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31 Year Old Adamu Tilde’s Journey To PHD



Adamu Tilde


By Marzuq Ungogo

“We did it. Your friend has been awarded a Ph.D.” As I read this exciting text from Adamu Tilde on Tuesday, I couldn’t contain my excitement and shouted out in joy. If I scared the people in the building, I know they would forgive this “first time” and would have wondered if I had won a lottery.

When I talked on phone later in the day with Adamu, we couldn’t help go down memory lane reminiscing about all the challenges faced. Suddenly his journey became clear in front of our eyes, how determined he had been, how much he worked for it and how he completely earned it.

In 2016, Adamu and I decided that going by our predilection for inquiry and love for learning and imparting knowledge, academia is our most logical destination. To be successful academics, we know how important obtaining PhD is and we had to start as soon as possible. At that time, Adamu completed a Master’s degree from a Hungarian university (in style) and I also was just about to return home after an MSc in the UK.

So we came up with 2 plans;

1. To apply for PhD studentship in 2 Nigerian universities
2. To apply for as many international PhD scholarships as possible

We went to work and by my count I applied for more than 20 scholarships. While waiting for responses from the these scholarships, Adamu was offered an admission in UDU Sokoto while I got admission into ABU Zaria. So, we decided to begin our PhD journeys in early 2017 in Nigeria all the while keeping fingers crossed on the international scholarships. The plan was to pursue the Nigerian PhD to the best we can, but leave if we got better offers abroad in good time.

But it was not easy decision to make considering all the negative testimonies around. We consulted so many people for about it, and most were pessimistic. In fact very few people could understand why 26-year old boys with First Class Master degrees from Europe would be desperate to start a PhD in Nigeria. But we stood by one logic- we need and want it, and in a few years to come we would either have it or be in the process. We knew if we didn’t start and were not able to get what we hoped (a scholarship abroad), we would only have a regret in years to come. After all, one mentor (Dr Abdurrazak Ibrahim “Biorazi”) said it was at least not a bad investment to pay 150k and listen to experienced professors for a year!

Adamu was earlier called by Bauchi state government officials with acknowledgement of his achievement in Hungary, and pledge to sponsor him for PhD in UK or any other foreign university of his choice. They made it look so real with clear instructions like “just bring us admission letters anywhere in the world”. Knowing fully the uncertainty of Nigerian politicians, he went ahead and accepted the PhD admission at UDUS first. Today, he would have regretted putting all his eggs in the past Bauchi government’s basket.

I remember Adamu left his business and took a chance with his life savings in far away Sokoto. But he didn’t just study in Sokoto, “he hustled too”. He started poultry farm with friends and later even got an NGO job in Sokoto and some gigs in Abuja. That way Adamu was shuttling between 2 jobs and a PhD. A year into the program he was offered an academic job at Dutse, with a part-leave agreement that he could continue his studies in Sokoto but show up to teach. That means for some months he had to move around Abuja, Sokoto, Bauchi and Dutse!

A Rejoinder To Adamu Tilde On Missing Opportunities By Northerners

On my own part, I also was combining farming and NGO job in Kano with a PhD studies in Zaria for 6 months before I was offered a job in my faculty in Zaria. That way I was able to “settle in one place”. In 2018, I got a sponsorship offer for a PhD in UK and I left. As for my friend, offers abroad came when he was far into his lab work at UDUS, and he decided to stay home and complete what he was enjoying.

There are many challenges associated with postgraduate research degrees in Nigeria. One big challenge is that one has to to self-sponsor themselves. Others are instability of the academic calendar, “wicked” supervisor, and inadequate/lack of equipment and materials. Many people felt that we were just wasting our time starting a PhD in Nigeria, but we know that it was the best decision to make -using what is available. But all these challenges did not stop my friend from completing his lab work and thesis writing in the minimum 3 academic sessions because he was determined.

By early 2020, Adamu has completed his Lab-work and thesis. As fate would have it COVID-19 pandemic started and Nigerian universities also went on strike. What looked like a simple break turned to complete disruption and it took until this week for him to defend his thesis.

Looking back, I think there are lessons fellow young people especially in Northern Nigeria would learn from Adamu’s experiences.

