Waziri Ibrahim was a wealthy businessman and politician from Borno State. He was one of the original founders and financiers of the Nigerian People's Party but later left the party to form the Great Nigerian Peoples Party in 1978.
He was a politician who eschewed what was then termed the destructive ethnic politics of the Nigerian First Republic, however, this actually fueled his ambiguous nature. A first republic minister for Economic Development, he later made large sums of money as a defense contractor during the civil war. To placate any animosities that may arise after the war, he spent most of his wealth beyond his primary ethnic group, the Kanuris.
Early life and career
Ibrahim was born on February 26, 1929 in Yerwa, Maiduguri to the family of Ibrahim Ibn Mohammed. He attended Damaturu Elementary School (1936-1939), the Maiduguri Middle School (1940-1943) and Kaduna College, 1944-1947. He worked for the United African Company before his sojourn in politics which began in 1959 when he won a seat to the House of Representatives. He started out at UAC as a special entrant in 1948 and rose to become a cashier and storekeeper at U.AC.'s, Maiduguri branch in 1951. He then worked at Jos in 1952 before becoming a labour and staff manager for the Benue area in 1953. By the time he left the firm, he was the Kaduna district manager. (2)
During the first republic, Waziri was first appointed the federal minister of health, before taking over the Economic Development ministry in 1962. In 1960, he was part of the Nigerian delegation to the United Nation's when the country was accepted as the 99th member of the U.N. In 1962, As minister of Economic Development, he presented to the parliament an ambitious capital expenditure budget over a six year span based on a 4% annual growth in GDP and investment of resources in productive projects to foster development. Among the major planks of the budget, was the development of the Kainji dam. However, close to half of the capital expenditure's revenue were to be obtained through foreign aid.
After the military coup of 1966, he went into private business. During the Nigerian Civil War, he was involved in arms dealing and consultancy along with other war era contractors such as Isyaku Ibrahim and Garba Hamza. He was also successful in other business ventures and was known for both his local and international business ventures.
1959 Konduga-Mafa constituency federal election
- Waziri Ibrahim NPC - 15,402
- Bukar Marna AG - 1,004
1979 Presidential election
- Shehu Shagari National Party of Nigeria - 5,688,587
- Obafemi Awolowo Unity Party of Nigeria - 4,916,651
- Nnamdi Azikiwe Nigeria Peoples Party - 2,822,523
- Aminu Kano PRP - 1,732,113
- Waziri Ibrahim Great Nigeria Peoples Party - 1,686,489
- Shehu Shagari, Beckoned to Serve
- Guide to the Parliament of the Federation. p 66
- Michael Afolabi. Nigerian in Transition, 1978-1979: An annotated bibliography of party politics, elections and the return to civil rule. p 340