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IBK on ASUU betrayer Adamu Adamu

By Tony Afejuku
02 September 2022   |   3:50 am
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.

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.

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 he it was 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 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.’’

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 Adamu 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.

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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