Leadership Rift Tears Federal University Dutsinma Apart, By Isa Suleiman
Students of the University Cries Out
Shun Prejudice and Allow FUDMA to Breath Under Substantive Leadership – AAFUD
AREWA AGENDA – Federal University Dutsinma (FUDMA), located in Katsina State is one of the of the twelve universities approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2010 to ensure evenly distribution of Federal Universities across the country. FUDMA is the first among the twelve universities to matriculate students and start academic activities in July 2012.
Within the span of roughly three years of stable and intense academic activities, the first set of students graduated in July 2015 and had their convocation in January 2016; becoming the first among the twelve universities to graduate her students. The five years tenure of the Pioneer Vice Chancellor, Prof. James O. I. Ayatse (now Tor Tiv V) along with the Pioneer Registrar, Alh. Muhammad Y. Abubakar also lapsed the same year. It can be said, without fear of contradiction that, this duo, buttressed by the members of the senate, Governing Council and dedicated staffs of the university, were so committed in their leadership role to ensure FUDMA achieved her objectives under their watch.
FUDMA, been at an infant stage then, committed to realize her vision to be a top ranking, world-class university, was ranked 22nd out of 156 tertiary institutions by 4icu (For International Colleges and Universities) and 14th out of 249 tertiary institutions in Nigeria by webometrics in February 2015. The ICT was clearly the major tool necessary for this achievement. The organs of the university recognized her selves as a unit, working harmoniously towards attainment of her vision: “to be a top ranking, world-class university, committed to excellence in research and the production of a generation of leaders with passion for service”. We were so proud to call ourselves “FUDMITES” and even be recognized as members of the Fudma Family. No sooner did the tenure of the pioneer Vice Chancellor and Registrar lapsed in 2016, the Federal Government appointed Prof. Haruna Abdu Kaita as the successor to Prof. James O. I. Ayatse.
Five years now after those stupendous achievements, one would expect this progress to have doubled, if only FUDMA was maintained on the same trajectory which it was set up from the very beginning.
But did the trend of achievements continued? Nay! The same FUDMA that was ranked 22nd by 4icu in 2015 was back numbered in just a period of 1 year of Prof. Haruna Abdu Kaita (www.4icu.org/ng). The same webometric who ranked FUDMA 14th in 2015 was back numbered (www.webometrics.info/en/Africa/Nigeria). What a demotion! So sad indeed.
What has really happened?
The game changed soon as Prof. Kaita took over the mantle of leadership of the university. Fudma was never as it was when the pioneer students graduated. This is no more a rumor but a reality that is verifiable.
Prof Kaita, with the effect of his own leadership style, found himself at loggerhead with the Governing Council of the University. The appointments of many staffs were terminated, as if they have overstayed their welcome in the university, the unwarranted closure of the department of food science and technology and many more backwardness. The effect of ICT service for research and learning abysmally dropped. It becomes very difficult for students to access their portal, especially outside the university premises. School fees were hiked and students from poor home background found it difficult to pay their registration fees.
The previous harmoniously working organs of the university starts to cease. Even Staffs of the university formed two queues; the opposing queue who are scared of being sacked and the proposing queues who applaud him. It could have been as if, “things fall apart when the centre could not hold”. How on earth will the university deliver effectively under a divided body! Even though it was said that, no one can rule guiltlessly, but the feud between the Governing Council and Prof Kaita intensified and eventually led to the later been suspended.
The suspension of Prof Kaita opened a vacancy for Prof Armaya’u H. Bichi to lead the university on acting capacity for approximately two years.
In his first six 6 months, Professor Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi took the university to a greater height. He succeeded in getting a full accreditation of 23 undergraduates programmes from 3, establishment of postgraduate school, establishment of Hausa, Islamic, and Library studies departments and other 45 programmes. This is just a drop in an ocean.
On 15th May, 2020, the President Federal Republic of Nigeria appointed Prof Armaya’u H. Bichi as the Substantive Vice Chancellor of Federal University Dutsinma.
Prof Bichi was the pioneer Dean of Faculty of Agric, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), acting Vice Chancellor and also Dean postgraduate school of the University. He participated in the architecture of academic and non-academic activities from the unset of the University. His experience of leadership, participation in outlining the core values of the University and his achievements while acting as Vice Chancellor deemed him fit to be the substantive Vice Chancellor of the University. Leadership is bestowed by God and he bestows it on whom we least expected. God bestowed Kingship to Tâlût (Saul) who came from a poor background leaving out the rich who taught they are best fit to be leaders. Under Tâlût’s leadership, Jâlût (Goliath) the tyrant was left crumbled to the floor. God has chosen Prof Bichi as the Vice Chancellor of Fudma, it will be senseless and devastating to fight or reject a gift from God.
The Executive and the Judicial arms of Goverment should please find a way of stopping Prof. Haruna Abdu Kaita from disrupting the progress, peace and stability of Fudma.
We therefore look forward to when Fudma will restore her long lost integrity.
Isah Suleiman Abduljabbar,
The President, Alumni Association of the Federal University Dutsinma
Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards peaceful coexistence and national development through positive narratives.