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Harvard University Library Has 20 Million Books- Dr. Yushau



Dr Muhammad Jameel Yushau


By Dr. Muhammad Jameel Yushau

The Harvard University experience is incomplete without discussing the abundant #learning opportunity offered by Harvard University library.

Harvard University has the oldest university library system in the United States. The library was established in 1638 and there are 28 libraries currently under the #university library system. It comprises 20 million books, 700 staff, 6 million digitized and publicly available items, 1 million maps and spatial data sets and 400 million rare items that include photographs, letters and manuscripts as stated by the university library page.

Harvard library

Harvard’s library

The Widener library, which is the largest and located at the Harvard Yard is where I enjoy spending part of my weekend. Widener library is an architectural edifice and a tourist attraction. Many visitors to Massachusetts State visit Widener Library as part of their touristic voyage.

A student is allowed to bring at least four guests to study in the library. So myself and my family utilize this opportunity especially during the weekends.

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The Widener library was named after Harry Elkins Widener, a book collector, businessman and 1907 graduate from Harvard University. He died in the titanic accident of April 1912 along with his father. But his mother survived. The surviving mother gave $2 million grant to start the library in the name of her son. In addition to the 6 million digitized items, there are materials in 450 languages in the library.

Students at the site

Students at the site

Takeaway: The backbone of a university is the quality of its library. Contributing to the library is not the exclusive preserve of the university, but a public responsibility.

Dr Yushau is a candidate for the Mid-Career Master Program in Public Administration, and Editor-in-Chief of Africa Policy Journal


Collective action essential on Climate Change Action



Jibril Salisu Nainna


By Jibril Salisu Na’inna.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s article that was recently published by the Washington post was apt and represents a strong voice of reason not only for Nigeria or Africa, but the whole world.

It is easy to rate it appropriately as an article conveying the right massage for humanity at a time the crisis in Ukraine is deflecting attention from the grim climate changes that are causing despair around the world.

The article has exposed the level of imbalance in some global agendas in which some countries and regions do not show sufficient commitment so long those countries or regions feel less affected by the devastating impact of climate change.

It is indeed true that the big economies are unwilling to stop or reduce their emissions that are responsible for global warming and climate change. And they are also shy of making the requisite agreed financial releases necessary to mitigate the impact of climate change,especially in developing countries.

President Muhammadu Buhari was on point when he advised the rich countries not to create the impression that the world cannot invest in its own safety against climate change.

“Don’t tell Africa that the world cannot afford the climate cost of its hydrocarbons — and then fire up coal stations whenever Europe feels an energy pinch. Don’t tell the poorest in the world that their marginal energy use will break the carbon budget — only to sign off on new domestic permits for oil and gas exploration. It gives the impression your citizens have more of a right to energy than Africans,” he said.

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It can be recalled that the rich countries that contributed most to the climate crisis and pledged that to spend $25 billion by 2025 to boost Africa’s efforts to adapt to climate change as the continent continues to struggle with drought, cyclones and extreme heat, as reported by Africanews.

But they have, sadly, failed to make that promise good.”Governments have repeatedly failed to meet their commitments to the $100 billion fund for climate adaptation and mitigation in the developing world — for the mess their own industries caused.”


Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt where COP27 is holding has reawaken the consciousness of Africa to demand equal input and enough action with overall sincere commitment to confronting and mitigating the adverse negative effect of climate change facing the world especially the developing and poor countries with very low or no contribution to global carbon emission.

Indeed, Nigeria is not left out of the adverse crisis, the president reminded the world that Nigerian case was not different where he said “Part of my nation is underwater. Seasonal flooding is normal in Nigeria, but not like this. Thirty-four of the country’s 36 states have been affected. More than 1.4 million people have been displaced” it is a verifiable fact, of which Jigawa state of northwestern Nigeria is the most affected state this year.

Nevertheless, for Africa to adopt resolutions of the conference fully enough, countries that made pledges to support developing countries must be committed and any source of survival that must left for the good, must firstly be substituted with an alternative means.

COP 2022 must be a truthful rise to act collectively so as to see more meaning and right actions taken ahead of next conference in 2023.

Jibril Salisu Na’inna is a student and pan Africanist wrote from ABU Zaria.
Jibrilsalisunainna @gmail.com

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Intervention Of Elder statesman :Way Out For ASUU- FG Face OFF



Abdurrahman Joji Adamu


Abdurrahman Joji Adamu

The leadership of all University based unions should seek the audience and intervention of General Abdussalami Abubakar regarding the crisis and uncertainty of the Govt to address issues lingering in our Federal Universities, because the Federal government in my opinion, has adopted “competition” as the conflict mechanism tool to defeat ASUU and other University unions, The government is trying to satisfy their own desires at the expense of the other parties.

ASUU had in over the years being going on strikes, whenever they are on strike they table huge demands for the government to look into and addresses them, some of these grievances got considerate hiring by previous regimes and administrations. Part of the successes of ASUU strike overtime gave birth to tertiary intervention fund, which without tetfund intervention our Universities could have been like community public secondary schools.

