Saturday, 31 December 2016


Amos Adamu

Born December 31, 1952 young Amos arrived into the Christian family of Adamu and Mary Adamu in the Zuru Sokoto caliphate, of Northern Nigerian. At the age of 7, his father enrolled him into the United Missionary Church of Africa (UMCA) Primary School in his home town, Zuru in 1959. After his First School Leaving Certificate examination, he gained admission into the Mokwa Teachers’ College in 1966. Mokwa is now in Niger State. In 1970, he obtained his Grade 2 Teacher’s Certificate from the Mokwa Teachers’ College and proceeded to the Advance Teachers College (now College of Education), Kano, in Kano state in 1971. He graduated in 1974 with his (NCE) Nigerian Certificate of Education. In 1974, he proceeded to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in Kaduna State, where he majored in Physical Education and Biology. He graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor degree in Education (B.Ed). He did his compulsory NYSC in 1977 in a College of Education in Maiduguri, Borno State. The school was new then and the staff strength was not strong enough, to manage the school. As such, the School authority, called on the young Adamu and pleaded with him to manage the physical Education department. He was responsible for establishing the Physical Education (P.E.) department. He lectured for one year, his NYSC year as an assistant lecturer. He worked at the College of Education, Sokoto, Sokoto State in the Physical and Health education Department as a lecturer, 1978-1991. In 1980, he was promoted Assistant lecturer, two years later in 1982, he was appointed Lecturer 11, immediately after that he enrolled for and obtained his Master degree, M. A. Physical Education, from the University of Ife, Ile Ife, Osun State. Just before he became a fulltime lecturer in 1985 and three years later in 1988 he was appointed Senior Lecturer. He was the president Nigerian Association of Physical, Health Education and Recreation (NAPHER) Sokoto State Branch 1984-1986. He was also the National Chairman, Inter Collegiate Sports 1982, Chairman, Colleges of Education Games Association (NICEGA) 1986-1991. Between 1985 and 1988 he worked tirelessly and earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D) in Physical Education (Ph.D). He became a Principal Lecturer in 1990 and Chief Lecturer in 1991. He rose through the ranks and files to eventually become Head of Department.

Young Amos Adamu

Dr Amos Adamu with Koffi Anan

Dr Amos Adamu with Dr Raphael James

While he was the Head of the Department at the College of Education in Sokoto where he also acted as the extra mural and intra-mural director of the College, he established the Physical Education department at the Maiduguri College. At the University of Ife, Ile Ife he was the Sport Director of the Post-graduate hall. He was a member of the Educational Research Council writing books for J.S.S. and S.S.S. on P.H.E. in 1985. He was a member of the Sokoto State Implementation Committee on 6-3-3-4 New National Policy on Education 1988-1991, leader of Delegation to All Nigeria Teacher’s Training Colleges (TTC) Games for Sokoto State to Ilorin 1989, Chairman Technical Committee, Sokoto State Sports Council to 4th, 5th and 6th National Sports Festival 1979-1985, Chairman Sokoto State Volleyball Association 1980-1988, President Senior Staff Association (C.O.E) Sokoto 1988-1989.

