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The Man,The Scholar And The Activist :A Tribute To Professor Dahiru Yahaya (1947-2021)



Professor Dahiru YAhaya



Huzaifa Dokaji

Although my grand uncle, I first met Professor Dahiru Yahya in 2011, when I joined Bayero University’s Department of History as a fresh History Major. In a short space of time, my relationship with him metamorphosed into many things: becoming his Majidadi, personal assistant to a point, his mentee, and also his research assistant. I was always in his office with questions about points he made in papers that he agreed to let me accompany him to his lectures both within and without the university. Impliedly, I spent five years (3 during my undergrad years and 2 after) attending both his Sokoto Caliphate, The Mediterranean World and the History of Political Ideas in the 19th Century lecture sessions. Establishing an intellectual rapport was easy because we shared interest in Ideas, which he was uniquely excellent with, and revolution, in which he was actively engaged. This familial and intellectual bond offered me the privilege of considerable access to many papers he wrote but did not publish, and even book manuscripts he was working on. When he started a project on the Intellectual biography of Malam, his father, which he tentatively named Gold in the Garbage: Reminisces of my Father, He nominated me as the Secretary of what was supposed to be the Project’s Committee.
A few months before his death, he engaged me in other projects including what would’ve been a commissioned Intellectual biography of former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. He asked me to draft a proposal he would flesh out and forward to the titan. The last time I met him was on 8th January, when he informed me of his desire to involve me in another book project on the Historiography of Islam in Hausaland (which would be in the Hausa Language). We discussed and, as usual, argue on some of the key claims the work envisages on the history of Islam in Northern Nigeria. Like the humble intellectual he was, Professor Dahiru Yahya insists that I should accept his invitation to join the project, least to help find answers to what he called the “cogent issues” I raised against some of his key claims. As fate would have it, none of the projects would materialize. Perhaps, someday, someone capable will take up the gauntlet.

Nigeria’s Professor Of History ,Dahiru Yahaya Passes On At 75

If there was anybody who taught me to believe in my potential, it was Professor Dahiru Yahya. When I complained to him of a recurring feeling of inadequacy whenever I write, He called me the next day and asked me to pen a draft speech the Governor of Kano would read at the coronation of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II (2013-2020). When I submitted it to him, he made some corrections and asked that I deliver it myself to the person who asked for it. He was that kind of Mentor at his best.



Once, at an event on the Sokoto Caliphate, a participant intimated that the Fulani are the only courageous people in Hausaland and it was thus wrong to consider Sarkin Gobir Bawa Jan Gwarzo as a gwarzo. Professor Dahiru Yahya disagreed with the speaker on grounds that not only did Bawa patronized scholars (which is an attribute of gwarazan masu mulki), but was courageous enough to grant Dan Fodio and his Jama’a Freedom of speech, conscience, despite knowing well they seek to upset the status quo ante with such freedom. Later in a private conversation, Professor Dahiru Yahya asked the Sultan of Sokoto if it was fair to refuse to recognize Bawa Jan Gwarzo as a gwarzo considering his conduct towards the jama’a. The Sultan refused to, and wisely so, commit himself by not answering the question. That was Dahiru Yahya, an intellectual who said it as he saw it.


Dahiru Yahya’s appreciation of Bawa Jan Gwarzo’s courage to grant his opponents freedom may have its origin in ‘lessons from history and politics’, since both his grandfather Muhammad and his father, Malam Yahya, were, like the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) he sympathized with, victims of repressive regimes. Muhammad was a legitimist who was unjustly imprisoned by the Yusufawa rebels for identifying himself with the Tukurawa. It took a petition to the Colonial government (to Mr Palmer actually) by his son, Malam Yahya, to secure his release. Malam himself did not have it good with Emir Sanusi I (1953-1963) at some point. Allegedly, the Emir felt threatened that with Malam’s guidance, the ascetic Galadima Inuwa stood a better chance to succeed karagar Dabo. Malam had to resign from his job as district scribe. Events like these might have prompted him to admit, in a poem he called Tabrīyah, his secret appeal before God:

I have come to you with many demands,
The best of all demands is to demand Freedom.


