By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.
Some two to three weeks ago, the newsstands were awash with news that Dr. Bichi had been relieved of his appointment as the Executive Secretary of Tetfund and almost immediately replaced by its erstwhile ES, Prof. Bagoro. What made more news was what was to follow the removal of Dr. Bichi as ES, as he granted an interview on BBC Hausa which was erroneously misrepresented by premium times, a story to which a quick retraction and correction was made. Bichi had come on air with tirades against his former boss Malam Adamu Adamu, the Hon. Minister of Education to whom Bichi was a Special Assistant to before he was made the Tetfund boss. Bichi’s tenure as Tetfund boss was very lack lustre and almost eventless, lacking the innovation and administrative know how as well as the technical dexterity to move the nation’s tertiary education forward. Sooner rather than later, the big question on everyone’s lips and mind was, is Dr. Bichi experienced enough to head this very sensitive and gargantuan fund? What are his previous administrative jobs or experiences that have prepared him for this huge task?
True to these questions enquiring about his personality and his laurels, Bichi becomes bitter about losing his appointment and comes on air almost a day after he is sacked to not only slander and maim Malam Adamu, but to establish himself as one saintly character who deserves better than a mere Tetfund boss. He claimed that Adamu Adamu and his family tried to make him an errand boy of theirs. Meanwhile, anyone who closely knows the relationship between the two, knows that Bichi has always been under Malam Adamu’s tutelage and guidance. Infact, he came to limelight as an assistant to Mal Adamu through the transition committee of the Buhari administration, hence it was no surprise Mal Adamu took Bichi with him as an assistant to Mal Adamu when he became minister of education. For the short time Bichi was Mal Adamu’s assistant at the ministry, he had different nuts to crack with an array of people ranging from directors of the ministry to the permanent secretary and other aides of the minister. Other official dignitaries or visitors to the Hon. Minister had all manner of uncomplimentary treatments meted out to them; it was a classical case of an assistant or disciple, lording over everyone, more than the minister himself. It is claimed that officials in the education ministry were too happy to have Bichi leave for Tetfund.
Mallam Adamu’s religious practice as a pious muslim should have never been brought to Bichi’s BBC talk, but he unscrupulously went their, claiming that they had sect differences and that was a hindrance to their working relationship. The question is, for how many years has he known Mallam Adamu and how come all these years this difference has not come to the fore until now? Is it because he has now become a chief executive and all of a sudden he feels his religious inclinations and that of mallam cannot co-exist? Mallam Adamu has worked all his life peacefully and harmoniously with different personalities all his life and has never had skirmishes with anyone over his Islamic beliefs even with Christians, let alone muslims. Bichi’s claim is not only dead on arrival, it does not exist as he appears to be chasing shadows where there is no darkness at all.
While at Tetfund, Bichi had an axe to grind with the staff who amazingly celebrated his sack and jubilared so much when Prof Bagoro replaced him. Reliably, Bichi was an impediment to every progressive idea, policy or action that would enhance work environment and promote productivity. So many entitlements were either delayed, knocked off, or simply vanished and weren’t recognised anymore. Training of staff as well as Tetfund assisted seminars and programs in the varsities suffered major setbacks and were left unattended. Too much was centralised to the office of the Executive Secretary and duties and responsibilities were not delegated to subordinates. It was as if Bichi was once again the super assistant (de-facto minister if you may) at the minister’s office and everything had to go through him before it sees the light of day. There are even claims of corruption that were made against Bichi by some University VCs which are claimed as what finally undid him but let’s not even go there and sound like Beach tales by Bichi.
Mal Adamu if not the most, is one of the most honest and altruistic persons one can find in Buhari’s cabinet. He is far from materialistic and it is even said that Buhari himself respects and fears Adamu’s honesty and transparency, telling him the truth at all times, especially where he gets it wrong Buharily! To smear Adamu’s name is Bichi’s greatest undoing, trying to spoil the name of a personality that is as clean as can be, especially in a country where everyone is chasing riches and castles in Dubai and weekends at the Trump Tower! Mal Adamu has been with Mr. President from time immemorial, from back in the PTF days, through the Buhari organisation era, to present day PMB, serving as secretary once again, to Buhari’s campaign council; a position he has served in since the 2003 campaigns. He alongside Hameed Ali of the customs are the presidents’ goal getters, Adamu in terms of intellect and policy matters, Hameed as a field marshal. For all we know, we know of Bichi courtesy of Mal Adamu, and Dr. Bichi as Mallam Adamu’s prodigy owes him an apology big time. Maybe not in public, maybe not now, but some place some time in the mighty eyes of the lord!