This time around, the eight month strike had degenerates alot of war of words. looking at the aggressive nature of government ministers on the issue, series of meeting to resolve the strike were proved abortive until the intervention of the speaker of house of representative whom in his capacity and wisdom tried his best, ASUU agrees to back off.

It was apparent that all the striking unions were all tired and some are even ready for a fallback position. But the government in it inhuman nature has refused to give a compassionate attention on the matter by paying backlogs salaries to enable people go back to work, the repercussion had made so many of academic staff having no passion for their jobs anymore.

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Former president Goodluck Jonathan sometimes ago gave a highlight on how he solved the problem of ASUU then, in single day, without doubt we consider the statement of the former President as a challenge posed on President Buhari in order to take clue and expedite measures to resolve the strike issues, but the president gave an absent minded attitude on the lingering issue.

The essence of Government at whatever level is to provide leadership and service to the people. The arrogant nature of both ministers made negotiations deadlocked all times.

Those who think they are too big to serve should not be brought near public offices.

Ministers must not only be suitably qualified for their posts; they must also be willing to serve with all sense of expertise and humility.

With the inability of the ministers to make ASUU- cease fire on these stagnating negotiation and crafty promises, i think the president should re-visit the constitution in order to comprehend his presidential powers and duties accordingly.



Elder statesmen are seen globally as eminent senior members of a Nation especially : a retired statesman who unofficially advises current leaders. I believe the General can make peace out of these dilemma our Universities are facing. In record we have seen how the General chaired the peace accord committee in 2015 election and without doubt the committee conducted a brilliant work by making the power of incumbency irrelevant and opposition taking over the government.

I think the academics should search for a war veteran like him who has also fulfilled the promise of relinquishing power, perhaps he would advise the government impartially so they would understand.


Abdulrahman Joji Adamu
Write from Kano

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Paradigmatic Shift in Literary Ignorance: Ajami on Naira Reloaded-Adamu



Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu

Paradigmatic Shift in Literary Ignorance: Ajami on Naira Reloaded-Adamu

Abdallah Uba Adamu

As we enter into ‘will they, will they not’ mode of uncertainty typical of Nigerian public culture about the change of Nigerian higher currency denominations announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on 25th October 2022, my mind went back to an article I wrote on 16th April 2007. This was in the wake of the removal of “Arabic inscriptions” on the Nigerian currency (the Naira) on 28th February 2007 in the new currency notes that removed the Ajami (Hausa written in Arabic script) writing that indicated the denomination of the respective currency note and replaced with the Latin alphabet. This is a ‘remix’ of that posting on the then popular platforms of Blogspot. Mine was called Nishadin Hululu (Hausa Popular Culture).

The full historical overview of how the Arabic “script” came to become part of essentially northern Nigerian Muslim Hausa educational package is given in Manuscript Learnability and Indigenous Knowledge for Development – Hausa Ajami in Historical Context. A version is available at https://bit.ly/3zoi7XN.

I rarely bother to visit Nigerian “Naija” websites on the web or any other group of politically motivated Nigerians. I know what I will find — the usual vituperative tirade against northern Nigerians, Muslims, Hausa, ad nauseum. Southern Nigerians have three fundamental articles in their crusade against northern Nigeria: Islamic fanaticism, conservative feudalism and their weird perception of “born to rule” syndrome apparently held by the ‘northerners’. No matter how many groups of Nigerians you interact with, these three form the main focus of the divide in Nigeria. They are the main reasons why Nigerian “unity” is virtually impossible.

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I doubt if there is any other group of Africans who hang out their ethnic dirty laundry like Nigerians. I accept, for the most part such ranting is probably not personal; they are basically religious – the Christian versus Muslim divide, rather than any feeling of superiority of one ethnic group over the other. Any such feelings of superiority are part of a religious template that sees acquisition of education as the central criteria for judging the value of a whole people. Thus education, not religion, is the central fulcrum around which the Nigerian nation wobbles.

Southern Nigerian acquired education through Christian Missionary activities from about 1849. Such education became the mainstay of acquiring Westernized modernity. Inevitably Western education brought by Christian missionaries to Nigeria became equated with Western Christian values. For the most part, Christian southern Nigerians are happy with this because it makes them “civilized” — in the absence of any cherished antecedent cultural values. Thus, any other worldview is considered barbaric.

Northern Nigerians, specifically the Hausa and the Kanuri acquired education through conversion to Islam since 1250 and in Kanuri kingdom, even earlier. The constant eddy of scholars from north African learning centers throughout 14th to 17th centuries ensured a sustained scholastic tradition in Muslim northern Nigeria. Muslim northern Nigerians therefore had a longer exposure to the concept of formalized learning and literacy than southern Nigerians. A universal basic education was indeed introduced around 1464 in the city of Kano when new methods of indigenizing the Arabic script to Hausa phonology were created. This led to the creation of a novel way of writing out Hausa language in a script the young scholars will understand. It is this method of indigenizing Arabic script to Hausa language that became “ajami”. It became one of the main ways of educating young pupils in northern Nigeria. Do you remember all those “Almajirai” you see in northern Nigerian cities? Well, most are fluent in ajami writing. Currently, the most prominent modern Hausa political singer (though not the most talented or likeable), Dauda “Rarara” Adamu Kahutu, has an extensive catalogue of his songs all written Ajami which he reads as he records in the studio.

