Adamu Adamu’s choleric reticence
Adamu Adamu is the current minister of education of the Federation – as everybody who is conversant with our education problems knows. And anyone who tried a little to follow his mind since he became the minister of education would not find it impossible to regard him as a reticent polished peasant in that ministry that should be run by the super-cultivated mind of one who is not a stranger to extraordinary labour of articulation and great technical and scholarly accomplishment. In fact, a peculiar ministry that is responsible for the processes of society which constitute education for everyone ranging from the ordinary man to the extraordinary fellow should be under the positive administration and control of the super-cultivated man of honour and of peculiar honesty.
Our central education ministry is not under the firm grip of such a fellow. The question of the circumstances that concurred to permit Adamu Adamu to be appointed into the education ministry as its premier minister is the circumstances that define his limitations. The trouble-and-problem tertiary institutions and universities in particular have been having derives from the person of Adamu Adamu who invents himself in the image of “Mallam” and wants the world to see and recognize him as such. But a “Mallam” in the strictest usage or application or meaning of the term is a well-endowed teacher and scholar and personage of honour, and whose every word or action is devoid of deceit. Even his silence or reticence is always and at all times viewed or must or ought to be viewed and seen and interpreted positively as something of honour.
So “Mallam” (like” Mr.”) is a title of honour used before the name of a man of honour – like Mallam Aminu Kano – under normal usage. Ironically today, every fellow wants to be referred to as “Mallam” or “Mr.”! Now Adamu Adamu wants us to see and call him “Mallam Adamu Adamu” which he relishes even though this former peasant from backwater Daura who has been treating ASUU maliciously underground, that is, clandestinely, pretends to be the union’s admirer and leading supporter! His reticence all the while until very, very recently was misinterpreted in several circles as positive reticence. But I had on a number of occasions hinted and told some ASUU personages and central negotiators that the “Mallam’s” reticence was choleric reticence.
Sooner or later he would show his hidden nature. His choleric reticence sold the world the dummy that Chris Ngige was the real demon against ASUU. At a time the impression as created was that even Emeka Nwajiuba, the former minister of state in the education ministry, was a proper dim-witted spokesman who was an incorrigible lambaster of ASUU. Why could the chap not be a healthy controller of his own big mouth? Could he not borrow a leaf from his own master called “Mallam” Adamu Adamu? As a humble junior minister who was not a humble junior minister, did he not have another social or political career open to him? The young chap read our minds and disappeared from the “Mallam’s” clutches when the chance to do so opened before him. He entered it and fled and flew! But I am digressing. I know, dear, dear readers.
How did the “Mallam” of choleric reticence become a minister who is today our universities’ most malicious destroyer and demolisher? I will offer my readers only a tiny bit of all I know. The “Mallam” swept the northern intelligentsia, particularly the university-based group and ASUU-diehards in a particular north west university, with his much referred to 2013 essay in Daily Trust. In the essay, he vigorously engraved his peasant polish and self on the consciousness of the goodness and patriotism of the highly educated and intellectual community especially of the north-west university that I am deliberately with-holding its identity because I respect its right of anonymousness. That essay coupled with his Daura connection with Buhari with whom, as fellow kith-and-kin, he very well bonded honestly conspired as circumstances that concurred to recommend him highly for his ministerial post to the education ministry. What a great irony that a “Mallam” of honour has turned out to be the capital opposite of what his patriotic backers expected from him. I am requesting my readers to go read Joseph Conrad’s novel The Secret Agent.
The main character Mr. Adolf Verloc in that novel is a double agent who is fondly called by “Mr.” that precedes his name. The “Mallam” of choleric reticence we are dealing with is of the same mold even though this one is a triple or quadruple agent whose peculiar honesty and honour in a society such as ours that is too frightened to be honest and honourable and truthful is peculiarly terrifying. How was our “Mallam” able to deceive his intellectual political backers, his journalistic-social careerists and ASUU wise ones and vice-chancellors and varsity pro-chancellors this long? Our great Mallam of promise and of real cleverness reveals himself recently, however, as a dim-witted fascist and dissembler – unlike Conrad’s “Mr.” Verloc.
A “Mallam” of Honour who is expected to be a Mallam of Integrity gives us cause to be happy when we can answer the following questions in the affirmative: If he gives us his word, can we count on it? Is he un-afraid to defend what is right? Does he set the same standards for himself as he sets for others and live by them? Does he condemn opaqueness and respect transparency and accountability which he believes in? Does he give praise or credit where it is due and deserved? Does he accept his errors without blinking and ever ready to make amends? Is he trustworthy in every way? I am keeping my answers to these questions for another time.
Last week’s Thursday night was one pathetic night I will not forget in a hurry. The Mallam of Mallams was on Channels and other television stations to give ASUU what the president of the most patriotic union in the land rightly has since called “miserable” concessions that are nothing short of fascist concessions – which are not concessions in a land of true freedom. Clearly, the six-month old strike will continue. Let the Mallam who is not a Mallam do his worst. What enervated me on that pathetic night was Mallam the Mallam’s dark image of Ngige, his fellow demigod of darkness whom he called a bloody liar. “He lied” was what the obviously wild and choleric Mallam of bilious temperament said of his cabinet fellow way-farer when asked a question pertaining to the two weeks deadline Buhari gave the Mallam to resolve the ASUU conundrum, which Ngige reported with, for once, I thought, was that man’s patriotic sense of duty.
That night Mallam’s reticence strangely evaporated and the peculiarity of his demeanour and bilious jackboot were exposed with the peculiarity of bareness. He went a step further to call on Nigerian students to sue ASUU. In Nigeria your country my country our country strangeness that loses its peculiar strangeness happens every day. Since when did Mallam of choleric reticence become firm friends with Nigerian students he in untamed anger walked out on the other day? And the adored Mallam openly dared to incite them against their academic teachers and surrogate parents fighting for the academic system that will benefit them and your country my country our country.
I will stop here for now. ASUU, great patriots and master negotiators are meeting this weekend to review/renew their strategy. I definitely will be astonishingly astonished if each member that will attend the NEC meeting will not dazzle with the brilliance of his argument and shrewdness and generosity of strategy to continue the strike totally and indefinitely until Mallam becomes the Mallam of compassion, truth, kindness, honour, generosity and humanity. If an indefinite and total strike will compel Mallam to be the Mallam to regain his lost virtues that he must regain within his human heart so that our universities should reopen in freedom and justice to our students and academics, so must it be. To ASUU, I say blessed be. Several claps for Thunder!!! Blessed be.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.