“It is our firm belief that if our people must be rescued from years of neglect and take their proper place in the social, economic and political development of our country, then we must all be at peace with one another and be our brothers keepers.
“As a government freely not ignore the plight of our people. If there is no peace in any part of the state, there can be no peace in the entire state. Humanity has always been forced to pay a high price for the folly of few. When we promote peace and unity we wield our strength together and forge the iron brotherhood that becomes a bulwalk against the storm of hatred and the wines of animosity”.
Those were the words of the first Governor of Nasarawa State now serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Nasarawa West, Abdullahi Adamu, published in the news magazine of November 4th, 2002.
The statement no doubt tries to caution the people of Nasarawa State at that time when he was the governor on the need to eschew violence and embrace peace. He also said in different fora that time has come for all people in the state and indeed the entire country held hostage by needless strife and violence to learn the vital lesson of history and that no community or nation tore by war can progress.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s reign as governor of the state witnessed pockets of violence like the crisis that engulfed the southern senatorial zone as a result of the assassination of one of his Special Adviser, Sarkin Azara on June 12th 2001 and the protracted Toto conflict.
Though he met the Toto crisis which seem to defy all solutions, he made concerted efforts to see that the crisis was resolved, the first step he took was wider consultations with relevant stakeholders in and out f conflict area, and also make people to know the importance of having a neighbor in his words.
“Let us never fear to be neighbours, but we must never be neighbor out of fear because neighborliness bound with the cord of intimidation is doomed”.
The message of peace building and neighborliness preached by Adamu was well received by all ethnic groups resident in Toto, the worrying functions in the conflict forgive each other and embrace themselves, this resulted government to set up machinery that saw to the return of the Bassa ethnic group to their place of aboard in July 3rd, 2000.
In the lips of many people the returned of Bassa people was an indication that the conflict has come to an end owing to the steps taken by Adamu to stop the circle of violence in the area.
He brough to an end similar crisis in Awe Local Government Area when the Tiv/Fulani people were in crisis.
As a peace maker he did not stop the work of peace making in Nasarawa state alone, in 2002, when members of Oodua People Congress (OPC) clashed with Hausa ethnic group in Lagos, the tension was so high that a reprisal attack from the Northern states was almost inevitable. Adamu went to Lagos and calm the tension promising that the Northern states would not retaliate Adamus was also instrumental in resolving the problem between the presidency and the Natiuonal Assembly in 2002. According to him peace is the most important ingredient for stability.
Apart from being respected as a peace maker he can also described as a prophet. Prophet in this context means somebody who has knowledge of what the future holds. A typical example of his prophecy was when he delivered a paper titled “People of the North think” in Kaduna at the Northern leaders peace summit, where he said the north has been against itself and if the people of the north don’t unite calamity will befall them.
He gave an example that during the military regime the Northerners staged coup against themselves.
What he said in the paper needless to mention them here is manifesting now and northern Nigeria that was the most peaceful place has become a place where animal lives is better than human. The Boko Haram started their activities in the north and are still in the north. This is clearly north verses north killing themselves.
Kidnapping that was exclusively criminal activities in the Niger/Delta where youths kidnap oil expertise in demand of ransom however has become the same criminal activities in the north has taken a different dimensions where people are kidnapped randomly and in most cases the kidnappers in the north kill their captives. The banditry activities in the north has destroyed many lives, thousands of people rendered homeless now live in different IDP camps across all the northern states where the future of their children is uncertain.
Alhaji Adamu though a devoted Muslim, he mixes with people of different faith has circle of friends and political followers across the country.
When the renovation of the National Mosque became necessary, he was appointed chairman of the committee for the renovation, a task he successfully executed despite religious differences Adamu at a point invited the then President Obasanjo, a non Muslem to inspect the mosque before the renovation. This is a clear indication that he does not discriminate against any religion.
In most cases when you do good on earth God rewards you instantly because He says blessed are the peace makers for they shall inherit the earth. Indeed Senator Adamu is a peace maker and that is why God bless him with longevity and on 23rd of July 2020, the elder statesman celebrated his 74 years of existence on earth. At 74, he is still strong serving his people and the country at large in the capacity of a senator Federal Republic of Nigeria.
– Tukura lives in Lafia.