Kaduna State Overseas Scholarship Scheme: Letter to Governor Ramalan Yero – By M.G Maigamo

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 “Education is the key to creating, adopting and spreading knowledge” – World Bank Report (1989)
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“Education plays a key role in the ability of a developing country to absorb modern technology and to develop the capacity for self-satisfaction growth and development….therefore it plays a dual role as input and output which gives it a central role in economic,  political and social development” (Todaro and Smith 2003:360)
“Education is the key that unlocks the door to modernization. It is a form of human capital that needs to be harnessed for individual and national development” (Prof. Adejoh Odoh ABU Zaria)
“Education is a priceless gift any worthy government or nation should bestow on her citizens” (Comrade Shehu Sani 2009)
“Education is the key to the future of any individual, community or nation” (Bishop Mathew Kuka, Sunday Trust August 17, 2014: page 56)
Your Excellency Sir, permit me please to digress a little from the subject-matter –of which I would want to commend you in your recent singular effort in dousing the tensions that ran throughout the state when a twin bomb targeted at Gen. Mohd Buhari and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi exploded. It is necessary for one to commend you because if not for your prompt action by imposing a 24 hour curfew immediately after the incident, only God knows, but I think the state would have been in a serious crises by now, and that would have possibly be escalated and spread all over country. Our country would have been enmeshed in an unpredictable Armageddon.
For your information Sir, your public rating is on the rise now possibly because of the three major policy issues you have taken recently.
(1)  Is your resolve to re-industrialize our state by rejuvenating some of our moribund industries that died of inactivity for many years.
(2)    Is your ability to pre-empt the possible uproars in the state by swiftly imposing a dawn to dusk curfew in the aftermath of twin bomb blast which targeted two prominent citizens.
(3)   And your recent maiden introduction of overseas scholarship scheme for the indigenes of the state for the purpose of expanding the scope of the state’s human capital. This noble idea has indeed raised your profile positively in the public eyes; for their commentaries has been a positive one.
Your Excellency Sir, I know you must have taken cue NOT from the Kwankwasiyya education’s template, but largely from the quotations above because this noble objective of “enhancing human capital development, job creation and general development of the state” is a welcome idea and it is a well-timing as, it has come when the entire state is in a serious depletion of human capital. So your resolve to invest about N800 Million in postgraduate scholarship underscores the fact that your administration have fully recognizes the sine qua non of sustainable development.
However Sir, I am much concerned, and I have chosen this medium to converse with you about my concern because I believe is the only means it can get to you fastest possible. I will also reiterate that your conception of this idea of sponsoring our indigenes for the post graduate studies, (for the first time in the history of Kaduna) especially in the area of Medical Sciences Engineering and Applied Sciences has, to me, shows that you really meant well for our state and the country at large, because these are the areas that we are seriously lacking; and an area that has become the world’s center-stage.
Sir, I have two critical issues that I wish to raise before you and which I also humbly adverted to the importance of your serious ventilation and reconsiderations of them   for your necessary action:
The first issue has to do with the possibility of politicization of this noble exercise by those unscrupulous politicians and morally-depraved bureaucrats in the state who will make sure they gain capital out of this exercise. We know politicians everywhere are notorious for skewing anything that is meant for the benefit of all while too, the bureaucrats were known for their antics as saboteurs who always sabotage the implementation process of a policy just for their selfish interest. And Sir I am afraid giving their antecedents; this one too might not escape their clutches. I have every reason to fear because Sir, I just incidentally, happened to saw the scholarship application form in somebody’s hand after the closure of the sales of the forms. When I enquired on how he’d got the form after the closure of sales, he told me his father got it for him from his friend who also happens to be your friend Sir, as the boy alleged. When curiosity forced me to ask further (because I imagine how he got the form after the date line of the sales had passed) the boy boastfully told me that he had been promised a slot even. I believe Sir this case is one among many.
Unless Your Excellency you devise a way of tackling these saboteurs, (if at all they can be tackled) I am afraid they would hijack the whole process and appropriate the whole slots and make it for sale. Also I do not know how the Implementation Committee of the scheme is planning to do and I also appreciate the fact the Committee is headed by Prof. S.U Abdullahi- an academician of impeccable character, but I know for certain those politicians and bureaucrats, giving their antecedents, if not tamed would definitely ruin the whole thing Sir.
