By Emmanuel Aziken & Ndahi Marama
Billionaire businessman and northern power broker, Alhaji Ibrahim Damcida who died in the ill-fated Dana air crash, Sunday, was one man whose influence cut across the country’s traditional, political and business sectors.
Though he was never a politician, the Biu, Borno State-born former super permanent secretary wielded the kind of power that could only have been envied by many politicians.
Damcida a prince of Biu was also one of the kingmakers in the Biu emirate council and an elder brother to the present Emir of Biu, Alhaji Umaru Mustapha.
He was among the handful of senior civil servants from the north who rose through the ranks to the peak of the civil service emerging as one of a handful of Super Permanent Secretaries during the Yakubu Gowon regime.
Damcida originally trained as an accountant and following his switch from the Northern civil service to the federal civil service in 1962, he served as Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Industries from 1962 to 1965.
During that time he also did an attachment with the World Bank offices in Washington, D.C, USA.
He was later to serve as Deputy Permanent Secretary and subsequently as Permanent Secretary at the Ministries of Industries, Finance, Trade and Defence.
Damcida served as Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Trade from 1966 to 1970, Ministry of Defense from 1970 to 1975 and Ministry of Finance since 1975.
Following his exit from the civil service in 1975, Damcida moved fully into business pilling his interests in banking, telecommunications, construction, oil and healthcare. Damcida served as a director in several blue chip companies until his death.
Though he was never engaged in partisan politics, he was generally acknowledged as a rallying point and leader from whom many aspiring politicians, especially in the Borno State, sought inspiration from.