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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Dr Amina Abubakar-Bello: A life of service to humanity

In a tale of unparalleled achievement and commitment to humanity, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, former first lady of Niger State, stands as a beacon of inspiration.

Her life story is a tapestry woven with threads of excellence, compassion and an unwavering dedication to saving lives.

Born into a distinguished family on July 31, 1973, Dr Amina is the daughter of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who once served as Nigeria’s head of state.

Her mother, Justice Fati Lami Abubakr, was no less an accomplished woman, holding positions as Solicitor-General, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Chief Judge of Niger State, at different times.

A product of Federal Government College, Bakori, Dr Amina’s educational journey reflects her commitment to learning and diversity.

She pursued her medical studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and later specialized in psychiatry at the University of London.

Her upbringing in Benin City has undoubtedly contributed to her ability to connect with Nigerians from diverse backgrounds.

Her professional journey took a significant turn when she met Professor Hippolite Amadi, the 2023 winner of the Nigerian Prize for Science. His groundbreaking work in medical engineering and technology, particularly in the development of Non-Invasive Neonatal Ventilator (NIV), and other life-saving innovations powered by solar energy, resonated deeply with Dr Amina.

Their paths crossed in Addis-Ababa where Professor Amadi was discussing his expertise in saving the lives of infants. Dr Amina, always attuned to opportunities to make a difference, urged him to bring his expertise to Minna, Niger State.

In Minna, Dr Amina, wasn’t just a first lady, she was a compassionate force of change.

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Rather than indulge in the luxury and status symbol of her office, she stood out by carrying her medical profession on her shoulders.

Her encounter with Prof Amadi marked the beginning of a collaboration that significantly reduced infant mortality in Niger State, shifting the statistics from 90 percent to as low as 4 percent according to reports.

Beyond the confines of her state, Dr Amina’s impact also reverberated globally, earning her recognition from the UNICEF for her dedication to saving lives as she was always on the front lines, working tirelessly to make a difference, as she once said it was hard for her to turn blind eye to crises.

Her journey is not just one of professional success, it is a clear statement to her strength of character which she said she inherited from her family.

Married to Abubakar, the immediate past governor of Niger State, Dr Amina’s family tree boasts of distinguished personalities, including her in-laws, that had all served Nigeria in various capacities.

Dr Amina’s mother, Justice Fati, was not just a supportive figure, but a trailblazer in her own right. She served as one of the 113 nominated members of the 564-member Constituent Assembly inaugurated by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1998, producing key figures in the Third and Fourth Republics, including the late Umaru Yar’Adua, who later became president in Nigeria.

As the daughter of a statesman, Dr Amina has continued to carry the torch of service and impact. Her commitment to healthcare, especially in maternal and infant health, is reflected in her foundation’s initiatives, including the construction of a Women’s Development Centre in Kontangora dedicated to Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) patients.

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In a political landscape often marred by tension, Dr Amina’s family plays a unique role. Her father, General Abdusalami Abubakar, leads the National Peace Committee, contributing to national stability, advocating for peaceful resolutions that extend beyond her medical endeavours.

Her story is evidently one of distinction, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of making a positive impact on the lives of others, and in a world where action speaks louder than words, Dr Amina’s life is a resounding testament to the power of compassion, education and dedication to humanity.

Joke Kujenya
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