Gov Abdullahi Adamu’s Dubious Patriotism

by Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

“Quite clearly patriotism is not going to be easy or comfortable in a country as badly run as Nigeria is. And this is not made any easier by the fact that no matter how badly a country may be run there will always be some people whose personal, selfish interests are, in the short term at least, well served by the mismanagement and the social inequities … Naturally they will be extremely loud in their adulation of the country and its system and will be anxious to pass themselves off as patriots and to vilify those who disagree with them as trouble makers or even traitors … But doomed is the nation which permits such people to define patriotism for it. Their definition would be about as objective as a Rent Act devised by a committee of avaricious landlords, or the encomiums that a colony of blood sucking ticks might be expected to shower upon the bull on whose backs they batten…”
—Prof Chinua Achebe, The Trouble With Nigeria (1983)

There are Nigerians, though occupying very high positions of responsibility, who would never be able to gain my respect and, perhaps, that of other decent Nigerians, until they learn to straighten their crooked paths, and purge themselves of the acute hypocrisy and sickening dissembling that seem to run in their veins. Each time you see them sermonising about such high and admirable principles as justice, fair play, democracy, due process, anti-corruption, respect for court rulings, and all such ennobling ideals which, before then, meant absolutely nothing to them, do not allow yourself to be deceived. A closer scrutiny, would reveal that they merely became emergency and interim converts to those wonderful ideals for the very simple reason that, at that point in time, sloganeering about such ideals would richly serve their usually unwholesome purposes. And once such goals are achieved and made secure, they would quickly erase all those hollow slogans from their memory and enact a hasty retreat to their old, devious ways and practices.

Only recently, the nation was treated to another sickening advertisement of this unhealthy preference when the Nasarawa State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, deemed it fit to call on the rival All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to warn their presidential candidate in the 2003 elections, Gen Muhmmadu Buhari, to desist from making comments capable of undermining the integrity of the judiciary. While reacting to the recent Supreme Court judgment which awarded victory to his opponent, the Peoples Democratic (PDP) candidate, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Buhari was quoted as saying that the apex court has, by that controversial ruling, boldly legitimised electoral fraud and violence and presented them to Nigerians as normal and acceptable tools for “winning” elections in Nigeria.

But the Nasarawa Governor, undeniably a quintessential situational democrat and patriot, has crept out of his murky mouse hole in Lafia (or is it Keffi?), to suddenly remember, rather this late in the day, that the delicate health of our democracy and judiciary deserves urgent and diligent protection. At a lecture put together by the Senators Forum in Abuja two weeks ago, Adamu cried with all his might: “We call on ANPP to condemn in very strong terms the utterances of Buhari. He should be called to order. He cannot continue to display contempt on the highest court of the land… Buhari’s utterances are capable of undermining the democratic experiment. If he cannot accept the tenets of democracy, he should quit politics for politicians… Elections have been fought and won. He should come to terms with reality.”

Nice words. A Daniel has come to judgment! No doubt, circumstantial democrats and emergency rule of law advocates like His Excellency, Gov Adamu, have now realised that court rulings should not be rubbished because, in this particular instance, that is the only guarantee Adamu and his co-travellers has that no further challenge would be made to the worst kind of electoral robbery in human history perpetrated by Adamu’s PDP in the 2003 elections. Good. But where were the likes of Adamu and their dubious concern for the judiciary when an unprecedented heat was directed on the Chief Justice of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Uwais, as the date for that controversial judgment drew near, causing the CJ to even declare that he was ready to die? Will Adamu say in all sincerity (assuming he is capable of doing so) that he would have been able to remember these meretricious concerns if the judgment had gone the other way? Which should bother Adamu most: the legitimization of boundless electoral fraud (perhaps, the worst in human history) or respect for the very judgment that gave it a stamp of endorsement? At what stage in a legal process is contempt committable, while the proceedings are still on or after judgment has been delivered? Are people barred by any law from holding and expressing opinions on court judgments? From where does Adamu derive the impetus to seek to abridge people’s fundamental human rights and freedom? Or are we to assume that His Excellency probably uttered those outrageous words after yet another overdose of the rich, undiluted Military Habits Juice (100% juice) which Gen. Obasanjo dishes out generously to his well-beloveds like Adamu with religious constancy?