Professor Dahiru was an honest academic “who”, as Dr. Tijjani Naniya, his first Ph.D. candidate, told BBC Hausa, “said his mind without mincing words and appreciated scholarship wherever it came from”. For example, in 2017, I approached him with a list of topics I wanted to work on for my MA thesis for guidance. Two of the topics, one on the activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the other on Opposition Politics in Kano, were proposed to me by some faculty in the department. I expected him to weigh in on the first topic since his romance with the IMN was well known. But he didn’t. He instead advised that I work on the second topic as it was “promising & would build my scholarly credentials more than the topic on IMN which was relevant largely because it was contemporary”.


Dahiru Yahya sees history as an unbreakable process that binds the Past, the Present, and the Future in a unity. As indigenous to traditional Historiography, his scope of the past dates as far back to Adam’s life of Innocence in heaven and the Present can be as long or as short as a lifetime spiritual anguish or bliss due to the Fall of Man.

The Future is not limited to life on Earth as agreed in Secular Historiographies, but to eternity & resurrection where man will return to his state of Innocence. The historical process, he often told me, was the link between the Past, the Present, and the Future. It is human efforts within the supervising Sunnatullah (scientific cause and effect) and mashi’ah, accidents, as Jacob Bronowski extrapolated it, that determine, mold and shape this process.

This historical progression is apparent in what al-Kindi recognized as the “universality of truth” or in a more generic sense, reality. It is the philosophical kith of Aristotle’s postulation that “the truth is universal and has neither ethnicity, nationality nor tribe”. It is hence safe to accept there is the element “truth” in every religion and philosophy, the bases of spiritual and secular civilizations respectively.
Nonetheless, Dahiru Yahya appreciated the achievements of Western Civilization and accepted its feats. He saw solutions in some of its approaches to social and political issues since knowledge is universal. But primary sources of inspiration were rather Islam, History and personal experience. He sees the social and political ideal in Islamic exoteric dimension and human ability to roam its esoteric propensities with divine guidance and personal effort. The Koran, the life of the Prophet (SAS) the struggles of the ahl bait, the Prophet’s noble progeny, the intellectual legacy of the Sokoto Jihadists especially the Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio & his son, the cosmopolitan Muhammad Bell; and the poems of his father, Malam Yahya (published as Nahyl Bughya), influenced and shaped his thought on, and approach to, the Philosophy of history and intellectual activism. Dahiru Yahya’s “stridently bullish account” of the potential capability, achievement and future of Islam won him the recognition of the Times Literary Supplement, in its Centenary issues in 2004.


Outside this class of social and political philosophers, the individual with the most influence on him as a Professor of the History of Ideas is the Swiss-born Perennial Philosopher and Sufi Master, Frithjof Schuon, founder of the Maryamiyya order.


Professor Dahiru’s romance with philosophia perennis shouldn’t be a surprise since Malam, his father, who had great influence on his scholarship, appreciated and accepted, like the Perennials, the universality of knowledge in both its exoteric and esoteric dimensions. Malam considered the separation of the two dimensions as an “ideological amputation” ostensibly because the diversity of human thought goes back to the unity of God’s knowledge

. The truth therefore is and should be, a manifestation of both divine and human presence. Other Muslim scholars with remarkable influence on him include Ibn Khaldun, the Austrian-Jewish scholar Muhammad Asad, the Iranian Islamic Philosopher, Sayyed Hussein Nasr, and Ahmad Ghulam of the Ahmadiyya.
As a product of, and a Professor in Western scholarship, the influence of Western intellectuals is evident in his approaches. French Historian Fernand Braudel certainly makes it to the list through his magnum opus, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. The work provides the theoretical formula that guides Professor Dahiru’s analysis of how geography shaped the movement of history in pre-colonial and even contemporary Northern Nigeria.

