By Ibrahim Muhammad Kalachiwi
One year after, observers, while assessing Sadiq’s achievements, noted that he has performed creditably.
The 2019/2020 ABU-SRC was inaugurated on 19th March 2020, two days before the federal government of Nigeria announced the closure of all institutions in an effort to contain the rampaging Covid-19 virus.
A few months later, Ahmadu Bello University got a new VC, Dean Students Affairs, Chief Security Officer, Director of Guidance and Counselling, among others. These factors affected the smooth running of the SRC administration.
In spite of the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic that affected the whole world and the coming of new leadership, the Comrade Sadiq-led administration prudently wedded through the storm.
During his first year in office, Comrade Ali Sadiq has celebrated a lot of achievements recorded by students within and outside Nigeria.
These among many, include the return of 45 students from the first batch of the ABU/CSU 3+2 joint degree program from China, the Creation of vacuum cleaner and emergency medical ventilator by Usman Dalhatu from engineering, the emergence of Hassan Idriss 3rd position in an International Essay Competition in the USA beating over 2.5 million contestants, the victory of Mustapha Jimoh, Abdullahi Muhammad and Dahir Muhammad in African Region Competition, Victory of David Victor in Cowbell Coffee Campus Revelation Competition defeating other participants from notable universities. His support and recognition of winners have encouraged other students to do more.
In his inaugural speech, the president acknowledged that the challenges facing this administration were quite enormous and voiced his determination to tackle them head-on.
As a mark of dynamism, president Sadiq and his cabinet visited the new vice-chancellor of the institution, Professor Kabir Bala to register their loyalty and seek a collaborative effort to raise the status of the University. This, according to experts, is a sign of readiness to make an instant impact.
To seize the opportunity of the lockdown, the 2019/2020 administration met, drafted, and presented their budget before the Students Affairs Division for scrutiny.
The President was at some of the “ABU CONNECT” organized in a different part of the country with the aim to promote unity among students. Sadiq Auwal, an attendant of the connect said, the presence of the president attracted more participants and beautified the events.
Another initiative brought by the president was the JOBBERMAN FREE SOFT SKILLS ONLINE PROGRAM during the lockdown. Hundreds of ABUSITES benefitted from the program and earned themselves a certificate.
The abduction of students of the French Department along Kaduna-Abuja road while on their way to Badagry, Lagos State caused an uproar. The President, in his presidential address, explained that the council has tried its best to ensure their safe return.
He also said the excos have been in touch with their families, faculty president, chief Security officer, HOD, and the faculty Dean. After their release, he visited them at home to assess their condition and also briefed the vice Chancellor on their condition. These efforts only showed one thing – CONCERN.
In his presidential address, the president noted the security challenges faced by the school prior to resumption but made it clear that how the management reacted has shown their determination in dealing with the challenges.
In efforts to appraise the Comrade Sadiq-led administration, one should be mindful of some of the conditions in place before its inauguration.
I read an article titled “High cost of ABU Zaria off-campus Rent: Between Institutional Negligence and SRC’s failure.” I’m not using this medium to reply to the writer rather, to point out some errors.
I struggle to understand why a person will compare SUG and SRC. Of course, both are two student representatives but with different powers. I also find it hard to comprehend the comparison between the exposure of landlords in Zaria and that of Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto, etc.
The former has already acclimatized with extorting students and will not give room to anyone to temper with their strategy. Even the school management can’t force them to change their mindset. Only the State Government can mandate the landlords to adjust or set targets for them.
Despite all these, Comrade Sadiq took a giant stride and constituted a committee that will sit with the landlord’s association and other stakeholders to discuss the lingering issues related to off-campus. Resolutions have been made and many students benefitted from that.
However, some faced an increment in the rental fees which was unfortunate. The wicked action by the landlords is very concerning. I hope and pray new laws will be passed to ease this difficulty.
On 23rd January, the ABU-SRC took a bold step ahead of the school management to announce that the management was yet to receive a nod from the State Government on reopening at the time when some students have already arrived in Zaria while some others were on their way.
It was a chaotic moment but that was the right thing. Had it been the SRC decided not to release the press statement, it would have turned into a bad story.
To ease the burden, students that were stranded in Zaria and have no accommodation were given temporary accommodation until school reopens. A wonderful gesture by the apex student body.
Moreover, the president through his secretary General, Comrade Khalifa Kabir Andaz released a proposed ABU-SRC 2019/2020 calendar which encompasses all the activities to be carried out by the council.
Indeed, we should patiently await the results of the current policies and plans of the council which I believe will soon begin to yield positive results.
The covid-19 pandemic, which has significantly hampered all activities, has been appreciably contained. The president constituted a 13-man PTF on Covid-19 to help curtail the scourge.
The PTF also inaugurated a sub-committee with 101 members. The inauguration was colorful and the members are currently doing an excellent job in ensuring compliance with the guidelines.
Any ABUSITES know how stubborn GENS are in ABU. The SRC on its part found it necessary to organize a general tutorial for 100 level students. The 2-day tutorials were attended by thousands of students on both campuses.
In the area of effective communication, this administration has been very active to provide students with genuine information. Students however are advised to stop spreading fake news and seek confirmation and validation from reliable sources.
If we must assess, I will say that given what this administration found on the ground and given the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, I think 2019/2020 SRC has done a remarkable job.
I and so many others, however, expect more from this administration.
Tackling water scarcity, unstable light, poor health services, and other stuff. I’m confident the second segment of Comrade Sadiq-led administration means well for the students and will go all-out to deliver all its promises in a pragmatic way.