On June 12, Nigeria will be celebrating “Democracy Day” and 21 years of uninterrupted democratic rule.
And the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) riding on its mandate to connect Nigeria and create an information rich society remains on the driver’s seat.
Provision of the necessary digital impetus to the actualization of the economic diversification of Mr. President, tailored towards a free market economy which is not tied to oil and gas is on NCC’s priority list.
This push is in tandem with the administration’s “Next Level Agenda” as it enters its fifth year in this long democratic race.
During President Buhari’s first term, the NCC positioned telecoms as the baseline enabler for the realization of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 of the government, which is a short-term economic blue print designed to drive the economic diversification agenda of the government.
Through deliberate and sustained efforts in driving major initiatives, programmes and necessary regulatory interventions, the NCC has been able to deepen access to telecommunications services- voice and data – across the country which has helped in positively impacting other sectors of the economy such as healthcare, education, agriculture, finance, transportation, commerce, governance, and so on.
NCC: A believer in Buhari’s economic agenda
The Executive Vice-chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, is consistently supporting the economic agenda of President Buhari through the provision of more digital access to individuals, corporate and government for the implementation of the agenda has been validated by available official data.
The Telecoms sector has witnessed huge growth in terms of the subscribers’ base, earnings to the government, increase in gross domestic product (GDP), teledensity and increase in foreign direct investments into the sector.
Today, the sector has contributed 14.07% to GDP.
Active mobile voice subscribers have increased to over 189 million with a teledensity of 99.16%.
Internet subscribers have increased from 128,365,704 to 136,203,231; broadband penetration increased from 38.49 % (indicating 73,466,093 on 3G and 4G networks) to 39.90 % (76,163,670 on 3G and 4G networks).
The Commission has committed millions of Naira to driving ICT innovations in the academia and among technology innovators.
We have also activated and increased the number of operational Emergency Commission Centres (ECCs) being built by the Commission to 17 states throughout the Federation and the Federal Capital (FCT), Abuja – 18 ECCs in all.
We have successfully scrubbed over 24 million invalidly-registered subscriber records via Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in fulfillment of the mandate to establish a credible database of telephone subscribers.
As a Commission, we have recently taken measures to regularize activities of all satellite operators including Space Station Operators as well as Earth Station operators; issuance of landing permits to Space Stations beaming signals over Nigerian territory.
In line with our regulatory excellence, we have now put the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Jabi, Abuja to use. This move has helped to leverage the various world-class facilities within the complex to increase NCC’s overall operational efficiency and subsequently achieve better cost-cutting measures in line with the Federal Government’s directive.
Also, because of its huge impact on the nation’s GDP, developing broadband infrastructure to deepen penetration among individual and corporate consumers of telecoms services has been the focus of the Commission.
Based on the understanding by the Commission that telecommunications breaks barrier and can act in its own right as an enabler of socio-economic transformation, growth and modernization across all sectors of the economy, the NCC Management has deliberately embarked on initiatives, serving as digital fulcrum and catalyst that propel the inter-sectoral implementation of the socio-economic transformation agenda of the current government.
One of such initiatives is the licensing of infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to provide additional robust broadband infrastructure across the geo-political zones in the country.
Six of the InfraCo licenses have been issued to five geo-political zones and Lagos carved out as the sixth zone because of its commercial centrality, while the last and seventh license for the North Central region is being worked on by the Commission.
This is in addition to several other strategic initiatives being embarked upon by the NCC to address sundry challenges confronting telecoms infrastructure deployment by the existing licensees.
Digital impetus for Next Level Agenda
To sustain its forward-looking economic growth agenda, President Muhammadu Buhari, has restated commitment to the cause of advancing and consolidating on the gains of his first-term economic transformation agenda.
To this end, the President has tagged economic blueprint for his second term as the Next Level agenda.
A cursory look at the Next Level agenda shows that the President, in the current dispensation, aims to focus on improving security, improving the economy and reducing poverty; as well as fighting corruption and corrupt practices.
