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Opinion

What Double Ministers should do for Kano

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Hisham Habib

When PMB sent the names of his ministerial nominees to the senate for confirmation in July many were surprised and probably taken aback when the names of retired General Bashir Magashi and Alhaji Sabo Nanono were mentioned.

The unexpectedness in the nomination of the duo was coupled with issues in Kano about the major happenings in 2019 elections and its aftermath.

Most of the speculative Kano polity did not expect that, despite President Buhari’s resolve to appoint those he knew well.

Nevertheless the polity continued getting heated over what the two septuagenarians could for their constituency after getting hold of two strategic ministries of Defence and Agriculture respectively.

Nanono warns Agric workers against indiscipline

Magashi assumes office as Defence Minister

Ministerial Inauguration: Buhari assigns Defence, Agric to Kano

Challenges before Magashi

Gen Magashi’s antecedents qualified him for the Defence ministry even before the announcement. Being the only retired army general among the nominees, most Kano residents saw it coming.

Having been in the background after an unsuccessful attempt to govern his own state in the past, the lawyer who once served as legal adviser should be able to learn from the missteps of the former minister from Kano also a retired General Abdurrahman Dambazau who could not return to the next level, partly from his inability to relate with the people and spread the much coveted dividends of democracy to his immediate constituency.

The former General Officer commanding (GOC) who served during the military era of General Sani Abacha should be able to harmonize his task as overseer of the Defense mechanism in the country and his political career that has vividly come to its climax. His efforts must be doubled for him to earn the prestige of being a recognized elder even after his stint in the last lap of the administration.

Nanono must address youths restiveness

For Muhammad Sabo Nanono, the challenge is much higher owing to the fact that Kano is renowned for agricultural potentials yet untapped.

This is an opportunity for the experienced banker to address the issue of youth restiveness through agriculture.

As the most populous state in the country the rate of unemployment has consistently been high and the most ready way of curbing the issue is through agriculture.

Being in the system the new minister is expected as in the words of a Kano based analyst Bashir Gentile “to use his best of ability in delivering the fruits to the society”.

Nanono’s task among others is to bring to the northern parts and Kano its own share of rural development through his office and to ensure that stakeholders are carried along while monitoring with extra concern the work of all representatives in the various sectors.

Immediate intervention

These ministers must know that the people of Kano are watchful as ever for the expected remedies; the voters who came out en masse and consistently voted for President Buhari have their eyes open for a collective transformation of the society not selective adventurism.

Areas needing immediate intervention must be on their priority and as influential office holders the need to work with the state government in fielding out tangible developmental work in areas of human resource utilization is paramount.

It is pertinent to note being themselves Buhari’s personal choice and not directly products of state godfatherism, they  must bear in mind that unnecessary political distractions should be minimized to  allow for the desirable intervention that will check the unabated hardship the Kano people are into especially in the rural areas where  the basic amenities are scarce.

Kano governorship tribunal orders arrest of INEC witness attackers

They must be able to have a collective platform where they can harmonize all efforts to uplift Kano and restore as well as strengthen its dignity as the northern capital of commerce and leadership.

They should also avoid the hosting of sycophants who will block them from realizing the challenges before them until it is too late to cry over spilt milk.

The desired collective platform should not be maneuvered by self-centered opportunists who will undermine all positive efforts to make the society a  better place.

Hisham Habib, journalist and public commentator writes from Kano.

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Unusual signs may emerge on Laylatul Qadr – Alakarmawi

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Sheikh Muhammad Nazifi Alkarmawi

Nasiru Yusuf

A renowned Islamic scholar in Kano Sheikh Muhammad Nazifi Alkarmawi said it is sometimes possible to witness unusual signs on Laylatul Qadr.

Kano Focus reports that Sheikh Alkarmawi revealed this while delivering his Friday sermon.

He said Laylatul Qadr is one of the most sacred nights in Islam found in the last ten days of Ramadan.

According to him it is sometimes possible to witness unusual signs on the night.

Some of the signs highlighted by the Imam is the night is serene, quiet and shining where the temperature is neither hot nor cold and the moon shines clearly.

Sheikh Alkarmawi said Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him used to double effort in the last ten days of Ramadan aimed at witnessing the night.

He described as a weak a narration wich declared twenty seventh night of Ramadan as Laylatul Qadr, and urged adherents to seek the night in the last ten days of the holy month.

On the recommended acts in the night, Sheikh Muhammad Nazifi Alkarmawi cited a hadith narrated by Nana Aisha which prophet taught Muslims to recite ‘Allahumma innaka afuwun, tuhibbul afwa, fa’afu anna.

He also admonished faithful on supplication, forgiveness, upholding good deeds and assisting the needy.

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Opinion

Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu at 65

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Professor Abdalla Adamu

By Ibrahim Sheme

On this day, April 25, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, clocked 65 years.

He was the VC of NOUN from 2016 to February 11, 2021. When his tenure ended, he returned to his former duty post at Bayero University, Kano, but then took sabbatical work as Visitor at Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna, on March 1, this year.

