Abdullahi Adamu - The Man, The Bridge

Profile of His Excellency, Alh. Abdullahi Adamu, (Sarkin Yakin Keffi), the First Executive Governor of Nasarawa State

Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, was born on July 23, 1946 at Keffi. He started his education at the age of 7 in 1953 at Abdu Zanga Primary School, Keffi and completed at the Laminga Senior Primary School in 1959. His Post-Primary education Started at the Government Secondary School, Makurdi from 1960-1962, from where he proceeded to Government Technical College Bukuru from 1962-1965.

Because of his strong desire for western education, and blessed with a sharp calculating mind, he proceeded to the Kaduna Polytechnic where he read and obtained a National Diploma in Building and Civil Engineering and graduated in 1968. While at the Kaduna Polytechnic, he was elected President of the Kaduna Polytechnic Students Union Government between 1967/68. At the same time (1967/68) he contested and won elections as the National Vice-President of the National Association of Nigerian Students after the merger of the two National Student bodies – to wit, National Union of Nigerian Students and National Association of Technological Students in 1968.

He had a short employment after the diploma course with the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (1967/70) as a maintenance supervisor. Later he left for a Higher National Diploma at Kaduna Polytechnic and completed in 1971. After the course, he took up appointment with the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC) Kaduna, 1972. Thereafter, he moved to the private sector where in 1973 he became a Consultant Area Manager with AEK, a firm of consultants in the Henry Fajimirokum group of Companies. In 1974, he was appointed Project Manager for the construction of Durbar Hotel and Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, edifices which were put in place for the World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (Festac). In 1975, he was appointed the Executive Secretary of BEPCO (Benue/Plateau Construction Company) by the Benue/Plateau State Government. While in BEPCO, he was also appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the NTA Zone D in 1976 and served up to 1978. Between1980-83 he served as the Chairman of Benue Cement Company, Gboko.

His career in Politics began in earnest 1977 when he was elected into the Constituent Assembly, a body that drafted the country’s Second Republic Constitution of 1979. Thereafter, he became a pioneer member of the National Movement which later metamorphosed into the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). He was the first Secretary of the Party from December 1978 and later Chairman of the Party in Plateau State from 1982 up to 1983 when the military terminated the life of the Second Republic. He also served as a member of the National Executive Committee of the Party.

In 1980, on the death of his father and in consideration of his enormous contribution to the society, he was conferred with the prestigious title of SARKIN YAKIN KEFFI by His Royal Highness, the Emir of Keffi, Alhaji Chindo Yamusa II. He therefore inherited his father’s traditional title.

At the demise of the 2nd republic in 1983, he went back into the academics and in 1987 enrolled in the pioneer class of the part-time Law degree of the University of Jos. By 1992, he added yet another feather to his academic career with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Jos. He enrolled into Nigeria Law School, Lagos where he obtained his BL and was called to the Nigerian bar in December 1993 as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He was appointed a member of the National Constitutional Conference convened by the General Sani Abacha Administration for the drafting of a constitution for a new democratic government (the Fourth Republic), i.e. Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu has been involved in writing the Nigerian Constitution twice (1979 & 1999 constitutions).

In March 1995, he was appointed a Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Housing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he served up to November 17, 1997. During his tenure, he actively participated in the UN-sponsored programme for urban housing, the environment and sustainable development known as “hatitat II”. He led the Nigeria delegation to all the Habitat Preparatory conferences at the United Nations and the main Habitat II conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in June/July 1996. He was in 1996 elected Chairman of Shelter Afrique (an OAU Umbrella for housing development in Africa). He represented Nigeria at the United Nations heads of state and government conference to review the charter of the Earth Summit in June1997 in New York.

At the lifting of the ban on politics he became a member of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and was one of its leading gubernatorial contenders in Nasarawa Sate. His efforts did not materialize as the party, alongside others, was dissolved at the death of General Sani Abacha. At the onset of the current political dispensation in 1998, he became a founding member of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and contested for the position of the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State on its platform. He won the elections conducted on 9th January 1999. He was subsequently sworn in as the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State on May 29, 1999.

Governor Abdullahi Adamu assumed leadership of Nasarawa State with a rich background in both the public service and private sector.

He has been honoured with the keys to the cities of Harlem – New York, 1981; Hamburg – Germany, 1982; Soweto – South Africa, 1995 and the Plaque of Los Angeles – USA, 2000 by the Los Angeles County Council.

Governor Adamu is committed to a total reform of the educational development of Nasarawa State. He remains the only Governor in Nigeria that has committed not less than 28% of the state fiscal appropriation to education. In appreciation of his educational reform agenda, he was honoured with an Honourary Doctorate Degree in Engineering by the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port-Harcourt in March 2003. In the same vein, in November 2004, the Federal University of Technology, Akure conferred on him an Honourary Doctorate in Engineering for his contributions to the field of Engineering. On the 11th of March, 2006, the Federal University of Port Harcourt honoured him with yet another Doctorate of Science degree in Public Administration, to be followed a week later on 18th March 2006 with a Doctorate degree in Law by the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Anambra State. He has thus received four doctorate degrees from various universities in appreciation of his strides in the field of education.

In addition to the above, His Excellency had also been conferred with other awards within our dear country Nigeria. These awards include the following:

· Special Merit Award as Distinguished Personality by the Students Union Government, University of Lagos

· National Association of Nigeria Students National Merit Award for contribution to the development of Education in Nigeria

· Award of Excellency by Current Affairs Association of Nigeria

· Distinguished Merit Award of Achievement by South-South Students congress of the College of Arts, Science and Technology, Keffi

· Award of Excellence in Governance by the National Union of Benue State Students

· Makurdi Old Boys Association distinguished award in recognition of leadership qualities

· Award of honour by NTA TV guide fans club, College of Education Akwanga

· Merit Award for the worthy contribution made towards the advancement of the Police Force and safety of lives and properties of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

· Aminu Kano International Award for Exemplary Leadership

· Fellowship Award in recognition of meritorious contribution to Education by the Federal College of Education, Pankshin

· Visitor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi

· Ahmadu Bello University National Alumni Association Distinguished Merit Award

· Award of the Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Education (FNAE), 2001

· Honourary Fellowship of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, 2003

· Chairman, Presidential Committee on the Practice of Citizenship and Constitutional rights in Nigeria, 2001/02

· Chairman, Presidential Committee on Dairy and Fruit Juice development in Nigeria 2004 to date.

· Served as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (Governor-General) from 1999 to 2004

· Award of Excellence by Nigerian Institute of Physics, 2004.

· Distinguished Award of the National Democratic Youth of Nigeria

At the gubernatorial elections held throughout the country on April 19, 2003 Alhaji (Dr.) Abdullahi Adamu was elected for a second tenure of four years as the Chief Steward and Executive Governor of Nasarawa State. He thus becomes the first person in the history of the State to be elected by the popular mandate of the people to serve twice in the exalted position of Governor.

Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu is a lover of sports, especially Football, Lawn Tennis, Squash, Cricket, Hockey and Athletics. He still plays Lawn Tennis and Squash racket.

His hobbies include Current Affairs, Farming and Music.

Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu has visited the following countries, amongst others: Great Britain, USA, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Canada, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Jamaica, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Kenya, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa.

A well-rounded man, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, Lawyer, Engineer, Technocrat, Farmer and consummate politician is married and has six children.

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