Honourable Adamu Aliyu is an astute Sports Administrator per excellence and manager of minds; whose work ethic is faultless, who knows his onions, and who is passionate about the beautiful round leather game (football), across all levels in Nigeria.
You can not talk about the achievements recorded by Niger Tornadoes within the last 10 years without a mention of Honourable Adamu Aliyu and his management team, and hold them in high esteem as he’s not a ‘BULLY’ but a leader who carries everyone in the management along. All are geared towards achieving set targets for Niger Tornadoes.
Honourable Adamu Aliyu may have his shortcomings as a leader by his critics but the many that have worked closely with him, regard him as an administrator with the ‘Magic Wand’.
He is also the ‘Mr. Fix It, as he has a record of helping Tornadoes gain promotion, by winning playoffs, qualifying them to big finals and playing in the CAF inter-club championships.
Twice appointed in 2015 and 2021 as Chairman of Tornadoes Management Committee (TMC) and Chairman of Tornadoes, the club founded in 1977, were crowned champions of the Nigeria National League, for the third time and twice with Honourable Aliyu in 2015 and 2021 in an epic final against Shooting Stars of Ibadan at the NNL Super 8 Playoffs in Enugu.
In 2017, precisely 17 years after they were crowned winners of the Challenge Cup now AITEO Cup, they played in the final and carried Nigeria’s flag in the continent again.
His First Coming:
2017- As Chairman of the Tornadoes Management Committee (TMC), Hon. Adamu Aliyu worked round the clock with the State Government in ensuring that the Bako Kontagora Stadium, Minna, reopened after two years to host NPFL matches.
Aliyu institutionalized the ‘Chairman Personal Performance Reward’ to boost the morale of the team going into matches.
With the world being a Global Village and the emerging trend of social media, the club under him launched its website: www.nigertornadoesfc.com.ng, ahead of the new Nigeria Professional Football League season 2016/2017.
The essence was to create a football social community and network for the team.
His Second Coming:
In the 2017/2018 season after being given a bigger assignment by the Niger State Government, Honourable Aliyu, made his 2nd coming to the club after it was relegated to the NNL, this led to the immediate dissolution of all the structures of the team by Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor of the State.
Aliyu, who headed the new management committee was tasked to work assiduously towards bringing back the team to the NPFL.
His appointment yielded instant success, as he turned the fortune of the club around within a short period. The Ikon Allah boys became a team that challenge for titles.
The club under his stewardship made headlines when it beat favourites Rivers United in the semi-final at the Agege Stadium, Lagos to qualify for the final of the AITEO Cup and secured a CAF Confederation Cup ticket.
The final against Akwa United was a thriller as the Bala Abubakar side gave it their best but lost on penalties.
Coach Abubakar Bala who is fresh from National Assignment with the Flying Eagles of Nigeria is no doubt one of the most sorts after coaches in the Nigeria League today, evidence is several clubs that are still on his neck vying for his signature, even though former Kwara United Coach had since committed his future to the Ikon Allah Boys having reached a contractual agreement with Niger Tornadoes pending official unveiling.
The Minna-born tactician is not new to the Aiteo Cup competition haven led Tornadoes to the finals in 2017 in his first attempt.
His Third Coming:
2021- Season-Niger Tornadoes chairman, Honourable Adamu Aliyu has thumbed up the personal interests shown to the club by the State Government led by His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello which has helped to ensure they are on the cusp of a return to Nigeria Professional Football League.
That they did this in style as they won the NNL Super in Enugu to the delight of the good and football-loving people of Niger State.
After gaining promotion to the NPFL, the news of the iconic Bako Kontagora Stadium not being fit to host Premier League matches by the League Management Company (LMC), many saw as a blow below the belt.
The news didn’t deter Honourable Adamu Aliyu, as he wore his thinking cap, in search of an alternative suitable ground for the team.
Ikon Allah finally settle for the Ilorin Township Stadium. When things seem not to be going well for the team, they had to sort for another alternative stadium, this saw them having some of their home matches from Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Jos International Stadium, Jos and finally MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
This almost cost them the season, but Honourable Adamu Aliyu being the Captain of the Ship, was able to steer the ship clear of the stormy waters, despite the limited resources owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a toll on World Economy.
Credit must go to his trusted and talented Lieutenant, Coach Bala who became the first management to play 19 home matches away from home and did not relegate, as he held a firm grip on his team and made them stay off the drop zone with that emphatic win against MFM FC away from home.
Honourable Adamu Aliyu’s beliefs in making things work for the club can not be overlooked, that’s why former Flying Eagles and Eaglet Coach, John Obuh who was a household name during his time with Tornadoes had this to say.
“The best thing to have happened to Niger Tornadoes was the coming of
Honourable Adamu Aliyu.