Dr Amos Adamu with Woke Shoyinka

He served as the National chairman of the Nigerian College of Education Games (NICEGA), hosted by the College of Education in Sokoto. He was the chairman of the inter-collegiate games which comprised of NUGA, NICEGA and NIPOGA. All these gave him the training he needed to perform on the board of the Sports Commission. From the classroom, he left for an administrative career in physical education with the Federal Ministry of Sports and Social Development, as Director of Sports Development. He took up the job of Director of Sports Development in a Ministry that had no fewer than six other directors as of then, including Finance, Social Development, Rehabilitation, Personnel and Management, Research and Statistics, as well as Stadia and facilities. But his office specifically on - Sports Development - and his name, Amos Adamu perhaps remained the most frequently mentioned in over a decade he lasted there, whenever and wherever the affairs of the Sports Ministry was mentioned. He became the rallying point of Nigerian sports for good and was variously referred to by the media as all powerful, de factor minister, the man who calls the shots in a positive terms for the good of the nation etc. As a Director, he introduced the keep-close-tabs formula on all the sports Nigeria participates, and saw the nation winning two silver medals and bronze at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, and two gold medals at Atlanta 96 Olympics, in football and long jump for women. He was appointed the Sole Administrator of the NFA on Thursday, June 4, 1992, the day after the dissolution of the NFA Board. On resumption he got a pleasant welcome surprise: the 3SC’s CAF Cup match in Ibadan, in which 3Sc won by 3-0 against their opponent. While he served as the Sole Administrator of the Nigerian Football Association between 1992 and 1993, Nigeria, for the first time, qualified for the World Cup (USA ’94). He came up with sound administration coupled with talented players and he was able to achieve success. It was only in his time at the NFA that the junior team led by Chief Fanny Amun was camped, the 1993 U-17 World Cup winning squad at Rojenny in Oba, near Onitsha for two years. He was the Director of Sports when the country won its first individual Olympic gold medal through Chioma Ajunwa at Atlanta ’96. He was the chairman of COJA Games, held in about 17 venues in Abuja alone and eight venue outside the stadium complex, including the Gado Nasco Baracks for indoor sports. The tournament hosted about 6,000 athletes from 53 countries with 1,200 COJA officials as well as 1,500 journalists who covered the events. More than 300 journalists from Nigeria were there, from the televisions, newspaper, magazines and radios. There were also volunteers selected from a list of about 50,000 peoples. He was the Coordinator of Facilities Rehabilitation for Nigeria “99 FIFA Youth Championship in 1999, Director of Organization, Ghana/Niger 2000 African Cup of Nations in 2000. He was elected Executive member Confederation of African Foootball (CAF) 2002-2010. He was elected as a member into the Executive Committee of the Federation of International Football Federation (FIFA) in 2008, he was also Chief De Mission of Nigeria Sports Contingent to many international sports competitions such as Sydney, Beijing Olympics, Algiers, South Africa All Africa games. He was also elected the President of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) in 2004 to date.

He was appointed NSC Director-General making him the first DG the Federal Ministry of Sports and Social Development/ NSC have ever had since the retirement of the Bauchi-born Alhaji Babayo Shehu. In 2001, he organized the 8th All-Africa Games, which Nigeria hosted in Abuja between October 4 and 18, 2003. Afterwards he returned to the Ministry of Sports and Social Development, but by then he was already a member of the executive committee of CAF. He won the CAF seat in Mali in 2002 on the margin of the 25th African Cup of Nations in Egypt, he won a seat also on the supreme decision making organ of world football, FIFA. He single handedly fought FIFA officials when he traveled to Zurich to push Nigeria’s case for the hosting of the 1995 Under 21 Coca-Cola World Cup.

Dr Amos Adamu with Dr Raphael James

A one man army, he controlled and managed the enormous workload at the National Sports Commission (NSC), Confederation of African Football (CAF), Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and West African Football Union (WAFU). His life is synonymous with sports and all challenges and problems of Nigerian sports has been blamed on him. If sports fails, it is Adamu, if we fail to win a medal in any competition, it is Adamu and he once confessed that he is used to the bashing because in his opinion, he has been doing his best in any outing as Nigerians sports shock-absorber.

Dr Adamu and General Yakubu Gowon

In recognition of his numerous achievements in the area of sports and his uncommon patriotism and the revolution that he introduced to sports development, he has passion for excellence in sports and under his effective directive watch, Nigeria qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the very first time (1994); Nigeria got her first Olympic gold medal in 1996, and out of a total of 23 Olympic medals that Nigeria won in 60 years, (1952-2012) of her participation at the Olympic, 20 of those medals were won when he was in charge of the sports administration. President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua conferred on him the National Award of the Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR) in February 2008. Also, in recognition of his contributions to academics and sports, he has received numerous awards and honours such as Grand Order of the House, the House Award, University of Ibadan, Grand Achiever Award (SWAN), West Africa International-Golden Award, Giant Award from African Women International Communication, Meritorious Award-Tedder Hall University of Ibadan, Merit Award-NAPHER-SD, Merit Award, Nigeria University Games Association NUGA. He holds the following traditional chieftaincy titles: The Are Ewe of Lagos, 2001, the Ajasegun of Isolo, Lagos 2001, the Zarumai Zuru of Kebbi State 2002 and the Sarkin Zaki Dabai 2002


  1. Happy Belated Birthday to You Sir.
    Thank Dr Raphael, for always enlighting us.

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