This is more so ostensible in his analytical studies of the social, economic and political relations between the lowland and highland communities that constitute the region. Polish-British Mathematician, Historian and Humanist Scientist, Jacob Bronowski; and French Historian, Maxim Rodinson, are other key influences.
One thing that has always stumped me about Dahiru Yahya was how he was able to maintain a genial relationship with the nation’s shady political elites and its rebellious clerical class as a scholar-activist.

He was a one-time secretary of the Kano branch of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the nation’s ruling party in the Second Republic, and later the voice of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. Like his father, Professor Dahiru personally never identified himself as part of Nigeria’s elites despite serving at least, and among others, as a Consultant on National Security to the Babangida Regime.

Consequently, this led to many conspiracy theories about his role on issues of national significance. A late Kano leader allegedly cautioned a former Military Head of State against appointing him as Vice Chancellor for fears that he could stir a rebellion from the comfort of his office.

His father, Malam, shared a similar dilemma, except that Malam was not controversial at least in the court of public opinion. On the one hand, Malam was the moral guardian and a favorite of the Galadima Inuwa, (1939-1963), and an employee of the Kano palace which he accused of replacing the wisdom of governance with the arrogance of past glory. In a Colonial report on the Dawaki ta Kudu district, a European inspection Officer described Malam as “unusually intelligent and keen”.

All his career as a District Scribe, Malam refused to accept accommodation and salary from the Colonial regime on grounds that it was contaminative. On the other hand, Malam accused the clerical class of substituting the humility of knowledge with the stupidity of ignorance. The elites handled both father and son with caution as did some of the clerics who considered him as a Malum Fada, the unpopular ulama-as-su that Dan Fodio condemned in his Kitab al-Farq. Many of such clerics later became his disciples and saw him as he truly was- an anti-Colonialist who sought to liberate his society from the anchor the “triumph of absurdity” has tied it to. Dahiru Yahya on the other hand was an anti-imperialist who aimed to push his society towards Islamic resurgence.

Dahiru Yahya received wide recognition for his academic feats. His Ph.D. at Birmingham University had neither a Masters degree before it nor a viva after it. The Ph.D. which was published in 1981 as Morocco in the 16th Century: Problems and Patterns in African Foreign Policy was the last book published in the Ibadan History Series and is to date one of the leading works on Sa’adi diplomacy, in English, and by a foreigner. It qualified him as the first Nigerian to publish a work on diplomacy. The research saw him cultivate Arabic, Osmanli Turkish, Spanish and French as research languages.

He established himself as the leading authority on Intellectual History and the History of Ideas in Northern Nigeria. For his outstanding contribution to scholarship, Dahiru Yahya became the first academic to be honored with a festschrift at Bayero University, Kano.

He was indeed a great scholar. Many may disagree with his conclusions and approach especially at the closing decade of his life, but none could honestly fault the exclusivity of his intellect, the precision of his approach and the profundity of his scholarship.
Rest well, Mentor.

Huzaifa Dokaji.
14th February, 2021


The Falling Iroko Tree: A Tribute to Professor Ibrahim Baba Yakubu (1965–2023)



Late Prof Ibrahim Baba Yakubu


Murtala Uba Mohammed (PhD)

My selection of the metaphor of iroko tree, a giant and strong to characterize Professor Ibrahim Baba Yakubu was not by accident. The decision was influenced by the fact that Professor Yakubu who is affectionately referred to by his acronym IBY, by students and colleagues, is an environment professor, an expert in plant geography and biogeography, and a passionate lover of trees and anything green. It takes little time to become enamored with Professor Yakubu’s unreserved and unparalleled passion for plants. It is not hyperbolic to say that IBY rarely speaks at any academic events without advocating for going green. These guided the selection of the tree for the commemoration of this gentle, beautiful soul who answered the call of His Lord on 11th November, 2023.

