marwa resigned from being the CEO of Albarka Airline, although the Nigerian government later banned the Airline from operations in 2007.

In pursuit of a political career, Buba Marwa desired to become the president of Nigeria, so he contested in the People’s Democratic Party’s primary election in 2007. He was not successful as Yar’adua was elected instead. Marwa then supported the Umaru Musa Yar’adua in winning the presidential elections, after which he was appointed Nigeria’s high commissioner to the Republic of South Africa.

In 2011, Marwa became a member of CPC (Congress for Progressive Change), under which he contested for the governor of Adamawa state. Again, he wasn’t successful but lost to the incumbent governor of the state-Murtala Nyako.

Marwa political party CPC, alongside ANPP and ACN, merged to create the all progressive party APC. Marwa was a member of the APC, until he left for another party

Later in 2015, he returned to the APC after the party became the ruling party in Nigeria when President Muhammadu Buhari became president of Nigeria. Buba Marwa is a close ally of President Buhari.

From 2018 to December 2020, Marwa served as the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), a committee responsible for designing proper strategies to end drug abuse in Nigeria. In 2021, Buba Marwa was appointed as the Chairman of, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). 

Awards received by Buba Marwa

Buba Marwa has received a good number of prestigious awards. Some of them are:

Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR)- a national honour

Distinguished service star (DSS)-Nigerian Armed Forces Honour.

Gold Merit Award from the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) 

Zik Award for Political Leadership

Kwame Nkrumah Leadership award Ghana

Outstanding Leadership by the Joint Youth Association of Nigeria.

Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Memorial Foundation’s Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award

Millennium Award by Youths Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON)

National Distinguished Merit Award in Transportation from the Centre for Transport Studies.

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