Monday, 4th December 2023

Standing out in the crowd: Senator Alex Kadiri – Part 2

By Samuel Olajide Timothy-Asobele
12 July 2023   |   3:40 am
The Biography of Dr Alex Usman Kadiri put a dagger of truth in our governance traits in Nigeria and with his biography we see the truth of the conflicts that beset our body polity Nigeria to wit: the conflict between good and evil as well as the issues involved in the conflict.


The Biography of Dr Alex Usman Kadiri put a dagger of truth in our governance traits in Nigeria and with his biography we see the truth of the conflicts that beset our body polity Nigeria to wit: the conflict between good and evil as well as the issues involved in the conflict. The characters or personages seen and unseen who hold the key to the resolution of Nigeria’s governance conflict. We are all victims of a hoax: a sort of April fool.

Below are some of the questions that Kadiri’s Biography answered.

How the conflict between right and wrong begin?

How are we related to the conflict?

If as it were I found myself in this fallen world by no choice of numa, does that mean instant evil and good are a choice for me how long will this struggle between good and evil last?

Will our world Nigeria sink into the abyss of sunless night in perpetuity? Or is there a bright future that can be before us as a nation?

The last and the final question is: will God’s love for our fallen humanity triumph over the forces of evil in Nigeria? Many moral questions trouble the mind of Dr Alex Usman Kadiri. How half of Nigeria‘s wealth was siphoned into Abuja and Lagos and half of Nigeria poverty festered in Ajagunle, yamyam etc.

Kadiri is not a desperado in his pursuit of life’s goals. He believes moderate prosperity is good character and humanity should hold that in greater honor than fame and great wealth. He believes in establishing a community of good and nothing is easier than the established equality of condition and to affirm on this double foundation the well-being of man.

In our Literature classes at PSS Okene in the 1960s we were taught how to write character Sketches of literary personages like Julius Caesar in Shakespeare” play Julius Caesar. The turade goes like this: What the character says.

What other characters say about him and finally

The actions he performs.

These three tenets will guide our review of Senator Dr Alex Usman Kadiri.

In the Biography of Senator Dr Alex Usman Kadiri, we read about his birth at Odu village in Dekina Local Govt Area of Kogi State. He started out his Education in a Quranic school after which he attended Native Authority Primary school in Odu Ogboyaga. He was a stand out pupil who loved a life of giving to his peers at School. This giver streak of his made his school mates to nickname him “Akpa Enelile ‘’ – a giver from the native.

From Authority Primary school he moved to PSS Okene for his Secondary School Stint from 1962-1966. Here again, he showed his leadership gift by organising the Igala Pupils and searched for vehicles to take them to Idah and to find Igala Native Authory, Scholarship for the Igala pupils from Igala N.A.

His life cycle see him cultivating a love for Igala traditions, custom and culture which helped him to be first a lover of Igala people progress in the Nigeria nation. From Okene he enrolled for his HSC 1967-1968 in government secondary School Maiduguri, from Maiduguri he attended University of Ibadan where he graduated with a second class Upper Division in Physiology and Human Anatomy. University of Benin gave him his first academic stand as a lecturer. He rose to the post of Senior lecturer.

Senator Alex Usman Kadiri is a Roman Catholic. A member of the knight of Saint Murumba. He left for University of Leeds in the UK in September 1974 where he earned his PH.D. He got married to Miss Pauline Osude in leed. He served as a member of board and committee of ASUU 1981. Management Committee of NUC 1983-1990 and many more from (page 29-32). He was appointed a commissioner of Health in Benue State 1984-1985. General IBB appointed him as the Director General of Federal Ministry of Water Resources. In all these appointments he showed his love for Igaland. He was also a patriot. Dr Alex Usman Kadiri was appointed UNIBEN Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council 2003 where he distinguished himself as a fair- play administrator following officially laid down rules and regulations. This way showing his boldness at doing the right thing not minding whose ox is ——. From 2005-2007 he made his mark as a great administrator and leader of men at Uniben. During his tenure Uniben did not experience closure of University due to ASUU Strikes. He stood by the Staff and students to move academic work forward.

He is a great family man gifted with five children great grandchildren. He is loved by his wife and children and grandchildren who wrote in his biography his love for them. Dr Alex Usman Kadiri incursion into the murky political arena was marked by his love for his people and his readiness to serve Nigeria and humanity. His tenet is by love serve one another and he did his best for Igalaland, Kogi and Nigerian State and came off with untainted record of service to the Nigerian state.