A graduate of geography and forestry, Professor Ibrahim Baba Yakubu taught in the Geography Department and later in the Environmental Management Department, all at Bayero University, Kano. He was the head of the research and technical department of Nigeria’s World Bank-Assisted Afforestation Program Coordinating Unit (APCU) when he joined his alma mater as an academic in 2004, after completing his PhD in geography with specialization in environmental management in 2003. Although his first degree was in geography, which he had obtained from Bayero University in 1988, IBY saw himself more as an environmental and plant scientist in a more passionate way above what a graduate or teacher of geography does. This may not be unconnected to the unique engagement with environment, having obtained his Masters degree in Forestry, which he bagged from the University of Ibadan, and his earlier training and experience in the agroforestry project. It is obvious that his relation with trees had made him developed features comparable to them. He stood firm and shade those around him.

The Writer Dr Murtala Uba Muhammad

The Writer Dr Murtala Uba Muhammad

I first noticed him when we went to Plateau State for the compulsory three-credit unit course titled Fieldwork (GEO 3301) in 2004. It is easier to notice him for three reasons. Firstly, apart from him and the other new lecturer, Dr. A.O. Adekia, all others were known to us as they taught us some courses in either the first semester or at the lower levels. The second is his usual dress, most especially the type of cap and shoe he wore, which were quite unique and fashionable. The third reason why IBY would hardly be unnoticeable was his eloquence and unique oration, excellent accent and effortless command of the English language.

My close association with him began when I joined the department in 2012. IBY was then the department’s coordinator for the newly introduced MSc. Geography.

Although the Bayero University Geography Department ran postgraduate programs, it was not until 2012 that the department introduced MSc. Geography under the headship of Professor A.I. Tanko. For more than thirty years, the department’s MSc programs were mainly in Land Resources, with two specialization: Development and Administration. With new MSc in Geography one can specialize in human geography, physical geography, environmental management,  or population and development.

In 2014, Bayero University created the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences (FEES). The Geography Department relocated from the Faculty of Social and Management Science (FSMS) to the new faculty; and five additional departments were created: Architecture, Estate Management, Quantity Surveying, Urban and Regional Planning (URP), and Environmental Management (EVM). URP and EVM were created with personnel from Geography Department. Only two of the old Geography Department staff, Dr. M.A. Liman and Late Mal. A.D. Maiwada, moved to the URP, while eight academic staff, including IBY and his two teachers, Dr. L.F. Buba and Late Professor Kabir Ahmed, joined the EVM. Thanks to this newly created faculty, it gave the apolitical scholar, IBY, the opportunity to serve as its sub-dean, deputy dean and immediate past dean of the faculty.
In connection with the creation of the FEES, I can vividly recall an incidence that happened during our maiden meeting cum retreat at Mumbaya House, which took place on the very day terrorists attacked Federal College of Education Kano. We were debating on who will remain in geography or move to another department. In his usual zeal to lure some of us to the EVM department, IBY made a statement that I still recall: that the future is in the new field of environmental management, which is an applied aspect of geography, and that “geography is losing its relevance and therefore is collapsing.” A response then came from Professor J.Afolabi Falola who responded to him saying that, let’s wait for the geography to collapse first; “we will all
move to the environmental management.” While IBY may be right that the new has a promising future considering the current global mantra, the older one is still relevant, with new fields such as GIS and Remote Sensing emerging out of it. I thought these differing opinions were caused by perspective. Despite being a geographer by trade, IBY’s education and early years had given him the greatest foundation in environmental management. Given the idea behind regional studies and the burgeoning science of GIS, geography will continue to play a significant role in regional planning and development, particularly in addressing challenges related to environment.
Despite that Professor Yakubu moved to the Department of Environmental Management, he never relinquished teaching and supervising researches in the Department of Geography. While still in the EVM, he supervised many MScs and PhDs in geography, such as that of my good friend, who incidentally bears his highest footprint, Dr. Muhammad Nurudeen Danjuma, and the most recent, which is that of Isa Adamu of the Federal Researcher Institute of Nigeria (FRIN).
Professor Ibrahim Yakubu was not only an academic person of repute, as testified by all those who write briefs for him; he was also a person of high principles and dedication to duty. Punctuality is one excellent trait that one would hardly have take away from him. To IBY, you never agreed on time and broke the agreement. His colleagues and students know this. I recall my time with Professor A.I. Tanko when it became obvious that we could not meet the deadline. Professor Tanko was so worried that he told me, “Murtala, I am afraid if one breaks IBY’s promises, he will only look at you and say not a word, but the look speaks more than what the mouth says.” This tree man, as Professor Yusuf Adamu once called him, was so rooted in his principles.
IBY was a man of integrity whose level of principle paradoxically endeared and infuriated many people. He kept time, which was very rare these days. Whoever IBY happened to be his supervisor, we used to joke, must be ready to bring his academic work in good time and keep to the agreed-upon timetable. I personally know one of the student he supervised that trembled whenever he missed the professor’s deadline!
In one of the elegy he composed for one of his patrons, Malam Habibu Fari, the Hausa master panegyric, Late Mamman Shata, describes the deceased with phrase fari yake mai farar aniya, which means that as his complexion is fair, so is his mind. Even though IBY may not have a fair complexion, at least half of his outfit is white, and the style is overwhelmingly straightforward. His habit and the style of his clothing were highly positively correlated. He rarely disagreed or engaged in argumentation, except when he observed a complete deviation from the truth. Accepting the truth from any party was his usual trait, even if that person is lower in rank. Although my teacher and by far my senior, on many occasions he asked for my opinion on statistics and GIS, and whatever I say, he insisted the student has to follow. This is quite uncommon in Nigeria’s academy, where ego and superiority are becoming the order of the day. IBY believed in specialization and accorded every person respect in his chosen field.
I may go on exploring many attributes that earned respect for Professor Yakubu among his student and colleagues, but for the space and the fact that this piece is not a biography of his. However, it is important to reiterate here that three qualities stand out in him that one combines. They are: the depth of his knowledge in his chosen field, which is unmatched by any of his contemporary; his simplicity in dress and habit; and finally, his principle of keeping to time and promise, which puts him far above many of us.
While acknowledging the fact that whatever Almighty does wisdom is enshrined in it, it is obvious that Malam IBY left at a time we needed him most. He died when the Nigerian academic community was battling with principles and in need of dedication and sacrifice of his kind. His good deeds will always be remembered, including his deep affection for his four children and his dearest wife, whom he lost just two months before his death. I sincerely pray for the Almighty to forgive his shortcomings and reward him with his beloved green, for Janna is glaringly the most evergreen of all spaces where iroko live.

