Tom Adaba, Bassey Ewa Henshaw: Where are they now?

They made headline news during their time, but long after they vacated their respective offices, no one has heard anything about them again. ELEOJO IDACHABA asks where they are now in this report.

Tom Adaba

Dr. Tom Adaba, born in Okene in the present day Kogi state, is of the Egbira ethnic extraction which constitutes the third largest ethnic group in the state, according to demographic report. As a nationalist, he does not shy away from drumming support for Egbira cause anytime he has the opportunity. For instance, during the administration of Captain Idris Wada, the former governor of the state, Dr. Adaba was one major voice that spoke against what he termed the marginalisation of his people by insisting on power shift. In a public outburst shortly after Wada left office, he said, “What I was really worried about was when we in the other parts of the state complained very bitterly about marginalisation, the Wada government would tell us that there was nothing like that in the state which to me was an insult on all sorts of people.” That was the zeal with which he served his people.

A foremost broadcaster and administrator, Dr. Adaba is the first Nigerian to bag a doctorate degree (PhD) in Mass Communications. He, however, has something unique about him as he is credited with pioneering the establishment of some important organisations in the country. For instance, when the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) training school was established in Jos, he was appointed as its pioneer principal. That is not all, in 1991, when as a deputy director at NTA in Lagos, his name was pencilled down among those to be affected by outright down-sizing thereby ending his career from public service prematurely. Luck, however, smiled on him when former President Ibrahim Babangida in 1992 appointed him as the pioneer director-general of the newly-established National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), a position he occupied for seven years before he finally bowed out of public service in 1999.

As someone who has raised six biological children who are into broadcasting in various media across the country, he is said to be a fulfilled man. His wealth of experience is needed in modern day Nigeria.

Bassey Ewa Henshaw

Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw once represented Cross River South Senatorial district in the Senate between 2003 and 2011. This man, according to popular opinion, never enjoyed the backing of his people while he served in the National Assembly and as a result could not return for the third time because a more popular and grassroots-oriented person was elected to represent him. A former staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Henshaw can be described as someone who had all the opportunity of assisting his people, but the myriad of complaints against his style of detachment from his people while in public positions marred his political ambition. In 2003 when he entered the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was on the wings of the support he got from former Governor Donald Duke who ensured that all the hurdles were removed in his favour. According to many persons from the state, his tenure in the red chamber was a waste as his impact was not felt back in his constituency. While in the Senate, he was chairman, Senate Committee on Labour and Water Resources, but he never made any impact on his constituents. Commenting on this ex-lawmaker, a popular blog once captured it that, “One can be tempted to ask whether Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw was in the Senate for eight years. What were his achievements? Perhaps, his biggest achievement is the dead dam in Oban, Akamkpa LGA of the state constructed by his cronies. That dam only lasted for few months.” When former President Jonathan submitted his name to the 7th Senate for confirmation as the chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), it elicited wider criticisms, especially from his home state, because of his antecedents. Though he was later confirmed and inaugurated, but it was not too long before the appointment ended and since then, no one has heard anything about him again.

Effiong Bob

Senator Effiong Bob is also a former lawmaker who represented the people of Akwa Ibom North Constituency in the Senate between 2003 and 2011, on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Senator Bob, a lawyer, began his political career in the 1990s as a local government councillor before he was elected into the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly between 1992 and 1993, just before the Abacha military regime sacked that democratic administration. On the return to democratic government in 1999, Bob was appointed as Attorney General of Akwa Ibom by Victor Attah, the governor of the state. It was from that position that he ran for senator in 2003 on the PDP platform. That was actually when his fame shot to limelight. While in the upper house, he was one of the vocal senators for which he was privileged to head several committees like senate services, finance, culture and tourism as well as foreign debt. To that extent, she was among the delegation from the Senate that witnessed the epic signing of the final exit of Nigeria from the Paris Club debt in France. Also when former Governor Godswill Akpabio signed then controversial Pension Act into law, he was one of those who spoke vehemently against it even though they were all of the same political family. He followed it by writing a letter to Akpabio in which he lambasted him for hastening to sign a bill that would put a whooping sum of N200 million in his pocket monthly. In a protest letter he wrote to Akpabio, he said, “I write to express my surprise at the conception, drafting and passage of the governor/deputy governor’s persons bill 2014, by which your consequent assent to it has now become a law. I am also stupefied by the fact that a bill of such critical nature could be passed into law within less than seven days of its receipt in the House.’ His last known public appointment was way back in 2011, when former President Good luck Jonathan appointed him as the pro-chancellor, University of Benin, a position he occupied till sometimes in 2015, but since then nothing has been heard about this former vocal lawmaker who once contributed robustly to debates and motions in the upper chamber.

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