He was loved by his APP, PDP Stalwarts as a credible leader of men. He is not a desperate politician. He waited for God’s will for his life and always forgiving those who wrong him in the political arena. He is Mr 2nd chance giver to those who offend him at the National Assembly because he believes in education as a means of National development and growth. His love for education as a means of empowering the citizens of Nigeria made him to be a successful go-between ASUU and government in 2001 negotiation. He supported the UBE, NECO, ETF and University autonomy bills at National Assembly.

Senator (Dr) Alex Usman Kadiri wants to leave the imprint of his life in the Sand of Time. Hence his good relationship with Senator (Dr) A.A. Ali, Prince Abubakar Audu, Ibrahim Idris, Gabriel Aduku, Capt Idris Wale with whom he had cordial relationship and with a forgiving Spirit. His rapport with Prof Sulaiman Francis Idachaba was very cordial because we all attended Kabba Provincial Secondary School with Arc Gabriel Adudu. Our school is like British Military Academy SANDSHURT where:Obey before you complain is the Mot d’ordre. Discipline, devotion, dedication diligence were virtues inculcated to pupils in the 1950s, 1960s.

Dr Alex Usman Kadiri is an upright gentleman who abhors immoral act’s which made him to disobey Dr Atanu’s instruction when incarcerated by the military to send his moveable property to his girlfriend in Lagos. He had a fruitful rapport with Dr Alex Ekueme the Architect.

His relationship with the Chancellor Unilag: his Royal Majesty Dr Alhaji Ocheja Obaje was Cordial. He attended his investiture at Unilag in the year 2002. It must be reiterated that Kadiri has the Igala Royal Blood in him. So it can never be otherwise. When late At Idakwo Ahme Obini ascended the throne and the present Day Ata Matthew Opaluwa, Oguche Akpa it was a relation of respect for Constituted Authority.

The Igala people have cause to celebrate their own a Living legend of our time when he celebrated his 80 years anniversary in June 2022. The list of those who saw him as an Igala and Nigeria ICON include the present Day Ata Igala Agaba Idu ; HRM Matthew Alaji Opaluwa, Oguche Apa; HRH Salihim Adaji Onu of Itobe, Dr James Nda Abalaka the Accountant General of the Federation; Senator Nicholas Ugbanu who was in form One at PSS Okene when Dr Alex Usman Kadiri was in the final year in 1966. Even an Okun classmate of his, late Paul Eniolomuda added his voice to tell the world that his classmate was a great Senator. An Ebira clamente of his Elder Usman Sule joined the voice populi cohort to wish Dr Alex Usman Kadiri well. Others are Admiral Ibrahim Ogohi. So were Prof Bayo and Banke. Tokula Oyidi, Alhaji Yakubu Akechi, the chairman Iko descendants of Odu, Hussani Achimigu, the Gago Ake Odu Ogboyaga, Abutu Ejeh, chairman Odu Micro-fianace; Mr Tijani Igoro Achimugu, Capt Idris Wada Honourable Positive Ihiabe, Vice –Admiral Jibrin Oyibe Usman , former chief of Naval Staff Nigeria ; Alhaji ( Hon) Abubakar Omeka; Sir Senator Rowland and Lady Helen Owie Senator Muse Adede, Senator Mike Ajegbo, Senator Abubakar Na’Amo Abdullahi, Senator Udoma Udo Udom Prof ( Mrs) U che B Gbenedio DVC ( Admin ) Uniben chef John Odawa fmr PDP Kogi State Sir B.O Ochai,(Hons) Hussein, former Kogi state Assembly Speaker Dr Paul Amodu, Mrs Achenyo Idachada – Obaro, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Prof Bello –Salim, Dr Emakoji Oyiguh, Dr Kassim Akor, Sir Grey F Okafor, Dr Ibrahim Wada, Prof Jidda S’aid, Comb Sahaibu Odoma ( Tanko ) Dr ( Pharm) Aliyu Zakari Jiya, Mohamed Idris Zaria, Mohamed Hussaini of OC Omike ii PLC, Alhaji, Husseinki Shehu Ore, Odu Ogboyaga, (Hon) Tom Ogijo Zakari ( Ph.D), Comrade Mohamed Lawal Okai ( Okai Odu), Alhaji Yabubu Mohammed (New watch), Engr ( Dr) Sunday Odoma, Edibo ( Surveyor Agbawu, Ambassador Ayegba Abdulahi , Eju Ata Igala. Agah Opaluwa Awo Akpali, Comrade Opanachi Jacob. Prof Sam Egwu, Abdullahi, Harumeh (SAN) former Attorney General and commissioner for Justice, Kogi State, ( Hon) Comarde Omeke Idris, Dr Ben Amodu (fpsn), Hannal Opaluwa ( wife of Author of this biography), comrade Danjamoh Stephen Sani, Mordecai Atokolo, Ndanusa Ochol, Mr Silas Ahiabe, Dr Jerome Aduojo, Dr Mohammed Ada Shaibu ( Ph.D) Comrade, Atai Arome Obaje, Achimere Onu life.

