On Thursday, March 29, 2012 the people of Doma town, the headquarter of Doma local government area of Nasarawa state, were thrown into mourning, following the demise of one of their illustrious sons, Yahaya Ari Doma, a retired commissioner of police.
Born in 1923, Yahaya Doma, commenced his academic pursuit in 1933 at the then Doma elementary school after which he proceeded to the college in 1940 and graduated in 1946. Barely a year later, Yahaya Doma enlisted into the Nigeria police force on January 31, 1947 as a recruit constable and trained at the Northern Training School, Kaduna.
He was posted to Kano at the completion of his training nine months later. He then began the glorious voyage as one of the most reputable police officers in the annals of the history of the Nigeria police, who through uncommon commitment and unparalleled devotion to service rose through the ranks to the enviable position of a commissioner of police.
In 1953, Yahaya Doma, was transferred to the Northern Police College, Kaduna and after a year, he was promoted to the rank of a corporal. In that promotion he saw the challenge to put in more effort than before in the service of the police and the Nigerian state and not sooner was his doggedness and astute understanding of the rudiments of policing rewarded with promotion to the rank of a sergeant in less than two years.
Due to his diligence, hard work and dedication to duty, Yahaya Doma, was attached to Queen Elizabeth, on her first official visit to Nigeria in the late 50s, as an orderly to the queen.
It is said that nature reserves a special place for those it wishes to exalt above the common attainment of mere mortals and this came to pass in Yahaya Doma’s life because, he was promoted to the rank of an inspector of police on the day Nigeria was granted independence from the British imperialist administration, on the 1st October 1960.
After a month of relishing his new appointment Yahaya Doma, was to take his exceptional service to humanity beyond the shores of his country. In December, 1960 he was part of the Nigerian delegation that was sent on a special duty to the Congo, to help quell the civil unrest that had engulfed the country.
His incisive performance on the foreign land caught the attention of his superior officers and that was not to go unrewarded. Immediately he returned home to continue his drive to upholding the tenets of policing through devotion, he was sent to the United Kingdom for a special training and two years after his arrival in 1964 he was confirmed as an ASP.
Between that time to his promotion as an assistant commissioner of police in 1975, Yahaya Doma, as he is popularly known and called, worked variously in several parts of the country from Aba in the East to Zaria in the North.
The rarity of the late Yahaya Doma’s credentials are as admirable as they are humbling. He was reputed as one officer who throughout his service years never took a bribe under any guise.
It must be understood therefore that his readiness to preserve and promote the sacred creed of public service was not only to be seen from the professional angle but also from its corresponding moral responsibility. He was contented with whatever he had and lived within the limits of his earnings, thus eliminating the greed drive towards corrupt tendencies.
In an epoch when the media is awash with police pension fund being recklessly looted by a set of unscrupulous public office holders, the exemplary life led by Yahaya Doma, is a lesson in propriety and love of one’s fellow men and his country.
Little wonder therefore that in 1975, as an Assistant Commissioner of Police he was decorated with the National Medal, Republic Medal and General Service Medal, as an attestation to his hard work and exemplary leadership. Having risen through the ranks, he was confirmed a substantive commissioner of police in 1981, a rank he held until his retirement from the force on January 20, 1984.
As we reflect on the life and times of this patriot and elder statesman, it behoves on us all to be mindful of the legacies we leave for ourselves in the service of those around us.
Upon his retirement, he was crowned the 44th Andoma of Doma, the traditional ruler of first class status, in 1993 with pomp and pageantry, until the court quashed the popular decision of the king makers in 1997.
Until his death, Yahaya Doma, has continued to preach the gospel of peace, love, unity and war against corruption that has eaten deep into the fabrics of this great country.
Yahaya Doma will remain a revered leader to us even in our memories.
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.