Murtala teaches geography at Bayero University, Kano


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Remembering the Iconic Usman Baba Pategi, ‘Samanja’ – A Tribute to Four Decades of Laughter and Lessons




Senator Shehu Sani

Usma BABA PATEGI popularly known as Samanja was a Hausa thespian and dramatist who lighted up the Television for over four decades.His tv sitcom,Samanja was a comedy that re-enacted the daily life in the military baracks.The late Baba Pategi used his experience as a retired Soldier to recreate a Tv soap around the person and the persona of the Regimental Sergeant major,RSM as the leadership character.

Baba Pategi Samanja TV series was not just a comedy but a well scripted drama aimed at creating awareness and appreciating the service and sacrifices of our military on and off duty.He also used the tv platform for enlightenment and advocacy on societal issues.His episodes addressed the problems of drug addiction,alcoholism,crime,conflicts and injustices.His drama series is always scripted to plot the victory of good over bad or good over evil and he does it in a way that entertains his audience.

Baba Pategi series has always been one that comes with a lesson and a message centred around the daily challenges,troubles and general duties of the RSM.He captivated his audience by being a man always in charge and always meddling.

Samanja brought to the screen the positive and lively sides of the military barack.The peak of his fame was in the golden era of the tv 70s,80s and 90s when the nation’s state owned broadcaster the NTA was the dominant force in our homes.The younger generation of Nigerians in their 20s and thirties are unlikely to know much about him and his arts.The coming of multiple private tv stations and the heralding of the Internet and social media era has completely changed a number of things including interest in sitcoms.

