From Raji Bello, Sokoto
Former Director-General of the Nigerian Security Organisation(NS0) and Marafan Sokoto, Alhaji Umaru Ali-Shinkafi has emphasized that a University should not just be an Ivory Tower but a conscientious participant in the affairs of its environment and a bastion for the search for solutions to the problems of the area in which it is located.
Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, who is Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Sokoto State University, stated this at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the pioneer students of the university at the weekend, in Sokoto.
Towards this end, the Marafa of Sokoto charged the university to ensure that its endeavours focus on the critical problems of the entire Sahel region, which he described as the “extended locus of the university” with special priority on the major challenges facing the people of the region such as aridity, desertification and hunger.
He stressed that such challenges have a direct bearing on the lives of the people by way of food production and security, agricultural commerce and general economic activities, social cohesion and political stability adding “research, study and expertise concerning these issues are clearly relevant to the daily activities and survival of the people. The university should endeavour to provide academic, scientific and intellectual leadership in this matter for the benefit of the people.”
In this regard, he urged the University to study the historic works of Shehu Usman Danfodio, his brothers Sheikh Abdullahi of Gwandu and Malam Buhari and his son, Sultan Muhammadu Bello.
“These works are definitely more relevant to our cultural setting on the pressing issue of genuine sensitivity to public interest, accountability, transparency and honesty. This tradition may be found more pragmatic and effective than the boring and tedious classical precepts in Western oriented philosophies of political science and general intellectual tradition”, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi asserted.
The former NSO DG commended Governor Aliyu Wammako for the foresight and focused determination with which he pursued realization of the university project pointing out that the university is central to any educational system as a critical model point where budding professionals are trained, graduated and further trained.