Adamu Ciroma: Time For Some Home Truth

By SOC Okenwa

Mallam Adamu Ciroma is an elder statesman, a popular politician from the north of Nigeria. Born on the 20th of November 1934 at Potiskum, Yobe State, Ciroma is a fortunate Nigerian indeed.

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.

Today at 76 Ciroma is making the headlines all over Nigeria and even beyond. He is leading 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 is making a strong case for the PDP candidacy from the north come 2011 and he is going about it uncompromisingly with reckless abandon.

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.

And recently, in fact last week, another aging politician, this time from the north, who knows Ciroma very well joined issues with him in a well-publicised blistering attack aimed at exposing certain hypocrisy Ciroma is trying to hide about his esteemed self. 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.

Zoning the Presidency between the South and the North (especially the alleged version in the PDP constitution) amounts to the enthronement and consolidation of mediocrity and as such it does not enjoy my support. Even though a President Umaru Yar'Adua alive would have most probably completed his 8-year two-term in Aso Rock no one should be blamed for his untimely demise. No Southerner was responsible for his death so we can safely assume that that was how God (Allah) wanted it to be. The late Yar'Adua we all know was not that desperate for power even though his wife was. If not his health that failed him, who knew, he could have declined the offer for a second term preferring instead to go home to Katsina to concentrate and manage his deteriorating health profile.

I will only support the zoning of the Nigerian presidency among the six geo-political groups that make up the federation; that is, one modelled after the Swiss system in which power constitutionally alternates between major geo-political zones in the European country. If zoning must work in Nigeria then it has to be broadly developed and made to be constitutional involving the three major tribes or the six geo-political zones. There must be a national conference on that issue in which terms will be worked out; for example how many terms should a President from say the Igbo stock do while in power? What if like in Yar'Adua's case death comes visiting and taking the President away? What happens? These and more are some of the core issues that must be debated and ironed out.

Which brings me to the issue of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC). The PRONACO leader, Chief Anthony Enahoro and many other progressive Nigerians have been advocating for an SNC that will determine how our unity in diversity will be consolidated or on the other hand how to arrange for a peaceful break-up of the federation so that each region could go its seperate ways like the defunct USSR did or former Yugoslovia. I believe the convocation of an SNC will do Nigeria more good than harm. Maintaining the present status quo (a federalism that has been manipulated and made not to work by the ruling cabal) can only lead to more tension and confusion.

That is why President Goodluck Jonathan should be prevailed upon to change his anti-SNC rhethorics he recently delivered unsolicited. How could the President say we have 'passed' that stage in our march towards nationhood when daily we are being confronted with frightening issues that expose our differences as diverse nationalities cobbled together by the marauding colonialists as one country? As the late Sir Winston Churchill, the war-time enigmatic British Prime Minister, once advised the international community: "it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war."

I believe in the unity of the Nigerian nation but when old hawks like Adamu Ciroma begin to question the 'Nigerianess' in some of us then we must start re-considering our stands. There is no region with a birthright to provide leadership to other regions. If, in any case, leadership quality and stewardship should be taken as yardstick, then no northern leader should be allowed to preside over the affairs of the nation for at least another fifty years since most of them who have had the privilege of leading us had failed the nation.

SOC Okenwa

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re ciroma

Like chiroma like Edwin Clarke. For every Chiroma that shouts "stick to the zoning arrangement", then there is an equivalent Edwin Clarke who says stuff it "its our turn".

@ gwobezentashi You speak

@ gwobezentashi
You speak some sense, i don't know y people can always see from the sentiment, however i don't buy ur though about everyone in government being a saint.
This man was a finance minister when the economy plunge all to do with is incompetent etc.

this chiroma

this chiroma that could not handle the affairs of ABU- zaria fews months ago,when he denied an award winning proffessor from being the VC,now want to handle the affairs of the entire north. he is a hy pocrite. he should tell what he truely stand for, but certainly not the interest of any north.shame to him.

Okenwa,you are spot on the

Okenwa,you are spot on the mark !

vagabonds in power

the problem with the likes of ciroma is that they are not consistent with whatever view they share.when yaradua was dead walking and signing budgets,we did not even know that ciroma was still in nigeria.just like shagari did when buhari and co wanted to topple him,since they were northerners,there was nothing to worry about.

clowns like ciroma will surely live to see the greatness of this country which they have successfully brought to its knees.they are ready to throw up a cattle rearer to ruin this country rather than allow a seasoned technocrat from another region to make nigeria work.i do not blame him,he has been spoon-fed all his life and did not know that there are people who cannot afford a single meal a day all because those idiotic morons from the north has made it possible.

accordingly,my warning to ciroma and his day-dreamers is that those who make peaceful change impossible successfully makes violent one inevitable.

i have always been advocating for buhari because he is to be trusted and not the likes of ciroma who does not even know his left or right except ethnocentrism.

ka chineke mezie okwu.




