Victor on February 25, deceased by April 22; OrderPaper’s Ibrahim Gaddafi Tanko puts to pen the life and times of Honourable Ismaila Maihanci Yushau; the 36-year-old philanthropist and politician who took the Taraba polity by storm.
Until his death, he was the lawmaker-elect for Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency of Taraba State in the incoming Tenth House of Representatives.
Born 36 years ago in the historic city of Jalingo, the Member-elect was born into the illustrious and highly industrious Maihanci family renowned for enterprise and creative spirit.
Trained in the finest traditions of the Fulanis deeply rooted in Islam, Hon Maihanci acquired both his primary and secondary education in Jalingo and was also enrolled in the normal Islammiya evening classes, where he gained substantial knowledge of Islam.
Driven by his passion for Western education, Maihanci proceeded to the famous College for Legal Studies in Yola, where he acquired a Diploma in Law (DIL) with a special bias for Shariah. Not resting on his oars, he went ahead to secure admission into the Taraba State University, Jalingo, where he bagged his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Islamic Studies, graduating with Honours.
The late politician capped his educational voyage with a Master of Arts degree in Leadership Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, A move that has been largely seen as an attempt to hone his leadership skills, preparatory to a career in public service.
Having started his career from the grassroots as Ward Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at a very tender age, Maihanci rose to become an institution of some sort in the political arena. However, his early participation in politics will set the tone for his larger political accomplishments as he gradually came closer to Taraba’s then-first family during the Governor Danbaba Suntai administration.
The political upheavals that greeted Taraba when Danbaba was involved in a plane crash during his second term will see Ismaila Maihanci pitching his tent with staunch loyalists of the ailing State executive that fought the then Acting Governor, Garba Umar UTC to a standstill until a Supreme Court judgement voided UTC’s appointment as the State’s deputy governor. Erstwhile number two citizen, Sani Abubakar Danladi, would thereafter be reinstated.
Sani Danladi, alias Contact, will eventually appoint Maihanci as one of his Special Advisers, thus opening the floodgate for his inclusion in mainstream governance at the state level. He thereafter was appointed to the same portfolio twice by the outgoing Taraba governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, where he brought to bear, capacity and capability in the discharge of his functions.
In the build-up to the 2023 National Assembly elections, he declared his intention to run for a seat in the House of Representatives and went further to defeat other prominent politicians, including a former Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Honourable Ibrahim Imam, in the primaries of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)
He later went ahead to upstage the incumbent lawmaker representing the Constituency, Honourable Kassimu Bello Maigari, who flew the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as Honourable Suleiman Bakari of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) who is a former Liaison Officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the National Assembly.
The hard-earned victory has been described as a watershed in the annals of electioneering in the federal constituency, as he won in all the three Local Government Areas that comprise the constituency. A development that has been described by political watchers as the first of its kind.
Maihanci, a recipient of several honours and awards from various institutions, including student groups, civil society organisations, religious and professional bodies, is also a business mogul with interests spanning the financial services sector, oil and gas, real estate and automobiles. Widely travelled, the late lawmaker-elect also holds the traditional title of Dan Malikin Zing, Dan Iyan Sintali, Dallatun Old Muri and Kauran Gashaka.
With his demise on Saturday, 22nd April 2023, he will fondly be remembered for his philanthropic disposition, love for people, and humane nature.