Samanja was an accomplished patriot who served his country in the battlefield and on the screen.He was at a time neglected by the Military until they realised their wrongs and intervened in his matter.
The late Samanja used the power of the screen and advocated for peace,unity,patriotism and brotherhood.He lived long enough to see through the journey and the struggle of the country he so much loved.He belonged to a generation that fought for unity and was so passionate about the country.

All that the late Samanja stood for,advocated and believed are timeless and profoundly relevant.

We are all mortals,what will matter at the end is what contribution we made in touching the lives of others.Samanja has proudly accomplished his mission with honour,dignity and grace.

We can fondly remember other cast like his ‘wife’ bariki,mutuwa Dole and rafter.We thank and appreciate those of them still alive and we pray for others who are now late.

May Allah forgive his soul and grant him Aljanna firdausi,Amin.
Samanja,mazan fama…so long and thank you.

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Na’Allah’s Transformational and Prudent Leadership in University of Abuja




*By AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo*

The Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah is an excellent administrator going by his track record from his days as the Vice Chancellor of Kwara State University,Malete.You may decide to refer to him as a professor but I will call him an astute administrator with uncommon prudence and transformational leadership.

Personally,I have never heard of his name in any quarters before since I’m not working in an ivory tower either locally or internationally.But his appointment as the Pioneer Vice Chancellor of Kwara state university, by Bukola Saraki’s administration brought him to lime light.Before I will extensively discuss his achievements,I think it will be appropriate I venture into his life’s sojourn a bit.

Professor Na’Allah was born 1962.He started his early education at the Demonstration 1 Primary School, Sokoto,where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1976 and Government Teachers’ College,Birnin Yauri,for his Teachers’Grade II Certificate in 1981.He had his Bachelor of Arts(Hons) English and Education from University of Ilorin in 1988 and MA Literature in English in 1992 from the same institution.He received his Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta,Edmonton,
Canada.He was Professor and Chair of African -American Studies at Western Illinois University.

Interestingly, Kwara State University today is on the right pedestal because of the monumental foundation put in place by Professor Na’Allah.You cannot discuss progress of that Ivory tower without making a reference to Na’allah’s astute administrative skills and inputs.The Ilorin born Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja is not only a professor but also an embodiment of leadership quality and excellence.

As a distinguished Scholar, Professor Na’Allah is the Author of over 25 books and chapters in books,and several scholarly works.He is a reviewer for several national and international journals; and has published in reputable peer -reviewed journals as well as supervised several Ph.D candidates.A well -travelled academic,he has attended over 50 conference within the country and abroad.

He became a fellow of the literary Society of Nigeria in 2014 and that of Nigeria Academy of Letters in 2019.He is also a member of ten different Learned Societies/Professional Bodies such as the Canadian Comparative Literature Association; African Studies Association; International Comparative Literature Association;and the Association of Nigerian Authors.

More importantly, Na’Allah has won several awards including Vice-Chancellor of the Year 2020 award by Stardom Global Television (STGV) and Most Outstanding Vice Chancellor 2021 award by Elites Exclusive Magazine.

He has rendered numerous services to Local, national and international communities including as the Team Leader,Local Team for for Kwara State Agricultural Mechanization Master Plan Committee,Kwara State Government, April to June,2012;Chief Organizer, Literature in Northern Nigeria,2010 till date;Convener,34th African Literature Association Annual Conference,at WIU,USA, April 22-27,2008; and as Member, Local Arrangement Committee,51st African Studies Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois,USA, November 13 to 16 ,2008.

*How he has transformed UofA*.

Na’Allah became the Sixth substantive Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja on 1st July,2019 under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.His appointment was approved by the Governing Council, University of Abuja at its 53rd Extra -Ordinary Meeting held on Friday 28th June on the Main Campus.

*Academic Development* is a prominent aspect of University administration as it assists to usher in enabling environment and ehance academic excellence . Despite the distruption of the system by the outbreak of COVID-19 he ensured that the sanctity of the academic calendar was maintained.Within the first two years in office about 15 programmes of the University were accredited under Na’Allah ‘s administration.