1. Just do it, because if you don’t, time will still pass and you will still have to do it.
2. Leave your comfort zone, you may not know what is in stores for you somewhere. Didn’t I tell you that my friend got a nice NGO job in Sokoto, started a poultry farm and consultancy there?
3. Use what is available at every material time. Many of us fail to utilise available opportunities and get fixated with “what may not be”, then end up getting none.
4. It is still possible: we often get discouraged by the many terrible stories around especially about MSc or PhD in Nigeria. That way we lose without even making any attempts. Everybody’s circumstances are different and from experience I know postgraduate students are not completely blameless themselves.
5. One good step leads to another: in the journey to career and self-development, one good step opens many opportunities. Adamu landed his dream academic job partly because he is already a PhD in-view. Employers always love a candidate that has gone an extra length. With shortages of PhD holders in Nigerian academia (especially in the north), it’s hard to turn down a candidate who is already enrolled in a PhD. So if you want to be in that system, here is a model for you.

As the external examiner announced Adamu Tilde a PhD holder at 31 on Tuesday, I know one thing was on his mind ”I made it”. As Adamu drove home the following day from far away Sokoto, he definitely was pleased with his decisions to leave Tilden Fulani in 2017. It was a journey to remember.

Congratulations once again Dr Adamu Tilde. May you continue to inspire and impact us with your work and your achievements!

Marzuq Abubakar Ungogo wrote this from Glasgow


Meet Abdulkadir Abdulsalam: The new Accountant General of Kano state.



Abdulkadir Abdulsalam


To fullfil pledges made by His Excellency, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf during the campaigns of making appointments of individuals of proven integrity into the political positions on merit and to indicate the preparedness of the present administration’s readiness in the restoration of prudence, accountability and people-centered governance in Kano, the Governor has approved the appointment of Abdulkadir Abdulsalam as the Accountant General of the State.

A Chartered Accountant who was trained in Nigeria and abroad, Abdulsalam is expected to contribute in the prudent management of the state’s resource and revenue generation based in the wealth of experience he acquired as has served for many years as an advisor to the Federal, States and Local governments in Nigeria on revenue accounting, using technology-based systems for collection and reconciliation with the aim of achieving efficiency in fiscal management and bridging tax revenue leakages.

The new appointee is expected to apply his expertise of more than two decades in accountancy, macro and development economics, fiscal policy, taxation, financial management and data analysis in the course of discharging his responsibilities.

IGP Usman Baba warns against subversive actions ahead of Nigeria’s presidential inauguration

The Accountant General of Kano State is a respected figure in the public finance circle for planning, designing, and implementation of bespoke projects and policies on revenue generation, macroeconomics, project management and development finance.

Abdulsalam was a notable member of consultants in major public financial management reforms at the national and sub-national levels, working for international development finance institutions including World Bank (WBG), European Union (EU) and Islamic Development Bank

He had served in various positions in Kano State Government ministries, agencies and parastatal (MDAs) and international development finance institutions as a Director of Internal Audit and Control, Director Operation (Investment & Revenue Mobilization), Director Government Business (Federal, State and Local Government), Senior Short Term Expert (Team lead), Director Tax Audit, Debt Management and Investigation, Director of Non-Tax Revenue Ministries, department and Agencies, Project Cost Analyst- (Contract/internship), Treasury Manager, Project Finance Consultant and Senior Revenue Accountant among others.

He served in various groups and committees as a Member Kano State Focal Person DFID-LINKS Implementation Project, Member Kano State High Powered Committee on IGR, Chairman Recovery on Federal Government MDA’s Tax Liabilities, Member Kano-Lagos Economic & Investment Summit, Focal member Kano State committee on Ease of Doing Business (Under the office of Vice President of Nigeria), Member Task Force on Kano State Land Used Charge, Member Kano State Public Financial Management (PFM) Reform committee, Kano State Technical Working Group on implementation of World-Bank/EU SLOGOR Project and Focal Person Kano State DFID/GEMS3 implementation Project.

Abdulsalam holds MSc. Economics (Bayero University, Kano Nigeria), MSc. Project Management (Robert Gordon University, UK), Masters Banking & Finance (Bayero University, Kano Nigeria) and BSc. (Hons) Business Administration (Bayero University, Kano Nigeria).

He holds certificates and diplomas in Public Financial Management, Public Policy Economics, Global Sustainable Development and Computing from Harvard University, United States, Oxford University, United Kingdom, Columbia University New York, United State and Informatics Academy, Singapore.

