By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.
I am an active member of The Habu Mamman Foundation group. So when I came across a message shared by Uncle Habu Mamman himself, it got my rapt attention. Uncle Habu is an Engineer turned politician, along with another Uncle, Nuhu Gidado, former Deputy Governor of Bauchi state and commissioner of education. When I got the audio file, I could feel Uncle Habu’s roaring and infectious laughter, but realising that it was a 45-minute long recording, I knew he meant business. I steadied and listened to it.
It was Dr Tilde’s voice, the Commissioner for Education in Bauchi state. I could feel his pain in his voice, and as he spoke, his breath delivered his anger, yet, in a soft-spoken manner. Dr Tilde was the pioneer Chairman of the Bauchi Special School’s Management Board during the Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu administration of 1999-2007. He was sought after by the administration of M. A. Abubakar Esq. (2015-2019), to which he was unavoidably absent. Present-day Bala Mohammed’s government got his services as the Education Commissioner.
Dr Tilde’s sterling achievements during the Ahmed Mu’azu Administration have brought us to the current efforts to revamp and revitalise the state of education in Bauchi. He spoke at length of the rot in the system, the poor quality of teachers in the sector, and the corruption that is eating away the resources that would have otherwise helped in uplifting the standard of education in Bauchi. He is battling an entrenched system of corruption that doesn’t care about the children’s future—a system where people get paid for doing no work at all.
It’s a system where school children could not write a sentence, neither could they read one, and if they write a word or sentence, you could not read what they’ve written. During his 45 minute delivery, he reflected on the work done during Ahmed Adamu Mua’zu’s administration. He was always pontificating at what they achieved during that time, how they did it, and the quality of the products they hatched at the time. Finally, he declared that today, if you go to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi, you will meet doctors, lab scientists, pharmacists and many other professionals who are products of the special schools of the Ahmed Mu’azu era.
During Ahmed Mu’azu’s tenure as governor, primary school students’ enrollment rose from 438,350 to 1.3 million within six years. Before he became governor in 1999, only 279 students passed their WAEC exams with five credits or more. That figure rose to 9000 students under his watch in 2005. His achievements in the education sector in the history of Bauchi state are second to none. The quality of education was simply outstanding.
The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi itself, houses a lot of the infrastructural projects of the Ahmed Mua’zu administration when it was the Bauchi Specialist Hospital. The quality of the wards, laboratories and equipment installed are second to none and are still being utilised today. The Amenity ward stands as a perfect example of the standard of works executed at that time. There is no difference between the National Hospital Abuja and the Amenity division of the Specialist Hospital Bauchi.
Ahmed Mu’azu built over 1000km of intra-state roads and over 230km of urban township roads. His rural development strides saw the electrification of 800 towns and villages, where they were connected to the national grid. The Federal Ministry of Information ranked him as the best governor in rural development, and the second overall best in all areas, in the country.
Ahmed Mu’azu’s first degree is in Quantity Surveying, and his master’s is in Construction Management. I believe this accounts for his quest for excellence when he delivers his projects. He was recently honoured by the Federal University Wukari with an honorary Doctorate, as Doctor of Science, in recognition of his selfless service and visionary leadership. Additionally, he has five other honorary doctorates from notable institutions: the Federal University of Technology Akure, University of Uyo, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Igbinedion University Benin, and University of Maiduguri.
Ahmed Mu’azu is widely travelled and well-known across the country, with friends and associates in every nook and cranny. So many groups and movements have sprung up, urging him to run for the Presidency. Even though he hasn’t made any declaration yet. He is undoubtedly an administrator with a most enviable track record of excellence in service delivery, filled with legacies from his tenure as Bauchi governor. Dr Tilde got me nostalgic over our unforgettable Mu’azu of Bauchi state.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi and sent this article via firstname.lastname@example.org.