Indeed, like any other Nigerian, Buhari is free to have reservations about a court verdict, even though he has agreed to abide by it. Adamu should know that. He should also know that not only Buhari was shattered by the apex court’s judgment, given what is openly and widely known about how Adamu’s calamitous Proper Devils Party (PDP), arguably the worst plague ever unleashed on the Nigerian landscape, “won” that election. But, what, if one may dare ask, was this later-day Super Democrat Adamu’s reaction to the Anambra case, where the president himself told the nation, that right before him, Mr. Chris Ubah had confessed to rigging the elections in Anambra? Again, what was Adamu’s reaction to the “fraudslide” victory in Rivers State where 100% voting was allegedly recorded, and in favour of the PDP: which means that between the time of registration of voters and election proper, no registered voter died, relocated, or simply decided not to vote? When the Court of Appeal dismissed the election results in Obasanjo’s home state of Ogun as absolute fraud, and several PDP top-shots were busy rubbishing the judgment, why did it not occur to Adamu at that time to hurriedly dredge up his soured concern for the health of the judiciary and democracy? What was his reaction when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in utter disregard and contempt for an unambiguous court order refused to tender its own certified election results sheets, which it also hurriedly removed from its website?

No, political correctness demanded absolute silence in Lafia and Keffi at that time. Indeed, for situational ideologists like Adamu, hurriedly formulated concern for the judiciary and democracy are only convenient tools for achieving and sustaining the ungodly designs of the PDP. Or else, can anyone remember what Adamu said when the “election” of Gov Boni Haruna of Adamawa State was nullified by a legally constituted Election Petition Tribunal, and Vice President Atiku Abubakar had sought to void the court’s verdict with a Vice-Presidential counter-order from Abuja? Where was Adamu’s concern for the judiciary when the forme

r Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, refused to restore Gov Chris Ngige’s security details despite a court order mandating him to do so? The list is endless.

Adamu should, please, spare us this insufferable hypocrisy and dubious patriotism which constitute the distinguishing features of the PDP and the government it imposed on us in Abuja. We are utterly sick and tired of the party and all it stands for. Adamu should know by now that no one is impressed by the counterfeit patriotism he is parading. It is becuase of people like him that this country has refused to move forward. In fact, Nasarawa people owe it to themselves to publicly recoil from the monumental embarrassment Dr. Adamu now constitutes to them by his numerous self-debasing and unhealthy services for the Obasanjo dictatorship. The only consolation to the rest of us is that this era of heartless locusts and unrelenting parasites will certainly not last forever.

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Anonymous December 23, 2005 - 5:17 am

your excellency sir,

i need your support in terms of admission into Nasarawa state University ,

i prefer to have this admission than to live am dint on it sir,

i have been in nasarawa since NOV.18 and now i have no support,

i was in the school on thursday and the list is out,

Sir am waiting for ur reply. i believe and i have the faith that seen

you will cure my burden, i cant just eat without your support.

your excellency SIR i need your support.

Yours Faithfully,

Ayannubi Ajumoke.

Anonymous December 10, 2005 - 11:56 pm

I do not mean to sound rude, but Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye, sounds like he has been given this 100 juice as well to come out in public and say such statements. Was Gover Adamu the only Governor to oppose General buhari's statements to the judiciary Who gave you the right to see it fit for you to say such understated comments on someone you barely know, and also barely know the capacity of work he has put into for his state, and the country as a whole. He was responsible for the peace keeping processes in many occassions. Which included tribal fights in Lagos, Jos, Kaduna, and many in his own states. All I am saying is Governor Adamu has a good intention for the Nigerian people and I am including you as well despite what you said about him in your article. So I suggest you swallow your words and say it to people who really deserve it.

Anonymous August 17, 2005 - 12:56 pm

All politicians are the same whether Adamu OBJ Buhari or whoever. Winner takes all losers whine only permanent interests prevail. All the parties rigged in 2003 if none of them had rigged OBJ would still HAVE won such is the reality of naija politics.

I D Kris August 16, 2005 - 6:05 am

It is does seem that Mr. Adebayo Adejeras reaction above was spurred by something he read somewhere else and not Ugochukwu Ejinkeonyes essay. If we read the same essay nowhere did the article try to even dwell slightly on who won the election or not. The essay was not about Buhari winning election or not winning or OBJ not winning election or not. Adejera should just free his mind from ethno-solidarity obfuscation and read the piece with a more open mind and see what the writer is saying. It is unfortunate that people would approach a piece with a predetermined mindset and try to read into a text what it never set out to say. And that is how Adejera came up with the issue of military apologists and all that crap.