He introduced new General Studies (GST) courses to improve students’ entrepreneurial background, business and innovative capacities;and encourage mentoring of students by successful global entrepreneurs, and develop business plans/ideas and registration of such potential companies/businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission before graduation.This is in order because in Nigeria of today and any where in the world Government cannot employ all citizens.The major responsibility of the government is to create an enabling environment for private businesses to flourish so that they can employ as many as possible.In the 21st Century entrepreneurship is the real deal and Professor Na’Allah understands this.

About 21 New Centres have been created and 2 New Departments also from Faculty of Law.

*Research Development*

The University is a centre of research and any such institution worths its versatility must provide enabling environment for research projects.Between 2019 and 2021 , several research grants worth over 500 million Naira had come into the university through the doggedness of some academic staff .In the last couple of years, research has had a very big boost especially through the Centre for sponsored Projects,headed by *Professor Eunice Obiagelli Nnodu*, which was set up by the Vice Chancellor for enhancement of research opportunities.

*Infrastructural Development*

There has been infrastructural Development especially on the Main Campus of University of Abuja.These works have been approved by the administration of Na’Allah and carried out with due diligence and in in compliance with ethical and best practices.Some projects have been completed, while some are still ongoing or nearing completion.The following Projects have been completed:
Academic Office Building, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
500 Capacity Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences Building Phase 1
Faculty of Arts Building Phase II
250 Capacity Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Agriculture
Provision of Sporting Facilities: Basket ball, Volley ball and practice pitch
Two numbers of Twin Lecture Halls
Feed Mill for faculty of Agriculture
Partitioning/ furnishing and provision of studio for CDL and CE.

Construction of Security Fence at the Main Campus is 75 percent completion and many others that are still under construction.

A staff of the University who craved for anonymity said the Vice Chancellor has done creditably well in terms of infrastructure.He said, ” on your way coming into the campus you can see a lot of projects completed and some still ongoing ; that is a testament that Na’Allah is doing well”

*Capacity Building*

Professor Na’Allah’s administration has created an enabling environment for employees to acquire more strategic knowledge, develop the right thinking capacity and their level of competency so that they can contribute effectively to the development of the University.Hence several trainings have taken place across several units,centres etc.
He also created a healthy and safe learning campus environment, promoted well-being in the school community,as well as students’ welfare thus enhancing students’ learning and a balanced development of their lives in general.Several in-house trainings,anchored by ITMS for students in several areas of endeavours.
In 2020 the first Student Leadership Conference (maiden edition) was organised by the Students Affairs Division which drew participants from various tertiary institutions across the country.

No fewer than 37 students of UofA have been awarded scholarship by the federal government to help in paying their school fees.Though this is by the federal government,it was made possible through the enabling atmosphere created by the Na’Allah’s administration.

It is imperative to say that eight students of University of Abuja received a grant of 2.2 million Naira to undertake research in their various fields of study.Awarded through the Centre for Undergraduate Research,headed by *Dr Taibat Atoyebi*.

To corroborate this feat,here is what Director,Institute of Education University of Abuja, *Professor Hauwa Imam* said about the Vice Chancellor,” Na’Allah is a firm believer in the postive effects of manpower development that he has instituted several capacity building-programmes and organised workshops for the re-orientation and training of staff.Staff are now using digital technologies,teach in a virtual space (such as zoom and google meeting), upload examination results online;and opportunities avail for virtual attendance of meetings and active participation online, etc.
He is dedicated to the promotion of scholarship through the creation of a conducive environment for effective teaching -learning,excellence in research and making an impact through community service
One more thing about Na ‘Allah is that he is driven by high performance such that he is impatient with slow actions,delayed results,and sloppy output.When he assigns one a responsibility,he demands perfection.For this reason,it is felt in some quarters that he micro-manages people.He has raised the bar in standards of operations in the university.
Additionally,he is extremely prudent with operational resources and takes fiscal responsibility seriously.He often times strikes a balance between requirements and meeting basic needs”.

