Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Re: Intellectual mischief in Zamfara politics

Re: Intellectual mischief in Zamfara politics

Written by Bilkisu Aminu Gusau

Saturday, 25 July 2009 03:43

I read an article in the Weekly Trust of July 18, 2009, where one Adamu Bungudu responded to an article written by Dr. Yusuf Adamu of the Bayero University Kano. The tone of the article encouraged me to get the original article written by Dr. Yusuf Adamu and after reading his original and what it generated I decided to respond to Adamu Bungudu because he seemed to misunderstand the article of Dr. Adamu.

I don’t know either of the writers in person, but I have the privilege of reading Dr. Adamu weekly in his Sunday Trust Column, I have also read many of his works on the web and I have also read some of his academic books when I was doing my MBA. I have also made some inquiries about him online and from friends that knew him. Like Dr. Adamu, I am from Zamfara State even though I stay in Kaduna with my husband.

Dr. Adamu raised some fundamental issues on what is going on in Zamfara State and in the whole article he did not say Shinkafi has not done well in Zamfara, all he was saying if honestly understood is that Zamfara was not lucky with Yerima as governor and Shinkafi’s vision is now blurred by politics. He calls for reforms; what else should a citizen do better than what Dr. Adamu has done? His article was not about the government of Shinkafi, it is about the politics of the state.

Bungudu questioned Dr. Adamu’s claim of being an intellectual and said that he is ignorant of Zamfara history and politics. Haba Bungudu! Dr. Adamu is an intellectual of standard if you know what an intellectual means. He has captured Zamfara politics aptly and his thesis shows great understanding of what is on the ground.

When Bungudu said that Dr. Adamu is “hardly known outside the BUK ivory tower much less in the rank of popular or prominent citizens of Zamfara State” I find this claim baseless, ignorant and a blatant lie. If Bungudu didn’t know who Dr. Adamu is, he should please shut his mouth. Dr. Adamu writes a weekly column in the Sunday Trust newspaper (formerly PLACES and now LANDSCAPES) since 2007. He is very regular in Nigerian newspapers since 1992, how can you say he is not known? Do you read newspapers at all Bungudu?

Dr. Adamu is an established scholar, poet and writer. I also learnt that he was the first northerner to earn a PhD in Medical Geography and is a leading authority on Maternal Mortality and Maternal Health in Nigeria. Dr. Adamu I have no doubt is known internationally, his works are taught not only in Nigerian Universities but also in US and European Universities especially in Germany and Norway. Therefore to say he is not known outside the BUK campus is despicable and silly. Bungudu should know that Dr. Adamu is more widely known in the world than any member of Zamfara State Executive or Legislature, go and google his name, you will be surprised to see his calibre. So stop making baseless claims like that please. Zamfara State should even be very proud that he associated with it.

When Bugudu alledged that Dr. Adamu is planning to contest for governor in Zamfara State 2011, I think we Zamfarawa should be happy and prayerful that he did not change his mind. He is the kind of people we need to pull our state out of political quagmire and give us HOPE. Therefore, if Shinkafi cannot maintain the tempo he began with, people like Dr. Adamu should be encouraged to join Zamfara politics.

Bungudu is also afraid that Dr. Adamu has concentrated on calling his colleagues, the academics to help the state out at the expense of other sectors of Zamfara society. Why should Bungudu be worried when he claimed to have knowledge of Zamfara history and Politics? He knows that all the other sectors have failed the people. In any case, Dr. Adamu may be right if he starts his CHANGE with the help of his colleagues, even Usman Danfodio started with an intellectual revolution before the revolution proper. I see nothing wrong in all these.

Dr. Adamu did not say he wants to govern Zamfara Sate and he did not say that he wants the state to be governed by university teachers and there is no where in Dr. Adamu’s write up where he said he wants to head the intellectual movement. What he said was he wants intellectuals of Zamfara origin teaching in Nigerian universities to form a nucleus of a body that will start the rebirth of the State.

If Adamu Bubgudu understands the English language very well he should understand what Dr. Adamu was saying. Is change not usually started by intellectuals? If you don’t know this, go and read your history books. Let me recommend Ibrahim Sulaiman’s A Revolution in History, a book of the Sokoto Jihad. Go and read, you will probably understand where Dr. Adamu got his ideas or I think he got his ideas.

Bilkisu writes from Barnawa Quarters, Kaduna




Friday, June 4, 2010


By Tijjani Abubakar

The piece written by my Lecturer Dr. Yusuf Adamu on ‘’For the Return of Geography’’ on Weekly Trust of April 10, 2010 has prompted me to write on this subject-matter. Geography as a discipline has been relegated to the background at the early school days in the past few decades. The repercussion of this, has manifested on our national life in a negative way. Yet the rudimentrics of geography at the Primary School and Junior secondary is sacrosanct both in developing our economy and the corporate existence of our dear country – Nigeria.

