Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, who was Governor of Nasarawa State in 2007 to 2011, died in an Israeli hospital on Tuesday March 6, 2018 and was buried on Sunday March 11, 2018 in his hometown, Doma, Nasarawa State. Even though he did not succeed in winning a second term in office in 2011, Doma will be remembered as one of the founding fathers of Nasarawa State, one of its most prominent public figures who contributed his quota to the development of the state and the country.
Aliyu Akwe Doma was born on 1 September 1942 in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State to parents from the Alago ethnic group. He completed his primary education in Doma Junior Primary School and Lafia Senior Primary School respectively between 1951 and 1957. He proceeded to Government Secondary School, Katsina Ala and the Higher Teachers’ Training College, Gombe where he obtained the Grade II teacher’s certificate in 1963.
He attended the University of Ibadan from 1964 to1966, the British Drama League, London, England in 1968 and the World Tourism Organization, Centre for Advanced Tourism Studies, Turin, Italy in 1973. He also attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Kaduna State in 1976 and Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in 2002 where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Aliyu Doma ran successfully for election as governor of Nasarawa State in April 2007 on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform, taking office on 29 May 2007. He ran for a second term in office in April 2011 but lost to Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. Before he joined politics, he worked in the civil service of the old Northern Nigeria as well as the old Plateau State civil service, where he rose to become Permanent Secretary in several ministries between 1976 and 1983. Akwe-Doma was also a former deputy governor under the late former Governor Solomon Lar in the old Plateau State in 1983. As a businessman, the late governor was Chairman of Oriya Group of Companies in 1984, Chairman of Integrated Tourism Consultants in 2003 among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his condolences to the government and people of Nasarawa State over his death and commiserated with the family, friends and community members of the leader, who he said served the nation as a civil servant for many years and later rose through the ranks to become a Permanent Secretary. The President said Doma also worked for the country as a member of the Presidential Joint National Consultative and Advisory Committee of Traditional Rulers and Leaders of Thought [1995–1998] and the National Committee on the Future of Higher Education in Nigeria [1996–1998], among others.
Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura described the death of the immediate past governor as a monumental loss to the country. Al-Makura said the elder-statesman was a point of reference for stability, consensus and nation building and said the vacuum created by the departure of the former governor would be hard to fill. He said the former governor was a dedicated bridge builder and champion of unity whom, through his vast experience and uncommon goodwill has brought peace and prosperity to former Plateau and present-day Nasarawa State where he served as deputy governor and governor respectively.
Al-Makura said, “As a frontline public servant, he promoted values which enhanced our firm belief in our common humanity as a people with one destiny under God. As an architect of unity, he defended and promoted our rich cultural heritage for which he will be greatly missed by all.” No doubt, Aliyu Akwe Doma was a committed public servant who served the country in many capacities with distinction. Our condolence goes to his immediate family at this period of grief and we also commiserate with the people and government of Nasarawa State over this irreparable loss.