Outgoing Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has disclosed that he knew nothing about the education sector when President Muhammadu Buhari first appointed him in 2015.
The Minister disclosed this at a valedictory session with officials and heads of parastatals of the Ministry on Thursday, May 25.
Adamu who is the longest-serving minister, said he was able to make an impact by appointing some professors of education and other good hands with the help of the officials of the Federal Ministry of Education. He appreciated the President who found him worthy and trusted him with such a responsibility, “even when I was apparently not ready and unprepared for such task”.
“I didn’t know anything about education sector when I was appointed Minister except superficially. But when Buhari decided to make me Minister of education, I called some people to assist me work on policy document on education because I was novice in the sector. I shared my idea with them and they assisted me greatly, and I remain grateful to them for these years.
“I was busy making recommendations and suggestions to the President on who to appoint into his cabinet in 2015. All of a sudden, he announced my name to my surprise and that was it. We worked together till 2019.
“In 2019, I approached the President, and suggested that he reshuffle his cabinet because, in the eyes of many, it was unusual in our society for a President to work with same Ministers for four years. Buhari had graciously allowed his Ministers to stay in office for four years. Ordinarily, Ministers stay in office for two years before they are reshuffled.
“But I know him very well and I knew it will be difficult for him to do that. But I decided to make it easy for him by promising to bring people that would do the job better for me and others who served as Ministers in the first tenure.
“I promised him that I will give him names of competent people from at least, 19 northern states. So, I suggested to him to drop all the Ministers that worked with him in the first tenure including me, but I knew it would be difficult for him. But to confirm that I can do the job, I gave him a name from Bauchi state whom I had expected him to replace me with in the cabinet. That was how Maryam Katagun became Minister of the Federal Republic.
“Up till now, he never explained to me why he did that. However, I remain eternally grateful to the President for trusting me with such responsibilities. He has shown me love and trust over the years. In 1994, when he picked up assignment in Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), he gave me an offer to work with him as Personal Assistant. That was how I found myself in Abuja.”
Adamu appreciated other people that worked with him particularly Goodluck Opiah, who served briefly as Minister of State for Education. He described him as a brother whom he worked closely with to achieve the desired results in education sector.