Geography will help to expose the Primary School pupil to the economic potentials that can be found in the various mineral resources that abound in large quantities at different locations of his/her country . This knowledge will tickle the child’s imagination and thought and ultimately lay a solid foundation for a rigorous research at higher level on how to harness these resources for a virile economy. Obviously, this will set the pace for revamping the quest for studying science courses at the higher level by our young ones – a development that has the propensity for more scientific creativity that will put Nigeria’s name among the best producer as opposed to consumer nations of the world. A viable economy cannot thrive in an atmosphere of confusion, lack of respect for one another and chaos. Human geography from onset is a viable tool for integrating well over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria cum offer panacea to the ethnic chauvinism that has recently became a major cause of violence in this country.

The disappearance of geography from the Primary School and Junior Secondary School syllabus in Nigeria in recent times have played a salient role in producing graduates and intellectuals who despise against their fellow colleagues that hail from the other part of the country and regard them as second class intellectuals or citizens. This stereotype is obviously a bad omen for our nascent democracy as well as the corporate existence of our great country. It is a common knowledge that when the learned amongst us despise one another, the common man (who are the vast majority) loses focus and be plunged into confusion and despair. This is corroborated by the popular saying ‘’when two Elephants fight, the grass suffers’’.

The Creator of Mankind and the Universe Has told us about the importance of geography more than 1400 years ago in the Holy Qur’an when He said ‘’O mankind ! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is knower, Aware. Qur’an 49:13

It is interesting to note that almost all the five themes on which geography can be understood featured prominently in the verse mentioned above, namely; Location, Human/Environment interaction, Movement, and Region. Location provides answers to the question ‘’where is it’’? both in terms of absolute location of a place which can be explained both by latitude and longitude of a place, as well as relative location which seeks to describe a place relative to other places. Place (as a theme) provides answers to ‘’what is it like there’’? both in terms of physical features and economic activities that characterizes that area. Human/Environment interaction provides answer to ‘’what is the relationship between people and their environment’’ ? in terms of exploitation of the resources such as rivers, lakes, forests sunshine etc and other interactions with their environment. The theme ‘’Movement’’ offers an explanation to ‘’how are people and places connected’’’? in terms of both migration and daily movements in search of jobs and other means of livelihood. The theme ‘’Regions’’ provides a detailed explanation on ‘’how is a place similar to and different from other places’’ ? both in terms of tribes or ethnic groups dominating the area or the physical characteristics such as soils or climate of the area. Geography can make us understand that no place on earth is an island, in other words everyone of us cannot live independent of the other, just as the places we live.

Let us teach geography to the Primary school child to promote development of Science and Technology in Nigeria. Let geography set the pace for Space exploration and Space sciences in Nigeria. Let the Primary school pupil in Ijebu Ode (Southwestern Nigeria) know that the harmattan dust prevailing in the plains of Kano, Kaduna and Zamfara (Northwestern Nigeria) is good for the flourishing of wheat and many other crops in Nigeria. Let the Primary school child in far away Maiduguri (Northeastern Nigeria) know that the palm oil his mother use in cooking comes from Onitsha, Enugu etc (Southeastern Nigeria). Let that child growing in Ekeremor (Bayelsa in the South- South) know that fish, also abounds in large quantities in River Niger and Benue as well as Tin in Jos (North – Central region). Let our younger ones in Ganye (in Adamawa), Gboko (in Benue) and Hadejia (in Jigawa) know that most of their Clothes, Shoes as well as the Cars they see around them were imported through the tin can island Ports in Apapa (Lagos) and Onne port in Port Harcourt (Rivers State). Let us inculcate sound Environmental Management techniques in the minds of our younger ones through geography so that we can create a safe haven for living through sustainable development in all facets of human endeavor.

Let the Federal Ministry of Education and other stakeholders strive to ensure that geography is taught at both Primary and Junior secondary school level in Nigeria. let us refrain from alienating geography at these levels because the land we live on, the sea that dominate our planet as well as the air around us are better understood through geography.

Tijjani Abubakar is the Managing Director, Wholesome Environments Limited Gwarzo Road, Kano.

tijruu@yahoo.com 08029096035

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Kano, Kano, Nigeria
Dr. Yusuf M. Adamu is a Professor of Medical Geography at the Bayero University Kano. He is a bilingual novelist, a poet, and writes for children. He is interested in photography and run a photo blog (www.hausa.aminus3.com) All the blogs he run are largely for his hobbies and not his academic interests. Hope you enjoy the blogs.