Speaking on the Next Level agenda recently, the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said he would ensure that all agencies under his ministry including the NCC key into supporting the President in achieving his new agenda.
Nigeria recently launched a New National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) aimed to “deliver data download speeds across Nigeria at a minimum speed of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (2% of median income or 1% of minimum wage)”.
During the presentation by the Committee on the NNBP (2020-2025), the Minister, Pantami, said: “The NNBP addresses 3 of the 8 priorities that the Federal Government assigned to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and the parastatals under its purview, for implementation.
“These priorities are the implementation of broadband connectivity and execution of a plan to deploy 4G across the country, as well as the development and implementation of a digital economy policy and strategy”.
The Minister continues, “The development of a Broadband Plan aligns with global best practice and the constitution of the Committee is in line with the powers of the Minister as stated in Section 23(a) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003- the Minister shall be responsible for ‘the formulation, determination and monitoring of the general policy for the communications sector in Nigeria with a view to ensuring, amongst others, the utilization of the sector as a platform for the economic and social development of Nigeria”.
“…Broadband supports the development of the digital economy and a focus on growing the National Digital Economy will also improve and diversify the nation’s traditional economy.
“The implementation of the Plan will lead to creation of jobs, improved socio-economic development and sustained economic growth, amongst others.
“However, it is important to note that the successful implementation of the Plan requires synergy between government and the private sector”.
According to him, “telecoms has been supporting the country in the areas of job creation, improvement in security and efficiency as well as in making life easier and better for Nigerians, charging the NCC leadership “to continue in this direction and as any individual agenda will are bringing onboard must have direct bearing toward supporting the promises of President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed in his promise to Nigerians.”
Thus, the Minister has thrown his weight behind the NCC’s InfraCo project in what he described as the correlation it has to propel the attainment of the Next Level agenda through accelerating increased digital access to Nigerians across the country.
In the Next Level agenda, emphasis is placed on infrastructure with the critical ones being roads, rail, power, and the Internet, marked to be treated as ‘critical infrastructure’ and according to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC)/Chief Executive, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, globally telecommunications has become an essential factor for measuring the level of a nation’s socio-economic and political development.
He noted that countries with well-developed telecoms infrastructure tend to outshine their counterparts without adequate telecoms infrastructure in all development parameters.
5G: Next digital revolution for Next Level agenda
Without any doubt, the liberalization of the telecoms industry has greatly impacted the different sectors of our economy.
From e-commerce, e-banking, e-agriculture, e-healthy, e-transportation, e-education, etc. the liberalization ushered in different players leveraging different technologies to offer services. The unprecedented growth recorded in the telecoms sector with a multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy has been as a result of the sound regulatory regime which has been consolidated in the last 19 years.
We have come up with a lot of frameworks, regulations, guidelines and policies that have provided and will continue to create the enabling environment for future of telecommunications growth in Nigeria.
The future is promising and as regulator, we see a lot of prospects ahead for the industry especially in the area of broadband penetration to accelerate the transformation of Nigeria into a truly knowledge and digital economy.
The future of telecommunications in Nigeria, just as it is the case globally, is broadband and the NCC is well positioned to drive this digital frontier.
In the last five years, we had put a lot of emphasis on deepening broadband penetration and we are creating an environment that allows operators to deploy the newest technologies that can offer Nigerians better service experience with greater efficiency. Consequently, it is our commitment to see that, going forward, all new sites to be built by mobile network operators (MNOs) are Long Term Evolution (LTE)-compatible; the implementation of the harmonized Right of Way (RoW) charges on State and Federal Government highways at the cost of N145 per linear meter is realized; there is elimination of multiple taxation and regulations; and spread of 3G coverage to, at least, 80 per cent of the Nigerian population over the current 56.4 per cent of the population covered with 3G networks.
We are also ensuring the upgrade of 2G base transceiver stations to 3G; spread of 4G/LTE services to 100 per cent of the population with a minimum broadband speed of 1.5 megabit per second (Mbps); deployment of, at least, an Access Point of fiber with a 10 gigabyte per second (Gbps) capacity in all the 774 local government areas (LGAs) of the Federation through the InfraCo project.