What I think the essay is harping on is the palpable hypocrisy that drips from Adamus intervention. When did Adamu suddenly become an advocate of the rule of law Why has he kept mute in several instances where OBJ and his PDP not only flagrantly and contemptuously disobeyed unambiguous court orders Based on what we know of their antecedents assuming the court had annulled OBJs election would any one had heard the voice of Adamu speaking in favour of respecting court orders When the Appeal Court dismissed the election results in Ogun Obasanjos home state as total fraud and the PDP chieftains were rubbishing the judgment where was Adamu When Boni Harunas elections was annulled in Adamawa and Atiku issued a Vice-presidential counter-order from Abuja to void the court verdict what did Adamu say Should we now queue behind Adamu because the current verdict had said the correct thing and in favour of the organized brigandry in Abuja Is Adamus intervention borne out of any genuine patriotic fervour

Adejera is free to claim that 2003 election was to the worst kind of electoral robbery in human history and that Obasanjo is the best candidate. He is entitled to his self-serving opinion. But I am sure the prayer of Nigerians who will read Adejeras blind endorsement of OBJs abominable acts would be that: ANY ONE THAT ENDORSES WHAT OBJ CONSTUTES TO NIGERIA LET ALL HIS CHILDREN BE AND DO TO HIS FAMILY WHAT OBJ IS AND DOES TO NIGERIA. AMEN.

Since this prayer must of necessity be answered Adejera should go home to rejoice because something good is on the way.

Whether OBJ would have won the election if he did not rig it is a debate for another time. Some people have said that people voted AGAINST Buhari NOT FOR OBJ. I dont know. But what I can say is that the fact that you were caught cheating in an exam you could have passed does not make your action right. I support Ejinkeonyes position. If somebody should advise Buhari to exercise some caution in his utterances it is certainly not hypocritical and ignorant doctors like Dr Adamu. Why did the likes of Gani keep quiet They sure know that to have and express and opinion on a judgment delivered by a court does not amount to any contempt. I think that is the point. If Adebayo had something to say in support of OBJ the good candidate he should have done that by pretending to be reacting to the issues raised by Ejinkeonye. Adamu is not right and his kind of patriotism the situational circumstantial self-serving type is not required in Nigeria. He should keep it to himself until he sees the likes of Adabayo Adejera to whom it makes meaning.

Reply August 15, 2005 - 3:07 pm

The Buhari Candidature at the 2003 Presidential Elections was a political misadventure. The only good thing about it is that it enabled the Military to put their best foot forward i.e. the best Presidential material among them President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Muhammadu Buhari a fine officer great Head of State and successful PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund Chair). But even among the best Nigerians must choose. And we have chosen. No blame no shame. Good sportsmanship. But not being used to the trauma of Political misfortune Buhari is resorting to reckless statements to incite Nigerians against the Supreme Court and INEC. He is too much for that even though his great reservoir of goodwill avails him. This is what Governor Adamu is saying and the governor is right. Buhari should not incite citizens to adopt self-help nor should he instigate anarchy. He is still a serving Public Officer receiving huge sums of tax-payers money as pension etc and serving as Member Council of state even though he and Ibrahim Babangida have rubbished that exalted Body by turning from elder statesmen to office seekers. Both are insensitive to citizens feelings because with the crisis Nigerians went through in 1993 (under the insidious and oppressive junta of Ibrahim Babangida that took took loss of lives and world intervention to uproot from Aso Rock Villa) no Nigerian in his right senses wants to see a Military (or ex) rule Nigeria again. Nor will we TRUST any. Baba Iyabo (President Olusegun Obasanjo) is the last we will put up with just because Nigerians know and trust him. To say that Buhari won and Obasanjo lost the 2003 Presidential Election is palpable falsehood. In Nigeria Election Petitions are one of the ways of scandalising a winner as well as venting pent-up emotions it does not take the place of the electoral will of the masses. Courts/Tribunals also do not make people President nor will it nullify an election conducted SUBSTANTIALLY in accordance with the electoral law. So Courts and INEC are blameless. Buhari should accept the verdict of Allah and move on. He should avoid being used as cannon fodder again come 2007 as Nigerians are tired of Military rule and should not be tossed from one ex-Dictator to another like relay baton. He should join hands with other well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians to rescue our Polity from renegades who sneaked into our armed forces polluted it and seeking to use same as springboard to hijack our democacy and pollute same just because we made President Obasanjo exception to the NO MORE MILITARY rule.Ugochukwu Ejikonye too should help Nigeria by identifying credible civilians for 2007 Presidency (and writing about them) as it is out of fashion to be a Military apologist or condemn the Party that fielded the best candidate for the 2003 Presidency.


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