There is no gainsaying the fact that Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) and first civilian governor of the state, has made his marks in the political history of not only Nasarawa State but Nigeria as a whole.
Senator Adamu’s contributions to the development of Nasarawa State and Nigeria at large is visible for all to see, especially since the dawn of this democratic era in 1999.
A former minister and secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Adamu was as influential as any politician could aspire to be, hanging on the corridors of power and helping in taking decisions that have impacted on the lives of the people.
Even with his recent foray into the All Progressives Congress (APC), when in January 2014, Senator Adamu, along with other 10 senators, defected to the APC, the lawmaker has continued to give his best towards the development of the country.
Recall that Senator Adamu masterminded the defence against former senate president’s Bukola Saraki’s assaults on President Muhammadu Buhari, with Senator Adamu standing against any move by the senate under Saraki, to cause problems for the president.
At the home front, Senator Adamu has maintained his true position as a bridge-builder, cementing political unions across cultural and religious divides, all with the purpose of moving Nasarawa State forward in terms of unity and development.
His visible interventions since his days as minister, especially in Keffi, his country home is quite legendary. The Federal Medical Centre Keffi and the Nasarawa State University Keffi, among many other interventions, are at best Senator Adamu’s legacies to the people of his immediate constituency, Nasarawa State and Nigeria as a whole.
Not only that, his forays into agriculture and hospitality businesses, with the Nagari Farms, Shabu Farms, as well as the Keffi Hotel, create employment opportunities for many, even as these ventures generate much-needed revenue to the state.
Even within the chambers of the senate, it was reliably gathered that Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has cause to advise Senator Adamu and one other octogenarian lawmaker, to quit politics and to retire in order to take good care of their failing health.
As the sun sets for his political prowess, indeed, time is not on the side of Senator Adamu and as the saying goes, it’s better for him to leave the stage when the ovation is loudest. Especially, with recent damning revelations that the lawmaker may have diverted over N2.1bn meant for constituency projects in Nasarawa West.
These revelations coming from a detailed report published in a national daily, showed that Senator Adamu may have pocketed the over N2.1 bn set aside for him to execute projects that will impact meaningfully on the lives of the people.
According to the report, N500m was budgeted for the provision of motorised boreholes, N120m for the construction of a road in Agwada/Shabu axis, N500m to provide farm implements for farmers, N300m for provision of solar powered boreholes in Keffi and environs, another N500m for the training and empowerment of women and youth, among others, with allegations that Senator Adamu may have diverted these sums to his farms and private businesses.
As damaging as these revelations are for his political career, there are indications already, that Senator Adamu is aspiring to re-contest come 2023. At over 80 years of age, it’s obvious he lacks the grit and gumption to adequately represent the people of Nasarawa West senatorial zone, talks less of much-needed dividends of democracy.
Pundits say Senator Adamu is warming up to the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdullahi Alhaji Sule, merely to feather his political nest, ahead of the coming elections, ostensibly cashing on his archaic political strategy of suppressing the people’s wish and to impose himself on the people of the zone.
Senator Adamu would have gotten the signals, that his political game is up, when during the 2015 general election, he scaled through by the skin of his nose, with a much younger and vibrant Hon. Aliyu Ahmed Wadada, given him the fight of his political life. It is a known fact that Senator Adamu only managed to avoid a defeat after he prevailed on Hon. Wadada’s late father, who compelled his son to withdraw his case challenging the election of the former governor at the tribunal.
This is aside of the fact that, if not for interventions from the presidency as well as other spirited individuals, Senator Adamu would have earlier lost the ticket to run under the platform of the APC, to another younger, Hon. Ahmed Aliyu Tijjani, the former secretary to the Nasarawa State government.
It’s high time he understands that age is no longer on his side and that the people of Nasarawa West would prefer a vibrant, more agile individual, who has the gusto and zeal to impact meaningfully on the lives of the people. Unlike Senator Adamu now, who has been quoted to have said, the people of the zone should leave him alone, as he has done whatever they expected from him.
Senator Adamu therefore should leave the political stage and retire to his private business and cater for his fledgeling health. That does not mean, however, that he will become less influential. With his network of associates, friends and political colleagues across the country, Senator Adamu is better placed to play the role of a statesman, rather than seeking to join issues with his political surrogates.
Nura, a public affairs analyst, writes from Utako District, Abuja.