The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Thursday, said President Muhammadu Buhari found him worthy to spearhead activities in the education sector in 2015, even though he was a novice in its management and activities.
Adamu who was again reappointed as Education Minister by Buhari for a second tenure in 2019, noted that he had to apply wisdom by appointing some professors of education and other good hands who were conversant with the sector, besides the help he got from officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, to enable him to run the sector effectively.
Speaking at a valedictory session with officials and heads of parastatals under the Ministry in his honour in Abuja, the Minister appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for entrusting him with such responsibility even when he was unprepared for such a huge task.
He said: “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 the 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.
“In 2019, I told the President that it was time for him to change his ministers. 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 make 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 within the cabinet. That was how Maryam Katagun became Minister of the Federal Republic. I had brought her to replace me, and somehow and surprisingly to all, the President kept her and also kept me. 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 an 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.
“I didn’t know anything about the 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 a policy document on education because I was a novice in the sector. I shared my idea with them and they assisted me greatly, and I remain grateful to them for these years.”
Adamu appreciated other people that worked with him, particularly Goodluck Opiah who served briefly as Minister of State for Education, for being a brother he could work closely with to achieve the desired results in the education sector.