There has disquiet about the true origin of Vice President Namadi Sambo. He has been rumoured not to be from Kaduna State after all. While some claim that his father hailed from Bauchi State, others said he came from Edo State, but settled in Zaria where he married his mother.
The speculation that VP Namadi’s root is from Edo State or thereabouts appears to be a firmly held conviction in many quarters of Kaduna State.
Others have gone further to insinuate that the name Namadi appears a deliberate contraption, an attempt at the hausanization of the name Nnamdi, an Igbo name, which might have been his original name from birth.
But in this interview, Vice President Sambo clarified the issue insisting that he is a true Northern born with roots in Zaria, Kaduna State. Excerpt:
Unlike past Vice Presidents whose origins are well known, there are allegations and complaints over your origin not being from Zaria. Can we have your geneology?
I am from Zaria in Kaduna State of Nigeria.
Why has your origin been shrouded in secrecy?
I am not aware of my origin being shrouded in any secrecy. I have a large family that is well known.
Where exactly is your family homestead?
In Zaria. The land where ABU is located belongs to my great grand parents.
At your time, most children from an Islamic background attended Local Education Authority (LEA) Schools. Why did you attend Baptist Primary School, Kakuri, Kaduna a mission school?
The Baptist Primary School was close to our residence, as a child and at that period, religion did not play any significant role in the choice of schools to attend. Muslim children go to Christian schools and Christian children attend Muslim schools.
We heard you were nicknamed “Escape” after an alleged ordeal with death. How true is the story that you were once taken to the morgue after collapsing/fainting during some night-out while still in the University?
That is not correct. The nickname “Escape” was acquired during my secondary school days, because then I was a day student and I won all the prizes in all subjects after our annual promotion examinations.
It was a common occurrence at that period that we give ourselves nicknames just for the likeness of such nicknames, such as Bronco, Marcopolo etc. The only time I went to hospital during my University period was on the occasion of my having a car accident when I was driving my newly acquired sports car, a fiat 124, while driving from Kaduna to Zaria at the bridge at Rigachukun.
Has your name Namadi any connotation or linkage with the name “Nnamdi” Azikiwe?
No. No relationship. In the Hausa community if you are born on a “Sallah day” after Ramadan you are given the name Namadi, meaning that you belong to the Holy City of Madina. I was born on “Sallah” day which Muslims consider an important holy and good luck day. I am therefore always thankful to Almighty Allah for delivering me to the world on a “Goodluck day.”
What is your link with Bauchi State?
I attended Kobi Primary School, an LEA Primary School, in Bauchi to complete my Primary School Education as my parents were transferred to Bauchi. I was also employed by the Bauchi State Government when it was created in 1976. I was the first Architect of the State.