Meet popular politician from the north of Nigeria, Mallam Adamu Ciroma an elder statesman. He was born on the 20th of November 1934 at Potiskum, Yobe State, Ciroma is a fortunate Nigerian indeed.
Mallam Adamu Ciroma, former Minister of Finance and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has died.
Ciroma, a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), died on Thursday at the Turkish Hospital, Abuja, aged 84.
Ciroma was CBN Governor between September 1975 and June 1977. He was Finance Minister at the start of the Fourth Republic, between 1999 and 2003, during the first term of President Olusegun Obasanjo in office.
He was also Chairman of Obasanjo’s 2003 re-election campaign organisation.
In 1983, he chaired the Presidential Transition Committee in 1983.
He has held many important positions in government starting even in the early 70’s when some of us were not yet Nigerians! That is, when some of us were not yet born! He had been a former Central Bank Governor, former Minister (in different times and epochs), former aspirant for the presidency. In short Nigeria has fed and nurtured Ciroma to the extent that today he is enjoying his retirement in all bliss having amassed enough wealth that will outlive him.
Mallam Ciroma could count respected statesmen like the former President Alhaji Shehu Shagari, former Senator Olusola Saraki and retired diplomat Maitama Sule as his political peers.
Today these patriotic men are offering genuine counsels to the leaders on how to move the nation forward rather than playing divisive politics and making a fool of themselves in the process. That in essence is one of the ingredients of being an elder statesman: intervening positively in the overall interest of the nation that made you.
He led some retrogressive northern self-seeking expired politicians seeking a respect of an ‘agreement’ the PDP reached among its members for power to rotate between the north and the south. As the Chairman of the so-called Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF) Ciroma made a strong case for the PDP candidacy from the north in 2011
In this last battle of his life (a life apparently well-spent which is closer to the end than the beginning thereof) Ciroma cuts the image of an old republican ‘rebel’ with little choices and without much energy or strenght — doing the bidding of his masters pushing him towards political suicide. It boggles the mind that a grand-father of Ciroma’s standing could be wilfully engaged in threatening the corporate existence of the federation after receiving very much from her and giving very little or nothing in return.
In a space of few weeks he had issued a one-week ‘resignation’ ultimatum to the President saying defiantly that if he failed to resign then the Senators should commence impeachment proceedings against him. President Jonathan of course ignored him refusing to resign because he has committed no crime worth abdicating his high office for. And the Senators led by David Mark did not hearken to the impeachment blues from Ciroma perhaps because there is no impeachment offense whatsoever the affable President could have been said to have committed. There is no Monica Lewinsky-type of Clintonian scandal trailing him or something similar to “Watergate”.
The desperate way and manner Mallam Ciroma is going about the business of defending zoning and the ‘right’ of the north to produce the next president suggest that if military coup d’etat is still in vogue Ciroma and his principals would not hesitate bank-rolling one if only to satisfy their bruised ego and desperate desire of seeing a Mallam or Alhaji calling the shots in Aso Rock come May 29 2011. But thank goodness we are in the 21st century when toppling a democratic government is no longer tolerable especially in Nigeria these days where arms and ammunitions, in large quantities, are dangerously in the hands of unemployed disenchanted youths — even up north. Remember Boko Haram?
Former out-spoken Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark, took Ciroma to the cleaners in his well-publicised open letter few weeks ago. In a scathing no-hold-barred open missive published in some national dailies the old Ijaw controversial leader pulled punches and fired from every cylinder available to him. He deconstructed Ciroma describing him as a ‘light-weight’ politician who has never won any election in his entire life. He pointedly accused Ciroma of stoking the embers of national discord and beating the drum of ethnic confrontation. When an old man talks to an old man we, the new generation whose future the likes of Ciroma are working hard to compromise, can only draw certain lessons.
According to Senator Uba Ahmed Mallam Ciroma had “all his life opposed consensus in the choice of presidential candidates”. The former Secretary-General of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, went on thus: “Adamu Ciroma was opposed to the principle of consensus in 1978 when he was a presidential candidate and we wanted Zik to come.
When we wanted to merge NPP with NPN and for Zik to be presidential candidate and for Shagari to be his running mate, did he concede? No, he didn’t. We had fixed the convention for December 8 to 9, 1978, he was the one who stood up and said never. During the NRC, SDP days, he was again a presidential candidate when we met the senators for a consensus candidate, he refused when he realized that he was not going to get it. How now does he expect someone else to do what he himself refused to do?”
Indicating categorically that Mallam Ciroma was only seeking for some national relevance he accused him pointedly of ‘inconsistency’ and declared thus: “He fought Obasanjo during the nomination and supported Alex Ekwueme and as soon as Alex Ekwueme lost, he abandoned Alex Ekwueme and joined Obasanjo and became director of campaigns of Obasanjo.When Alex lost why didn’t he continue with Alex, why did he go to become director of campaigns of Obasanjo? And when he became minister (under Obasanjo) who did he recommend to succeed him as minister? His wife!”
From the foregoing one can soundly conclude (then) that Mallam Ciroma is not only a bigot but a hypocrite and a political prostitute. So how could such a man now be telling us about justice and fairness which, for him, is what respect for the zoning agreement in the PDP is all about? Nigeria, as a potentially great nation, is bigger and greater than the likes of Mallam Ciroma who want to go down to their graves with her! Having been pampered, fed and nursed by the resources of the nation Ciroma ought to be seen to be building bridges of understanding and mutual co-existence among the diverse nationalities that make up the federation.