SOC Okenwa you have said it all. Time and again I have suggested that the best way forward for Nigeria is to convene a SNC where all the nationalities will be represented and issues like harmony,co-existence and the federalism are discussed.Until such a time Nigeria will never see peace with the likes of mallam Ciroma still ALIVE.Goodluck Jonathan should not shy away from this divine call, and who knows; perhaps that is why God put him to preside over the affairs of the country at this point in time. If he can muster the courage to convene a SNC he would have brought fortune and progress to the nation of Nigeria.
For Ciroma, it is unfortunate that a man who has gained everything, and given nothing to the country is fighting today to tear the it apart.Of course, we would assume he has nothing to loose if the war he is trying to start consumes him. He is well at his last days as a living being.Granted!, he has to think of his children and grand children whom he has amassed wealth for.Will they be alive to enjoy the wealth or will the war consume them?. This is a question that remained to be answered and it is only ciroma that will answer that.It is always known in Nigerian adage that war knows no friends--it could be you ,it could be me.
Finally, I feel pained that those who should know have not made any efforts to call Ciroma to order. They have allowed the unpatriotic and ungrateful Ciroma to go on with this madness.A stitch in time they say saves nine. It is time to call mallam Ciroma by his true name"A mad man".

Ciroma, it is time to preserve your National image remnant.

I first came across Adamu Ciroma as Editor of New Nigerian for many years. Then, when Adamu editorialised the North listened. I have to confess that I loved his editorials and I sincerely looked up to him as a model of a man. I recall he subsequently had a brief stint as Governor of Central Bank in the late 70's.

Ciroma became the secretary of the NPN and one of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) presidential aspirants contesting in the party's presidential primary in 1979,and coming third behind Shehu Shagari and Maitama Sule (how I loved that man).

He held a number senior cabinet posts in the Shagari administration such as Minister of Industries, Agriculture and Finance.

During Obasanjo's government, he became the Northern prince born with the silver spoon in his mouth, as he was back as the Minister of Finance again.

He is a man who has no reason to complain that God has not been kind to him.

My question is what else does he want?

His recent stance with regards to PDP 'zoning' issue leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. I am also talking about this consensus issue. To me it just exposes the shaky state of Nigeria, i.e the head of state has to be from your area for one to have confidence that development will come to the area the President comes from!

This has clearly not been the case as a review of the score cards of these leaders in the last 50 years shows that the common string linking them is mainly self interest.

Just like IBB, Ciroma does not know when to retire and leave the stage when the ovation is loudest. His present posture is in contradistinction to his past political stand with regards to the issue of consensus candidacy from the North, as this has been exposed and shredded to bits by another Northerner.

This is the type of ridicule these hexagenarian expose themselves to, to the utter chagrin of their grandchildren and admirers when they tenaciously hang on tooth and nail.

Mallam Ciroma, don't you think it is time to preserve the remnant of the National image and the little respect that is left of your service to this country.

Call it quits.

@ gwobezentashi u are one

@ gwobezentashi u are one small idiot like ciroma.
Ur thesis was utter rubish. Take a life and go back to school.



Its now earth tremor! We

Its now earth tremor! We should make the political earth quake SHAKE THE EVIL roots of Nigerian wicked politicians in 2011.
Unfortunately we are not asking ourselves who amongst of all these politicians seeking election or re-election we are going to vote for. Our noise here can’t stop those collecting election candidate forms from contesting. They are the ones that people will be voting for if not from them winners will known.
Therefore the free and fair election by Jega will bring who? Corrupt people or good leadership?
What must be clear now, is that we need to start looking out for who should win! Let’s support the process. Let’s make the candidates come to this forum and answer questions about their stewardship!
That first step of a thousand miles should be the common resolve of everyone that PDP MUST BE VOTED OUT OF POWER! NOW!
12 years of misrule, THEY PLAN TO RULE NIGERIA FOR 50YEARS
Make it so in your life time!

jeje my brethren!

bros, it is better we look objectively at issues and, knowing that it is natural for there to be bias in every human's psyche which is borne out of our varying allegiances, experiences,e.t.c, we ought to call spades what they r ...spades. tis time we all see in each others the fact that ethnicity and divisionary practices cannot help the project NIGERIA... abeg make una coolu tempas o!......or....

jeje my brethren!

bros, it is better we look objectively at issues and, knowing that it is natural for there to be bias in every human's psyche which is borne out of our varying allegiances, experiences,e.t.c, we ought to call spades what they r ...spades. tis time we all see in each others the fact that ethnicity and divisionary practices cannot help the project NIGERIA... abeg make una coolu tempas o!......or....


Some people on this web-site keep changing pen-names and 'ghost-writers'. If your opinion is well meant and represents your true conviction, what is wrong with using your true name in order to identifying with such a view and enrich our debate? I am referring to the man who wants to depart tommorrow.




If you drink coffee, you should wake up and smell the coffee because you are not making any sense, but in case you dont drink coffee, eating a big "GBORO" Kolanut will do you a world of good.....

Its difficult to come to

Its difficult to come to terms with reality. Nigeria has moved beyond the antics of the likes of Ciroma. Like a drawnning man, he is merely clinging on to zoning for relevance. Let nobody glorify perfidy by talking about Ciroma again. He will live to see the new Nigeria he alongside his ilk has denied Nigerians.