Our menace today as a state and as a country is not the want of good policies and programs from our leaders, as we always see these programs and policies in abundance, but the wont of our politicians together with their counterparts to destabilize these policies and programs with their crass attitudes.
The second issue Sir has to do with fair representations which are highly critical that needs your urgent attention. Your Excellency I must tell you that, when you introduced this scheme, considering how our state is, the issue of fair representations was what captured the minds of most people in the state. For example to what extent can each and every 23 distinct local governments be represented and how will they be sampled? This is very important Sir, as it will determines the much needed sense of belonging and even development in the state.
If you may recall Sir, during the tenure of your predecessor, late Yakowa, there were gnawing grievances among the people of the state basically those people from Zone 1and 2 on the issues of state sponsorship into Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT). It had been lamented that out of the 11 beneficiaries, only one candidate was picked from Zone1 while the remaining 10 were picked from Zone3 and sponsored into NCAT. You know full well Sir, that our state is a state where unfortunately everything is been measured along ethnic and religious lines which has reached an unprecedented level, as has gradually being ingrained into our political culture and governance.
It is on this premise that Sir, I feel in this one you must do all you can to see that every section of the state is equally represented. It is incumbent on you to dispel all ill-feelings among the people of the state. You can do this by re-enforcing the spirit and letters of federal character. You must to be seen as a leader –for- all.
I will, in this regard your Excellency, propose to you to set another Committee of highly impartial people, with an unbersmirch personal and public record. Such Committee will draw its members from each local government area of the state, and which will includes district heads and recognized respected elders in each locality. Their main objective is to identify and select those dully qualified applicants from the particular locality where they domiciled, through a sampling technique that would have fairest representation. Also the selection process must also be open and transparent and it will not only be limited to educational qualifications, as the personal characters of each person so identified in the particular locality would be scrutinized wholly to avoid picking the bad eggs with good qualifications. Each selected candidate, after a rigorous academic test must be subjected into meticulous scrutiny of his or her moral and social character.
Scrutinizing the personal habits of each applicant Sir is very important because it will avoid sponsoring people with loose morals who will spoil the image of our state. It will not do us well as the state to have bad ambassadors, and it will also be a bad investment in your part Sir.
However, I deliberately refuse to propose our Muslim and Christian clerics to be part of the Committee to be set up for the fact that having them as part of the Committee would jeopardize the whole thing Sir, because giving how our state is, in which religion and ethnicism become a strongest instrument of our affairs (and which is caused by the these Ulamas and Christian clergies) they will dangerously give the selection process a religious coloration. They will, as always does cry wolf or raise false alarm even when there is none.  Am sure your Excellency will agree with me.
Again Sir, to ensure the success of this all, I must warn you to be wary of some hoggish interest groups in the state in all of this. Especially SOKAPO and ZEMDA they will want to bare their fangs in this exercise for the untenable fact that they represent the interests of their people while in the truest sense they don’t. Truly Sir, in as much as they are the citadel of their people, their antecedents has shown more of the contrary and their comportments has been more of the personal gains. It is indisputable fact that in any exercise that has been carried out in the state, these vultures used to jump in as representatives of so-called Southern or Northern Kaduna indigenes and starts barking or crying wolf, when their voices are been hard, we the represented never see it visibly within  our grasps or feel it. We only see it in their children, cousins, nephews, nieces and wives. Therefore you must not allow them to have a stake in this one; they must stay away from the whole exercise.
Lastly it is my considered opinion and hope that the next exercise would be expanded to cover some areas of Social Science and Humanities which will make our state to have a strong human capital necessary for development
While you read my submissions Sir, please accept my warmest regards
Mukhtar Garba Maigamo,
Is a staff of Unity Bank Plc N0 24 Inuwa Abdulkadir Road Kakuri Branch Kaduna.

And can be reached at [email protected] or 08066792996

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