“He is a well-respected administrator, embedded in humility who came after Ten Ten and did very well for the club. Immediately he came with his vast knowledge, experience and humility, he stabilised everything about the club.
“The results started coming, and the coaches, players and supporters were well-harmonized, same with the Niger State Sports Council as everyone was working towards the same goal and successes were recorded under his leadership.
“I had a good working relationship with him, as he never for once interfered with my MatchDay programme, as he gives me the needed environment for me to succeed.
“Am not surprised that after I left the club, Niger Tornadoes has done remarkably well under him. I want to wish him success in his challenge as he got it on merit going by his pedigree which speaks volumes.”
Vice Chairman of Niger Tornadoes Musa Ibrahim Matane
“When were inaugurated as Tornadoes Management Committee(TMC), the mandate given to us by the State Government was to ensure that club get promoted to the NPFL from NNL.
“That we did as Tornadoes finished top of its group, was impressive at the NNL Super 8 PlayOff in Enugu, as it went ahead to emerge champions after claiming a promotion ticket.
“Tornadoes under the leadership of Honourable Adamu Aliyu is not a ‘One Man Show, he carried each member along to achieve the set goals for the club.
“We can achieve the mandate given to us by the Niger State Government and surpass it.
“I want to Honourable Adamu Aliyu for his prudent management of the funds from the state government, despite the world economic challenges owing to the COVID-19 virus, he and his management team were still able to run the club successfully.”
Barrister Isaac Danladi, Chairman NPFL Club Owners and Chairman Nasarawa United
“Honourable Adamu Aliyu is a good friend and personality I have known for over two decades in football administration. We have indeed come a long way, and he has been able to stabilise Niger Tornadoes over the years, employing his managerial skills to successfully manage the fortunes of the club.
“He’s a frontline member of the Club Owners Association, a team player and popularly referred to as ‘Mr Fix It, owing to his good crisis management skills.
“Honourable Adamu Aliyu is eloquent and possesses effective communication skills and has turned the club from ‘grass to grace. Little wonder he made his second coming to the club following his reappointment after he was relieved of the post. He is dedicated, honest, straightforward and above all, has the fear of God in him.
“The government and people of Niger State should be proud and lucky to have such a personality like Honourable Adamu Aliyu at the helm of affairs of Tornadoes. I continue to wish Honourable Adamu Aliyu the best in his endeavours and ask the state government to continue to support him in the progress of the club.
“As Chief Personal Secretary to the Niger State Governor, HIS Excellency, I believe he has been able to use his skills to the best and as a good public servant, has employed the same in the running of the day-to-day operations of Niger Tornadoes.
“Continue to do well for the state and Tornadoes, Honourable Adamu Aliyu, as I wish you well and may God in his infinite mercy continue to bless
Yanagi A Baba 1st Vice Chairman Niger State Football Association
“I have known him since his involvement in football, Honourable Adamu Aliyu is a man of integrity. He relates with the FA on football matters concerning Niger Tornadoes.
“I have a cordial relationship with him, as interim head of the FA, I was in charge of organising and taking care of their home matches.
“Honourable Adamu Aliyu is also a loyal member of the Niger FA Football Congress, him being the Chairman of the Premier League club.
“He has done a fantastic job in Tornadoes and left his mark at the club as he has never at any time not related any challenges Tornadoes faced to the FA, at the end, we proffer solutions to them.
We have seen a rich club like Kano Pillars getting relegated to the NNL, while with limited funds, Honourable Adamu Aliyu made sure Tornadoes beat the drop.
“On the personal ground, I take him as an elder brother and he has also reciprocated the same gesture to me. I have so many beliefs in Honourable Adamu Aliyu; as in years to come, he will achieve a lot with Tornadoes.
It will further interest you to note that since the inception of Tornadoes in 1977, he did change the narratives of the club as it became a professionally administered club.
He was the first Chairman to introduce preseason camping for the team and purchased training jerseys squad after termed it as an eyesore with the kind of kits the players were having seasons with, which for him was not good for the Niger Tornadoes brand.
Going into that season, he introduced a partnership with customized kits for the team.
Travelling long distances by road is one big headache for clubs owing to the poor state of our Federal Highways, armed robberies, accidents and fatigue, under his leadership, Tornadoes now travel two days ahead for away matches. All with the view of ensuring the player’s and backroom staff’s safety and of course getting results on the road.
He then in the 2007/2008 season, increased travelling and bonus from N5,000 to N10,000 as the welfare of the team is also top of his priorities for the club.
In the 2015/2016 season, he increased travelling and bonus allowances from 10, 000 to 15,000. The following season (2016/2017) he increased the allowances again from 15,000 to 20,000 and that’s what the players are enjoying to date.
It’s on good record that Honourable Adamu Aliyu became the first chairman to voluntarily resign in 2008 when the league was at MatchDay 12 while the team was still topping the league and the first time Tornadoes had that luxury.