Ajami, therefore, is any literacy strategy in which any language is written in Arabic. Over 50 languages are currently written in the script. Let us look at the parallel sphere. If any African language is written in Latin characters, it can be called Ajami. Ajami is not Islamic; any more than Latin alphabets are Christian.

However, in a new era of reform, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) decided to remove the “Arabic” script from the Nigerian currency in new currency notes launched on 28th February 2007. The removal of ajami script on the Nigerian currency reflected the deep-rooted religious divide that is Nigeria, because the Arabic script was seen as religious – and Nigeria is considered a secular country. This equates Arabic with Islam – ignoring the huge number of Arab Christians that exist throughout the Middle East.

The logic of the removal of the what the Nigerian economic establishment call “Arabic inscription” on the Nigerian currency given by the Nigerian Government was premised on using a Latin inscription that is available to all Nigerians (even if in mutually exclusive languages), rather than an exclusive script tied down to a particular religious culture. According to the then Governor of CBN, Professor Chukwuma Soludo during a sensitization visit to the Sultan of Sokoto,

“I will also like to inform you that the removal of the Arabic inscription on the notes is not targeted at any group or religion but rather to promote our language and cultural heritage…As you can see, Naira is the symbol of our nationalism and our pride. It is pertinent to let you understand that Arabic is not one of our national languages and it was inscribed on the notes forty years ago because the majority of people then, can read it in the northern part of the country to the detriment of their counterparts in the South (ThisDay, 16th February 2007, posted to the web 19th February 2007 at https://bit.ly/3TQ4FEw.

Similarly, the CBN issued a rebuttal to the controversies by stating that the “de-ajamization” was to “conform (to) Section 55 of the 1999 Constitution, which recognises four languages, English, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba as medium of conducting government businesses.” After all, as they claimed, after forty years of Western education, most people in Nigeria should be able to recognize the Roman inscriptions. This, we believe, can strengthen our unity by ensuring equity and fairness. Indeed, the replacement was done in national interest and the desire to comply with the Constitution of the country.”

But how can national unity be attained when still a large proportion of the country is marginalized? To prevent this marginalization, the British colonial administration introduced the Ajami letters on the first Nigerian modernized currencies, well aware of the large gap in education – and therefore ability to read and understand Latin characters on the country’s currency notes. An example was the £1 note.

“Fam daya” was prominently written to enable those literate in Ajami, but not Latin alphabet to identify the currency.

It is interesting that a main argument was that the presence of ajami on Nigerian currency was seen to the “detrimental” to southern Nigerians (who presumably do not understand it) – yet the inclusion of Latin alphabet is not seen as detrimental to non-Roman literate northern Nigerians (especially non-Muslim Hausa, who presumably do not understand it). In this warped logic, it is therefore easier to alienate Muslim Hausa northern Nigerians than southern Nigerians, especially since a Christian was the President of the country (and a Christian Governor of the Central Bank facilitated the alienation). Of course, when a Muslim becomes the President, the arguments might be revisited – and reversed; which another subsequent Christian president will also revisit, and so on endlessly. Farooq Kperogi actually imagined a nightmare scenario that might come out of this in 2022 at https://bit.ly/3TOt2T1.

The inclusion of the script on the Nigerian currency by the British colonial administration was an acknowledgement of the rich literary heritage of a vast number of people in Nigeria who could not read the Latin script– and not a strategy to impose Islam on anyone in Nigeria. Certainly, the British colonial administration had no reason to propagate Islam. Yet on the currencies circulated by the same administration the “Arabic inscription” was conspicuously present. This was maintained subsequently until 2007, when the despised Arabic inscription was removed and replaced with the much-loved Latin ‘inscription’. An example with ₦50 illustrates this.

The ₦50 with the ‘Arabic inscription’ of Ajami merely indicating that it is fifty naira in Hausa. In the redesigned ₦50, the Roman name for the Hausa was ‘naira hamsin’ instead of the Ajamized ‘hamsin’ in the old note. Yet, ‘hamsin’ means fifty in Arabic! So, like it or not, Arabic still remains on the naira. To get rid of it, you have to get rid of the Hausa language entirely, since about almost 45% of Hausa words are based on Arabic language.

Further, other multicultural countries do pay such homage to multiple literacies in their currency notes. The Indian currency, for instance, has 15 language scripts, including Urdu (ajami) – despite Arabic not being part of its national languages.

And while not explicitly stated, the links made by the Nigerian economic establishment with Arabic to Islam seems to be part of a move to “de-Islamize” Nigeria – scoring a cheap point particularly in the way most northern Nigerian States re-introduced Islamic Shari’a in their governance from 1999 led by Zamfara State, and the earlier issue of Nigeria’s membership of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) in January 1986, which the Nigerian Christian (as well as Marxist Muslim) groups were against.

We look forward to the new currency notes in December 2022.

Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu is a dual Professor of Education Science and Cultural Communication

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