When some of my grassroots admirers, especially in Lagos who know me more than they know Adamu Ciroma, heard of the death of Malam Adamu, they started making inquiries whether it was me. They were told that for now I am alive, although death is a turn by turn affair. Today it is Adamu, tomorrow could be Ali.
However, Adamu was my school mate at the Bomo Middle School. He was my junior but his uncle, Ahmed Ciroma and cousin Audu Ciroma were my classmates. Adamu did not stay long with us before he got admission to Barewa College, Zaria.
I did not see Adamu again until after his graduation from the University College Ibadan. He was posted to the premier’s office and I was in Kaduna then Adamu soon became the talk of the town after two incidences.
The pilgrims affairs fell under the schedule of duties of Adamu. There was one influential and generous pilgrims agent called Alhaji Haruna Kassim who complained to the premier that Adamu was arrogant and disrespectable for refusing to accept a gift from him. Sardauna’s attitude in such matters was well known. When some big Kano elite complained to the premier that Eng. Shettima Gana should be removed from Kano as provincial Engineer being accused of not accepting gifts, the premier responded that if that was his fault, he wanted Shettima in his province and posted him to Sokoto. If later in life Adamu was adjudged incorruptible, we were not surprised because it had a beginning.
Civil servants were notorious for refusing posting to rural areas. They always wanted to stay in towns to enjoy urban life, tap water and electricity. People were surprised when Malam Adamu applied to be posted to not only a rural area but a difficult station. To meet his yearnings he was posted to Mambila Division with headquarters in Gembu.
Gembu was almost a no-go area, the road leading to it was (may be is still) a single dangerously bending one that only skilled local drivers could lead motorists. From the bottom to the top of the hill was 10-mile non-stop climbing. I visited Gembu in 1970 and saw it all. About half way to the top I was shown a spot called “Konar Gomna” where they said the Governor of Northern Nigeria, Sir Kashim Ibrahim, asked his convoy to turn back, abandoning the visit to Gembu. Malam Adamu wanted challenges and responded courageously, even at a young age, may his soul rest in Aljanna Firdauws.
Chiroma wrote in from 5/8A Camp Road, U/Rimi GRA, Kaduna
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