“I don’t know whether what hap­pened to some of us, is hap­pen­ing now in a demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion.

Daily Trust - - GOLDEN HARVEST -

for­give Ny­erere for his in­volve­ment in the Bi­afra strug­gle. I rec­om­mended that what took place in the past be­tween Nige­ria and Tan­za­nia should be for­got­ten.”

Next, on acoount of his in­ves­ti­ga­tions, he was able to re­port to Obasanjo that Mu­gabe was likely go­ing to emerge as leader of an in­de­pen­dent Zim­babawe. Botswana’s pres­i­dent was mar­ried to a white lady, its ra­dio sta­tions also re­lied on South Africa. The coun­try could not there­fore as­sist in a man­ner that will bring vic­tory in terms of the strug­gle. Th­ese were some of the para­doxes which his trip un­earthed.

One sin­gu­lar ex­pe­ri­ence is still very alive in his mem­ory “The pres­i­dent of Zam­bia de­layed a flight in or­der to have a break­fast in­ter­view with a jour­nal­ist. I was stunned …In ad­di­tion the Zam­bian pres­i­dent treated me like roy­alty. I went to Colombo, not by com­mer­cial flight, but by Zam­bian pres­i­den­tial jet. After the meet­ing where the pres­i­dent in­tro­duced me to all the pres­i­dents and heads of state, as his Nige­rian jour­nal­ist friend, in­clud­ing Joseph Garba, who was lead­ing the Nige­rian del­e­ga­tion, he brought me back to Lusaka.” Dur­ing the con­fer­ence, he was jok­ingly re­ferred to as a Zam­ba­ian, he re­calls.

As a fall­out of the trip, Adamu made a num­ber of sug­ges­tions to the fed­eral govern­ment cap­tured in the work above “Govern­ment should set up a South African Re­lief Fund to which both the gen­eral pub­lic and the govern­ment should con­trib­ute… Nige­ria’s out­stand­ing pay­ment of $2,000,000 (two mil­lion dol­lars) should be paid to the lib­er­a­tion com­mit­tee with­out fur­ther de­lay… Be­fore the year is out, Nige­ria should take a stand ei­ther mil­i­tar­ily or eco­nom­i­cally, that would def­i­nitely shake the en­tire South African re­gion.”

He adds “most of th­ese sug­ges­tions came to pass. Ei­ther they were think­ing about it, be­fore I made the sug­ges­tion, or they found it use­ful. If you look at the back­ground of Obasanjo, he was even more rad­i­cal, he had rec­om­mended in one of his lec­tures that ex­cess mil­i­tary equip­ment of the civil war should be fer­ried to South­ern Africa, to arm those we were re­cruit­ing. There was some think­ing along those lines.”

Again, just as apartheid was com­ing to an end, the govern­ment of Gen­eral Ibrahim Ba­bangida asked Haroun Adamu, and four other jour­nal­ists, namely, Dan Agbese, Onyema Ugochukwu, Olatu­niji Dare, and Felix Ade­naike, to travel to South Africa to get a feel of the mood and the sit­u­a­tion on the ground. Adamu says “We re­turned and submitted a re­port to IBB. The govern­ment had some level of re­spect for the pro­fes­sion, and in­di­vid­u­als work­ing in it. There was the use of those in the me­dia pro­fes­sion to help govern­ment in pol­icy for­mu­la­tion, and this is what is im­por­tant. I think this is what the present crop of jour­nal­ists should take se­ri­ously, be­cause peo­ple take jour­nal­ists se­ri­ously. Look at the New York Times and the Wash­ing­tion Post, see what they are do­ing within the US po­lit­i­cal sys­tem. Free press is piv­otal in a demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion. I don’t know whether what hap­pened to some of us, is hap­pen­ing now in a demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion.”

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