Muhammad Lele Muhtar (CON): An inspiring individual and mentor in the civil service.

While some mourn others rejoice. Those seen rejoicing today may be the one to mourn tomorrow, and it can be the other way round. Certainly, the entire people of Katagum emirate were thrown into mourning period today following the demises of one of their illustrious son. Alh Muhammad Lele Muhtar. District head of Madara town and Sarkin Dawakin Katagum.

It was yesterday evening around 8.01 when i received a call from my brother (Who is married to the first daughter of the deceased) that Sarkin Dawaki was not feeling fine. He told me that his wife Zainab (First child of the deceased) has called him crying and that he wants me to find out what was happening exactly.
Few minutes after receiving that call , I spotted his son Abdulkareem (Baba) speeding in a car and making his way towards Federal medical Center Azare. I quickly told one of my younger who was with me at that moment to follow him and see what is happening before i join them.
It happened that I was sitting in a place very close to the FMC and so, I followed them immediately too.

Despite my closeness to the hospital I couldn’t wait till I reach the hospital before I confirm what is happening and so I quickly put a call through to satisfy my spirit of enquiry. At the background of my call was someone crying profusely. At last! My fear has been confirmed, Sarkin Dawaki was no more. An Iroko tree has fallen.
His time has ended yesterday and so he had to join his maker.
Although he spent the day as a healthy man, he could not spend the night as living one. Few minutes to his demise, he has observed the voluntary monday fasting and has also observed his Isha’i prayer in congregation. Infact, he was the one who led the prayer at his residence. It was after he retired to his room that the inevitable happened.

Mamman (As we fondly call him) is gone but his memories will continue to be with us till we breathe no more.
He was one of the finest and complete individual I have ever known in my entire life. He was a brother, a mentor, a guardian and father. I got my name from him because i was named after him.

Anytime you want to learn about the uniqueness of Lele Muhtar ,then engage yourself in a conversation with Baba (My eldest brother) Baba has been with him (Mamman) even before he (Lele Muhtar) married his wife.

He took him away when he was leaving our house in the 70s. They had been together for over 40 years and now death has separated them. May God comfort you Baba and also the rest of us. It is an irreparable loss indeed.

Sarki, was such an original person that you will always like to interact with owing to his remarkable varsatility.Any session with him is worth remembering for it is always a memorable one. He is like an Encyclopaedia. He gives reference to everything he says with date and time.
Humility and gentility were his two great assets.
Despite his fame and status he hardly discriminates against people. Mamman will be remembered for so many achievements.
He was an exceptional,brilliant,patient and patriotic human being.
No adjective could describe who the late Sarkin Dawaki was. We will miss him more than we can say.
He was such a mentor and a leader who inspired confidence and his fairness was never in doubt. Mamman was a dynamic civil servant of exceptional ability and unquestionable integrity. He had mentored several young civil servants in his career among which are the current permanent secretary State house,Tijjani Idris Umar and Prof. Tunji Olaopa also a retired federal permanent secretary.

Lele Muhtar was born on 25th of September,1949, into the royal family of the the revered Katagum emirate. He is an uncle to the current Emir of Katagum.

Lele Muhtar had contested for the throne of the Katagum emirate in 2017 after the demised of the then emir of Katagum,Dr Kabir Umar.

Alh. Muhammad Lele Muhtar started his early education in Azare junior primary school from 1955-1958, then Azare Senior primary school from 1959-1961, he later moved to Government College Kaduna 1962-1968, ABU Zaria 1969-1972, University of Ibadan 1973, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria 1975-1978 and Ministry of Defence London in 1978.

His journey towards attaining the highest point in his civil service career began in Semptember 1969 as a teacher in Katagum/Jama’are Local Education Authority. He later joined the North-Eastern State as planning officer II in 1972. He was later to become the senior planning officer in 1976. He was appointed Secretary North-Eastern State Rural Electrification board between April 1974-February 1976.
He was also the Secretary Bauchi State Executive Council between June 1977-February 1978.
He was a deputy permanent secretary in the following Offices/ministries in Bauchi State:
Cabinet office Bauchi 1978,
Bauchi sate ministry of trade,industry,cooperative and tourism 1979, he was also an acting permanent secretary in the same ministry.
He was Special Adviser Security Bauchi state Governor’s Office from October 1979 to January 1980,Acting permanent secretary Governor’s office Bauchi September 1980. He was later promoted to administrative officer I in 1st October 1980.
Late Sarkin Dawaki was a substantive permanent secretary in the Governor’s office, later to ministry of home Affairs,information,social welfare,youths, sports,culture and protocol.

He was one time sole administrator Akko local Government (Former Bauchi state) in 1984.

He was seconded on 31st December to NNDC limited to serve as MD Arewa Hotels limited. Where he supervised the running of 20 hotels under him.

He was later appointed as Director General, Finance and supplies Federal Ministry of Social Developments,Youths and Sports, Lagos in April 1989.

Director General; The presidency: Presidential Advisory committee office, March 1992-February 1994.

He was a commissioner National planning commission with the responsibility of International Cooperation including : Economic Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Bilateral Economic Cooperation between Nigeria and Foreign countries, Multilateral economic cooperation between Nigeria and International Donor Organization. He was also responsible for relationship/liason between Nigeria and the following organizations/bodies:
Economic Commission of Africa, African Economic community, ECOWAS, Common Market of eastern and southern Africa (COMESA), European Union ,United Nations Development Programme, Africa-Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and Magrib Union.

He was made the Director General National Planning Commission on 2nd September 1996, he later became a substantive federal permanent secretary National Planning Commission on 15th September 1997.

He has represented Nigeria on a number of international fora as either a leader or a member of the Nigeria delegation in the following:
European Union,ECOWAS, ACP, United national,ECOWAS and ECOA.

He was awarded the following hours:

-Commander of the order of Niger (CON). 1996

-Commander of order of Niger (CON) 1998 (2nd time)
-National award of “Best permanent secretary of the year 1998”

The late Sarkin Dawaki had peacefully retired from the federal civil service on 30th April 1999.
He has also enjoyed so many appointments even after his retirement.
He was appointed the District head of Madara on 3rd August 2004.
He was a federal commissioner, Federal judicial service commission in 2006, a member Abuja Multidoor court house, and also a member National core team on poverty reduction strategy for Nigeria,office of the vice president.

He has left behind one wife and seven children. May Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him Jannatul Firdaus.
My deepest sympathy to his Wife, his children and his beloved and loyal brothers and sisters. We have really lost a pillar.

Adieu Baturen Sarki.

Lele Mohd
22nd December,2020.

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