As Prof Pate Emerges FUK VC

As Prof Pate Emerges FUK VC

By Bilyaminu Gambo Kong-kol

AREWA AGENDA – An address by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council of Federal University of Kashere Yakubu H. A. Ruba, SAN on Thursday 17th December, 2020 revealed that Professor Umar A. Pate will replace the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alhassan Mohammed Gani, whose tenure expires 10th of February, 2021. The development is connected to Professor Pate’s excellent performance at the just concluded interview conducted by the Federal University of Kashere’s Governing Council.

Reports showed that 27 candidates have shown their interest for the seat but after thorough screening and series of investigations, only eleven out them were invited for physical screening and interview. After the first round of the interview, the reservoir and panjandrum of knowledge, Prof Umar A Pate alongside two other contestants qualified for the second and final round of the interview. The final result of the interview showed that the Communication and Media Encyclopedia, Prof. Umaru A. Pate floored the two other candidates where he scored 92.2%. Prof. Polycarp Emeka Chigbu scored 77.8% and Prof. Santaya Larit Kela who scored 75.5%.

As a current student of Professor Umar A Pate at the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano, I must confess that his appointment is well deserved and could not have come at a better time than now. Professor Umar Pate is not just a lecturer but a distinguished personality who is excellent in manners and mannerisms, human relations, conflict resolutions and social development. This is why the grandfather of journalism in Nigeria, Professor Ralph A. Akinfeleye always describes him as the loss of University of Maiduguri and the gain of Bayero University, Kano.

Professor Pate is indeed the gain of BUK. Under his leadership as Pioneer Deen of Faculty of Communication, staff strength had been massively increased. Numerous lecturers gained PhD certificate with others elevated to the level of Professors. The media guru had also updated Mass Communication teaching curriculum to meet the world standard.

Even though he left the office of the Faculty of Communication Deen to Post Graduate Schools’ Deen, Professor Umaru A Pate had led a strong team to come up with a first-class radio station. After a visit by the team to the BBC, modernised 2020 equipments were installed at the radio station which is currently located in the faculty of communication. Prof Pate has been always working towards the success of the school of postgraduates, Faculty of Communication and the University in general. It is good to note that he is a closed friend to both immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano, Professor Muhammad Yahuza Bello and current VC, Professor Sagir Adamu Abbas. And worked hand in hand with both the VCs towards the development and welfare of staff, students and the University in general.

I must make it categorically clear that we at Bayero University, Kano are very happy that our own is about to join Federal University of Kashere as the third Vice-Chancellor whom we are sure that he will make us proud by moving the baby University to a greater heights. We are, however, jealous that we are going to miss a moving encyclopedia and a man of respect whose contributions towards BUK can never be measured.

At this juncture, I will like to remind the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere that every promotion comes with a lot of responsibilities. FUK is a new tertiary institution that was commissioned in 2011 under the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. And the University is faced with a lot of challenges.

One of the challenges is that about 90% of the staff of the University both academic and non-academic have to shuttle from Gombe to Kashere daily which is 65 kilometres – 130 kilometres to and fro. This contributes much towards making lecturers less productive. Accidents do occur, hold-ups sometimes delay them and the long journey exhaust the lecturers leading to even missing of lectures.

This development is not unconnected to the fact that Federal University of Kashere has fewer than 50 staff quarters in Kashere. The quarters cannot even accommodate the staff of three departments. This shows that the incoming Vice-Chancellor has the task of embarking on massive construction of staff quarters if he wants to see visible change.

Another challenge that impedes the progress of the University is that many lecturers have no offices. One of the lecturers who pleaded anonymity and have been lecturing for over six years informed me that he still uses his car as his office. This applies to many staff. If senior academic staff will be rooming about using shade of trees and their cars as their offices, then how productive would they be? They at least need offices to charge their laptops, keep academic documents, plan their lecture notes and give students easy room to access their lecturers.

I have also gathered that some of the newly constructed blocks to serve as extension of departments are inhabitable because they are not electrified and watered. And it is difficult for learning to take place under unconducive atmosphere. Another issue that is related to this, is the inadequate lecture halls. Reliable sources revealed that, like in other universities, Students even sit on the floor to receive lectures due to the limited halls and
seats in the University. Sources narrated that no lecture hall with standard seats that will last for a complete semester without being broken. They attributed this to poorly executed projects by contractors.

Furthermore, it is a known fact that the staff school in Federal University of Kashere has only Kindergarten and Primary sections. This has been forcing staff to take their wards to other secondary schools. And it distracts them especially, looking at the fact that they have to always convey them on daily basis.

Still on staff welfare, genuine sources narrated that the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alhassan Mohammed Gani has been up and doing towards promotion of staff. The incoming has to ponder on this by sustaining the tempo. As a communication scholar, Professor Umaru A. Pate must also ensure mutual understanding between the management and other staff via public relations techniques and other workable methods.

On security issues, there is a need for employing additional security personnel as well as training and retraining the existing ones to make them productive. This will help to curb the burglary and theft that is bedevilling the University.

On the side of students, non-existence of Students’ Union Government in the University has been hindering the success and happiness of students who have grievances or suggestions. According to one of the students whom I interviewed, some of their hostels are not electrified, they depend solely on the generator which the school used to on from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. They are also facing challenges of water scarcity as well as inadequate number of hostels. Hostel inadequacy has forced Students to rent rooms that are closed to the school but exorbitant charges. Investigations revealed that landlords charge between 80 and 120 thousand per single room.

It is obvious that the dream of staff and students of Federal University of Kashere is to see that the incoming Vice-Chancellor live above board and live up to their expectations of ameliorating the difficulties they are facing and lifting the University to a promised land.

American scholar John C.Maxwell was quoted to have said: “A leader is the one, who knows the way, goes the way and show the way”.
According to Mwai Kibaki “Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed”. In his words, Ray Kroc opined that “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves”

Dear Professor Umaru A Pate, as you resume office as the third substantive Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere, I pray that Allah (SWT) guide and protect you throughout your five-year tenure.

Congratulations once again to my lecturer, mentor and role model!

Bilyaminu Gambo Kong-kol,

Mass Communication Department,

Bayero University, Kano

[email protected]

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of Young writers/journalist from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives