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IBK And ASUU Betrayer Adamu Adamu



Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement

By Tony Afejuku
This column is serving once again as a conduit for my readers whose energetic responses to my essays I feel delighted to share with very, very many members of the reading public who live and breathe within the orbit and universe of this newspaper. The column will continuously do so as long as the columnist receives items that resonate within the sound current of the columnist’s pursuits and within his heart of truth, frankness, justice, morality, courage, fearlessness and patriotism for the betterment and greatness of your country my country our country. We must at all times be consciously aware of what our concerns are and we should not desist from talking and talking until we change our diet of misrule and of not doing things properly, which our so-called political rulers/leaders typify. They and all of us must change ourselves in all ways because our current selves no longer fit or suit us. This is particularly or peculiarly tellingly telling in the music of our politics that has been giving forms to lyrics that are against our intellectual community, which our universities, our public universities, champion, but which our politicians of all shades with hard hearts want to demolish and destroy comprehensively and totally. ASUU, however, is resisting the demons and will continue to do so until they see reason and appreciate the wisdom that ASUU is disseminating whether or not the central minister of education and his cohorts want to absorb ASUU’s patriotic knowledge and wisdom. In this respect, I tender two of my readers, whose responses to my last Friday’s essay are tellingly telling in terms that are not mistakable. The first is a journalist and an engagingly engaging columnist in a very influential South West tabloid. For strategic reasons he does not want his energetic signature to appear here despite the brevity of his contribution. He has appeared here incognito a number of times. The second reader is Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano radically known as IBK in intellectual circles of like minds. He has joined me here on a number of occasions fearlessly to give heart-to-heart discourses to radiate our national consciousness.

Enjoy, dear, dear readers, two of our lively readers within the hierarchy of great and undiluted love of country.

READ ALSO: Adamu Adamu’s Choleric Reticence

Journalist and Columnist: Adamu Adamu is worse than cholera. He is the very cancer that is eating the very fabric of the most enviable institution in the human race, education. What people lack is what they destroy. I cannot but join you in asking for a total strike by ASUU. Adamu Adamu can hug the next transformer! Who cares? Another poetic piece from the fountain of undiluted patriotism. ASUU, nay, the intellectual community, owes you loads of gratitude O columnist of columnists!

IBK: Dear Great TA, I read your last Friday column several times, and wondered, as you did, why the Honourable (let’s assume) Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, behaved towards ASUU the way he did. You did refer to his 2013 strong defence of ASUU strikes in which he called the striking lecturers ‘’heroes and patriots’’ and a bulwark for a strong University System. Social theorists seek to explain why in a given micro setting, someone is doing something or why someone is behaving or has behaved in a particular way, especially when that act or behaviour was, or could be, surprising or shocking to those who thought or think that they know or knew him pretty well enough as to not expect him to behave in such a way or manner. In the case of Adamu Adamu, one could ask whether he was behaving stupidly or maliciously or vengefully. Many people thought that Adamu Adamu would do better than Chris Ngige, given the fact of his previous positive attitude towards ASUU and that it was he who set up the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee that was charged with re-negotiating with ASUU, for example. How would one explain what you, grand columnist TA, have/has called his ‘’choleric reticence’’?

One possible explanation is this: when Adamu Adamu praised ASUU to the high heavens in 2013, he was virtually down financially and in any case, unemployed. He was then a ‘’radical’’ of sorts, typical of dyspeptic traditionalist in Northern Nigeria. The North of Nigeria is still largely a feudal, proto-peasant community, where what Nietzsche would call ‘’romantic critics of tradition’’ abound. Yet upon joining the ruling elite, and having been a minister for almost for almost eight years, Adamu Adamu’s psychology has had to change. He is now in a new cultural, political and economic setting, defined by privilege and insouciant entitlement. He is now a confidant of the President of the country. He could jet in and out of Nigeria at will and at the expense of the State. He was gravely ill for a time and would have died but for State medical privilege. In this sense, Adamu Adamu’s hostile behaviour and action towards ASUU are typical of hitherto relatively poor individuals who are now, thanks to good luck or some good fortune, beneficiaries of social and economic parasitism. In this sense, Adamu Adamu would naturally see his role as the defender and preserver of official State policy, the Warrior in Shining Armour, despite his previous personal history and humble origins. Privilege is the flip side of economic parasitism. That is why Adamu Adamu had to see ASUU as the ‘’ enemy within.’’

READ ALSO: Prof Ibrahim Bello-Kano On Wiseman Festus Keyamo

The second possible explanation is that perhaps Adamu Adamu wanted to offer something reasonable for ASUU. One clue is that he did say, at an inter-ministerial meeting with the President on the strike issue that ASUU were ‘’patriots.’’ However, soon after that meeting Adamu Adamu realised that there were other vested interests that hatched behind his back, and felt hopeless and caged and isolated in regard to the official State policy on the strike. Here, all we can say, if this explanation is plausible, is that Adamu Adamu could not live up to his moral or ethical beliefs and standing. We call this moral failure, a kind of moral cowardice since he could not stand up for his feelings and sense of what is right or wrong in this particular context.

Third, perhaps Adamu Adamu’s sudden and last minute aggressive and ill-considered attitude towards ASUU may have been caused by the strident criticisms of his failure to be at the top of the situation. Many commentators called him ‘’sloth,’’ ‘’heavy,’’ and ‘’weak’’ in the light of his slow rising to the situation. Perhaps he lacks intuitive intelligence in these matters, having been inserted in a few and profitable official positions. His former radically religious and moral personality has been dimmed by office-holding and the privileges that they have brought into his personal life and psychological identity. There is no question that Adamu Adamu has ruined or damaged his reputation as a moral agent, at least in the eyes of a large number of Nigerians.

Clearly, then, Adamu Adamu felt that ASUU was a minor irritant, who should be begging the Government and not bargaining with it. Yet it is also entirely possible that in his new privileged position as a functionary of the State, he cannot stand a lowly Trade Union standing up to the Government and the mythical figure of Buhari as the President, a man who sees ‘’enough is enough’’ as applicable only to ASUU’s activist stance on education. It is also possible that Adamh Adamu has now got an anaemic view of lecturers’ remunerations. Years of his principal’s policies of marketization and other neo-liberal management of the economy must have convinced Adamu Adamu that the lecturers do not need or deserve higher salaries. The measly N60,000 he offered to Professors at the bar says volumes about the mind-set of Adamu Adamu and the President, who is reputed to despise workers who are affluent (or seen to be affluent). Adamu Adamu may have shared this view, too. In a few months’ time Adamu Adamu will be out of office, out of continuing privilege, and out of official decision-making, at least in a direct sense. Without a doubt his legacy is one unbridled assault on Collective Bargaining. But as Mick Lynch, the general-secretary of the British RMT Union said last year, ‘’If you’re NOT BARGAINING, you’re BEGGING.’’ The irony of it all is that Adamu Adamu and his cohorts will be gone while ASUU will be here for a long, long time.

 READ ALSO: ASUU Begins Indefinite Strike

Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano has to lay Adamu Adamu flat and bare by deconstructing him, while our un-named journalist-columnist has employed the mandate of journalistic flame to melt Adamu Adamu to size. Interestingly, both commentators are in perfect agreement with me that Adamu Adamu is not a man of honour hence ‘’Mallam’’ does not appear as a title in their naming of him as I rightly argued. I must thank both readers (and others) immeasurably and without question for their very patriotic concerns and committed commitment to the cause of truth and justice and labour of love on behalf of our intellectual territory that Adamu Adamu has betrayed and wants to consign to the darkness of ages. But ASUU with the guidance of the Ascended Masters will prevail.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.


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The 2023  Elections And The Newness Of Nigeria



The Futility Of A Marital Chase
Dr. Hope Nwawolo

By Hope Nwawolo   

Despite the hues and cries that greeted the results of the 2023 elections, what if the court’s pendulum stays or swings otherwise in the expected litigations?

What will it teach our inquisitive young children?

What will it do to the hopes and dreams of the youths?

What will it do to the mind set of those in diaspora, waiting and hoping to return?

How will it affect our heroes still alive and yearning for the good old times?

One basic fact is that no matter where the pendulum swings, something new has started in the political sphere of Nigeria. And because it was unexpected, it has become almost impossible to strangulate it.  

In every competition, there is an expectation that the best man will win. That may not always be in politics, particularly, in Nigeria…where the winner may not be the best man or even the better man. And when it is said that politics is a game of numbers, sometimes, the actual numbers may not be visible to determine the end result. It becomes a case of the more you look the less you see; until interpreted by respected learned men with high integrity.

Politics, they say is a dirty game, where money speaks and promises made are broken without an iota of guilt. Where the gullible minds of the masses are deceived, with as little as a box of indomie. Where some vibrant but jobless youths are brainwashed to risk their lives to snatch ballot boxes for the politicians who do not know them beyond giving them stipends through some third parties. Where market women are forced to come out for rallies and campaigns because they cannot afford the fine that will be imposed on them if they failed to participate. They also do not want the harassment of the market leaders. 

In politics, fear is palpable in the air, before, during and after elections. The 2023 elections recently carried out, depicted these more than expected in both the politicians and electorate. What started like the usual political pattern took a drastic turn about nine months to the first elections and though it was said to be only a social media affair, it got everyone sitting upright and tightening his seat belt, particularly after the first elections.

Now, there is a generational shift, a new awakening, a new dawn and a new political birth, waiting to happen. To wherever the pendulum turns; where the court stands, it will make a turnaround in Nigeria. It may be turbulent at the beginning, it may be emotionally draining and psychologically traumatizing, but it will point to light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a new hope backed by a high spirit of determination. An unexplainable faith in many people for that newness of existence and purpose. An unprecedented emotional and psychological strength in the youths not to give up on their dreams. An unquenchable desire to keep praying. Soon a newness will break forth to calm all nerves and dry all tears.

A newness that will permeate conflicts and hatred,

A newness that will dissipate unnecessary anger,

A newness that will usher in unquestionable and transparent political systems in future elections,

A newness of freedom to choose a candidate without coercion or molestation

A newness of jubilation after the announcement of election results.

This is the new Nigeria that is awaiting delivery…

Nwawolo, PhD, writes from Lagos.




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Overcoming Policy Execution Trap As Nigeria’s Development Challenge



Prof. Tunji Olaopa

By Tunji Olaopa

If I am asked to give a succinct and apt summary of the entire challenge faced by the Nigerian state in terms of her policy architecture and development management, in spite of contestation in the development literature, I will not hesitate in stating clearly and unambiguously that it is the challenge of policy implementation; the whole dynamics of getting things done. By elimination, the implication is that the challenge cannot be located as that of the dearth of development ideas, insights, models and paradigms. Right from her independence, Nigeria has been inundated with several ideas, both local and global, about development policy and frameworks. And yet, policy outcomes keep getting bogged down in the murky waters of political shenanigans. This means that the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has its challenge mapped out, in red, for it.

There is no shying away from this postcolonial predicament that has limited and kept limiting Nigeria’s capacity to honour the terms of her social contract with Nigerians. Hence, the Tinubu government will soon be inundated with the impatient agitations of Nigerians for a quick and tangible fix that will address their sufferings. And they are justified since they have not been given any real deal for the past sixty-three years of sovereign independence. And the new administration is obligated because that is the reason for seeking office in the first place.

Prof. Olaopa’s new book on public policy and development challenges

How then can we begin to understand this policy execution challenge? It is simple: how can an administration in Nigeria transition from governance vision and policy intention to policy outcomes that elevate and transform the quality of life of its citizens? Failure to understand and give critical and political attention to this question lies at the heart of the governance failures of successive Nigerian administrations. The new Tinubu administration cannot afford such a glaring mistake. And so, a fundamental case must be made out of the question of how policy intentions get circumscribed in the dynamics of policy execution that occasions policy failures in past administrations.

Modern states all across the world are distinguished by the traditional four functions they discharge as part of their administrative responsibilities—security i.e. securing the sovereign territory against lawlessness, policy formulation and implementation, governance regulation and service delivery.The capacity to perform each and all of these functions very well within an integrated framework in the governance context is what delivers the dividends of democratic governance to the citizens, and it enhances the state’s competitive and human development rating in global reckoning. With these functions, we have the metrics to differentiate between high-performing states like China, India, the United States,Botswana, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirate, Germany, Rwanda and the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea), and low- or even under-performing countries like Nigeria that is still cluelessly stuck within a dysfunctional vicious cycle within her arrested development.

From the perspective of governance, there must be something these states are getting right in the connection between leadership, politics, and policy articulation. For instance, there is a trajectory of relationship that links elite bargains to development bargains. In other words, development is a
function of elite nationalism and the extent to which the political class of a state can commit elite suicide and gamble on development on behalf of the people they are leading. In Nigeria, low
manifestation of elite nationalism has made it really difficult for the political class to set aside their personal and egoistic class interests in ways that enable them to clearly and ideologically discern and navigate the deadly developmental landmines strewn all over our governance landscape by the
neoliberal implication of ideological apparatuses and frameworks to which Nigeria is beholden. And here, the factor of development gamble of the Asian Tigers’ elites comes into bold relief. From within the ideological ambit of the developmental state, the leadership of the Asian Tigers were able to define a policy space that consciously and critically weighed the benefits and shortfalls of external influences, especially the type that came from the World Bank, IMF and the other cohorts of the neoliberal policy dynamics. Their developmental circumspection paid off!

Since we cannot argue that Nigeria has been stumped by the lack of vision documents, development plans and blueprints, or even policy expertise, the locus of the new administration’s focus  must be directed at the possibility of mustering the political will to undermine the mystified Nigerian Factor, and face the global neoliberal consensus in order to begin the crafting of an enabling policy architecture to drive development. And to achieve this translates to creating the delicate balance between ‘doing the right things’ (a function of decision making quotient) and ‘doing it right’(project and change management effectiveness), and overcoming the various political, cultural, structural and systemic constraints that trapped past well-meaning policies and intentions of Nigerian leaders in the dynamics of implementation.

There is first the conspiracy of elitist interest that ensures there is a poor resource allocation that focuses on elite bargain than development calculations and taking care of the national interest. Other constraints follow: (a) the disconnect between policy design and implementation due to  weak  implementation planning, risk assessment and incompetent change management strategies; (b) unstable and poorly managed macroeconomic policies; (c) policy and project discontinuity; (d) public service low capability readiness; (e) political interference; and finally (f) deep-seated political and bureaucratic corruption. In essence, development has failed not because Nigeria lacks the blueprint or paradigms to make it happen, but due to the dynamics of the politics that the political elite plays with Nigeria’s development potential.

Let me outline what we can regard as the “politics of policy implementation” that Nigeria has played for many years, a politics the new administration must take into serious consideration if it
does not want to fall into the category of failed administration right before it commences. This politics throws Nigeria’s development and policy non-performance right into the frame of the 2005 World Bank review findings about policy and development projects in Africa. According to the finding, 29% of development projects ever get completed, 45% of on-going projects are rated as satisfactory, while 26% of such projects invariably get cancelled. Such a review can never backstop a solid development project of a developmental state.

The politics of policy implementation in
Nigeria is founded on the following assumptions and practices. One: there is that dangerous presumption, that the new administration must resist, that once policies and development plan are designed, they are automatically implemented by the public service. And such a presumption is against the background of a scant investment in implementation analysis and planning, as well as the failure to facilitate the capability review, determine public
administration system’s capability readiness, and strengthening of the MDAs as the powerhouse of government administrative functionality. The MDAs, that is, are not working according to any
specific theories or praxis of change that can guide the functional integration of blueprints or paradigms. This kind of policy inattention draws attention to the policy contradiction: launching a
national development plan and strategy that are not implementation- ready in terms of adequate capability review of the MDAs integral to ensuring implementation success. Two: this
presumption is compounded by the uncritical reliance of past governments on policy experts and consulting firms who are tasked with designing high-end policies that are then dumped on MDAs whose capability reviews and implementation readiness have been neglected in the first place. The
extroversion of the policy design is then compromised by poor functional integration. The truth is that most of these consulting firms lack the appropriate deep content and solution frameworks that are in tandem with the context of policy dysfunction they are supposed to work with. Three: governance policy or project are hardly subjected to feasibility test determined in terms of scope and expectation that are captured by their framework of time, cost and risk assessments before
they are pushed into implementation. This makes it very difficult to benchmark funding projections for these policies and projects against revenue estimations, as well as facilitating in-built flexibilities that enable the policies and projects to adjust to volatilities and contingencies.

All the issues raised above constitute binding constraint that will undermine any governance possibilities the new administration requires to make a success of democratic governance. Undermining the binding constraints demands returning to the fundamentals. The first and most significant is that the new administration needs to interrogate the framework of how government business is currently being conducted. Governance successes are necessarily a function of how government business engages the complexities of the policy design and execution processes within a results-oriented frame. And that entails undermining the structural gaps between policy objectives, development strategies and policy outcomes. This demands second, setting the public service on a performance curve with the institution of a performance management system. This means that the public service must, for example, unfailingly now deploy KPI-based metrics to replace the cumbersome annual performance evaluation report (APER). And at the backend, it becomes imperative to have a monitoring and evaluation system supported by databases that enable staff and program continuous assessment, human resource development rooted in iterativep performance gap identification, supervisors-staff dialogue and multisource feedback mechanismsf for overall national development policy tracking and reporting.

The governance mantra must be on getting the balance between doing the right things and doing it right. And this cannot be achieved through the wanton multiplication or even duplication of
governance plans, programs and blueprints. What is needed is sequencing the blueprints into a coherent and feasible implementation programme, with the right amount of political will behind it. This gives the success of democratic governance a 95% chance of succeeding. The new administration  needs that fighting chance!

. Olaopa, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and Professor of Public Administration .

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Rigged Elections And The Moral Burden Of Illegitimacy



Prof. Hope Eghagha

By  Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Adamu: A man who rigs his way to power carries a moral burden!

Orezime: A moral what?

Adamu: You heard me, didn’t you?

Orezime: I’m not sure I heard you right. Moral what you said?

Adamu: A moral burden, I said!

Orezime: Hahahahahahaha! You make me laugh! Are you from the moon?

Gani: Or Mars?

Emeka: In which country? In Nigeria? That principle does not apply in Nigeria! There is no moral burden on anybody in this country! The election which produced Bubu in 2015 was rigged. Where are the two million voters from Kano State who voted in 2015? Was an INEC official not burnt alive after that election? The one which brought Obj to power was also rigged by the forces which wanted him to ease the tension of the Abiola tragedy on the Yoruba people. Yet those men had the temerity to preach against corruption!

Orezime: The international community winked at the whole exercise.

Gani: Yes! That’s why those two could only preach; they couldn’t really act decisively. A moral burden? They spoke from both sides of their mouths on the issue of corruption. The late President Yar Adua confessed that the election which produced him was compromised. An honest man, he didn’t live long enough to right the wrong of the period!

Orezime: That’s why I laughed when Adamu talked about a moral burden arising from rigged elections.

Bankole: In the ideal world, any power that is stolen and acquired through a dubious means imposes a moral burden on the power holder. No matter what the person does, that power remains stained.