According to Danbatta, “with the impending commercial deployment of 5G technology globally by 2020, the Commission has started preparing for and planning, in earnest, to ensure Nigeria is not lagging behind in the area of 5G deployment”.
We want to ensure spread of Fifth Generation (5G) to, at least, five per cent of the population.
Already, the NCC in November, 2019 pioneered 5G trials in Nigeria, becoming the first telecoms regulator in West Africa to proactively begin such trials toward unleashing greater digital revolution.
We have also worked with stakeholders to develop guidelines on the use of Television White Space (TVWS) to extend affordable broadband penetration to underserved and unserved areas.
TVWS is the unused broadcast spectrum which can be deployed in the telecommunications sector to provide cost-effective broadband services to people in the rural, underserved and unserved areas of the country towards achieving universal access and universal service in line with the country’s digital agenda.
In summary, the future of telecommunications in Nigeria is incrementally bright as the Regulator is always proactive in providing the regulatory environment for the deployment of cutting-edge technologies to further push Nigeria ahead in the digital revolution.
The 5G era would be characterized by the upswing in the use of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Big data, Fifth Generation (5G), Augmented Reality and many more all of which will advance sustainable development through the digital transformation it will bring for the economies.
“With 5G, the NCC is looking at three (3) usage scenarios, which include: the enhanced mobile broadband applications, the ultra-reliable low latency applications and the Machine to Machine (M2M) applications.
“Hence, 5G will be characterized by high speed, M2M explosion and low latency, all of which will require reliable broadband infrastructure, which is one of the pre-occupations of the Commission as we speak,” the EVC said.
He has also noted that three frequencies: the 26GHz, 38GHz and 42 GHz are part of the frequencies approved by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for 5G.
This, he said, is in addition to the Commission’s ongoing effort to leverage television white (TVWS) technology to expand affordable broadband services to rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country.
The Commission has conducted 5G Proof of Concept (PoC) Trials. The EVC explained that the whole idea behind the trial is to be able to see what the challenges are with regards to 5G deployments in Nigeria.
“Security challenges, level of radiation power density, whether this is within the acceptable limits provided for the International non-ionization radio Radiation Protection Agency as well as to address whatever challenges that we need to come to terms with preparatory to commercial rollout of 5G services in Nigeria.”
Role of infrastructure and spectrum to 5G
Danbatta has drawn correlation between 5G networks and effective telecoms infrastructure.
Expectedly, 5G will offer higher Internet speed and low latency and machine to machine (M2M) exposition, all of which will run on robust broadband infrastructure, which the Commission is currently driving and will ultimately support the digitisation of the Nigerian economy towards accelerating the actualization of the President’s Next Level agenda.
He said: “Without pervasive infrastructure, the dream of rollout of 5G services will remain what it is, just a dream.
“As such, Nigeria has put in place the InfraCo project for this purpose.
“Also, we have put in place an excellent initiative of spectrum trading, to allow efficient utilization of licensed and existing spectrum through leasing or transfer to other operators from a licensee instead of keeping such spectrum idle.”
Recently, the Commission suspended the Spectrum Trading Guidelines (2018) in order to carry out a review in response to global telecommunications dynamics and for more robust Spectrum trading activities. Paragraph 12 of Spectrum Trading Guides 2018 vests the Commission with the right to review/vary and modify the Guidelines from time to time as it may deem fit.
Telecoms Investment drive: Boosting the Next Level Agenda
Telecom, as an enabler for other sectors of the economy, is highly capital-intensive.
As such, Danbatta said the support of the President is very key in support of the Commission’s efforts at addressing various challenges inhibiting investment into the country’s telecoms sector.
“Yes, we have recorded major milestones in our telecoms sector.
“But are we satisfied as a Regulator? The answer is ‘No’.
“This is because we still face inadequate infrastructure.” Consequently, the NCC had identified 220 clusters of access gaps in the country and the real challenge behind connecting this large population of about 40 million is infrastructure deficit.