Born in Kano City on April 25, 1956, Adamu is unarguably one of the leading academic lights in Nigeria. He obtained a professorship each in Science Education and in Media and Cultural Communication, both from Bayero University, in 1997 and 2012 respectively. Indeed, he is one of very few academics in the country to have attained the feat of a double professorship.

Adamu is an international scholar, having taught media and science education courses in many Nigerian universities and around the world, including serving as a European Union Visiting Professor at University of Warsaw, Poland, in 2012, visiting professor, Rutgers University, New Jersey, and visiting professor, University of Florida in 2010. He was also Fulbright African Senior Research Scholar in 1991.

One other remarkable achievement he recorded was the development of ‘hooked’ Hausa language character font sets (ɓ Ɓ ɗ Ɗ ƙ Ƙ), which were not present at the advent of the Internet. The emergence of these fonts, which he created as part of his various extracurricular activities, has helped many authors, publishers, scholars, students and ordinary users in conveying the Hausa language in a way that it should be written.

Two years ago, on a day like this, I penned a birthday tribute to Professor Adamu to help celebrate his 63rd anniversary. In that write-up I did not dwell on his unfolding accomplishments at NOUN in the area of infrastructural development of the university because others had done so already. Instead, I emphasised on the then VC’s human relation, which I have always found unique. And I wrote: “On that score Prof. Abdalla has remained the same person I have known for about two decades – easy-going, humorous and understanding towards all. I think this essence is a great contributory factor to the achievements he is making as a leader and chief executive.

“His approachability is rare. I know chief executives who are ‘feared’ – and consequently loathed – by those working under them because of their stiffness and unbendability. Some, you strictly need an appointment to see them, and their secretaries become lords because they emulate the ‘man inside’.  Not Baba Prof (as we used to call him). He runs an open door policy, with a  secretary (Esther) just as approachable and nice as he is.

“Once you get into his office, you immediately feel at home. He has a joke for everyone. You will never find him mirthless or sad as if the whole world rests on his shoulders. If it is lunch-time, he offers you his food.

“That sense of humanity, for me, are as important as the infrastructure he is putting on ground at NOUN. That sensibility, plus the infrastructure and the policy transformation, will no doubt count as his best legacies when his tenure ends in February, 2021.”

I daresay many at NOUN would remember him for such virtue. Happily, his successor as VC, Professor Olufemi A. Peters, is another approachable chief executive who doesn’t put on airs. Even though the two men do not necessarily share the same character traits, one can say there are several points of convergence that one can easily point at – but that is a story for another day.

Meanwhile, I’d like to use this opportunity to wish Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu happy birthday and many happy returns.

Sheme is the Director, media and publicity at National Open University of Nigeria, Abuja

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Opinion

Remembering Ja’afar Mahmud Adam

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Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga

Sheikh Ja’afar foresaw the imminent monster called Boko Haram, but was brutally silenced by the assassins bullets!

Today marks the 14th Anniversary of the assassination  Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, who was fatally shot by yet to be identified gunmen on April 13, 2007. His death was like a defoliation of the tallest tree in the forest of knowledge. He was one of the greatest preachers that ever lived; he was a scholar par excellence. In fact, he defies all the superlatives that you can ever find in  the dictionary.

Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam was not only famous for his erudition, but also for his amazing ability to foresee an imminent danger(what today becomes known as Boko Haram). He posed the most potent intellectual challenge to the outlandish and poisonous extremist ideas of Muhammad Yusuf, the notorious Boko Haram founder. He advised Yusuf, his former student, to renounce those dangerous ideas and apologize to his blind followers for misleading them.

Caught between ego and doing the right thing, Muhammad Yusuf rejected the advice because he didn’t want to lose face by admitting to his brainwashed followers that he was wrong. The rest is history. We are today paying heavily for his stubborn resistance to reason. His poisonous ideas have so deeply settled in the hearts and minds of his credulous Boko Haram  followers that they thought God is on their side and that  any Muslim  who opposes their violent extremism is automatically an infidel or an enemy.

Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam was thus vindicated; the grave danger he foresaw is now consuming us, destroying lives, schools and disrupting our social and economic life. Since 2009, more than 15,000 lives were destroyed by the Boko Haram terrorism. Because extremism paralyses a man’s capacity to think and reason, the terrorists are not even perturbed by the consequences of their atrocities, let alone give a moment’s thought to compassion and humanity.

I won’t challenge anyone who thinks Boko Haram had a hand in Adam’s death because putting two and two together, it is impossible not to reach that conclusion. Because of their extreme brutality, taking out a scholar who represented the greatest intellectual challenge to their poisonous ideas is not beyond them.

May the soul Adam continue to rest in peace! May Allah  forgive his shortcomings and eternally  reward his great deeds! Amin!

NOTE: I originally wrote this tribute to Sheikh Jafar Adam on April 13, 2018. As we mark the 14th Anniversary of his dastardly assassination today, I find it worthy to reproduce the tribute. He was an extraordinary scholar that deserves such honour.

Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga is a media consultant at Atiku media organization

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