In “Adamu Baikie As a Flashback to History”, Intervention read an old picture of two gentlemen who made it big in qualitative life in terms of the past. In this segment, their lives is turned into a poser for Nigeria. In the initial story, there were no details about Mr. A. J Adeka beyond the caption of the historical picture. In the caption, he was mentioned as the second student colleague of Baikie at the Bloomington in the US where they had their Master’s degree.
Well, now, it is known that A.J Adeka died in May 2017. He died as a chief and traditionalist, having been the Odu of Otukpo (the Mayor of Otukpo). That is additional to having been the Commissioner for Finance in the defunct Benue- Plateau State. Chief Akochi Jonathan Adeka died at the ripe age of 82 in Jos. According to a May 24th, 2017 story of his death in, again, Daily Trust, he died in Jos, Plateau State after a brief illness.
Those who read the earlier story would have known all there are to know about Prof Adamu Baikie. The link to the lengthy, multi-layered interview remains recent interview with Adamu Baike by Daily Trust on Sunday, (February 17th, 2017) .
The question is: what’s the big stuff in all these? It is simple. Both Baikie and Adeka rose very high. While Baikie got appointed as Vice-Chancellor three times, one of it outside the country, Adeka went on to become the Commissioner for Finance in his then home state of Plateau. What that means is that the holder of that portfolio in just one of the 12 states in Nigeria at the time did not just possess, excellent formal education, he also had exposure. And was, therefore, bound to be sure of himself. It means he had no problems of mediocrity and the insecure self which are parts of the problems of leadership today.
The second big stuff is the power of culture and tradition. As educated and exposed as he was, he could still fit into the role of traditional ruler ship after all the power and the glory of being Finance Commissioner and Chairperson of the Tenders Board in 1971 when he was appointed after his return from the US. He died as the husband of two wives and sixteen children.
The third big stuff is that, aside from transnational VCship, Prof Baikie became a study in living and enacting diversity and coping with it all. The poser is how could Nigeria which started on such a solid foundation proceed to suffer the aggravated incoherence it is suffering today?
Some would say it is ethnicity, others would say it is the North just as others would say it is the South. And there are others who would say it is imperialism and neo-colonialism. Some more would put it at the foot of military dictatorship just as there are those who would hold corruption to be the culprit. And Fulanisation has recently been added to the list. Prof Jibrin Ibrahim of the Centre for Democracy and Development, (CDD) has just delivered a hefty lecture in which the character of the state is the contradiction he could see. There is an interesting claim in the paper that it is not capitalists but the state that organises transformation or development or whatever you call it. There are surely those who would insist that the trouble with Nigeria is leadership, both in class and individual terms.
It seems progress would remain elusive until there is a consensus, (not an answer) to the poser!