This informs why the NCC evolved the InfraCo project with Public Private Partnership component embedded in it.
In a recent update study carried out in 2019, the number of people living in the unserved and underserved areas was estimated to have dropped to 31.16 million and number of clusters reviewed down to 114.
Meanwhile, the EVC has assured that the Commission is committed to providing the enabling environment to attract the needed investment to expand 5G deployment while ensuring efficiency of existing technologies from 2G, to 3G and 4G towards providing the needed consistent digital impetus to the realization of the Next Level Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dr. Henry NKEMADU is a Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
Commemorating NEPU’s 70th anniversary – Tanko Yakasai
Today the 8th of August, 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Northern Elements Peoples Union (NEPU), the first and only political party in the history of Nigeria, formed solely not only to fight oppression and exploitation of the common man the Talakawa by the ruling class in Northern Nigeria, but also for the unity, freedom and independence of our motherland, Nigeria.
It is in the cause of championing that commitment to liberate the oppressed and promote unity of the people of Nigeria that NEPU entered into alliance with National Council of Nigeria and Camerouns (NCNC), led by the doyen of Nigerian nationalism and first president of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe GCON during colonial era and the First Republic political activism in the history of our country.
The ultimate objective of the NEPU/NCNC alliance was for the two parties to eventually merge into a formidable party that will belong to all Nigerians regardless of their ethnic, sectional or religious background just as the VISION and MISSION of the founders of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, during the Second Republic.
It was the fear of that eventuality that made the British colonial rulers of Nigeria at that time to incite traditional institutions and reactionary elements in northern Nigeria to subject NEPU and its members to unprecedented harassment, wide spread intimidation of arrests, imprisonment and persecution with the sole aim of scaring the educated elements in northern Nigeria to distance themselves from coming out to support the struggle of the party during colonial era and the politics of the First Republic.
That situation led to the paucity of intellectuals among the leading cadres of the party in large numbers.
The situation also led to the stagnation of progress of the NEPU in its struggle for the emancipation of the downtrodden in the North thereby hampering the efforts of forging national unity and success of progressive politics in our national development efforts.
The outcome was the perpetuation of ignorance and lack of enlightenment in the area which constitutes serious drawback of Nigeria’s march to progress and national development.
Liberation of the Talakawa
But in spite of that, all hopes were not lost as the emergence of NEPU engineered the sprouting of many opposition parties in the north at that time resulting in the emergence of political parties opposed to colonial rule such as Borno Youth Movement (BYM), Ibira Progressive Union (IPU), Middle Belt Peoples Party (MBPP), Ilorin Talaka Parapo (ITP), Katagum People’s Party (KPP) Habe Tribal Union (HTU) and many others during the period under reference – the formation of which resulted in widening the scope of revolt against colonial and feudal domination in northern Nigeria and enhanced the resilience of the peoples’ resolve to liberate themselves from domination and exploitation.
Another achievement associated with the emergence of NEPU was the political awareness among the downtrodden masses of northern Nigeria otherwise known as the talakawa.
All the subsequent political developments in northern Nigeria such as the emergence of United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC), Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and others, were born out of the sacrifices the militants in the NEPU promoted and endured.
As one of the remaining leaders of the NEPU still alive I salute the uncommon courage and fortitude displayed by the political activists in Northern Nigeria in fighting the combined forces of British colonialism and imperialism in collaboration with indigenous reactionary forces in the region in particular and the country in general both fallen and those still alive.
All the political progress made in promoting national unity in Nigeria drew inspiration from the example of collaborative efforts of the NEPU/NCNC alliance and other patriots.
May the souls of the departed comrades of the struggle for the emancipation of the talakawas who paved the way for the political awareness and national liberation in the Nigeria’s political development rest in peace.
I also wish those of us who are still alive to rededicate our resolve to safeguard the unity, freedom and wellbeing of the Nigerian nation and its people.
Long live the struggle for the emancipation of the common man in Nigeria and for our National unity, peace and prosperity.
Tanko Yakasai OFR is a former National Publicity Secretary of NEPU.
