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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Nigeria’s former minister of Youth Development and later Sports, as its National Publicity Secretary, SIGNAL can report.
Abdullahi’s announcement came on Thursday at a mini convention held by the party at Chelsea Hotel in Abuja.
The position for the ruling party’s spokesman had been vacant since Lai Mohammed was appointed minister.
Timi Frank, Deputy National Publicity Secretary, was prevented from taking over from Mohammed.
Mala Buni, National Secretary of the APC, signed official statements on behalf of the party.
This was part of the disagreement between Frank and John Oyegun, National Chairman of the party.
Frank has been suspended from the APC ahead of his expulsion, according to the party’s authorities.
Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi was born in 1969. He attended one of Nigeria’s leading universities, the University of Lagos, Akoka-Lagos where he graduated with a B.Sc. Second Class Upper degree, in Mass Communication.
Mallam Abdullahi started his working career as a volunteer and part-time worker in civil society organizations and international agencies before joining ThisDay newspapers as a reporter in 1997.
In his first year as a journalist, he won a nomination for the Nigerian Media Merit Award for the Best Newspaper Feature of the Year. In 1998, he joined the Africa Leadership Forum, a civil society organization based in Ota, Ogun State as a Publications Officer, and later a Programme Officer. He returned to ThisDay in 2000 as the Deputy Editor of ThisDay on Sunday, and become the Deputy Editor of ThisDay a year later. However, it was for his weekly column, Grains of Wit that he made his mark.
In 2001, he won the British Council Chevening Scholarship to study for a postgraduate programme in Governance and Development at the prestigious Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, in the United Kingdom where in 2002; he bagged a Masters Degree with Distinction.
In 2003, he was appointed as the Special Assistant, Communication and Strategy to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Dr Bukola Saraki, and in 2005, he was appointed Special Adviser on Policy and Strategy to the Governor. As an Assistant to the Governor, he convened the first Kwara Education Summit in 2003, and also served in various committees, including the State Economic Team, which co-ordinated the production of the State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS); and the State Budget Implementation Committee in which he served as its Chairperson.
Mallam Abdullahi has written over 1000 newspaper articles. He authored the Nigeria country report for the Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report, 2003.
In April 2007, he was appointed as Kwara State Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, a position he held until May 2011.
His tenure as Commissioner recorded key achievements which had great impact on the educational system in Kwara State such as the comprehensive educational reforms and significant State-wide improvement in educational standards. Also to his credit, was the significant rise in the standard and quality of teaching throughout the State.
In recognition of his leadership qualities, Mallam Abdullahi was appointed as the Minister of Youth Development by the then President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in July 2011. He was later assigned to the Sports ministry where under his watch Nigeria won the African Nations Cup after a nineteen year drought as well as winning the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Nigeria also climbed to the number one position in all three categories of athletics under Abdullahi’s tenure as Sports minister.