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In defense of Salihu Tanko Yakasai

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Salihu Tanko Yakasai
Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Dr. Sule Ya’u Sule

Let’s get one thing clear from the beginning. I think Salihu Tanko Yakasai’s arrest is an overreaction. You can say overzealous. You can also say it is not lifted from President Muhammadu Buhari’s Playbook.

Who else has been arrested for criticising this President? If this is a localised reaction, those who arrested Salihu for asking the President to resign if he cannot stem the rising insecurity did the President’s reputation as a democrat more harm than good.

There is nothing new in the call. Numerous groups, including the opposition PDP, and even a fraction of CAN, have made similar calls in the past. The difference now is who is saying what now.

Was Malam Salihu justifiably sacked because he’s Ganduje’s spokesperson? My intervention here is that the business of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds is impolitic. Salihu’s action was highly inappropriate, an abysmal professional judgment, and lacking discretion and common sense.

Criticising President Buhari while serving the APC Government of Kano State as Spokesman is one double standard too many and reeks of professional opportunism, which must be stamped out in our industry.

When you choose to serve as a government spokesman, you position yourself as a salesman, the front office manager. The culinary equivalent would be the first person who tastes the food and confirms to customers that the menu is good for them. If you fundamentally disagree with the Government you are serving, then the honourable thing to do is quit.

The position of a spokesman in any organisation, public or private, for an individual or multinational, is a moral one. If you do not believe in your principal, totally, wholeheartedly, unequivocally, do not take the job. A spokesperson wholly subsumes himself in the cause. He must be passionate and convincing. Self-convinced! No self-doubts. No scepticism. Criticism? Do not take an appointment as a spokesperson if your heart’s not in it. It is not a calling for the fainthearted.

In this profession, there will be channels to make inputs on any issues. And if there are none or few or they are not working, fix the leak. The spokesman does not only carry the message to the public. That is the easiest part. He in-feeds the system with his professional counsel, and he makes his input. He advises and listens, and understands his principal, the issues, the context, the audience, history, the present, future tense. When a spokesperson speaks, he embodies the message, the character, the beliefs of his source. If you don’t believe in the message or the head, do not speak. The moment you stop believing is also the end of the story. You do not have the prerogative to serve two masters. What do you call that, conscience? No, it’s straight professional corruption. Buhari and Ganduje are both APC. It is between six and half a dozen. President Buhari is the primary reason Ganduje is still Governor of Kano State today. It goes beyond securing political capital. It is about the optics and consistency of the Party’s governance messaging and integrity.

Any Ganduje appointee criticising President Buhari or his Government is off his rocker. Criticising the President while speaking for the Governor, should invite more than a rebuke.

They can quit. That is the honourable thing to do once they can no longer tolerate or accept what is going on in Government. You cannot be in Government and be criticising the same Government. It is unethical. It sends the wrong signals. Under normal circumstances, such a person should be sanctioned if he belonged to a professional body. NIPR should take note. The first unwritten law of marketing also applies to our noble profession: do not sell what you cannot buy.

One last point. Some would say that those who sow in the wind will reap the whirlwind. What does Malam Salihu know about Immutable Karma, the inescapable law of justice, that those who go to equity with soiled hands will have their day, someday. Several colleagues have since drawn our attention to the manner Salihu used to abuse my principal Malam Ibrahim Shekarau while he was Governor. Criticism no, it was blatant abuse after abuse, using uncouth language to dish out fabricated stories and distorted facts as opinion. Salihu lost his head when Malam contested for the Presidency under the ANPP against the then CPC candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. Salihu rained abuses on Malam. At some point, because of my relationship with his elder brother, I called him aside and urged him to moderate his views. I advised Salihu to lower the temperature of his vitriolic.

Politics is not war. My well-meaning interventions did little to moderate him anyway. But at least I tried. The abuses continued. They didn’t make sense to neutral people, but it was the electoral campaign time, the season of madness. He abused Malam to impress Buhari. Now, he flogs Buhari, to, what, spite Ganduje? A spokesperson’s best tools are decorum, decency, belief and passion.

Dr. Sule is a spokesperson of former governor of Kano state and senator representing Kano central in the senate Ibrahim Shekarau

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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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