Tracereporters –Stakeholders of Mubi emirate council of Adamawa North Senatorial District have kicked against what it described as ‘the brazen attempt’ by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education to undermine and override a Presidential approval for the siting of a Federal University of Agriculture in Mubi.
The Adamawa North Senatorial District stakeholders noted that the Presidential approval and directive for the University to be sited in Mubi was conveyed vide a letter dated 18th April, 2023 which was signed by the then Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari. (see copy attached).
They noted that the letter from the former Chief of Staff was very clear and unambiguous in siting not just the Federal University of Agriculture, Mubi, but three other Universities and three new Federal Colleges of Education in different locations across the country.
These were contained in a statement signed by representatives of the six local governments areas that made up the Adamawa North Senatorial district namely; Dr. Umar Duhu (Madagali), Hajiya Bilkisu Talatu Ahmed (Michika), Mr. John Papka Kaigamma (Mubi North), Hon. Ahmad Sajoh (Mubi South), and Hon. Daniel Maksha (Maiha), in which they noted that more worrisome was the flimsy, lame and untenable excuse adduced by the Permanent Secretary after a presidential approval that there is a Polytechnic in Mubi.
They further said; “The Permanent Secretary unilaterally and in flagrant disobedience of established norms, relocated the University to Hong as if a Polytechnic and a University are the same Institutions.
“Consequently, he directed that the University be relocated to Hong. We find it both funny and lamentable that an unelected official and a civil servant on the rank of a Permanent Secretary could unilaterally override a presidential directive in a democracy.
“This excuse is frivolous and unacceptable because there are Federal Polytechnics and Federal Universities in Bauchi and Damaturu. There are four Federal Institutions of Learning in Yola, a University, a College of Education, Government Girls College and an Airforce Institute.
“In addition, half of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi is still located in Yola. Places like Zaria have a University, an Aviation College, a Federal College of Education and an Institute of Transport Technology. Daura has about four Institutions including a university and a Federal Polytechnic all recently established.
“The proposed place of relocation equally has a Federal Government Institution, a Federal Medical Center recently established in the place. A Tertiary Medical Facility is equally a training Institute.
“So, if on the strength of just the presence of a Federal Institution in a location, then they too are not qualified for the institution. But that is not enough reason at all.
“Thirdly the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the Federal Character principle provides for not just balancing in appointments but, also in project distribution. “Section 14 subsection 3 states as follows, *The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and to command National loyalty*.
“Hong is in the Central Senatorial District of the state where all the Institutions located in Yola belong, while Mubi is in the Northern Senatorial District.
“Siting a University of Agriculture in Mubi should not be seen as an accident or an undeserved favour. It is a continuation of Mubi’s contributions to the development and training of Agricultural staff for many decades. It should be recalled that;
One of the first set of Farm Training Centers established by the Northern Nigerian Government in the 1950s was located in Lokuwa area of Mubi.
“One of the first integrated Diary Farms in Northern Nigeria established in the 1960s and called “Gidan Madara” is located along Sahuda Road in Mubi
“One of the first integrated Multi-System Irrigation projects in Northern Nigeria was established in Mayo-Bani in Mubi.
The First College of Agriculture in the then Gongola state and one of the first in the North East was established in Mubi.
Therefore, having the first University of Agriculture in the North East located in Mubi is not just in order but a necessary ingredient for harnessing the vast agricultural potentials of the region while leveraging on the many years of ‘agriculture related knowledge base’ located in Mubi,” they stressed.
The stakeholders recalled that during the administration of Late President Shehu Shagari, there was a pronouncement to site a university in Mubi, adding that as is the case today, some people came up with the lame excuse that Mubi was not a state capital.
In their words; “At that time, there were Federal Universities in Zaria, Ife and Umudike that were, and are still not state capitals. Later Federal Universities were established in Wukari, Kashere, Oye-Ekiti and Daura, all of them not state capitals. We wonder why Nigeria will always want to apply double standards in policies anytime a matter involves our hometown of Mubi. “Today as it was then, several Institutions of learning are established and maintain and are active in many locations without question, yet one civil servant who is privileged to raise to the peak of his career is again shifting the goal post just in order to deny Mubi what is due to her.
“We understand that the man in question is due to retire very soon. We strongly suspect that he may be induced to do what he is doing by some pecuniary interests that are totally unconnected with a desire to uphold service policy. Should that turn out to be true then, only God knows how much of Nigeria’s interest such an officer may have compromised on the altar of self-interest,” the enthused.
The stakeholders noted that since 2015 to 2023, the people of Mubi massively voted for APC President Bola Ahmed Tinubu unlike Hong that rejected APC despite having two persons appointed as SGF.
“In 2023 both the APC and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were massively rejected in Hong by the voters. We therefore believe that taking the Federal University of Agriculture from Mubi and giving it to Hong is the same as “Robbing Peter at gun point in order to use the proceeds to pay an undeserving Paul”.
They therefore called on the Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District and the two members of the House of Representatives, representing Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha Federal Constituency as well as member Representing Michika and Madagali Federal Constituency to rise up to the occasion and be the ambassadors of their people.