Abdulsalam, who has attended various trainings and conferences in Nigeria and abroad, is a Certified Oracle Financial Management expert, Associate Member Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountant United Kingdom (CIPFA), Fellow Member Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Associate Member Association of Project Management United Kingdom (APM) and Fellow Member Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN).

Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano state
Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf
4th June,2023

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Haruna Wakili:A Grassroot Politician



Haruna Wakili


Sauda Suleiman

Hon Haruna Wakili who was born into a family of reputable and noble business of home of a caravan leader of late 18th and 19th Centuries at the ancient city of Kano, Madugu Tanko na Gago.

Hon Haruna is a trained business man and indeed grassroots politician that rose to prominence due to demonstration of his dedication and believe in democracy. As he says “only via democratic process that the desire progress and development in the society can be easily obtained. In a tribute to his late father, Kabiru Haruna Sanka, Hon Wakili was quoted to have said this concerning his family “whoever wants to know you; does so through the reflection of your ancestors. Thus, my father’s combination, Agalawa clan for his paternal side while Wangarawa who introduced Islam to Kano for his maternal part have vindicated the purity and humble background.

However, my beloved mother is direct descendants of Yolawa Fulani clan from Tofa local government specifically Lambu for the both parents. The blood of aristocracy and royalty fluidly flowing down to me was the reason why I am standing now, coupled with the blessings and protections of Almighty Allah” he concludes.

Hon Haruna Wakili who unofficially started participating in politics at a younger age of eleven when Gen. Sani Abacha unsuccessfully attempted to re-introduce democracy in 1996 before joining the defunct ANPP officially in 2003 when he reached the maturity age of eighteen. Hon Wakili’s patriotic love for his country and declaration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari to contest for Presidency have really encouraged him to be not only the loyalist of every party Gen. Buhari joined but helped in molding him into a complete grassroots politician per excellence.

Hon. Wakili who rose to Kano’s timeline politics when he became the youngest State Party Chairman and Director General of Campaign Council of ADC 2019 Governorship Candidate, HE Salisu Mubarak Muhammad at the age of thirty-three years old in 1st December, 2018.

He has shown an extraordinary leadership skills by establishing a solid structure across 482 wards and 44 local Government Areas of the state. He however exuberantly accepted the challenge to contest the post of member House of Representatives in 2023 general elections under the platform of ADC which has a few political base of followship in his constituency, Fagge but within span short of period of time, the name Hon Haruna Wakili has become a household affair with huge followship from the youths and women.

Under Hon Haruna’s watch, the establishment of WAKILI FOUNDATION was materialized which has successfully implemented a lot of social works to local community. Among the prominent works executed were the distributions of Sallah clothes to orphans, numbering over 800 units, sponsoring tanks of water to local community during scarcity of water at the holy month Ramadan, repairing of spoilt local boreholes, distribution of teaching tools and medicines to the sick but destitute persons in the constituency.

Finally, the likes of Hon Haruna Wakili is a future of Nigerian politics, as the intensity of enthusiasm, patriotism and courageous spirit he exhibited are proven to be worthy of emulation…

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PMB:My Recollections Of The Man And The Moments .



President Buhari during one of ceremonies for his pulling out

Isa Mansur

A. A Hero (1980s – 1990s)

I was just above two years old when Major General Muhammadu Buhari, as he then was, took over power on January 1st, 1984. By the time he was toppled in August 1985, I was just four. I, therefore, have not much recollection of what his 20 months stewardship as military head of state was like. The only vivid recollection I have about him, as at then, was the discussion I heard my mother and my grandmother doing a day after he was toppled about “juyin mulki”. I asked my mother what it was, and she replied that “an cire shugaban kasa an a canza wani”, meaning: “the president has been removed and replaced with another one”.

For the next eight years as we grew up under the military presidency of General Ibrahim Babangida, we heard nostalgic stories from our parents, teachers and elders alike about how patriotic, well-intentioned and great the short “purposeful and corrective” regime of General Buhari was. We were told how his government vigorously fought corruption, indiscipline, economic sabotage, armed robbery, drug trafficking etc in an effective and non-nonsense manner! Typical of Nigerians, the incumbent president then, General IBB, was being portrayed as a stinkingly corrupt devil who conspired with his fellow unpatriotic colleagues in the military to truncate the good government of GMB in a place coup! IBB was being accused then of “institutionalizing corruption”, “selling” the country to the IMF and the World Bank, dancing to the tunes of Western Powers etc A hero was created of Buhari in our minds then – a non-nonsense, non-compromising, incorruptible, patriotic and pro-masses general who could have rescued the country out of the woods if not for the inglorious action of IBB and co that unpatriotically and selfishly removed him from office.

As a junior secondary student in 1992, I stumbled upon my father’s 1986 edition of the Newswatch magazine that made a cover story with the title: “Where is Buhari?”, or something to that effect. The magazine gave detailed description of how GMB was toppled, including how he was arrested in the Dodan Barracks, and also the travails of his family after the coup, especially that of his now late wife, Safina Buhari. Describing how Buhari was arrested, the writer mentioned how a “stoical” Buhari was found in his living room by the heavily armed majors and how they informed him that they have effected a change of government and that they were there to arrest him. GMB, according to the report, responded to the heavily armed officers with: “Why is there so many of you? One man is enough to arrest me and, in any case, one bullet is enough to do the job.” The general requested for a permission to go and dress properly, which was granted by the young officers. He went into his bedroom and emerged later fully dressed in his military uniform. Before being taken away, according to the report, the general retorted to his captors: “I may no longer be the Head of State, but I am a superior general who still deserves to be respected!” The young officers smartly saluted the general and whisked him away! This further consolidated the hero status of the general in my mind.

The government of General Sani Abacha, in a credibility shopping effort, brought GMB from his post-detention retirement and appointed him as the head of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) for the purpose of judiciously investing a portion of the proceeds generated from the sell of petroleum into the provision social services and infrastructural development. At that time when government’s primary responsibility of taking care of the citizens welfare has virtually ceased, PTF brought a serious relief to the people and was a huge success. It was visible all over the federation particularly in health, education, agriculture and transportation sectors. The hero!

In late 1998, I came across a book written by a lady, Rosaline Odeh, titled “Muhammadu Buhari: the Nigeria’s Seventh Head of State”. The book was a biography of the general and it documented his rise in the military, the various military and political appointments he held as well as how he discharged each effectively. I particularly found very fascinating the book’s description of how GMB, as the GOC of the 3rd Armored Division Jos, effectively dealt with the Chadian army’s invasion of some Nigerian islands on the Lake Chad. The book detailed how, as the commander, GMB relocated from Jos to Maiduguri and how he daily goes to the front to ensure the operation is successfully executed. The Chadian were not only sacked out of the occupied Nigerian territories, but were chased several kilometers into the Chadian territory, something that nearly caused a rift between the general and the then civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. A hero!

2. A Savior (2000 – 2015).

The return of democratic rule in 1999 and the emergence of General Olusegun Obasanjo as the democratically elected president sees the North relinquishing power to the South after twenty years (1979 – 1999). While the return of democratic rule, after years of military dictatorship, was some sort of relief to the ordinary Nigerians, here in the North relinquishing power to the South created a sense of fear, anxiety and mistrust among majority of the people. Some actions/inactions of the OBJ government such as the mass retirement of mostly northern officers in the military that served political appointments, the alleged movement of military hardwares from the North to the South, the Sharia implementation agitations and the government’s response to it, rampant ethno-religious violence in the North, alleged marginalization of the North in appointments in the military and the civil service, the OPC’s series of violence against northerners in the Southwest etc, further aggravated the feelings marginalization and/or even persecution by majority of the people in the North.

It was in the above circumstances that some politicians here in the North begun to search for a leader from the region that can be put forward to led the region in its effort to both protect its interests and by extension rescue the nation from its seeming derailing under the OBJ government. With his history of integrity and patriotism, his sterling record of performance as PTF chairman and the widespread respect and admiration he has among the masses, GMB was the best person for the role at the time. Politicians, opinion leaders, intellectuals and even some of his retired colleagues in the military began to call for the general to join politics and rescue the country! He was promoted in newspaper articles, invited to deliver public lectures by universities and the Arewa House, invited to attend the declaration of Sharia by some state governors etc. By 2002, GMB that was known for seeing nothing good about politics and multiparty democracy, was convinced to join partisan politics by registering with the then opposition All People’s Party (APP). He later admitted that the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, without a single shot fired, was the reason why he became a “converted democrat.”

In the early 2000s the wind of Sharia implementation agitations was blowing fiercely in the Muslim North. After the declaration by Zamfara State, there was a lot of pressure on all governors in the region to follow suit and implement Sharia. On the other hand, quite understandably, the Christian community in the country were also afraid of the Sharia implementation and were resisting it by all the means at their disposal. The tension in the country was so high and palpable. President OBJ summoned a meeting of the Council of State to discuss the issue, among others. After the meeting, the then Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, informed the nation that the council had agreed that Sharia declaration be suspended across the country. GMB and some of the governors that attended the meeting publicly disassociated themselves from the announcement made by Atiku by insisting that no such decision was made by the Council. This singular action further endeared GMB to the people of the north. He was the only voice among the various former presidents from the region that was being heard in solidarity with the people of the region. A savior!

By 2003 GMB was on the ballot contesting for the office of the president on the opposition ANPP, while OBJ runs for the ruling PDP. With the feeling of marginalization and/or even persecution high among the people in the North, PMB was seen as the only savior that can save the region and by extension the nation from the “corrupt and inept” PDP government under OBJ. The love, confidence and trust people had for him was unimaginably fanatical. A savior!

After contesting and loosing the 2003 elections, the love people have for Buhari only increased. He contested and lost again to Umaru Musa Yar’adua in 2007. For the people, Buhari was being rigged out by the “forces of evil” that are against the emancipation of the Nigerian masses. The elections were no doubt everything but free and fair. But whether GMB at the time has enough national acceptability to win an election was out of concern to us, his teeming supporters. However, the existential threat that Boko Haram constituted to the North in particular and the nation in general under President Goodluck Jonathan, provided the necessity for a unity of purpose between the masses that supported Buhari over years and some of the elites that were against him. While the masses sees as their one and only savior and emancipator, the political elites saw him as the only formidable politician with a support base large enough to unseat a sitting president with an opposition merger. Against the odds, the savior made it in 2015! It was a historic, remarkable and exciting moment for millions of Nigerians that were tired of the status quo and yearning for positive change!

3. A President (2015-2023).

Now christened PMB, Buhari assumed office on May 29th, 2015 amidst unreasonably high hopes from most of the people that elected him to power. As a career opposition candidate, the president has vehemently criticised all the governments before him, condemning them for corruption, insecurity, poor management of the economy, high poverty and unemployment rate, fuel and power scarcity, bad education and health policies etc During his years of campaigns, he has made a lot of promises to immediately and effectively change things for the better if elected into office. Naturally, majority Nigerians expected nothing short of miracles from him.

With high hopes, acute and dwindling resources, a nation at war in many fronts, serious health challenges, endemic public sector corruption , PMB government started on a very bad and difficult footing. These, coupled with the president’s slow approach to decision making, uncompromising attitude and poor oversight over subordinates etc all contributed to the terribly below expectation and disappointing outing of PMB as the president.

Unfortunately, from his speeches and body language, PMB seems to believe, and off course many Nigerians at the time, that having a honest president who will not steal or conspire with others to steal; a president who will give all the institutions and functionaries of government the freedom and the resources to discharge their duties, based on established laws and procedures, is enough to make the nation work again and rescue it from the precipice! As a leader, he seems to believe that in as much as he has done his best, by way of approving and providing what is needed to, for example, fight insecurity and terrorism, or fight corruption, or provide social intervention, or build roads, etc he has done his best and the people down the line of authority and responsibility should be held responsible and accountable for whatever failure that may arise. In short, in as much as he has done his own part honestly and patriotically, the people and the law should hold those who haven’t done so responsible and accountable. Many of the people he entrusted make good use of this shortcomings of the president to do what they like. Either the law or history, or both, will certainly take care of this.

4. Sweet and Bitter Farewell.

As the president retires to Daura tomorrow, as his ardent supporter for many decades, I am both happy and sad for him. I am sad that the president has performed far below even the reasonable expectations Nigerians had on him in virtually all sectors. However, I am also happy for him that he has succeeded in living above board and returning home with his personal integrity intact.

I really don’t mind the insults and curses some Nigerians are raining on the president at the moment – that is our convention. From Balewa to Buhari, no leader was spared of insults and curses while in power. We only celebrate our cursed leaders in nostalgia – after they left power.

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