Nigeria: Profile of New All Progressives Congress National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu

Mr Adamu, popularly called the “Bridge,” began his political career in 1977 when he was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the 1979 Constitution.

Abdullahi Adamu, the new national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was born in Keffi, Nasarawa State, on July 23, 1946.

He attended Abdu Zanga Primary School, Keffi and completed it at the Laminga Senior Primary School in 1959.

He moved to the Government Secondary School, Makurdi, Benue State between 1960 and 1962 and thereafter to the Government Technical College, Bukuru, Plateau State from 1962 to 1965.

Mr Adamu obtained the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Building and Civil Engineering from the Kaduna Polytechnic in 1968 and the Higher National Diploma from the same institution in 1971.

He had worked as a maintenance supervisor at National Electric Power Authority before returning for his HND.

When he left school, Mr Adamu worked with the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NDDC) in Kaduna before moving to the private sector.

He became a Consultant Area Manager with AEK, a firm of consultants. He was appointed as the Executive Secretary of the Jos-based Benue-Plateau Construction Company (BEPCO).

Mr Adamu, popularly called the “Bridge,” began his political career in 1977 when he was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the 1979 Constitution.

At the beginning of Second Republic, he became a founding member of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) which was formed from a political association, the National Movement. At the time, his home state, Nasarawa was part of the old Plateau State. Thereafter, he was eventually elected Secretary of the NPN in Plateau State and later its chairman.

Upon the collapse of the Second Republic in 1983, Mr Adamu went to the University of Jos to study law as a part-time student. He was through with his studies by 1992 and enrolled in the Nigeria Law School, Lagos.

In 1994, the new APC chairman was appointed a member of the National Constitutional Conference convoked by the military administration of Sani Abacha.

A year later, precisely in 1995, Mr Adamu was appointed the Minister of State for Works and Housing, a position he occupied until November 17, 1997.

When the ban on politics was lifted by the Abacha administration, he joined the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) on whose platform he wanted to run for the governorship seat of Nasarawa State. That process was truncated following the death of Mr Abacha in 1998.

In 1999, following the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Mr Adamu became a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He contested and won the governorship election of Nasarawa State. He was governor for eight years between May 1999 and 2007.

After his tenure, Mr Adamu was charged to court in 2010 by the EFCC alongside 19 other Nasarawa State officials with 149 counts of corruption. The anti-graft body accused him of embezzling N15 billion public funds.

While he served as governor, Mr Adamu chaired the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) between 1999 and 2004.

In 2007, the year he left office, the former governor won election into the Senate on PDP’s platform to represent Nasarawa West Senatorial District in 2007.

On January 29, 2014, he and 10 other PDP senators joined the APC.

In the Senate, Mr Adamu was appointed the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. He also chaired the Northern Senators Forum (NSF) but was removed in 2018 for alleged “financial mismanagement and maladministration,” according to a letter from the Forum’s signed by its then spokesperson, Dino Melaye, and read on the floor of the upper chamber by the then Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Shortly after the announcement, Shehu Sani (Kaduna-APC), who was a member of the forum, alleged that Mr. Adamu and other executive members mismanaged about N70 million belonging to the group.

Mr Adamu was to explain that he was removed as NSF chair because he led nine other senators to reject the passage of election sequence by the Senate during the amendment to the Electoral Act.

Last September, Mr Adamu was named chairman of the APC National Reconciliation Committee, an assignment that took him and members of his team to some states where the party had been factionalised or facing crises.

Mr Adamu was at various times Chairman of the Board of Directors of Benue Cement Company, Gboko and a member of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Mr Adamu, who is married with five children, holds the traditional titles of Sarkin Yakin Keffi and Aare Obateru of the Source, Ife, Osun State.


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