The people of Adamawa State and the catchment areas of former Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola, are now enjoying the full compliments of a conventional university. The conversion from a technology-based to a conventional university and renamed Modibbo Adama University (MAU) has opened spaces for admission of many candidates, particularly those interested in social and management sciences.
Therefore, the opportunities offered by the university, especially to the people of Adamawa State, are enormous if exploited both in terms of admission and employment.
The conversion also gave the university the impetus to establish a College of Medical Sciences. With the medical college established, the need now arise for a teaching hospital which has also been created; hence opening another window of opportunity for the training of doctors and other medical personnel.
With the campaign for the 2023 general elections entering its last lap, so many issues are brought to the fore and the candidates in Adamawa are rushing to claim credit for the good things that have happened to the state and shying away from the negatives.
- Transformational leadership lessons about our 2023 presidential candidates
- How can people overcome their fears about crypto investment
A case in point is the developments at MAUTECH:
Supporters of Aishatu Ahmed Binani, the All Progressives Party (APC) gubernatorial candidate in the state, have saturated the airwaves with how she worked day and night to ensure the realisation of the two related developments. We have also been inundated with how she worked tirelessly to deliver on them. This is laudable.
Without taking away anything from Binani and before I am verbally lynched, I believe it is only fair to situate things into their proper perspectives. If my memory serves me right, the effort to convert the university into a conventional one began during President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office when the then Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, compelled all universities of technology to stop offering courses not related to technology. The campaign for the conversion therefore proved futile because of the lack of vigour from the state government.
However, with the change of government in 2019, Gov Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri took up the issue. On Thursday, August 8, 2019, he led a delegation of eminent Adamawa citizens across party lines to see Buhari on the quest to convert MAUTECH to a conventional university. The result of that visit is the now MAU. The National Assembly organised a public hearing on the bill for the conversion of MAUTECH on December 5, 2019. Fintiri mobilised the people of the state, including but not limited to a former Vice President and presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former governors; former and serving ministers; chief executives of state and federal agencies; diplomats, academicians, the organised private sector and a representative of the Lamido of Adamawa.
Binani, as a senator from the state, played her role by being the face of the bill and performed better than her peers. She deserves a pat on the back for her effort, but we should give credit where it is due.
The same thing goes for the establishment of the teaching hospital. While it is true that Binani presented the bill for the establishment of a teaching hospital in Yola, she appeared to either lose steam or interest in the passage of the bill at one point. With her seeming loss of interest, Fintiri took up the issue. He wrote a letter to the president on November 26, 2021, requesting and making a case on behalf of the people of Adamawa and MAU for the upgrading of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yola, to Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital (MAUTH). On May 17, 2022, the federal government approved the upgrading of the FMC to MAUTH via a press release that reads in part: “The approval is sequel to the demand by the people and the Adamawa State Government….”
Like I said earlier, don’t get me wrong, Binani deserves her 15 minutes in the sun for what she did – presenting a bill drafted by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and by being the face of the bill to the press and the world – somebody must do this, and she had the courage to do it and along the way recognised the political potentialities in the action.
But let’s also recognise the critical role that Fintiri played. He did what others before him failed to do.
Toungo wrote from Yola, Adamawa State.