OPINION: Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu – The Ibn Khaldun of our time
By Hassan Auwalu Muhammad
Every area of knowledge has its specialties, and people will rarely have experience in a variety of fields.
For example, it can be difficult for someone who specialized in the area of health to be involved in the area of communications, or for someone who is studying political science to return to health.
However, there are certain types of people upon whom God has bestowed unique abilities, which made them different from their peers and contemporaries.
There are not many of such people, and even if you find them, it is mostly in countries that are advanced in terms of their education and economic growths.
Their research in different fields often allows them to be unlike other people.
Kano State used to be one of the least considered cities in the world as regards the number of people with high level of Western education.
However, after discovering the benefits of it, there are many gifted individuals with an extensive background in research such as Prof. Abdallah Uba Adamu.
Prof. Abdallah Uba Adamu (born 25th April 1956 in Daneji, Kano city), in his story as told by all those who had grown up together with him, friends and relatives, testified that since childhood, he has being passionate about researching different areas of knowledge.
His father, the late KANTOMA of Kano, Dr Muhammadu Uba Adamu, was a renowned scholar through whose guidance and inspiration, Prof. Abdallah began his research, which later earned him the respect of being a full-blown researcher in different areas of knowledge.
After graduating from primary and secondary schools, he decided to study medicine but failed to secure admission to the university of his choice, which later forced him to go for B.Sc. in Education, Biology and Physiology in 1979 at Ahmadu Bello University.
He did his National Service at a high school in Umoarkrika, Imo State, before he proceeded to Chelsea College, the University of London where he earned a Master of Arts in Science Education in 1983.
He earned his doctorate from the University of Sussex in 1988 under the sponsorship of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
He started teaching as a Graduate Assistant at Bayero University Kano in 1980.
He re-invested himself in the field of research, which led to him becoming a Professor in Science Education in 1997 and also the youngest Professor in Bayero University at the time.
He presented his Professorial Inaugural Lecture in 2004, entitled ‘Sunset at Dawn, and Darkness at Noon: Reconstructing the Mechanisms of Literacy in Indigenous Communities’ in which he explored the use of Arabic alphabet as Hausa language literary devices in Ajami writings.
He proposed what he called ‘Ajamization of Knowledge’ as an alternative educational strategy, for millions of Qur’anic school pupils to acquire contemporary education in a literary script they know, rather than the Latin alphabet.
Professor Adamu was a Fulbright African Senior Research Scholar at the Centre for Studies in Higher Education, the University of California, Berkeley from 1991 to 1992.
While there, he wrote a monograph, Reform and Adaptation in Nigerian University Curricula, published by The Edwin Mellon Press, New York, in 1994, which explores the transfer of educational influence and structures from the United States to Nigeria, and the substitution of the British educational system in Nigeria in the process.
Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu has delivered commissioned lectures at Rutgers State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick (2015); the University of Warsaw, Poland (2012); Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures; Polish Academy of Sciences Warsaw, Poland (2012); University of Florida (2010), University of Basel, Switzerland (2009); Barnard College, Columbia University, New York (2007); School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London (2006); and Institute of Afrinkanistic, University of Cologne, Germany (2004).
Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu started his study in Media after the emergence of the film industry in Kano State in the 90s.
From that time on, his focus shifted from Education to Communication.
He earned his second professorship in media and cultural communication in 2012, from the Department of Mass Communications Bayero University Kano.
Prof. Abdallah Uba Adamu is the first Nigerian to hold double professorship in two very different disciplines.
He has over 117 publications, most of which were published outside the country.
He had also attended and presented papers in more than 200 conferences and workshops.
In fact he is scheduled for another workshop in the University of Florida in October 2020. He is one of the few Nigerian academics willing to tell the world about the intellectual output through his own independent website at www.auadamu.com.
In the knowledge of computer, Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu is said to be among the first few people with a vast knowledge of computer in Bayero University, Kano.
He was the first person to bring the computer PC 1512 to Kano State in 1988.
