Adamu Aliero probably missed his vocation; the ex-governor and senator should have been an economist given his penchant for being economical with the truth. Immensely gifted in theatrics and subterfuge, Adamu has perfected his capacity for twisting truth into crooked forms.
Despite his humble background, Adamu grew to benefit immensely from the North Western region’s benevolent scholarship scheme. The North Western region’s scholarship scheme afforded him the opportunity to attend such institutions as the Aliero Town Planning School, after which he attended the Government Secondary School in Koko and graduated in 1976.
In 1981, he secured an administrative officer position at the College of Education in Sokoto. In the same year, he joined the Nigeria Customs and Excise Service before he ‘voluntarily’ resigned in 1997.
He later held various executive positions in Nigeria such as the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Minister of the FCT. Little wonder how he was able to build a 100,000 metric tonnes capacity rice mill in Labana.
Labana Rice Mill is situated in Kebbi State. Its 100,000 MT capacity makes it the third largest rice mill in the country. This sole mill in Kebbi State, owned by the distinguished senator, had been producing at 10 per cent capacity since its inauguration in 2012. This poses certain questions in a state that has 90,000 rice farmers ahead of states like Benue and Jigawa, according to a USAID report in April 2014.
However, rice farmers in Kebbi prefer to sell in Jigawa State, attributing their stance to government’s interference and price manipulation. Adamu, in order to get cheap rice for his mill, allegedly tried to arm-twist the farmers to sell at giveaway prices to him. The arrangement was resisted by the farmers who resorted to selling their produce in neighbouring states.
The farmers’ reaction scuttled his plans and rendered the policy a total failure. The farmers resisted the efforts of his handpicked successor who yet tried to intimidate the farmers. This singular action by the farmers sounded the death knell on Labana Rice Mills. But that is stale news.
What is news is that Senator Adamu, who chairs the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Import Duty Waivers, Concessions and Grants which investigated the indiscriminate use and abuse of waivers granted by the federal government to some organisations, while grandstanding and hugging the limelight with efforts to appear patriotic failed to mention that his company Labana was among those that were granted waivers. This negates the saying, “he who comes into equity must come with clean hands”. Hiding his company, which got waivers while making public names of other companies, is mockery of equity and fair play. He cannot sit as a juror at his own trial. There is a clear conflict of interest, making this a tainted inquiry. While grand standing, he should not fail to remember, that those who live in glass houses do not throw stones.