Ahmed Rufai Sani Yerima (born 22 July 1960) was Governor of Zamfara State, Nigeria from May 1999 to May 2007, and is now Senator for Zamfara West and Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate. He is a member of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).
NAME: Ahmed Rufai Sani
DATE OF BIRTH: 22 July 1960
PLACE OF BIRTH: Anka town, Zamfara State
MARRIED TO: Senator Yarima was accused of marrying an underage girl from Egypt and was investigated for having violated Nigeria’s Child Rights Act of 2003.
EDUCATION: After completing a matriculation course at the Sokoto College of Arts and Science in 1978, he was admitted to Bayero University, Kano, and graduated with a B.Sc in Economics in 1982. In 1987 he returned to Bayero University and achieved a master’s degree in economics.
CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES:
As part of the National Youth Service he was posted to Borno State, where he worked in the Budget Department of the Governor’s office and also taught at the Borno College of Basic Studies, Maiduguri.
In 1983 he began his career in the Sokoto state civil service as an economic planning officer in the Ministry of Finance. Between 1988 and 1993 he worked with various Federal Government bodies, including the National Directorate of Employment from 1988 to 1990, and the Central Bank of Nigeria between 1990 and 1993.
In 1994 he returned to the Sokoto state civil service as the Director of Budget in the Ministry of Finance, holding this position until the creation of Zamfara State in October 1996. He was then appointed Director-General of Lands and Housing, later becoming Permanent Secretary in the same department.
In September 1998 he left the civil service to follow a political career.
Yarima was the first Nigerian Governor to implement Sharia law in his state, which came into effect on 27 January 2000. Zamfara’s law adopted Sharia in its entirety, with the exceptions that apostasy was not criminalised and all sentences can be appealed to Nigeria’s Federal Courts, which do not permit traditional Hudud punishments.
Ahmad Rufai Sani Yarima put his name forward to be the ANPP candidate for the 2007 presidential election and won backing from the Christian Alliance, but withdrew from the contest at the party’s 2007 national convention to back former Head of State Muhammadu Buhari as the ANPP candidate.
Yarima was elected Senator representing Zamfara West constituency for the All Nigeria People’s Party in April 2007. He was appointed to committees on Selection, Federal Character & Inter-Government Affairs, Drugs Narcotics Anti Corruption and Agriculture