We appeal to the Jigawa State government, led by His Excellency Alhaji Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar (MNI, MON), the Federal Ministry of Education, and all party stakeholders to consider making the necessary decision, to listen to the long-term desire of the good people of Gumel and locate this university in the Emirate.

First, let me congratulate the good people of Jigawa State for being among the beneficiaries of the recent approval of five universities of technology and health sciences by President Muhammadu Buhari. The new universities of technology will be located in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom States, while the universities of health sciences will be established in Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State.

One of the motives for establishing federal universities in States may be to ensure that all people have equal access to educational opportunities and to close the gap between the educationally underdeveloped and developed states. It is clear that the current Nigerian administration is committed to doing its best to fulfill its promises by filling the gap in education in the areas of technology, health, and science, particularly in some of Nigeria’s backward states.

Thankfully, by selecting Jigawa State as one of the recipients of these tertiary institutions, the Federal Government has made a fair and appropriate decision. As a consequence, this issue sparked public debates and mixed opinions, with regard to which zone or Emirate best deserves the new Federal University in Jigawa State. Although people in power or government have the utmost right or responsibility to implement their initiatives in a specific location, notwithstanding that they usually listen to the public’s opinion, which is very essential, since the people are the ultimate beneficiaries.

The vast majority of people have agreed that the Gumel Emirate should get the slot because it is the only emirate with only one tertiary institution, and three of its four local governments are educationally disadvantaged. Another reason they mentioned was that one of the local governments of the emirate, Gagarawa, is located at the centre of the State, which is 35 kilometres away from Gumel Local Government.

Jigawa is one of the fastest developing states in Nigeria, with a population of about five million people, divided across three senatorial zones and five emirates, which include the following: Dutse, Ringim, Hadejia, Gumel and Kazaure, respectively. From 1991 to date, precisely 30 years, the State has established 11 higher institutions, in addition to one Federal University, one Federal Polytechnic, two private universities and four NOUN centres, distributed across four out of the five emirates. The only emirate with a single higher institution is Gumel. The College of Education (COE), Gumel was founded in 1976 in the old Kano State and was moved to its current location, Gumel, in 1980 by Muhammad Abubakar Rimi. Throughout the years, the State’s pioneer institute, COE Gumel, has graduated many prominent people from across the state, and even from neighbouring states, and it is still producing them today.

Gumel is one of the oldest emirates in Nigeria. However, despite its long history, huge manpower, human resources and contribution to state and national development, it is not only sad but extremely painful to note that, ever since the creation of Jigawa State, not even a single tertiary institution (State and Federal) has been established by the successive administrations in the emirate.

Undoubtedly, the Gumel is one of the oldest emirates in Nigeria. However, despite its long history, huge manpower, human resources and contribution to state and national development, it is not only sad but extremely painful to note that, ever since the creation of Jigawa State, not even a single tertiary institution (State and Federal) has been established by the successive administrations in the emirate. It is equally disheartening that the lone tertiary institution in the emirate, despite a huge and ever-increasing population, is the Jigawa State College of Education, Gumel, which was inherited from Kano State, as previously mentioned. The following analysis clearly shows how the remaining emirates in the state have been flooded with the establishment of tertiary institutions thus far. Looking at the status quo, it’s crystal clear to note that the existing tertiary institutions and universities in Jigawa state are as follows:

Dutse Emirate

1. Federal University, Dutse
2. College of Nursing and Midwifery, Birnin Kudu
3. School of Health Technology, Jahun
4. National Open University of Nigeria, Dutse Study Centre
5. Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse

Ringim Emirate

1. College of Islamic and Legal Studies, Ringim
2. Jigawa State College of Remedial, Babura
3. National Open University of Nigeria, Ringim Study Centre
4. Jigawa State School of Midwifery/Nursing, Babura
5. Khadija University, Majiya

Kazaure Emirate

1. Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure
2. Informatic Institute, Kazaure
3. Research Institute, Kazaure

Hadejia Emirate

1. Sule Lamido University, Kafin Hausa
2. Binyaminu Usman College of Agriculture, Hadejia
3. National Open University of Nigeria, Hadejia Study Centre
4. Al-Salam International University, Hadejia

Gumel Emirate

Jigawa State College of Education, Gumel.

Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership, the Federal Government needs to do justice to all of its units, not just in terms of tertiary education, but in terms of all material allocations. In its federal functions, the government should be seen as sticking to its federal character principle.

History has it that when the Federal Government planned to establish the Federal University in 2010, the most suitable site proposed by educationists was the Jigawa State College of Education (CEO) Gumel, but that did not see the light of day. Now, the Federal Government has announced it would establish a Federal University of Technology in Jigawa State.

Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership, the Federal Government needs to do justice to all of its units, not just in terms of tertiary education, but in terms of all material allocations. In its federal functions, the government should be seen as sticking to its federal character principle.

We appeal to the Jigawa State government, led by His Excellency Alhaji Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar (MNI, MON), the Federal Ministry of Education, and all party stakeholders to consider making the necessary decision, to listen to the long-term desire of the good people of Gumel and locate this university in the Emirate. This should be done if the Gumel Emirate is still being considered for educational development, which is the key agenda of this administration. Moreover, the institution should be situated in the Gumel Emirate, which has had only one such institution – the college of education, as mentioned earlier, which was inherited from the old Kano state.

Abba Garba is a PhD candidate at the laboratory of Network and Information Security, Peking University.

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