Muhammad Jibrin: Portrait of A Banker, Turned Politician

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Writing about a cordial friend of many years, dependable ally and a performer of all seasons , as found in Muhammad Jibrin Barde, an astute banker and politician, who currently doubles as the Gubernatorial Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), in Gombe State, ordinarily should never be a difficult thing for me to do.

However, where the difficulty lays, is in our political differences.
Barde currently belongs to the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), while I, on the other hand, belongs to the Labour Party, (LP).
Without much analogies, the above scenario should expressly define the manner of a man Barde is made of. A bridge builder, a friend of many and enemy of none, a true Nigerian in every sense of the world, whose friends and acquaintances cit across virtually all the geo-political entities of the nation, and a man who does not apply factors of religion, party affiliation, tribe or colour, as basis of relationship.

One mark of a great man, Winston Churchill once said, “Is the power of making lasting impressions upon people he meets. Another is to have handled matters during his life, that the course of after events is continuously affected by what he did”.
Judging from my years of association with Barde, I feel fortified in the unwavering conviction that as a powerful force in the North, and his Gombe base, he more than meets the above Churchillian characterisation.

Many things are confirmatory of his robust antecedents and contemporary enigmatic characteristic. His critics will likely say he is impassioned with morbid leadership instincts. Others, with charitable disposition will affirm that he has a consumate passion for distinction, either as an intellectual or in administrative confines.

Yet, it is also a declarative ethos that he derives satisfaction from haughtiness, especially when he comes across dim-witted fellows. He simply lacks tolerance for short supply of ideas and low quotent. His, is a pool of ingenuity and creativity
No wonder then that Barde means many thing to many people. To some, he is a public/private sector technocrat, to others, he is a banker, and to some others, a politician. But no matter what name you chose to give him, the fact remains that he is never like the rapacious ideologists,unbashful egg-heads or the one-off politicians, who only dabble into the contest and swallow the bait.
Though uncompromising in whatever he believes in, most of the time, he is always very reasonable and cooperative, in so far any issue you are bringing to the people is geared towards the common good.

In a democratic setting, legitimacy it is said, is almost everything. However, what is not easily achievable is for you to always get a crowd of people from your region or state to listen to you, each time they get to know you are in town. One of the few leaders around, who makes this difference is Barde.
In every sense, he has proved the fact that a public office holder is better off when he earns his legitimacy by exemplary public works. By the records, they are not many that enjoys his measure of goodwill.
Banker, Administrator and politician, Muhammad Jibrin Barde may not have traversed all fields that matter in life, but he has left bold footprints in those areas he was privileged to traverse.

In banking industry for instance, he remains one of its outstanding proteges, as both a fulfilled bank worker and Chief executive, without any blemish.
In governance, he is among the few successful, with track records, and in politics, he is one of the movers and shakers of events in his Gombe home State, the record of which earned him the gubernatorial ticket of his party.
In his words, as contained in his mission statement, Barde had said, “ Leadership is selfless service, honestly, credible integrity, firm ess of purpose, accessibility, and fear of God”.
“The situation in Gombe State today demonstrates a clear absence of leadership. I am moved by the sufferings of my people. This is a solemn call for action. This is the time to serve the people”.
No doubt, some will hate him for his guts. Others will dislike him for his characteristic forthrghtness, while some others will avoid him, simply because he is too blunt for their liking, unlike many politicians of his status.

After his long years of career pursuit in many places, Barde voluntarily retired, in 2018, as the Managing Director/CEO of SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited, a bank he founded, after ten years of meritorious services, to participate and contribute his quota to the democratic process of the county.
With more than 25 years of banking experience, he previously held positions in Union Bank of Nigeria, Citigroup N.A, Barclays Bank UK, Bond Bank (now Polaris Bank Plc.), Aso Savings and Loans Plc, and Midland Corporate Investments Limited.

During his career in the financial services industry, he was responsible for providing direct employment to over 5,000 Nigerians.
He also helped over 40,000 families realise their dream of home ownership, through the provision of mortgage loans; and provided credit facilities, in excess of ₦100billion to small and medium scale enterprises across the country.
He served as a Director on the Federal Housing Authority, ( FHA) Technical Board between 2007 and 2008, and was the National Vice President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN), 2011-2013).

At the same time, he served as the Chairman, Gombe Jewel Co-operative.
In 2011, he was appointed to the board of Premium Pensions Limited, A pension fund administrator he helped founded, as a Director.
With his very rich background, it is therefore quite apparent that with him in the saddle, God willing, Gombe will definitely sing a new song, and i wish him the best of luck in that endeavour.

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