Dooga chef (Hon) Labran Oyigele- All of them confirmed. He is a Jolly good fellow with a forgiving spirit and people centered. The above list of dignitaries, men of Caliber, of quality who spoke of his stand out quality citizens of Nigeria speaks volume of the (personality of Senator Dr Alex Usman Kadiri, his forgiving spirit came out boldly in the chapter.

Dr Alex Usman Kadiri is a great nationalist and a patriot who put Nigeria first. The death of one of his mentees chief Ocholi James show cased the humanity of Dr Alex Usman Kadiri and his avowed to out stand to stop man’s inhumanity to man. In the Murky waters of Politics in Igalaland: people saw him as the great Governor Kogi missed. The chapter devoted to Senator Dr Alex Usman Kadiri Genealogy Migration and Igala History is Dr Kaduri’s efforts at reconstituting the history of Igalaland by publishing this sociology of Igala Kingdom. It is an invitation to Igala Scholars to undertake an earth moving attentive history of Igalaland. Are they descended from Kwarafor, Itsekeri, Benin or Yoruba?

The chapter devoted to; Is there meaning to life and Death gives us an overview of the dictum: Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die.”

The writer hinges his exposé on the ideas of Western philosopher Kant, John Dewey, Ernest Hagel, Sidney Hook, Roy Wood Sellar – Naturalism, Biblical meaning of Life Death. But more than the exposé of philosophers on life and death this chat of a blissful life in paradise speaks volume on Life and after life where. “Ali worries shall be over. Temptation shall be over when we get to Paradise. The story of his property in Maitama Abuja shows his forgiving Spirit. The Epilogue is a sum total of the résumé of the biography from chapter one to chapter Ten.

And finally the Postscripts chapter brought to light the scholar researches and the place of Education in Nigeria before and after independence. Dr Alex Usman Kadiri is a consummate scientist, Scholar, Administrator who believe “Development is about people” that is, education is a short cut to national development and economic recovery. The dept and breath of the contribution of Dr Alex Usman Kadiri on the debate of the place of education in Nigeria appear robustly in all the paper and Scholarly lectures in the postscripts. He sees the University as knowledge temple/ shrine and the Scholar as Oracle, proffering visionnary solutions to national problems.

His larger than life personality, an ICON in the educational sphere appeared in these apprendixes to his Biography. His interventions in academic gathering honed from a sound academic background Provincial Secondary School Okene 1962-1966, the best school in Old Northern Nigeria winning Commonwealth junior/Senoir Essay and J.F. Kenned essay in the 1900s

PSS Okene of the 1940s to 1960s was established in the British Eton and Rugby tradition with tutors drawn for the Best British Universities except for our History and Geography – Mr Yinusa Opeyemi and Mr Soladoye respectfully. The School stands out in the educational farmament. This Biography of Kadiri is a treatise for the drifting youths of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is wake up call to the Nigeria youths to see how Dr Alex Usman Kadiri became an Icon a stand out person in Kogi State, Nigeria and in the World. I therefore recommend this book to all Nigerian Youth – It is a National Bulletin Prospective of how to move Nigeria forward through discipline, commitment, devotion and diligence. For on them belongs the blocks that will build a great Nation, Nigeria.

Like all biographical works written for People like Dr Kadiri who stand out in our society, there is the absence of the name of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria omission (1954-1966), the architect of Education in Northern Region. But this omission was compensated for by the publication of Ganji. A play devoted to the life and Times of Sir Ahmadu Bello, written by this Reviewer in 1992 with the Hausa versions sponsored Dr Tunji Olagunju Minister of Internal Affairs, during IBB. Administration and Malam Adamu Ciroma, Minister of Finance during OBJ Administration. It is our belief that Bola Tinubu and Shettima will sponsor the re-issue of the two versions for the good of our drifting youths to learn leadership streak of Late Sir Ahmadou Bello as good gift to the Nigerian youth to imbibe the Spirit of patriotism and heroism of Sir Ahmadu Bello. Because his leadership quality: selfless service from which Dr Alex Usman Kadiri drank will be imbibed by Nigeria’s new breed of leaders’ hoping to hold sway in good governance practices like Ganyi.

Professor Timothy-Asobele is of the Dept of Foreign Languages, (French Unit), Lagos State University Ojo, Lagos State.