“I was to write a sep­a­rate re­port in long hand, and sub­mit to T.Y Dan­juma.

Daily Trust - - GOLDEN HARVEST -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.