Admission process of candidates under Na’Allah’s administration into the university is most transparent.It is a shift from pre-2019 where there were admission racketeering but today the process has significantly changed for better.The admission process is now reflecting the cosmopolitan status of the University of Abuja as the University for National Unity.In terms of hostel accommodation for students the Vice-Chancellor has also stopped the practice of racketeering as transparent hostel allocation has been introduced.

*Community Relations*

It is significant to say that Under Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah’s administration the hitherto frosty relationship between the university and communities has been improved upon through setting up of the Centre for Community Development, headed by Dr Sunday Dada.The Centre was created as a channel for the university to contribute her quota in the development of the host community as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, there by helping to provide supports to the rural communities in the areas of health, education,water supply, infrastructural development,in collaboration with multinational organizations,Non Governmental Organizations, Philanthropists and others who are interested in the community development.

Here is what *Professor E.S Garba*, the provost College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja said about Professor Na’Allah in the University publication, when the Vice-Chancellor marked two years in office: “I’m highly delighted to witness these giant strides in developments,a testimony of his transformation agenda.I believe before the end of his tenure;he would have transformed the University into a citadel of learning which can compete favourably with others in the world.
According to Anthony Robbins,”there is no greatness without a passion to be great”. Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah is ” driven by passion, commitment to excellence and intelligent planning which constitute vital factors to genuine success.Leaving a positive legacy is the outcome of excellent leadership.Such leadership finishes well”.He concluded.

In the same vein,The Head Of Department of Library and information science UofA , *Professor AbdulGaniy Okanla Ahmed* captured Na’Allah’s leadership dexterity thus: “Professor Na’Allah has catalogue of experience which has made leadership quality to manifest in him. without any doubt he can relate with any set of people in a way to achieve administrative excellence”

He can also be described as a workaholic Vice Chancellor,this could be deduced from the account of him by the Head of Department, Tourism and Hospitality, UofA, *Dr (Mrs) Elizabeth Babagbale* -FIH.She said:

“Our VC, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, is a well cultured man with integrity and great foresight. I describe him as a cultured man because he condescends to people’s level and deals with all as individuals without looking down on any. I was first privileged to meet him in 2012 during the one- on- one interview that got me a lecturing job at the Kwara State University. Professor Naallah is a go-getter who does not compromise quality. His fair judgement and recognition for hard work brought me to the University of Abuja 9 months ago. Within this period, the University has expanded with additional 26 new departments which successfully passed Verification exercise of the National Universities Commission in August this year; one of which is my department, Tourism and Hospitality Management. However, more are still coming on stream, such as the Entrepreneurship department. At the moment, Accreditation program is ongoing with 24 various departments. His achievements were possible as the University environment continuously enjoys peace and tranquillity. Our VC collaborates amicably by operating open door policy with both the staff and students. He can be reached any time of the day. Whether you are a student or lecturer, if he receives your email even at midnight, he responds to it before daybreak. He deals diligently with everyone with passion, no matter how difficult the situation is. His welfare support to the staff is worthy of note. As an indigent student in the UK, I received financial support from my University through study- work support programme, our VC has introduced same to Uniabuja and we can see smiles on the faces of these students as they go round to render services to the departments they are working for during their free periods. This helps students to learn and appreciate that there is dignity in labour”

The plausible thing about Professor Na’Allah’s giant strides in University of Abuja is his ability to attract development despite paucity of funds.It is not an exaggeration if one recommends the Ilorin born professor for greater responsibility in future, because of his prudent style of leadership.

It is equally important to say that this piece of mine didn’t capture everything Na’Allah has done to change the fortune of UofA to a new height.Meaning there are other numerous positive things not mentioned here.

Nobody can talk about ability to get things done pragmatically without making reference to knowledge and integrity.This is the combination of what the Almighty has blessed Professor Na’Allah with,hence is making a difference as an academic and administrator.

By way of conclusion, Na’Allah’s leadership trajectory is not a coincidence but as a result of hard work, pragmatism, prudence and tenacity.I pray to Allah to guide, guard, and protect him in his endeavour.

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