Smart Adeyemi And Northern Senators’ Leadership

February 7, 2008
3 mins read

One of the more unfortunate aspects of the praxis of the Northern elite: bureaucratic, economic or political, is the deepening level of crisis in terms of values; the insufficiency of a continuing awareness of history and the inability to recruit leadership in a viably responsible manner. It was Ibn Khaldun who once wrote to the effect that the decay of dynasties gives rise to all manners of absurdities. The words of Ibn Khaldun came into my mind on Tuesday night, as I watched the NTA NETWORK NEWS and the report that Smart Adeyemi, a Senator from Kogi State, has been elected as vice chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum. Of course, coming from Kogi State, he is naturally entitled to be so elected, and no one would begrudge Smart Adeyemi of his good fortune.


Unfortunately, the issues are far deeper than that; and it is clear to me that the eminent members of the Northern Senators’ Forum, would have given themselves the pause, if they knew and took into consideration, Smart. Adeyemi’s antecedents, and his consistent fight against the interests of Northern Nigeria over the past couple of years. For most of the members of the Forum, what they possibly know of their colleague was that he was a former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). But those of us who know Smart Adeyemi more intimately can attest to his serial opportunism and consistent stand against the interest of Northern Nigeria.


He was born in Minna (even his mother is said to still live there); studied for a Diploma in Mass Communication at the Bayero University in Kano and he worked and has lived in Iiorin for a very long time (where he is now a major owner of juicy hotel outlets and other property). These should ordinarily have strengthened his bonafide as a Northerner. But as chairman of the NUJ in Kwara State, he consistently used his position to antagonize the interests of the florin people for many years, reserving his hatred for the traditions and values of the florin Emirate in particular.


Smart Adeyemi, as President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), re-zoned the Kwara and Kogi States Councils of the NUJ away from the North and joined them to the South West, where they are still located. During Obasanjo’s National Reform Conference, Smart Adeyemi got up to advocate for the were creation of what he called OKEOYA State for the Yoruba people of Kwara and Kozi States, that should then be merged with the South West. He was consistently hobnobbing with the OPC and Gani Adam (the head of that terrorist organization). It will interest those who have named Smart Adeyemi their vice chairman that when he was still positioning to become the PDP candidate for the Senate seat that he now occupies, his opponent was Yomi Awoniyi, a son of the late Chief Sunday Awoniyi. In pursuit of that seat, some unknown thugs defaced Yomi Awoniyi;s billboards and on one of them, they posted a poignant message; “BASTARD GOAND GET YOUR HAUSA BROTHERS TO VOTE FOR YOU”!


So a few months after Chief Awoniyi’s death, this is a most incredible way to honour the venerable man who spent his life time defending the interests of the North: the election of Smart Adeyemi as Vice Chairman of Northem Senators’ Forum. It is almost like defecating on Chief Awoniyi’s grave! It is even better to go beg Gani Adams or Fredrick Fasheun and other inveterate haters of the North to come and head the Northern Senators’ Forum! It is that serious.


As I indicated at the beginning of this piece, Smart Adeyemi as a ‘Northerner’, has the right to be so elected. However, his antecedents should have given the distinguished Senators a more cautious and reflective attitude, before electing Smart Adeyemi. It is a very faulty choice, and the cunning schemer that he is, can even one day become the head of the body. Those who know Smart Adeyemi know that there is no length he will not go, to gain positions or advantages. That is how he has systematically worked his way to the top.


As NUJ president, he milked the position to full advantage and before long, a man who was ostensibly holding a position to better the lots of Nigerian journaiists, became part of the ensemble around Obasanjo and Tony Anenih, He regularly bought newspaper advertisement spaces to sing the praises Tony Anenih, as he gradually schemed himself into a political niche, soon after using the NUJ Presidency to fester his nest to the full! In the end, he became a Senator. It is testimony to his unique capacity that he has now become Vice Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum.


But I think the Northern Senators have elected a fifth columnist to an important leadership position in their organisation. Smart Adeyemi has worked against the interests of the North for too long, to now become an overnight defender of its interests. Those who chose him, out of either naivety or a lack of historical sense of purpose, can even go ahead to make him an ‘Emir’ somewhere if it pleases them, but he is not at heart a lover of the North and cannot be expected to defend its values and interests.


Smart Adeyemi has out-smarted (don’t mind the pun!) the North; and he must be enjoying a chuckle behind the backs of real defenders of Northern interests, now that he has been positioned at the heart of a very strategic Northern organization to do whatever he liked with it! That is what a lack of caution can do to us in Northern Nigeria. No wonder that we are still SO underdeveloped. Smart  Adeyemi, masquerading as a leader of Northern Senators? Perish the thought!

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