It was William Penn, an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania who once said, “Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains.” It was not surprising therefore, to see some people applying the same principle of patience and diligence to remove the mountain of poverty and chart their way to endless flow of wealth.
However, notable among some privileged Nigerians who fought and successfully conquered poverty and is now feeding with a golden spoon is General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd).
TY Danjuma, as he is popularly called, is in the Forbes list of rich Africans. In fact, Forbes report of 2015 estimates Danjuma’s wealth to be $1.1 Billion. Forbes also believes that he is the 22nd richest man in the whole of the African continent.
He had his early education at Saint Bartholomew’s Primary School, Wusasa in the old Gongola State, now Taraba, before proceeding to the famous Benue Provincial Secondary School, Katsina-Ala in Benue State, where he obtained his Higher School Certificate in 1958.
He is also a holder of the prestigious national award title of Grand Commander of Nigeria (GCON) as well as several other merit awards and honours, including traditional titles.
It is important to state that General TY Danjuma flies a Hwaker 900XP Hawker private jet, and also the owner of a Challenger 605 Bombadier.
He owns first class hotels in Lagos and as well as choice residential homes in Lagos, Abuja and his country home in Taraba State.
Born on December 9, 1938, Danjuma’s philanthropic accomplishment is second to none. This is done through his famous TY Danjuma Foundation whose activities and interventions in the education, health and many other sectors have impacted several Nigerians.
A former Chief of Army Staff between July 1975 and October 1979, he got enrolled into the Nigerian College of Arts Science and Technology in Zaria, Kaduna State (now Ahmadu Bello University) in 1959, but later joined the Nigerian Army in 1960.
He had a successful career in the military, where he headed many military troops in successful operations within and outside the shores of Nigeria and, consequently earned for himself global recognitions.
In the world of politics, Danjuma held sway as Defence Minister under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003, when the country returned to democratic rule.
Interestingly, Danjuma ventured into the business world when he first floated a shipping line, known as Nigeria America Line (NAL) in 1979.
TY Danjuma, in 1995, floated the famous South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO), an oil exploration company which owns nothing less than 16 per cent stakes in the famous Akpo deepwater oil field alongside operator Total and china’s CNOOC.
General Danjuma equally has stakes in Notore Chemical Industries, a manufacturer of urea fertilizer, which is another diversification into the agro-chemical world.