Ciroma looking for the Atm

Aso rock is like Atm for these smelly moronic mallams,these lazy fools can never survive without looting.Ciroma should try and zone hausa/fulani musilims to sudan or chad,most nigerians hate you guys.

We hear he is now talking with CAN, what for!

You call such senior statesman for Nigeria; somebody fanning disunity in Nigeria! In other countries when politicians (candidates) try once or twice to contest elections and they fail to capture such positions they seek, they usually give up! We have cases to cite in the U.S. and Europe, why in Nigeria people are not prone to this kind of dispostion leaves one wondering and so it goes without saying it, surely there is something Adamu Ciroma is looking from this his new ambition, folks! "Spokesman of the Northern …. that CAN in the North had not taken any position regarding a consensus candidate…." Ciroma must be desperate trying to cajole the clerics in this issue! A man of his status you would say should be above board in politics to find that he commits this far must be suspect! We know that IBB banned him with others like Shehu Yar’Adua in that 1992 Presidential election attempt before the fisaco of 1993 June! To be this committed may mean he is probably promised an Oil/Gas block. Who knows what he done with the Immans, folks!

You have said it all. The

You have said it all. The truth is that, Ciroma is living in denial, the north doesn't have that kind of power anymore. He should wake up and smell the coffee.

If Gwobezentashi is a youth,

If Gwobezentashi is a youth, he is indeed a disgrace to our generation. If he is an elder, he should simply keep quiet for his peers have done enough damage already.
In any case, we owe it a duty to reply morons like Gwobe****. Privileges people like Ciroma enjoyed go beyond material acquisition. For instance:
At what age did he start holding public offices?
What were his qualifications when he was made Governor of Central Bank?
What qualified him to be made Agric Minister under Shagari?
When he was made Finance Minister under Obasanjo, what were his qualifications?
When his wife was made a minister after he left Obasanjo's government, were there no other women or Northerners around to fill his "slot"
Is it not obvious that people like Ciroma have been the major beneficiary of Quota system and other obnoxious policies. In any sane society, people like him should have retired as a secondary school principal in a remote village.What do we have instead: someone who quota system promoted beyond his competence, someone who has always been a recipient of a dubious arrangement.

and so what

and so what

Okenwa you missed it badly

If Edwind Clarker, OBJ and SARAKI are your elders and heros you are finish. ADAMU CIROMA in any field is better fix in a position of elder stateman than those wildeward nonitity you called elders, they are cowards who slept around with their duaghters and sons wife.


Gwobezentashi,please who owns one of the three 5 Star hotels in Grecce?


After the institution of Sharia in Northern States,what next?JIHAD.

Misguided Missile

SOC Okenwa speaks and alludes to what he clearly knows nought! In this wise he is a misguided missile firing at the wrong targets and missing the mark on all counts.

He lost me when he said,  "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."

It was a dead giveaway that here we have another misinformed and prejudiced and jaundiced commentator. I am sure he will also say the same of Shehu Shagari, Muhammed Buhari or even Balarabe Musa. SOC Okenwa may not know about Adamu Ciroma's pedigree but he owes himself a duty to try to find out before coming to the public space to pollute it with untruths.

One of the saving graces of Nigeria is that it is not everyone who has held public office that has stolen money. This is why you can see many stand boldly and speak their minds where others cower and steal around like thieves in the night.

When you call a man who feels hard done by, a bigot and a hypocrite, for the mere fact that he holds another to his promise, then you have simply reduced governance and leadership to a con trick. To a glorious 419. A wayo wayo leadership. It has become the theatre of the absurd and dishonourable. So why is it that you are bitter with IBB for annulling the June 12 elections again? Sounds like it is because he is from the north, not so?

Your song about zoning and mediocrity is such a scratched record baloney. As if anyone you choose will not come from somewhere and as if all people choose using the same objective criteria. Is Goodluck the best candidate in Nigeria today?  Can you choose a man who is not contesting? Can you force the brightest to run if he is not interested? Zoning has not stopped any good men from rising nor is it the reason we ended up with an Obasanjo or Yar'Adua. It is the insidious Godfather problem that undermines good governance that we need to address. We see them very much around again in Obasanjo and E.K Clark. Zoning actually came into being so the minority like Goodluck Jonathan could one day become. However, in his haste to become, he is kicking away the ladder on which he has climbed up so no one else like him can ever rise up. It is the selfishness and dishonour in it that will lead him to lose the election if indeed not the primaries.

Is Goodluck not a 3rd termer? Will he be in the villa today if 3rd term which he supported had succeeded? Part of the problem of Nigeria is people like to reap where they did not sow and with a sense of entitlement to boot because of the circus clowns and court jesters who continue to massage their egos and tell them how wonderful they are. Obasanjo did same as Jonathan is doing right now and we know how his tenure ended in tears.

Mallam Okenwa, pls leave your prejudices and jaundice behind next time you wish to comment on national affairs. You will suprise yourself how objective you would be.