By Yuccee O. Uwah, The Korea Post Nigeria Bureau chief
Chairman Abdullahi Adamu, a Leader for All Seasons
Abudulahi Adamu, the chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), is a veteran politician with over 50 years experience in politics, leadership, public and private sectors. These experiences will be handy as he leads APC campaign in the upcoming 2023 elections cycle. In this special report for The Korea Post by our analysts on Nigeria affairs, they assert that Chairman Adamu’s huge political capital and management skills will be required by his party, APC and Nigeria.
A New Dawn in APC
In March 2022, Abdullahi Adamu was elected national chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) at its special national convention held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The election ushered a new dawn in the party, marking a major shift as its new set of leaders with huge experience are ready reform the APC into a more formidable party; motivate its teeming members to become active and loyal to the Nigerian project.
Adamu is popular within the ranks and file of the party. He was the sole candidate during the party’s convention as other aspirants stepped down for him. Members of the party through ‘voice vote’ affirmed his election. It was a historic moment in the annals of party politics in Nigeria.
Coming with hands-on experience of active political and public sector experience of over fifty-years across the Nigeria’s political landscape, there is no doubt that Adamu will deliver on the task of moving APC to greater heights in this crucial 2023 elections season.
APC is seeking to renew its mandate for another four years tenure at national and state elections.
The emergence of Adamu for the APC top job has brought peace, stability and internal cohesion to the party ahead of 2023 elections.
The wealth of experience, he brings to bear on this process is important in delivering such the enormous task before him as the party’s chief.
APC National Convention
Since coming on board, APC special national convention to elect its presidential flagbearer for 2023 election held on June 6 to 8, 2022 was a litmus test for the Adamu led leadership of APC.
His political savvy and engagement came to the fore as the party navigated through the process successfully with the emergence of its flagbearer, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos.
In the aftermath of the national convention, the party leadership has gone ahead to initiate post-primaries reconciliation process ahead of general election slated for second quarter of 2023.
Lawyer, Engineer and Tactician
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, CON, (Turakin Keffi), national chairman of APC Nigeria’s ruling party is a lawyer, engineer, and veteran politician having been an active participant in Nigeria’s political space as elected senator, governor, minister, member of constituent assembly and politician.
At 76 year old, Adamu was elected to the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2011 after previously served two-term as governor of Nasarawa state, a mineral rich-state in north central Nigeria from 1999 to 2007.
He was trained as a building and civil engineer at Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna state graduating in 1968. Thereafter, he studied at University of Jos, Nigeria, graduated with Bachelor of Law degree LLB (Hons) in 1992 and also attended Nigerian Law School, Lagos where he obtained a BL certificate and was called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1993 as solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Adamu cut his teeth in politics as a student union leader when he was elected president of Kaduna Polytechnic Students’ Union Government between 1967/68. Also, the same year, he was also elected national vice-president of National Association of Nigerian Students, the amalgamated union of Nigerian students’ movement in 1968.
Though, he began his political career at national scale in 1967 as student, he joined politics formally in 1977, he was elected into the Constituent Assembly, the body assigned with responsibility of drafting a new constitution for Nigeria’s second republic, The Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979, ahead of the nation’s return to democratic rule in October 1979.
While he served as a member of the august body, the Constituent Assembly, along with other delegates of like-minds, they formed a political group, the National Movement which later metamorphosed into National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the political party that won election and formed the government from October 1979 to December 1983.
Adamu served as the first Secretary of NPN in December 1978, and later elected chairman of the party in Plateau state from 1982 to 1983. He was also a member of National Executive Committee of the party.
When the military regime of General Sani Abacha convened, National Constitutional Conference in 1994 to draft a constitution for Nigeria’s Fourth Republic he was elected delegate to the conference.
Again five years later, when Nigeria went through another democratic transition in 1998, he rejoined politics, contested and won election as the Governor of Nasarawa state under the platform of People Democratic Party (PDP). Four years later he was re-elected for a second term in 2003. He served out his full second term as governor in 2007.
He achieved so much in the area of education, healthcare, public infrastructure, and overall economic development of the state. He introduced several intiatives and programs that scaled up reforms in education sector in the state. He was reputed to have increased budgetary allocations to the education sector by over 28% throughout his tenure. This resulted in improved outcomes in education including increased school enrolments, pupils’ retention and completion of schools.
Garlands of Honor
Adamu has been recognized honored by several groups for his achievement and service to the advancement of the education sector in his state and Nigeria. He has received several honorary degrees by educational institutions across Nigeria in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the sector in Nigeria.
In March 2003, the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port-Harcourt honored him with an honorary causa, a Doctorate Degree in Engineering. Also, Federal University of Technology, awarded him an Honorary Doctor in Engineering, Akure in November 2004); Federal University of Port Harcourt honored him with yet another Doctor of Science in Public Administration in March 2006; and Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Anambra State with a honorary Doctorate degree in Law in March 2006.
The honors are testimonials of his immense impact and positive contributions to education sector in Nasarawa state and entire country.
A ranking member of Nigerian Senate, Senator Adamu has contributed to passage of legislations aimed at strengthening promoting good governance, transparency and accountability. He, the chairman, Senate committee on agriculture leading innovative policies that repositioned agriculture in Nigeria and expanded investment opportunities profile of the sector. He stepped down as a Senator after his election as APC national chairman in March 2022.
Sterling Public Service
Nigerian military head of state, General Sani Abacha in March 1995 appointed Adamu Honorable minister of state for works and housing. He served as minister from March 1995 to November 17, 1997. During his tenure as minister. He has participated in UN-sponsored program for urban housing, environment and sustainable development. He led Nigeria’s delegation to all the Habitat preparatory conferences at United Nations and main Habitat II Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, in June/July 1996. 1996. He was elected chairman of Shelter Afrique, an Organization of African Union (OAU) umbrella body for housing development in Africa.
Adamu also represented Nigeria at United Nations Heads of State and Government conference to review charter of the Earth Summit in June1997 in New York, United States of America.
Public and Private Career
He began his career at Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) from 1967 to 1970) as maintenance supervisor. He left ECN and joined Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC) Kaduna in 1972. In 1973, he made another move in his career when he joined a private sector firm, AEK Consulting, an affiliate company of Henry Fajimirokum Group of Companies as Consultant Area Manager
In 1974, he was appointed project manager for construction of Durbar Hotel and Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, two edifices that were built as part of Nigeria’s hosting of World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) ‘77.
Additionally, in 1975, he was appointed Executive Secretary of Benue/Plateau Construction Company, a public corporation owned by defunct Benue/Plateau state government now presently Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states. He served as member of Board of Directors of Nigerian Television Authority NTA Zone D from 1976 - 1978, and was appointed chairman, Board of Directors of Benue Cement Company, Gboko from1980 to 1983.
A Global Citizen
Adamu has travelled to several countries including, the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Canada, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Jamaica, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Kenya, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa.
Additional he has been honored with keys to cities of Harlem, New York, U.S.A 1981; Hamburg, Germany, 1982; Soweto, South Africa, 1995; and Plaque of Los Angeles, California U.S.A, 2000 by Los Angeles County Council.
Given his contributions to national development, state and community service, Adamu was conferred with traditional title of Turakin Keffi in June 2019. He previously held the title of Sarkin Yakin Keffi for thirty-nine years before his election.
Adamu is married with six children.