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Col. Sani Bello

Col Sani Bello,74, retired Army colonel, former governor of Kano State, former ambassador, elder statesman, successful business mogul, amazing philanthropist, friend of the masses, school proprietor, and compassionate family man, has been conferred with the traditional title of Sarkin Malaman Kontagora, by HRH Sarkin Sudan Kontagora, Alhaji Saidu Namaska (CON), recently. A man with strikingly impressive pedigree, self-effacing and unassuming, he prefers low-key,simple life, avoiding limelight and celebratory traditional titles, even though he has greatly benefitted his community and the country with his wealth and social projects, foremost of which  is Mustapha Comprehensive School, Kontagora. Born in Kontagora, in Niger State, he attended Central Primary School, Kontagora and Government College, Bida, before joining the Nigerian Army as a cadet in December, 1962.  He attended Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in England, and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in July, 1965.Following his commission, he returned to Nigeria and was posted to 1st Battalion, Nigerian Army, Enugu, as a platoon commander.  He held various posts in the Nigerian Army, including ADC to the Supreme Commander, Nigeria’s first military head of state, late Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi; company commander; Assistant Quarter Master General of 3rd Marine Commando Division of Nigerian Army;and Deputy Adjutant General of the Army. He was also a military governor of the old Kano State from 1975 – 1978 and the first Nigerian Principal Staff Officer at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, a post he held until he retired in August, 1979.

After retirement in 1979, he held various part-time appointments as chairman, Niger State Green Revolution; Niger State NYSC; Niger State Polytechnic; and Niger State Science and Technical Schools Board.  He also served as Nigerian High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Zimbabwe from 1984 – 1986.

On his return home from Zimbabwe, Col. Sani Bello (Rtd), became involved with various companies as chairman or director, including former Broad bank, Nigeria Ltd; Globe Re Nigeria Ltd; Law Union and Rock Insurance Company Plc; Amni International Petroleum Development Company Ltd; Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company Ltd; MTN Communications Ltd; Equatel Communication Ltd; President of National Association of Indigenous Petroleum Explorers in Nigeria; and lately chairman, Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd, Nigeria.  Mainstream Energy is the highest electricity generating company in Nigeria.  He is also a farmer and proprietor of Mustafa Comprehensive School, Kontagora.  He is a passionate lover of sports, especially table tennis, of which he once served as the chairman of Nigerian Table Tennis Federation and led the national team to the Commonwealth and World Championships in 1983.

A dedicated administrator, he has a knack for precision and details honed from his days as a professional soldier.His life profile serves as a lesson on how determination, discipline, hardwork, competitive intelligence, and dedication can make a man triumph over any kind of limitation in life.

Col. Sani Bello (Rtd), a well-travelled Nigerian,who has left his footprints on the sands of time, has penchant for dressing well.

He is the father of the current Niger State governor, Dr Abubakar Sani Bello.

Profiled by Ayantunde Ayangbayi

TAURARUWA