Reverend Father Moses Orshio Adasu, a catholic priest, lecturer, administrator and politician, was born on 12 June 1945 at Mbaamena, near Awajir in Shangev-Tiev District of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State.
Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu attended St. Pius Primary School, Awajir where he completed his primary education in 1961.
He proceeded to St. James’ Junior Seminary, Keffi (1962-1965) and St. Augustine Major Seminary, Jos (1967-1972) an affiliate of the Propaganda Fide, 1969–1972, graduating with a bachelors degree in Divinity. Later he studied at St. Johns University, New York City 1975–1976, earning an M.A. degree, and then at Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1976–1978 where he gained a Masters of religious education.
On December 19, 1971, Father Adasu was ordained a catholic priest of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi along with Fathers Athanasius Atule Usuh, Stephen Beba and others.
Rev. Fr. Adasu served as Assistant Curate, St. Mary’s Parish, Otukpo (1974). He also worked at St. Mary’s Rectory, New York (1975-1976) and as Chairman, Presbyterian Council of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi and that of Council of Consulters (1984-1990).
Besides, he was Dean, Makurdi Deanery.
As a teacher Father Adasu worked as Inspector, Benue State Ministry of Education and Lecturer, Advanced Teacher’ College, Katsina-Ala. He taught briefly at Government Teachers’ College, Jos and Benue State Universiry makurdi.
Appointed Senior Inspector of Education, Ministry of Education, lecturer at various times, Colleges and Schools in Jos, Otukpo, Adikpo and College of Education, Katsina-Ala; Dean, Makurdi Deanery, Diocese; Vicar-General, Makurdi Diocese; Executive Governor, Benue State, 1991-93; Associate Professor, Religion and Philosophy, Benue State University; member, Christian Pilgrim’s Welfare Board; member, Benue State Council on Prerogative of Mercy and on the Advisory Council, Episcopal Commission on Africa; member, Board of the College of Education, Katsina-Ala; Chairman, Presbyterial Council, Dean, Makurdi Deanery Diocese
St. Pius Primary School, Mbazerem; Christ the King College Awajir, 1961; St. James Junior Seminary Keffi; St. Augustine Major Seminary Jos; St. John University, Jamaica; University of America, USA; member, defunct Social Democratic Party, (SDP); member, Constituent Assembly, governor, Benue State, 1991-93. Ambassador-in-Command, by the Baptist Convention of Nigeria; fellowship (FIAM) Hons, Certified and Distinguished Public Administrator (CDPA); Certified and Distinguished Religious Leader (CDRL); Address: Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State, Understanding African Religion, Part I that he was in politics to baptise politics and make it pur. In 1988, Father Adasu was elected into Constituent Assembly and teamed up with other politicians to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
He sought the approval of the church to venture into partisan politics.
However, the church withheld its approval, quoting section 287, paragraph 2 of the Canon Law, which states that the clergy are not to play an active role in partisan politics or in directing trade unions unless, in the judgment of the competent ecclesiastical authority, this is required for the defence of the rights of the church or to promote the common good.
However, Fr. Adasu insisted and ventured into partisan politics on the platform of the SDP, where he contested in the Benue State gubernatorial elections in 1991and defeated Mr. Ignatius Ayua of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
He served as Governor, Benue State from 1992 to 1993.The military interrupted with the administration and Fr. Adasu returned back to the pulpit as catholic priest where he served at Adikpo and Ikyogen. Later, in 2000,
Father Adasu was appointed Commissioner, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) where he had a brief stint. He returned into full partisan politics on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2003.
Adasu was elected the second Executive Governor of Benue State on 2 January 1992.
He was said to have had a positive impact on conditions during his two-year term. He founded Benue State University on 27 December 1991.
He reactivated and upgraded the College of Education, Oju. He conceived the concept of the Tarka Foundation, named after Senator Joseph Sarwuan Tarka and launched on 2 July 1992.
The foundations building occupies five hectares of land in Makurdi and includes an art gallery, conference rooms, recreational centers and chalets.
The mandate of the foundation is unclear. Other projects that he started included BENCO roof tile, and the K/Ala fruit juice company, but he was not able to achieve a great deal during his short period in office.
Adasu said that politics is not a dirty game, but those who are in it for selfish reasons make it dirty. He said “I am in politics to baptise politics and make it pure”.
He was removed from office when General Sani Abacha came to power in November 1993, replaced by Group Captain Joshua Obademi.
In the Nigerian Fourth Republic Adasu was appointed a member of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC in January 1991.
He resigning from the ICPC in June 2002 to reenter politics. As a member of the Alliance for Democracy AD party he challenged the incumbent Governor George Akume of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in the April 2003 gubernatorial elections.
He was not successful. In September 2004 he was head of one of the National Convention Committees for the AD, after a factional split in the party caused by the return of former chairman Ahmed Abdulkadir.
His Achievements as Governor of Benue State.
In the economic sector, Fr. Moses Adasu invested heavily in industrializing Benue State.
The Benco Roof Tiles Company,Abinsi, the Benue Fruit Juice Company, Katsina-Ala and the Benue Yam Flour company, Zaki Biam were established by Father Adasu while he was the governor. Unfortunately, all these were abandoned by subsequent administrations.
He also connected Makurdi, the state capital to the 132KV national grid of electricity. In the political sector, Father Adasu established the J.S. Tarka Foundation, Makurdi among other numerous achievements.
His administration laid emphasis on qualitative education. He established the Benue State University, Makurdi and the College of Education, Oju.
Fr. Adasu died at a private hospital in Lagos during a brief illness on November 20, 2005. The corpse was buried of the cemetery of catholic priests of Makurdi Diocese.
After his death Benue State University conferred an honorary doctorate degree on Adasu.
Today marks his birth remembrance, let’s continue to pray for the repose of his soul!
By Kpenkpen Ter Theophilus