Orezime: What does that amount to in our country? Even the brigands who shot their way to power in the notorious days of military misadventure in Nigeria soon became legitimate.

Emeka: You are going too far in our history. See what happened in Lagos State in the governorship elections of March 18. Ethnic jingoists went about preaching hatred against Igbo people and warned them against coming out to exercise their constitutional rights. Security officials looked the other way when ballot boxes were snatched in broad daylight in places where the opposition was leading.

Gani: A serving state governor personally went about snatching ballot boxes and threatened to shoot whoever got in his way. The same governor declared somebody wanted without recourse to the Inspector General of Police! He worked against the party on which platform he won the seat to spite the party hierarchy!

Adamu: And to think that this is the President-elect’s state. He kept mute through the horrendous attacks on Igbo people in Lagos State just the way the incumbent president has looked the other way when herdsmen went on the loose!

Bankole: Rigged elections are so familiar yet notorious in our land. It was the main trigger to the crisis in the Western Region in the First Republic because the people reacted when they saw a rape of their rights and wishes! It soon snowballed into a conflagration that consumed the nation in the late 1960s. Already, the youths are talking about a protest in the ENDSARSNOW# manner. I hope it doesn’t result in disaster. We have lost too many lives already!

Orezime: What I fear is the rise of ethnic profiling in a supposedly democratic society. To be sure, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the party hierarchy did not single out any ethnic group for verbal attacks. They even courted them. Yet they didn’t caution their followers to stop the degeneration into ethnic hatred. It is a dangerous curve what is happening in Lagos. I don’t subscribe to the Lagos is no man’s land nonsense which some misguided fellows are spewing, but threatening anybody not to vote their candidate is a new low! Can a Sanwo-Olu victory be said to be legitimate if a significant percentage of the electorate is disenfranchised?

Emeka: Good question. They did not stop there. They rolled out the culturally dreaded Oro rituals on election night. Come on! Who is fooling who? The Oro festival was designed to drive fear into non-Yoruba in Lagos. In the 21st Century?

Gani: I am sure the reports from election observers will be damning.

Bankole: I don’t care about those biased observers.

Adamu: Where are we headed in this country?

Orezime: We are on the road to Kigali!

Bankole: May we not travel that route!

Orezime: It’s a good prayer. But what are we doing to avoid the descent into anarchy? Nothing. Those monkeys are simply interested in acquiring power.

Gani: The Obedient Movement seems to have lost steam once it was misbranded as an ethnic agenda to grab power at the national level. Peter Obi needs to tread carefully so he doesn’t become another June 12! Some people are egging him on to challenge INEC through protests.

Orezime: If he decides to lead a protest, it would be within his constitutional right to do so, especially as INEC is stalling on the issue of inspecting elections materials despite an order from the courts. Peaceful protests are guaranteed by the Constitution.

Adamu: No one can be sure whether a peaceful protest will remain peaceful after it starts. That’s the experience the ENDSARS people had.

Gani: It’s not enough to stop people from taking to the streets. Protests are fundamental to democracy.

Adamu: We do not want dead heroes! Mark my words.

Bankole: That’s ominous!

Emeka: It means nothing. Nigeria must change. We cannot go on like this forever! Things are just going down. No cash. No fuel. No power supply. No security. No nothing.  Peter Obi gave a glimmer of hope. Now that has been dashed to the ground.

Adamu: Rigging will remain a moral burden each time our President-elect travels outside the country, each time he meets foreign observers, especially those ones who have a dossier on him. History will also judge him and assess how he came to power. This applies to all the states as well where some politicians have turned themselves into demigods and have compromised poor INEC officials with mouthwatering sums. This is not how to build a democracy. The votes must be counted and must count. Seventeen people have their lives during the governorship and House of Assembly elections. We are supposed to count ballot papers, not bodies. Sad!

Bankole: The moral burden of rigged elections is on all of us. Without our connivance there would be no rigging. We can only hope that this will end some day!

Emeka: Tough luck!


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