By Engr. Mustapha Habu Ringim
The innovative Almajiri School Initiative of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), directly or indirectly, challenged northern Nigerian elites on the intense need for a proper plan and execution of any sustainable way of curtailing the menace of the Almajiri system of education. He did his best during his tenure. We expect the incumbent government and the next one to build on where that administration stopped to ensure continuity.
I don’t know how Northern Nigeria is becoming so loose that our communities find it difficult to maintain essential infrastructures like those installed during the GEJ government. Instead of optimising the system, we allowed the structures and the equipment to rot away. We abandoned the schools. Today no one cares to adopt the strategy even in our localities, neither our philanthropists nor any NGO.
Most of our elites are only good at criticism. You will never see them when it comes to action. They instead spend their energy on empty talks and promises. While in a situation like the one Arewa is subjected to, action is mostly needed, with less noise. Though we all agree that “facta non verba”, actions speak louder than words, we always end up talking the wrong walk instead of walking the right talks.
Alhamdu Lillah, we started a model of such a system within our jurisdiction, called ENGAUSAR ALMAJIRAI, under Engausa Global Tech. Hub, which has recently attracted an intervention from NITDA Nigeria and a solo philanthropist from JOS Plateau State, Alh. Yusuf Yahaya Kwande. I don’t want to say much about the outcomes at the moment until we achieve enough to discuss. I always prepare walking the talk instead of the opposite.
We had witnessed a similar effort to revamp the TSANGAYA SYSTEM in Kano State during Malam Ibrahim Shekarau’s tenure. Shekarau transformed the Tasanga (Almajiri School) system and provided Almajirai and their teachers (Malaman Tsangaya) with sustainable means of livelihood. But unfortunately, the innovative Tsangaya System, sphere-headed by Dr Bashir Galadanci, a man with a sincerity of purpose, was abolished by the successor of Shekarau. And all the achievements recorded from the innovative system were brought back to square one.
Moreover, this is how the monotonous lack of continuity in governance, lack of patriotism, and focus are consuming every program or policy designed to transform our socioeconomic and sociocultural activities. In the same way, Kano ICT Park and Jigawa Galaxy Back Borne and Informatics suffered from the unpatriotic people at the helm of the affairs of Nothern Nigeria. Both Jigawa and Kano would have been ahead of Lagos regarding the digital ecosystem and digital economy. As of 2005, Jigawa was rated as the best ICT State in Nigeria due to the achievements recorded from those iconic “digital wings”.
Our society needs a new set of purposeful leaders, the likes of Borno State Governor Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum. We require leaders who are ready to sacrifice their lives for any struggle necessary to save our society from obscurity to prominence. With such Zulum’s prominent achievements, the progress recorded under Shekarau in Kano, and that of Goodluck at the federal level, we now have a concrete reason to disagree with anyone who thinks Nigerians will never be taken to the proverbial promised land.
Engr. Mustapha Habu Ringim wrote from Kano via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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