I am yet to regain myself back from the shock and heart sinking trauma resulting from recent massacre of fifteen (15) residents of Katsina state.
It was yet another episode of heartbreaking attack by bandits on innocent inhabitants’ right on their farmlands while they till the ground to seek a means of livelihood. It was so terrifying that I did not take a second glance at the trending video of their mass burial as my eyes soaked in tears.
At the very point of penning down my thoughts in words to condemn and proffer panaceas on the rising level of insecurity in Katsina State, the circulating news of a sponsored bill seeking legislative backing for an act to rename Federal University Dutsin-Ma to Muhammadu Dikko University crippled my thought. The bill which has reportedly passed first reading at the upper legislative chamber was sponsored by Distinguished Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita, representing Katsina North Senatorial District, and chairman Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
The Bill to rename Federal University Dutsin-Ma to Muhammadu Dikko University is not the first of its kind. A flashback to Thursday 9th of November, 2017, recorded a Bill of exact nature at the lower chamber of the legislative House sponsored by the immediate past member representing Dutsin-Ma/Kurfi, Hon. Danlami Kurfi. The Bill met a total rejection and never scales through beyond first reading.
Never in my wildest dream and imagination has the thought of seeing a distinguished Senator of Ahmed Babba Kaita’s pedigree stooping sow low to sponsor a valueless bill of this nature, especially in the wake of alarming rate of insecurity, abject poverty and penury, devastating condition of healthcare system and vulnerability of internally displaced persons dominantly visible in Katsina state.
I was privileged to meet Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita in person back in the year 2017 at the National Assembly Complex. If my memory serves me well, it was during an excursion tour alongside my fellow Students from the Department of Political Science, Federal University Dutsin-Ma. At that period, the now distinguished Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita was at the lower chamber as a member, representing Kankia/Ingawa/Kusada Federal Constituency.
After the preliminary session, we had a brief chat with him and some other lawmakers. I can attest from my short encounter with Ahmed Babba Kaita that he is dedicated, pro-masses, creative, humble and simple down to earth. I have been following up his outstanding and remarkable contributions that are obviously visible, not only in his senatorial district, but also across Katsina state at large. The testimonies of his life touching projects and hope restoring gestures are further indication that he is committed to serving humanity to the very best of his ability.
While I acknowledge Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita’s impacts in transforming the lives of many, I will without mincing words refer to his sponsored bill to rename FUDMA to nothing but a wild goose chase, conceived out of the Senator’s relentless effort to further boost his fast growing political popularity, especially in Katsina state.
The Senator this time around aimed at the wrong target, and such error might timely cost him his political ambitions. It is sad for a Senator of Ahmed Babba Kaita’s caliber to stain his political garment with a Bill that lack any socioeconomic impact on the overall wellbeing and living conditions of the people, whose interest the Senator constitutionally protects. It is equally demeaning to the crest and lack of respect for constitutional mandate for the entire principal officers of the upper legislative chamber to entertain a bill that totally lack merit given that the entire country is faced with a more urgent legislation requiring issues above a mere change of institution’s name.
It is a serious misplacement of priority to dwell legislative efforts on renaming a University that is currently grappling with an unending power tussle and crass calamitous leadership crisis dragging the institution to the pit. If Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita and his fellow Senators at the upper chamber are truly seeking a means to write their names in gold on the FUDMA hall of fame, Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita should take advantage of his position as the Chairman of Senate committee on Tertiary institutions to deploy his arsenal into solving the quadratic puzzle of leadership crisis in FUDMA. Otherwise, embarking on renaming the institution will yield nothing positive other than a fruitless effort.
It is understandable that Late Muhammadu Dikko of blessed memory is a figure whose legendary inputs across Katsina kingdom cannot be forgotten in a hurry. His enormous contributions as Emir is worthy of been immortalized to keep his memory alive. But with the Katsina stadium, central market, state Television station, Central Mosque and Secondary school all bearing Muhammadu Dikko, they are more than enough to keep the memory of the late Emir alive.
Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita embarks on this fruitless exercise paying little or no attention to the structure and heterogeneous nature of the University. This is a University that houses more than twenty thousand people from different ethnic extractions. An attempt to rename FUDMA will only give birth to a more complex problem of ethnic supremacy. The likes of Ahamadu Bello University Zaria, and Bayero University Kano were only able to maintain the tempo of ethnicity as a Federal institutions with complex ethnic composition, only because they were established with the names they all bear right from inception.
Abdulazeez Mantu writes from Katsina (firstname.lastname@example.org)