Chief of Staff, is the youthful looking Umar Nasko, who also happens to be one
of the youngest of all the contenders to the states’ number one seat of power
come 2015. He is the son of General Gado Nasko (retired), a one time
former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Umar Nasko may have been born with a silver spoon, but the unassuming, humble
gentleman fought his way through to the top with dedication, hard work and
commitment. After his early years in military school, he left for Poland in
search of the Golden Fleece. And ever since he returned, Nasko says, “I have
been at work non-stop, dedicating myself to serve my fatherland.” In a recent
encounter with your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter blog, asabeafrika, the General Gado Nasko
scion told us what it means to be born into royalty and still find the courage
to serve ordinary people. Enjoy the excerpts.
As the Jarma of Kontagora, a traditional title holder in Niger state, how has
the title influenced your present life style?
ever, it has given me the opportunity to come closer to the grassroots. It has
enhanced my relationship with communities around me.
What do you think of royalty?
revered institution in our country. It is a link between the government and the
governed. It is a necessary aspect of our tradition and our way of life as a
You have had a good fortune of working
in government in different capacities, from being a Commissioner to being a
Chief of Staff and you have served in several committees, what is your staying
my commitment to duty, diligence and trust that I have in Almighty God
Let’s go a little down memory lane. What
was life like for you, growing up?
because I have had good cultured parents. I was brought up as a well-trained
and disciplined child; my parents did so well to make me become what I am
What do you recall about your early
life? How did your early life influence the person that you are today?
up, I dreamt to become everything. I’m happy that my dreams of those years have
helped me to actualize my dreams and aspirations for today.
your childhood and a few about your parents.
from good cultured Parents. This I have cherished as unending and enduring
legacies. I was born at Ogbomosho, Oyo State, though I am a Native of Magama Local
Government Area of Niger State. I had my early education at Command Children’s
School Ann Barracks Yaba, Lagos from 1980 to 1985. It was during this period
that I developed love and interest for education.
I later moved on to Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Kaduna state for my
secondary education. I can recall that I had outstanding performance there. I
did very well academically and this impressed my teachers who told me severally
that, I will have a bright future if I proceeded to a tertiary institution.
From there I enrolled into University of Abuja in 1993 where I undertook a
course in computer basic programming and disk operating system. At the end of
my studies there, I was awarded the University of Abuja’s Certificate. After a
remedial course at the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger
State in 1995, I was offered admission to study Agriculture but fate took me to
the University of Lodz in Poland.
There I undertook some courses in Polish Language and Sciences at the
University of Lodz Poland in 1996 and completed a Masters Degree in Political
Sciences at Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland in 2001. However, for the
love of agriculture I have a Mashav Institute Certificate in Citrus and Mango
Farming in the year 2004.
You seem to have towed a military course
early in life; did you have military influences from your father?
influences. His military background gave me a lot of encouragement and
inspiration to aim high. It made me develop a strong mind and physique to want
to attain similar feat as his.
So who influenced you most, your mom or
that, both of them influenced me in their different ways.
At few years over 30, you were appointed
a Commissioner; didn’t you feel intimidated by the civil servants you worked
with, most who were far older than you? What was your initial experience?
at all. I was rather encouraged by my experiences, zeal and commitment to
serve. Working with older or younger people should not be an impeding factor
when it comes to service delivery. The important thing is to have a team whom
you share the same ideals, goals and objectives with.
Not much has really been said about your
earlier work background. Most people just know that you were appointed as a
young commissioner in Niger state. But where else have you worked?
Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja in the 311’s Air Defence Artillery
Detachment as Sky Guard before proceeding to the United Nations Human Rights
Office Krakow, Poland in 1999 as a volunteer where I served till 2001. Also,
between 2001 and 2002, I served in the capacity of Assistant Secretary, Senate
Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, and Financial Crimes before joining Fathibro
Ventures Nigeria Limited, Abuja, as a project manager.
managing development have always been my major interest. And these have
remained to me, two key issues in life. However, it is pertinent to note that
development management for the sake of transforming the economy, bringing about
desired change; and bringing home the dividends of democracy and service to
mankind have been my guiding principle.
