24 November 1924, Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria
1 January 1980
(aged 55 years)
Police Commissioner (retired) Audu Bako (1924–1980) was the first Administrator of Kano State, Nigeria during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon after the state was formed from part of Northern Region.
He was widely respected for his moral integrity and for the tangible achievements of his administration.
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BackgroundKano State GovernorLater life
Audo Bako was born in 1924 at the Kaduna police barracks.
His father had served in the police force for 36 years and was chief of the Sabon Gari (non-Hausa people) in Kaduna.
He was educated to the Kaduna Government School and the Zaria Middle School.
Bako enlisted in the Nigeria police force on 24 June 1942, became an instructor in police law at the Kaduna Police College, then prosecuting officer and later was appointed deputy commissioner of police in charge of all Native Authority police in the former Northern Region.
Kano State Governor
Appointed military governor of the old Kano State in May 1967, Bako undertook reforms of the local governments which had been dominated by the traditional emirs.
He sought to improve professionalism among local government employees while transferring some responsibilities to the State government.
He said the reforms would strengthen the position of the Emirs in their traditional role as religious leaders.
Bako built most of modern Kano’s landmark structures. The state government secretariat and the Audu Bako School of Agriculture in Dambatta were named after him.
Baku was a strong supporter of women’s education.
Using the teachings of the Shehu as justification, Bako established primary, secondary and teachers training colleges for women and children.
He produced the first plan for developing and promoting tourism in the state in 1967.
He established the Trade and Industry Division under the Ministry of Finance in 1968.
In 1969 Bako started construction of the Bagauda Dam to supply the Kadawa Irrigation Project, precursor to the Kano Irrigation Project. Between 1970 and 1973 his administration built the much larger Tiga Dam, aiming to boost agricultural production through irrigation.
He has been called the father of Kano’s green revolution.
However, although well-intentioned the dams caused considerable problems in the downstream Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, and turned out to have negative net economic value.
His Tomas Danbatta Water Supply Scheme was later abandoned, only to be rehabilitated in 2008 and used to provide drinking water to communities in Dambatta, Makoda and Minjibir local government areas. Hassan Lemu served as his Provincial Secretary, Audi Howediy as the SMG, Bashari Gumel as the Principal Secretary, Ibrahim Bello as the Principal Private Secretary, the Personal Secretaries were Abba Dutse, Babagana Adamu and Umaru Abdulwahab
Bako retired in 1975 after the coup that brought General Murtala Muhammed to power, and began farming in Sokoto State. He died in 1980 leaving a widow and eleven children.
After his death, the Tiga dam was renamed the Audu Bako dam.
The Audu Bako prize is awarded each year to the winner of the Kano International Polo Tournament.
Bako was widely respected, and was considered an example of moral integrity.