Open Letter To Governor M.A Abubakar; Bauchi State Students On Government Sponsored Scholarship Scheme Stranded In Some Foreign Countries
Hello sir, I hope my message will not reach to a dumb ear. Some few days back, I went on a temporary retirement from criticizing your administration neither because you have cleared the backlogs of salaries nor because you have completed a meaningful infrastructural projects. I do so because I think it’s high time I allow you to concentrate more on delivering on your campaigns promises coupled with some messages of hope and intent you are sending out especially with the recent dolling out of contracts to renovate and Biuld new educational infrastuctures through SUBEB, the 50,000 educational assistance, the teachers training scheme and the approval of 20 billion contract to construct new 175 km worth of roads across the state. It is with this projections, I extend my heartfelt plee to you to please extend your hands of welcome to those abandoned students who were initially sponsored by the previous administration and due to be completed by your administration. I do so with so much passion and believe that students (majority on masters and PhD) are potential bridge builders in our state, as such one cannot overwhelmingly tells how much they will benefit our dear state with there abundant wealth of knowledge and experience.
One will be surprised to why I am writing on this particular subject matter. Follow the article keenly as i narrate the ordeals of Bauchi State Students on a government sponsored scholarship and fellowship scheme in some foreign countries. Friday afternoon (30th,October 2016), I received a call from one outstanding PhD student from the University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, for fear of administrative sanctions he claims anonymity. The moment I picked his call after exchanging pleasantries he said to me ‘Muhammad Auwal we need your help because you always lent your voice to the plight of the masses, please help us’ I answered him calmly ‘what is it that you need my help’. The following statement is the narrative of what he told me on the phone ”Foreign students of Bauchi state origin who are on state government scholarship at foreign countries, risked being sent out from their university due to Bauchi government inability to pay their scholarship fees. While others manage to complete their studies under debt and could not be able to collect their certificates and return back home due to the huge amount of outstanding fees that could not be paid. Some of the students VISA cannot be renewed, while some already overstayed which is a serious crime in foreign countries.
Most of the students are studying medicine and medical-related courses such as pharmacy, nursing, medical laboratory sciences, microbiology and Information Technology Programs.
The scholarship program was Awarded by the past Bauchi state administration under Governor Isa Yuguda, with the Aims of eradicating illiteracy in the state. Unfortunately the students have been subjected to all kinds of humiliation, embarrassment and disgrace in foreign countries.
They often resorted to begging on campus and other universities for survival, since they had not received an upkeep allowance for almost two years now from the Bauchi state government. Which result to some of them being chased out of their rented apartments. Among the students is a PhD student who is supposed to be highly honored, celebrated and respected. This student during his PhD period bagged two GOLD MEDAL AWARDS, and does one of the best research in the Malaysian National Defense University. For which he is qualified to have have gotten an automatic Job with the defense University which is equivalent to Nigeria’s NDA. With all this effort Bauchi state government have never cared to value his PhD. The student invented a mobile forensic tool called ”Mobile forensic triage for damaged phones called M_Triage” which could help in retrieving data from damaged phones and will be highly useful to security and anti-graft agencies. The invention won a Gold medal award from one the largest inventions exhibitions in the world – ITEX (27th international inventions and innovation exhibition). Yet he was neither recognized nor honored by the state. In fact, his remaining scholarship fees was not settled. As such he could not graduate.
He personally wrote to Governor MA Abubakar in October 2015 regarding his issues and the governor asked the scholarship board to advise him regarding the issue which they have exactly done as he said since October 2015. Nevertheless, he wrote about five reminders to Gov MA regarding the issue up to today noting is done about it. The students files are kept in Gov MA Abubakar office without any explanation to the scholarship board and the students.
The affected students are from, Malaysia, Egypt, Sudan and UK. The State Government claims there is no money, but we notice on social media how the government is spending money on less important issues while our students stranded in foreign countries.
Just of recent the Bauchi State Governor lunched a program called “MA YOUTH EUCATIONAL EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME” to sponsor fifty thousand students (50,000), the question is where did he get such money for this program? Are the foreign student sponsored by Isa Yuguda not Bauchi State? Is our Education less important? Why is the state Governor playing politics with our future?. Again, just a few days he approved 20 billion for the rehabilitation of roads within Bauchi town are those capital project better than our education? He also added that some lecturers from the Bauchi state University were also abandoned by the state government most of them on a fellowship”
The above statement was the entire narrations of the conversation I had with the student. In my efforts to establish justice to the whole aqua and further establish facts and factual evidences I tried to reach out to the Special assistant to Governor on students matters, but all attempt proved abortive as all his lines were not reachable.
Please Governor M.A I am not writing to you today as a critic, but as a patriotic citizen who wants to see the progress of our state. Please find reasons in my article to lend your hands of welcome to those stranded sons and daughters of Bauchi State studying in some of the foreign countries. Such reasons are why many Nigerians with proven talents and wealth of knowledge abandon the country and achieves laurels abroad with other countries. You need to keep them under your guidance before they abandon the state and embrace other nations.
Mal. Muhammad Auwal Gotal
Citizen par excellence
NB: Below is the copy of letter written to the Governor by the student since October 2015 and a picture of the Gold medal he won for his Digital forensic invention.