By Nasiru Abdullahi
Malam Yakubu Lamai originally from Bauchi state but resident of Lafia and Keffi LGAs of Nasarawa state. Please permit me to skip details of his life as an infant and his early child education due to time and space.
Mr Lamai started his tertiary education pursuit in university of Jos where he enrolled for a diploma course in Mass communication from 1989 to 1991 after which he return to the same University of jos and obtained a BA (Hons) in theatre and communication Art in 1999. his leadership experience started while in university of Jos when he was elected president of theatre Art.
Lamai’s quest for knowledge and capacity development led him to university of Ohio USA to study Film in 2004 after he was elected into the Ford International Fellowship program in New York and he obtained an MFA in film making in 2008. For over five (5) years Lamai was a ford fellow of the international Ford-Fellowship program (IFP).
Having equipped himself with all the necessary tools to make a great career in media and the movie industry, Mr Lamai knew he must ice the cake with a knowledge on strategic thinking and diplomacy. So, he proceeded to the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna state to obtain a master’s degree in international Affairs and strategic studies in 2018.
The promising young man started his career as a radio presenter in Lagos with Cool FM, one of the foremost radio stations in the country and the first digital-based radio station in Nigeria using the ARRAKIS digital software. Lamai was not only the first voice of Cool FM Lagos but also an on-air personality on 90.5 FM Jos, KISS FM Abuja, Unity FM and the pioneer head/coordinating broadcaster on 96.9 Cool FM Abuja. Lamai’s prowess as a radio presenter won him the best radio presenter of the year Award in 1998. Trail blazer Award in radio broadcasting 1998,
In Nigeria, Lamai co-wrote and acted the movie “Amina Part I & II” with Bond Emeruwa. Amina was an epic movie that featured the famous Genevieve Nnaji and Lamai acted the character of Yarima Musa.
He also produced and directed the historic documentary film on the life and times of late Malam Aminu Kano which won him a laurel for Best Biographical Film during the Zuma Film Festival in 2008.
Lamai’s Excellence in Media and publicity placed him on the crest of a wave which attracted the former Governor of Bauchi state Alh. Isa Yuguda to bring Lamai back home to contribute his quota as his Senior Special Assistant Media and communication/Spokesperson and later he made him the Senior Special Assistant on Research, Record and documentation still in the administration of Isa Yuguda.
Lamai also served in the administration of the immediate past Governor of Nasarawa state Sen Dr Umaru Tanko Al-Makura as his Chief Press Secretary and later elevated to Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Public Affairs and Media Strategy. Seeing his dedication and commitment to service, Gov Al-Makura elevated him to pioneer the newly created Directorate of strategic communication and Press affairs shortly before the end of his second tenure as governor of Nasarawa state. Before then, Mr Lamai was hired as a media consultant by former Governor Al-Makura in 2013 to overhaul the content of Nasarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS) and conduct training workshop (Capacity Training) and put in place a strategy to enhance revenue generation. A job that has proven to be efficacious to the great work NBS is doing today.
In 2010 the build-up to the election that brought Sen Al-Makura as the third democratically elected Governor of Nasarawa state, Mr Lamai deployed his personal camera he brought back from the USA as a student of film making as part of his support to Ta’al project to film locations in Lafia, and cover all the activities of Ta’al campaign team headed by Ambassador Musa Ilu. He also filmed and covered the submission of Umaru Tanko Al-Makura as Governorship candidate in the PDP.
After Al-Makura’s emergence, Lamai produced a documentary with the transition committee of late Kunta and former Ta’al Think Tank in 2011 headed by late Rufai Ibrahim. Lamai oversaw documentary and jingles in all the campaigns of his former boss Al-Makura in 2011 and was the master of Ceremony (MC) in the 2015 campaigns.
His documentary was aired on NTA Lafia on the day Sen. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura was sworn-in as Governor of Nasarawa state on 29th May 2011.
From the year 2014 when Lamai was first appointed Chief press secretary by his former boss Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to May 2019 when he left as the DG Directorate of Media strategy and press Affairs, Lamai had written three (3) books in honour of his former principal Al-Makura;
Umaru Tanko Al-Makura & the Eleven Horsemen
Umaru Tanko Al-Makura: The Architect of Modern Nasarawa state
Umaru Tanko Al-Makura walked his talk & Matched his words with actions
Apart from these books, Lamai had written and published several articles for Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.
Lamai also conceptualized the “Seeing Is Believing” series up till the end of Governor Al-Makura’s administration in May 2019. He also contrived the NBS Logo/Slogan “Celebrating the Beauty of One”
Lamai’s innovative ideology, commitment to service and sedulity earned him a re-appointment as the new DG Directorate of strategic communication and press affairs by Governor Abdullahi A. Sule shortly after he was sworn-in as Governor of Nasarawa state. A position he holds till date.
like a drop of a hat, Lamai swinged into action. And one of the first things he prioritized and achieved was the creation of a STATEMENT OF PURPOSE and PRAYERS for the administration of Governor Abdullahi A. Sule. So, he conceptualized and popularized the mantra: “EXCEEDING ALL EXPECTATIONS” which has become the signature phrase of the Abdullahi A. Sule’s administration.
Secondly, Lamai brought about the new Media policy which was adopted to serve as guide for fair, constructive and balanced reportage of this administration. He also made sure that Nasarawa state Government maintains a cordial relationship with local newspapers in the state in line with the state Media policy. And for the first time, Nasarawa state Government organized a media Dinner titled: “1st Annual Media Dinner” in furtherance of the cementric government/media relationship and to create an ethical environment with the media in the state. All these was the brain child of the world class Master of ceremony and strategist.
The short Bi-lingual video series titled: “Chronicle of Abdullahi A. Sule” (English version) and the “Shafin Abdullahi A. Sule” (Hausa Version) was also the innovation of Mr Lamai and these short videos today are being broadcast on TV, social Media (WhatsApp, Facebook and streamed on onlineTVs etc) the idea is to bring government activities to the doorstep of the people. Today, these short videos are not only viewed/streamed by Nasarawa state people alone but across the country and beyond.
One of the most remarkable achievement of Lamai as the DG Directorate of Strategic Communications and press Affairs was the introduction of the weekly TV magazine programme on TVC every Monday 8:30pm called: “Nasarawa Focus” a programme that covers activities of government of Nasarawa state and are showcased to the whole world its giant strides thus far.
Lamai wrote and published the book “Abdullahi A. Sule: The First Hundred Days” a book that captures all the activities and achievements of Governor Abdullahi A. Sule’s administration. It also explains the policy direction of the government, it’s vision as well as set the tone for governance of Abdullahi A. Sule.
Lamai also introduced the weekly publication of Nasarawa government activities on two National dailies of Daily Trust and Leadership Newspapers where he writes and publish every Thursdays with title:
“Nasarawa Spotlight” and
These weekly publications give a 14 days summary of the activities and giant strides of the administration of Governor Abdullahi A. Sule.
Mr Lamai is an accomplished writer, A world-class Master of Ceremony, a strategist and orator, An excellent image maker and Media consultant of note. he’s attended lots of courses on media and journalism and has won several Awards viz;
Best in Screenplay: Strong Breed (1989)
Trailblazer Award in Radio Broadcasting (1997)
Best Film Director: Zuma Film Festival (2008) among others.
Lamai is married with children. This in summary is the man Yakubu Lamai the current Director General, Directorate of Strategic Communication and press Affairs to the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State Abdullahi A, Sule.