What influenced your choice of going
Aside from the fact that it is my field of study, I perceived politics as the
main platform through which I can showcase my leadership qualities and bring to
bear my experiences for the service of mankind and Nigerlites in particular. I
guess, I have been well prepared and groomed for politics.
Can you describe yourself?
I am also humble. I am gentle, intelligent and accommodating!
A prince in politics!
politics is a dirty game?
game, except when misused and misconstrued. I see it as a good avenue for
bringing about the much needed change for transformation and development.
Are you a ladies’ man?
believe that I am for everyone, both men and women.
What is your view about fashion and how
do you describe fashion?
of human life. That is why fashion has wide acceptability and patronage.
What is your style, what kinds of
clothes do you like wearing?
wears such as Kaftan and English wears. I enjoy wearing suits too.
What determines the clothes you wear in
choice, the occasion I am attending also counts in the decision of what I wear,
and the people I am likely going to meet also matters.
What determines your choice of cars?
does the inner comfort and durability of the car.
What does success mean to you?
destination; but I see it as a journey. Success is an impetus for greater tasks
and achievements ahead.
considering the language barrier you must have faced initially?
but within a short time I learnt the language and that made it easy for me to
return with a foreign wife?
country and my state in particular, as such, I never wanted to have an intimate
relationship outside my immediate environment.
wife. Tell us how you met?
with my father as his ADC, so there had existed a long relationship between the
two Families. Setting my eyes on her gave me strong convictions that she would
be a good wife and mother of my children. Till date, I have had no cause to
regret ever marrying her.
What do you value most?
family and my Parents.
But you are busy, when do you find time
for family life?
my family. I create valuable time and this has kept me as close as possible, to
them in spite of my busy schedule.
How do you spend your holidays? Do you
have memories of a particular holiday you enjoyed most?
family to fun places is a favourite pastime to me. My most memorable times are
actually the times that I spend with my family.
What inspires you?
God inspires me. I also get inspired by our past heroes.
As a successful man, there is no doubt
that ladies love coming closer. How do you handle that?
Just like their male counterpart, I treat them with respect and caution
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about service to humanity.
What is the potential of agriculture in
Niger state? And in what ways can the state make a difference in this regard?
The State has great potentials for agriculture. In accordance with the
Vision 3:2020 plan, the agriculture sector has been revitalized and regenerated
in order to emerge as the major pillar of economic growth. The programme
includes greater orientation towards more modern and commercial scale
production, of high value added primary and agro-based products; wider
application of information and communication technology as an enabler.
You have been elitist coming from
privilege background. In what ways do you identify with the average grass root
I do social interaction at grass root levels, assisting the less privileged and
the needy, providing school and examination fees to children of those families
who can not afford for their wards, supply of medical and health facilities to
improve the health conditions of people in rural communities.
developed newer ones in recent times?
I love squash and I
enjoy badminton too.
You have been a Commissioner of Culture
among other things, under you as governor; one of the things you have proposed
is that Niger State will be a tourist haven. Will you actualise this?
That has always been my dream. Niger State is blessed and endowed with
attractive tourism sites and rich cultural heritage. I will ensure proper
utilisation of these resources for the good of Nigerlites.
Niger State is next door to Abuja the
capital city, how will Niger state benefit from such close proximity if you
Residents of Abuja have more to benefit from Niger State in view of its
increasing population size. Niger State is making provision for about 1,200
housing units in Garam alongside other sites and services. This is also in
addition to other projects in the pipeline.
If you emerge governor, it will be a new
dawn of younger people at the helm of governance in the country. How do you
It will give Nigeria and Niger State in particular the opportunity to have
young and vibrant leaders with high sense of commitment, responsibility, vision
and zeal to deliver. If you were
not what you are now, what else would you have loved to be?
Definitely, if I wasn’t what I am today, I would have loved to be a private
businessman. I would have especially loved to be a farmer.