My doctoral degree is to formalise, structure my vast knowledge – Danladi Bako
He has paid his due as a renowned broadcaster. Through dedication, hard work, and brilliance, Mallam Nasir Danladi Bako rose to the pinnacle of his career as Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). He recently added another feather to his cap by bagging a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Development Communication from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna. He is among 869 Ph.D graduands of 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 sessions that ABU will unveil at its convocation ceremony slated for January 28, 2023.
As a media man, he has crisscrossed different fields of communication. He started early coming into broadcasting at age 16, when he started off in 1973 at Rima Radio, Sokoto. After some years on the radio, he got transferred to the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in December 1983 as a Grade Level 12 officer. Thereafter, he also got transferred to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), in 1994, where he worked as an assistant director of the agency for about five years before he was elevated to the position of Director General of NBC in 1999.
In spite of all these outstanding successes professionally, Bako recently completed his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Development Communication from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna where he had his first degree in English in 1978. Before his Ph.D., he did his MSc in Mass Communication at the University of Lagos in 1981.
Having practiced for many years, including getting to the pinnacle of his career, what informed the decision to go for a Ph.D.?
Bako went philosophical, thanking God for giving him the grace to get to the pinnacle of broadcasting in his lifetime and to be recognised at home and abroad.
He added that “Philosophers and scholars are in unison as to the importance of education in our lives. My religion prescribes that we seek knowledge and education for not only an enhancement of our worship but also our journey through this world. Indeed, the search for education is a lifelong engagement.
“No human being stops learning. In fact, every day to date, I learn new things through new books, websites, and travels among others. I went to pursue my Ph.D. to formalise and structure this vast knowledge and on a personal level raise my consciousness, analytical senses and also be of further value to my society, my country, and humanity at large.”
Commenting on the importance of outstanding practitioners that obtained Ph.D. to teach in higher institutions, he said: “We have hundreds of experienced Nigerian professionals, journalists, traditional rulers, military top brass and others all of whom depart this world without leaving their legacies and experience in a documented form.
“This has robbed the next generation of references and guiding templates to learn from. I am teaching Mass Communication today at Usmanu Danfodio University UDUS) so as to equip, empower and mentor the youths to become better leaders tomorrow.”
On how higher institutions can lure outstanding practitioners into their folds, he suggested that universities should create a marshal plan with a template to headhunt, attract and engage the best outstanding professionals into the classroom so as to add value to the quality of the graduates being produced as well as bridge the gap between town and gown.
For him, his Ph.D. programme at ABU was an eventful one, disclosing that he started with registration in April 2015, and ran through three days a week of five courses from October 2015 to June 2016, with his research topic approved getting approved.
According to him, he had three supervisors; Prof Oga Steve Abah, Dr. Emmanuel Jegede, and Prof Mohammad Nasir Sambo, who is now the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Authority.
He added that after two years of fieldwork in Kaduna and Sokoto states on “Media Use in the campaign for eradication of Polio”, he defended his thesis on September 30, 2019 with Prof Marcel Ohakwu from the University of Benin as his external examiner successfully.
“Senate awarded me a Ph.D. in Development Communication in November 2019. The journey academically has been wonderful. The former Vice Chancellor, Prof Risqua Arabu Shehu, and Prof Umar Pate dragged me into teaching and made my involvement seamless and highly rewarding. The present Vice Chancellor of UDUS, Prof Bilbis is a first-class administrator and academic. He has done everything to make me enjoy teaching.”
Providing more insight on his experience since he came into teaching, he said: “I was a member of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi Governing Council from 2009-2013 under the Chairmanship of Prof Ango Abdullahi and I chaired two committees. “So, I understood relationships between lecturers, deans, heads of department, and fellow academic staff.
“Also, having worked in civil service from level 08 to Director General, I understand the dynamics of tolerance, leadership, and inclusiveness in decision-making. My colleagues both at the Mass Communication Department, the Faculty of Arts, and the university community have been wonderful.”
Bako, who was born September 1, 1957, hails from Sokoto city, the capital of Sokoto State.
The record has it that Bako grew up in three states of Sokoto, Kaduna, and Kano, acquiring his first school leaving certificate and senior secondary school certificate between 1963 and 1973.
It was thereafter he got admitted to Ahmadu Bello University where he bagged his first degree of Bachelor of Art (Hons) in English Language, at age 20 in 1978.
He participated in the National Youth Service Scheme after graduating from the university and then proceeded to the University of Lagos almost immediately for the Master’s degree in Mass Communication which he completed in 1981.
Still not fully satisfied with having acquired the required academic knowledge, after completing his master’s programme, he travelled to the United Kingdom, where he enrolled for a course on advanced TV which he completed in 1982. So, it was not surprising to many that Bako returned to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to obtain his Ph.D.
It is on record that Bako did not retire, but resigned after 14 years at the NBC, with about four years of his NBC service as the director general. He resigned in December 2002.
Bako became a shining light on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) because of the popular programme he anchored called the Morning Ride. The dexterity with which he presented the programme made many to not only like the programme but also appreciated his talents, making the programme one of the best-rated morning TV programmes in Nigeria at the time.
He was also credited for several other television productions including the comedy programme, Second chance, which was highly rated.
As the Director General of NBC, he advocated for NBC’s biennial conference of African broadcasters (AFRICAST), which later became the talk on the continent.
Bako has won several awards among which are: Best Producer of the Year award; Best Newscaster of the Year award; Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), a national award; Best news writer of the year award
His people in Sokoto State have also honoured him, as he was decorated with the chieftaincy title of Koguna of Sokoto.
Politically, in 2003, he contested to represent the people of Sokoto Central Senatorial District under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Thereafter, also in Sokoto State, he served as commissioner. He also served as Chairman for media/publicity of the late president Yar’adua and Jonathan’s presidential campaign.
Bako was one-time Personal Assistant to the Minister of Sports on media matters, Chairman, Media and Publicity, North West PDP in 2007; Chairman, Media, and Publicity, 2015 Sokoto State APC Governorship campaign; Head, Media Sub-Committee, 2014 Commonwealth Games Bidding Committee; Member of the Board of Cross River Basin Development Authority
Bako was born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Bako, middle-class parents from Sokoto. His parents so much loved and valued education to the extent that they would spend their last card to make sure their child acquired the best education. He is happily married with kids.