Senator Abdullahi Adamu: Losing a proxy war
These facts about Senator Abdullahi Adamu are obvious: He represents Nassarawa West Senatorial District in the Senate. He was born on April 23, 1946.
He was 46 years when he graduated from an evening (part-time) degree programme of the University of Jos in law. He served as governor of Nassarawa State for two terms. He is serving his second term in the Senate.
Three years after Senator Abdullahi Adamu left office as governor, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) hunted him down as part of their investigations into the embezzlement of $100m, being money the Government of Nassarawa State mapped out for some projects.
Recently the Senator manifested grief and thereby became a steady subject of major news outlets. His object of pain had no direct bearing on his battle with EFCC.
Rather the Senator was literally in tears, because his ambition to return to the Red Chamber was being challenged by the rearrangement of the order of elections, which he believed was in contradiction with the conjoined second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari.
As a lawyer, Senator Adamu knows the power of a proxy; therefore he decided to cry more than the bereaved by proxy. And by trying to be more Catholic than the Pope, he was sure to elicit sympathy and encouragement for defending the interest of a President that neither consulted nor conferred a power of attorney on him.
Yet, as a proxy the Senator believes he can kill two birds with one pebble. Not minding that it takes no courage to say yes, the former governor decided with a conscious effort, to become a yes man.
Nonetheless, being a technician and former electrician, the Senator feels that by plugging into the Presidency politics through attacks on the National Assembly, he could perchance win the sympathy of the powers that be in the Presidency to, perhaps extinguish the fire from EFCC.
In other words, the Senator must have reasoned that since it requires great moral strength and courage to say no to powerful entities, the stamina to oppose the Senate is inversely related to the power of saying yes to the Presidency by proxy.
When all his recent undertakings are weighed on the scale of rational social conduct, would that make Senator Abdullahi Adamu a man Friday? Attempt to discharge that burden must be backed by the knowledge that the former governor occupied the office of Leader of Northern Senators’ caucus.
To what extent then, does that office dispose the senator to serve as an attack dog or quisling? Well, by deploying the northern hemisphere of his reasoning faculty, he might in the fullness of time appropriate another four year term in the Senate and possibly diffuse any possibility for a term in Kuje.
As a politician, Senator Adamu knows what strategies to apply to protect his interests to the fullest. And though he may be old at age 72, the Middle Belt Senator knows how to hit below the belt.
That could be why as a latter-day champion of the northern interest, he took on former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the champion of Presidential missives and nemesis of Presidents. But, though he did not challenge the former President to a duel in letter writing, the dethroned leader of Northern Senators’ caucus merely continued the performance of his office as a Presidential proxy, defending the rights of the Presidency, as currently domiciled in the north.
What he could not achieve through bills and motions at Senate plenary Senator Adamu knows he could accomplish through extra-curricular verbal pugilism. Being a foundation member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), before his ambitious odyssey across the carpet to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Senator has not forgotten the old tricks of using proxy fights to gain favour for political progression.
But, in his haste to defend his circumstantially enforced principal and demystify the former President, his former principal; the Senator forgot that he was displaying contempt to the change he professed through his vituperations on Obasanjo.
He said: If the anti-corruption war of President Buhari were to be total and blanket in nature, corrupt-minded Nigerians like Obasanjo ought to be in jail by now.” By his confession, Adamu confirmed what another APC chieftain had disclosed that the President applies different standards in fighting corruption, including using insecticides and aerosols respectively, depending how close the accused is to the seat of power.
All the same, sustaining his conviction that the President has been less than objective in the prosecution of the anti-corruption war, the two-term Senator pleaded the Halliburton and Siemens cases as instances of his principal’s monumental lack of diligence in his chosen warfare.
However, what the former caucus leader did not care to tell journalists was why he lacked the boldness and courage to oppose Obasanjo’s quest for third term, nor came out as a patriotic Nigerian to adduce such evidence as he has churned out before now to prove the timeworn claim that the former President and leader of his former party bribed legislators in search of tenure elongation.
Had he done that, Senator Abdullahi would have proved to Nigerians that he is not a slimy opportunist that hangs on the agbada tails of Presidents to access unmerited political offices. Who knows, it might be reason he chose to shoot from both hips at imaginary enemies to curry the favour of President Buhari.