Meet professors, PhD holders in Zulum’s government | Dailytrust

Meet professors, PhD holders in Zulum’s government

The swearing-in of new commissioners and other appointees by Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, on Monday, has added to the number of...

A cross section of Governor Zulum’s commissioners during swearing in on Monday in Maiduguri
A cross section of Governor Zulum’s commissioners during swearing in on Monday in Maiduguri

The swearing-in of new commissioners and other appointees by Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, on Monday, has added to the number of academics in the administration. Daily Trust on Sunday spotlights these professors.

No fewer than seven professors and three PhD holders were appointed into key positions, including  commissioners and chairmen of some critical agencies by the Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.

These academics, all from the University of Maiduguri, are Professor Isa Marte Hussaini, Professor Hauwa Biu, Professor Bulama Kagu, Professor Suleiman Bello, Professor Mohammed Arab Alhaji, Professor Adamu Alooma  and Professor Ibrahim Bukar.

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Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that Zulum employed the services of his colleagues in the ivory tower into his administration to help move the state forward, particularly in his effort to restore peace, revamp education and develop agricultural activities to return its lost glory.

Chief of Staff of Governor Zulum, Professor Isa Hussaini Marte

Hussaini, who is currently the chief of staff to the governor, is a professor of pharmacy. He was appointed the commissioner for higher education in 2019 and said to have performed credibly, resuscitating and transforming state-owned tertiary institutions.

He was elevated to the position of chief of staff in August 2020 following the death of Dr Babagana Wakil, who was one of the closest allies of the governor. He represented Zulum in many functions within and outside the state.

Professor Hauwa Biu is the chairman of the Borno State Education Trust Fund. Biu is a professor of education. 

Also, Professor Bulama Kagu is the chairman of the Borno State Universal Basic Education Board. He was appointed in October 2021. 

Kagu is also a professor of education.  

Professor Suleiman Bello, an educationist, is the chairman of the Borno Teaching Service Board.

The latest addition is Professor Mohammed Arab Alhaji, who was deployed as commissioner for health. He is the first professor (at least since 1999) to head Borno’s health care sector. 

Professor Alhaji is a medical doctor specialising in gastroenterology, paediatrics, hepatology and nutrition. He headed Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition/ Infectious Diseases Specialist Clinics in the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).

Governor Zulum had in September 2020 appointed Arab as the medical director of the Borno State Hospital Management Board before recently appointing him as Borno’s first professor to oversee the Ministry of Health. 

Professor Arab was a resident doctor in Ibadan and Kaduna. He had served in more than 20 technical committees and as a facilitator/investigator to several government and non-governmental organisations’ programmes associated with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Borno State Government, the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), among others.

Also, the governor nominated two professors to contest the last local government election in the state. They won in Gwoza and Damboa local government areas respectively. Professor Adamu Alooma is the current chairman of Damboa Local Government while Professor Ibrahim Bukar oversees Gwoza. They contested on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2020. 

While Alooma is a professor of banking and finance, Bukar is a professor of education.

Apart from the professors, Governor Zulum also appointed PhD holders as commissioners. 

Dr Babagana Mustapha Malumbe is the commissioner for higher education, science, technology and innovation while Dr Ali Bunu Mustapha is the new commissioner for agriculture and natural resources. 

The governor also engaged four engineers, architects and lawyers. 

Speaking on why the governor decided to appoint his colleagues, a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Dr Malam Sani Ali, said he believed Zulum would return to the academic environment after his political career, adding, “I am sure they were not included in the cabinet just because they are family members and friends. Each one of them has a specific role to play in the system.”


He, however, said there were fears that sometimes, academicians don’t make good administrators, but also added that a good number of them had performed creditably in that field.

“I don’t think it is proper to say that academics don’t perform in the area of administration. They perform well. A good example is Zulum himself. We, however, admit that some of them have performed below expectations,” he said. 

Ali further said that in every profession, there are good and bad people. “I am not saying that those who failed are bad, they only failed because they were taken outside their calling. Sometimes they fail to practise what they teach. There are people who are best in teaching but not really good at life performance.

“We have to look at the circumstances in which the academics got into administration. Many of them were called because they are friends to certain influential people, who can in turn make or mar their appointments. They were not called to serve the people but certain interests; that’s why they failed. 

“We all know that academics are poorly remunerated, so many of us want to leave the profession and seek greener pastures elsewhere. And compulsion makes a lot of people to compromise.

“We pray that the appointment of many academicians by Governor Zulum would not go in the other directive. We hope the political environment would allow them perform in the roles they were assigned,” he said. 

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