By Ogunwoye Gbemiga Samson.
University of Abuja is one of the third generation higher institutions in Nigeria. The nascent vision from the onset was to make the institution worthy of international standards and recognitions. The school was established with highest degree of hope and unparalleled expectations. But for about a decade now, the institution is fast becoming the direct opposite of the initial vision.
The location of the institution in the heart of Nigeria is quite strategic, the only conventional University in the central of power. University of Abuja is the only institution in Nigeria where one can easily find representatives of all the tongues and dialects spoken in Nigeria. Located at the centre of authority, this institution should ordinarily be a beacon of hope and forerunner to other Universities in Africa.
But over the years, the institution is confronted with myriad of challenges warring against the progress and development of the institution. The epileptic academic calendar, incessant industrial actions, mismanagement of funds, examination malpractices, unqualified staff, monetized admission process, inadequate infrastructural facilities and other problems are part and parcel of the institution, although, not peculiar to the university alone.
Different persons have occupied the position of Vice Chancellor in the University with the hope of making some differences, but alas, they rather return back to their various domains with the conceived hope in their bags. Vice Chancellors have come from within the system and outside the system, they put in their best to salvage the system, but their best is just too insignificant to effect the pragmatic transformation needed.
It is no longer news that the incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Adikwu is leaving the system in couple of days. Well, we all owe him some gratitudes for the efforts he had put in place, at least, we could proudly talk about resuscitating student unionism, the reduction of internal industrial actions, but realistically, the aspects he couldn’t touch are more than the ones he could, although, we are not ready to dwell in the past, rather to learn from the past, therefore, it is high time we looked for a credible replacement that will bell the cat.
Foremost, it should be well understood that the University of Abuja is in dire need of a revolutionary leader, someone with enough experience and willingness to lead the pace. A decisive leader with abundant ingenuity. Someone that can say NO even when it would cost irreplaceable.
Now, the process of application and screening of who to manage the affairs of our Alma Mata for the next 5 years have reached the peak, about 14 persons are currently shortlisted, 10 of whom are Externals while 4 are internals. But at this moment, question of internal or external shouldn’t be a major concern, rather, certain parameters like competency, integrity, antecedence, versatility and achievements should be adequately considered.
While engaging myself on due diligence of the shortlisted candidates, unexpectedly, I found solace in someone who should be absolutely considered based on the parameter of meritocracy. His antecedence speaks volumes of him, without an iota of doubt, I think Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, the Pioneer Vice Chancellor of Kwara State University has all it takes to bell the cat.
Abdulrasheed Na’Allah born in Ilorin in 1962 is now a Professor of International pedigree. He mastered the mystery of literature with all dexterities, which makes him enviable to the world. His academic activities even outside the shore of Africa is boldly written on the marble of history. His time as lecturer at Albert University, Canada; Harvard University and Western Illinois University, USA, equips him with experiences of international standards. In fact, he is listed in Marquis Who is Who in America consistently since 2002.
Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah is one of those few that have gotten succour in the developed world but decided to come back home to domesticate his experiences. Do you know what? As a Pioneer Vice Chancellor of Kwara State University which is one the most attractive State Universities in Nigeria today, Prof. Na’Allah uninterruptedly ran the university for good five years without subvention from the State Government. No wonder he remains in the innermost heart of everyone that has passed through his tutelage and administration.
Also, worthy to note is the fact that Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, a complete detribalized Nigerian, a man born in Ilorin, schooled in Sokoto, is today at the forefront of advocating for national celebration of Biafra Day. That shows the level of his objectivity as an academician. He has gone beyond parochial sentiment which has beclouded the minds of many Nigerians.
At this point in our history, University of Abuja deserves nothing but the best. Prof Abdulrasheed Na’Allah is simply the _primus inter pares_ , he has all what it takes to bell the cat and lead the institution to an adorable stage.
Ogunwoye Samson Gbemiga
Alumna, University of Abuja.
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.