“I was to write a separate report in long hand, and submit to T.Y Danjuma.
If you listen to Haroun Adamu as he opens on his career as a journalist in Nigeria during the 70s, you may discover the tremendous respect the government at that time had for journalists in the country. Much of this is captured in his 2002 work titled The Struggle Continues and the section which is a memo to Obasanjo is worth reading.
A graduate of Yale University, USA he has worked at Daily Times as well as Punch, and he set up Triumph newspaper in Kano. While at Daily Times where Babatunde Jose was the Executive Chairman, in addition to other reports he covered General Yakubu Gowon’s trip to the UN, as well as the revolutionary war in Guinea Bissau. He refers to one particular incident when he was summoned to Dodan Barracks to meet General Olusegun Obasanjo who was Head of State, a summons which saw him travel to Southern Africa on a 3 week fact finding trip, initiated and fully sponsored by the federal government. It is significant that the government turned to the media for help in this rather sensitive matter, and may speak much about press/military relations at the time.
According to Adamu “He (Obasanjo) told me that events were happening at a terrific speed in Southern Africa, but that Nigeria’s government had not got full details of what was happening, and he felt that I should go to Southern Africa,and return to give him a full briefing of what was happening, and what I thought Nigeria should do.”
He recalls “I was shocked at the enormity of the responsibility of the assignment. The work was in two parts: I was to do my normal reporting, and in respect of information which I thought the Nigerian government should have, I was to write a separate report in long hand, and submit to T.Y Danjuma.” Having secured the blessing of Alade Odunewu, EditorIn-Chief, Daily Times at that time, he left for Southern Africa, and visited Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia. These were the country’s whose presidents were connected with what was happening around Rhodesia, Namibia, South Africa itself and Angola, and these countries were known as the frontline states. He found out that though the liberation committee was under the watch of Tanzania, yet the resources were lean, but he also discovered that Nigeria and Nyerere were feuding, owing to Nyerere’s support of Biafra some years back.
His words “Nigeria could not