By Danlami Nmodu
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has highlighted the contributions of the sons and daughters of Adamawa state to the development of Nigeria. After reeling out a long list of prominent people from the state, Atiku said, “We even gave our President, Muhammadu Buhari, his very smart and beautiful wife, Aisha, an accomplished professional in her own right.”
The former vice president stated this in his remarks at the reception organized in his honour by the Adamawa Community in Abuja, to mark his elevation to the position of 7th Waziri Adamawa, at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel and Towers, Abuja on Saturday.
He said “Just think about it. Nigeria’s story would be incomplete without discussions of the contributions of Adamawa sons and daughters to the development of Nigeria. And they have done so in a variety of sectors of our national life. Just think of the contributions and sacrifices of such Adamawa elite as late Muhammadu Ribadu, Nigeria’s Defence Minister in the First Republic, Ahmed Joda; IGP Gambo Jimeta, Jibril Aminu, Bamanga Tukur, Mahmud Tukur, Haladu Hananiya, Murtala Nyako, Buba Marwa, late AVM Alfa, Air Marshal A. D. Bello, Air Marshal Bade, late IGP M. D. Sulaiman, late Senator Mahmud Waziri, Wakili Hassan Adamu, Nuhu Ribadu, Babachir David Lawal, and Musa Bello, just to mention a few. We even gave our President, Muhammadu Buhari, his very smart and beautiful wife, Aisha, an accomplished professional in her own right. I stress that this is certainly not an exhaustive list but just to underscore that Adamawa has produced distinguished sons and daughters who have contributed and continue to contribute to national development.
“So don’t let anybody tell you that we have not contributed or that we are a basket case. We are not; and we are not defined by the current challenges. We are more than it. And we have the potential to be greater than we have been and to contribute more than we already have.
“Therefore, there is a need for us to uphold and deepen this legacy by fixing our educational system and other aspects of human development. If there is one other thing that unifies the Adamawa elite it is that they obtained good education. Education helped to open doors for them in the various professions where they have distinguished themselves and in their service to our country. Education opened doors for me also. It is, therefore, imperative, in my opinion, that we should do everything possible to invest in education for the young people of our state.
He added that “There is no reason for any Adamawa child to be out of school. Let us, as a state and as a people, begin to plan our future without thinking that the federal government will be our saviour. Let us think of how we can build up our State: let us continue to encourage our State and Local Governments to repair and expand our schools, to repair our roads, and help our students to learn. The future of Adamawa State lies in the hands of its young people but we need to prepare them for that future by giving them good education so they can go out in the world and compete with the best of them. That is what produced the Adamawa elite who have not only done well for themselves but have made enormous contributions to the development of this country.
He said further “I also implore us to fix our politics as well. We can have our political differences and political fights, but let us know when to apply the brakes to ensure that what is destined for Adamawa – be it projects, provisions or positions – are not lost because of our petty quarrels and what some call “pull-him-down syndrome.” I believe we will be remembered not by the number of people we pulled down but by the number of people we lifted up.”
Atiku made a personal commitment to continue to assist the state. In his words, “I want to pledge to you today that I will continue to make my modest contributions to the development of our state. It is where I am from. Our parents and other elders always told us never to forget our roots. I hope I have been able to show that I have not forgotten mine. I see my elevation to the position of Waziri as a call to even greater dedication and service to our state and to humanity.
“Let me pay a special tribute to the late Lamido Adamawa, Aliyu Musdafa, who as a father, not only brought me into the Adamawa Emirate Council as Turaki Adamawa but was also a source of great counsel, wisdom and guidance in addition to allowing me to marry his beautiful daughter, Rukaiyatu.
“Let me once more express my profound gratitude to Dr Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa, our reigning Lamido, and the Adamawa Emirate Council for extending to me the honour and privilege of being promoted to the position of Waziri Adamawa and my son, Aliyu (the grandson of Lamido Aliyu Musdafa), as Turaki Adamawa.
“I sincerely thank His Excellency Governor Umaru Jibrilla Bindow for being here with us, and for the giant strides he and his government are making in infrastructural development in Adamawa State. I am particularly happy with the way those projects have been spread widely across the State in order to give every part a sense of belonging while facilitating the overall improvement of our State.
“For the Adamawa Community in Abuja, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful reception in my honour. I shall forever remain grateful. And please continue to show to each other the love you show to me as demonstrated by the thought and efforts you put towards this reception. Thank you very much and may God reward each and every one of you abundantly.”