With the introduction of the internet, he was the first person to type Hausa words into computer with a hooked top showing the change of meaning from one word to another.
He served also as Director of Management Information System (MIS) in Bayero University Kano.
Although Professor Abdallah has never studied Hausa as a course, his deep knowledge of Hausa literature has led many to wonder whether Hausa was his area of specialization.
Prof. Adamu’s vast knowledge of Geography and Public Administrations made him stand out among the rest.
In the entertainment industry, Professor Abdallah excelled in the field of Hausa Rap, which led to the formation of a musical concert during the British Council era in Kano State.
The Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has selected Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu as the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria thanks to his expertise and research.
He assumed office in February 2016, and will leave on 10th February 2020, almost six months from now.
Upon his arrival he realized that the university itself was considered more of a regional than a national institution.
His first move was to nationalize it by ensuring that all the six principal officers of the university come from the six Geopolitical zones of the country.
This is the only university with this administrative structure.
He immediately began a plan to ensure that the Headquarters of the university relocated from Lagos to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, despite the threats and challenges he faced.
Without hesitation, he began expanding the new headquarters of the university in Abuja, and in a short period moved from Lagos to Abuja.
He also stopped the outsourcing of students’ portal and facilitation to third party companies and created directorates in the university that handled all these functions, saving the government a huge sum of money.
Successes @ NOUN
Here are a few of the achievements so far made by Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu as the vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN):
From the very beginning, the first step he made was ensuring the relocation of the university headquarters from Lagos State to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He has built numerous study centres across Nigeria, especially in the northern part of the country.
He encouraged politicians to use their constituency projects to build the centres.
Due to his persuasion, about 18 were built in Kano, 15 by Distinguished Senator Barau Jibril in his Senatorial District, two by Honourable Aminu Suleiman in Fagge and Kwaciri, and the biggest and most impressive of all, the one by Honourable Mustapha Bala Mai Gidan Ruwa at Dawakin Kudu.
This last one is the biggest and most comprehensive in Nigeria.
In fact, it is better than many universities, yet it is only a study centre.
Other places he fought for study centres include Katsina, Jigawa, Delta, Ondo and Edo States.
Prof. Abdallah has worked hard to employ many young people at the university under the Employment Act, and with the permission of the legal organs of the Government, and many young Nigerians have been employed in different capacities at the university, particularly in Computer Science.
This was before IPPIS stopped employment.
He re-built the University’s FM station in Lagos for the university to broadcast programs like any other FM station in the country.
Before becoming the VC, all students’ books and materials were produced from outside the university, which cost a large amount of money.
However, he later built a university printing press that would provide all the basic things that university students need, which saves the government a lot of money.
He has improved the school’s internet system so that students can read and research information on various subjects easily.
During the Pandemic lockdown, NOUN was the only university conducting online Pen-on-Paper examination using Artificial Intelligence software that detects cheating.
The students did the examinations at home without going to any Study Center.
Professor Abdallah found a Mosque at the National University Headquarters in Abuja already built by the Contractors building the University.
To show his liberal attitude, when the Christian community asked for a place of worship, he allocated lands to Protestant and Catholics for them to build their Churches, but informed them that they have to source the money to build their worship places as it is not government policy to build worship places for either Muslims or Christians.
Even the mosque was built privately by a contractor without any government funding.
Thus one of his greatest efforts was to unite the staff of the university by working together without any discrimination based on race, religion or ethnicity.
He has worked tirelessly with other major universities in the world to improve the academic system at the university he leads.
Prof. Abdallah built a Media Centre for the university at its Jabi Headquarters in Abuja.
Monogamist for life
Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu is a philanthropist, a man of the masses, easy-going, man of his words because no matter what, he will not lie to you about something he cannot do just to impress you.
Above all, he is incorruptible.
In the use of language, both Hausa and English, you can say he is an orator.
When he speaks in the Hausa language, you would assume he cannot speak the English language at all, but when he addresses you in the English language, you would think Professor Abdallah is an English man.
He was crowned NZE OKAA OMEE, a traditional title in the Awene Ezema Olo Kingdom of Ezeagu LGA Enugu state.
Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu will complete his term as vice-chancellor on 10th February 2021 and return to Bayero University Kano and resume duties on 1st March 2021.
He has one wife and four children, and says he is not ready to marry another wife as the one he has, whom he married in 1987 as his first and last wife, is more than four wives.
His children are all grown up, except the youngest who is 13 years. One is a married computer programmer, another a barrister who lives outside the country with her family and the only male is a Businessman.
Hassan Auwalu Muhammad a student of Mass communication at Bayero University Kano can be reached via email@example.com
A salute to NEPU at 70 – Mahmud Othman
Today, 8th AUGUST, 2020 marks the 70th Anniversary since the formation of the defunct Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) political party.
It was on Tuesday, 8th August, 1950, that a group of eight dynamic, patriotic and restless young Nigerians met at No. 9 Ibadan Road, Sabon Gari, Kano around 4pm where they deliberated and resolved to form the first and only revolutionary political party in Nigeria
Though about 100 people were invited to the meeting, only eight very committed ones among the invitees showed up.
Some of those who could not honour the invitation claimed that it was the usual heavy rain of August that poured on that day that made it impossible for them to attend.
The indomitable and indefatigable eight who attended the inaugural meeting were: Abba Maikwaru, Baballiya Manaja, Musa Kaula, Abdulkadir Danjaji, Abubakar Garba Bida, Mudi Sipikin, Magaji Danbatta and Bello Ijumu.
The political party they formed, NEPU was used as a very strong platform for anti-imperialist, anti-fascists, pan-Africanist and anti-feudal struggle.
Its ideology was tailored towards the total liberation of Nigeria and the African continent from all vestiges of colonialism, imperialism and maladministration by the local bourgeoisie and their apologists.
Nigerians who identified with the party suffered from all forms of indignities from the defunct Native Authority (NA) warlords with the tacit approval of the British colonial agents.
They were imprisoned for no just causes, beaten up in public, sacked from their jobs, taxed arbitrarily, their properties destroyed and all sorts of unimaginable harassment.
What NEPU supporters suffered in Northern Nigeria was something more like what Palestinians and Rohingyas are experiencing from their modern day oppressors.
Despite all attempts of the powers that be to wipe out NEPU member and their just and noble struggles, the party still managed to win seats in both Federal and Northern Nigerian legislative councils.
As mentioned above, NEPU was formed on 8th August, 1950 and it operated for 15years and 161 days.
Or looking at it from another angle, we say that the party lived for 5640 days.
NEPU was among the 81 political parties and cultural associations Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi dissolved when he made his military coup speech on Monday, 17th January, 1966 through the Network Service of Radio Nigeria at 7am.
Some of the other political parties that were dissolved together with NEPU include: Action Group, National Council for Nigerian Citizens, United Middle Belt Congress, Niger Delta Congress, Borno Youths Movement, Republican Party, Dynamic Party, Midwest Democratic Front, Ilorin Talaka Parapo, National Emancipation League, Kano Peoples’ Party, Calabar-Ogoja-Rivers Movement, Communist Party of Nigeria, etc.
Some NEPU national leaders when it was alive include: Alh. Aminu Kano, Dr. Yerima Albatan Balla, Alh. Abubakar Zukogi, Alhaji Sadiq Abubakar Tanko Yakasai, Alhaji Yahaya Sabo, Alhaji Yahaya Abdullahi, Alhaji Lamin Sanusi, etc.
By the will of Allah (SWT) Alh. S. Abubakar Tanko Yakasai, former NEPU National Publicity Secretary, now in his 90s is the last man standing.
May Allah bless the soul of the departed and may Alh. Tanko live long and healthy.
Though NEPU was disbanded by military fiat more than 54 years ago, its spirit is still alive in all those who know what it was all about – love for equality, equity, justice, patriotism, pan Africanism, freedom, progress and development.
Mahmud Othman was Kano state commissioner for rural development during the 2nd Republic administration of late Muhammad Abubakar Rimi.
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