“So, instead of hectoring ASUU to call off its strike, the nation should be praying for more of its kind in other sectors of the economy. Since the government has shown itself incapable of doing the right thing until it is forced, the nation should be thinking of organising the association of Nigerian farmers to go on strike to force the government to do for agriculture what ASUU has been struggling to make it do for education. Certainly, something drastic and dramatic is needed to force the government to stop the mindless destruction and degradation of our environment, to persuade it to change its neglect of agriculture and steer the nation towards agricultural self-sufficiency as ASUU has tried to steer it in the direction of educational excellence.”
- Daily Trust, November 15, 2013
Mallam Adamu Adamu was a major reason for the great hopes about the Buhari presidency in many quarters in 2015. A man who, by his own admission in one of his columns, would be in the same room where the man who had become president would be making telephone calls without asking him to go out must enjoy the level of trust to be a powerful operator in the then coming government. Since Mallam Adamu has little regards for wealth and privileges, then he is bound to use such powers productively. That was the assumption.
This assumption is still valid except that there is no information as to where he is located in the government now, nearly six years after. It is either he has joined ‘them’ after he could not beat ‘them’ or he is still in government only because he cannot bolt out of President Buhari’s cultural, religious, regional and even class ship at this point in time. In Nigerian politics, such would be the height of folly.
It would take many years from now before conclusive evidence of what is happening to Nigeria under Buhari unfolds, with particular reference to the personal role of President Buhari and the aides closest to him such as Adamu Adamu. Is it a case of health challenges aggravated by age or a team overwhelmed or the Fulanisation claim or a huge conspiracy against Nigeria from outside that has caught Buhari in a tight corner to warrant the level of insecurity and malady in the past few years?
But this quotation sourced from Bayero University, Kano’s tireless researcher, Prof Ibrahim Bello-Kano, speaks to the essential Adamu Adamu. Of course, meaning changes with time and space or context although a claim that none of time, space and context have changed as to change the meaning would be making a sustainable argument.
Perhaps, Mallam Adamu Adamu has anticipated this in a similar but previous encounter. When he was asked during his screening for ministerial appointment in 2015 if he thought he could be a fair and objective foreign affairs minister given what the questioner called his (Adamu Adamu) pro-Iranian stance in most of his newspaper columns, he replied that he wrote what he knew at the time of writing. That was a sound reply because every writer writes only within the scope of what he or she knows at a particular time. And since no one can know everything about any single subject, holding a particular position against a writer in spite of changes that might have taken place is wrong reading practice.
Hence the puzzle now: what picture does this quotation paint of the incumbent Minister for Education in Nigeria in the context of the half a year old ASUU strike now?