In the culture sector, Dr. Bukar Usman, has won renown as one of the most dedicated promoters of folklore in Nigeria, which has seen him publish many books in this area. He is also at the forefront of promoting writing in indigenous language, and has published copiously in Hausa language. But there is an aspect of him that some of us don’t know too well.
On August 21, 2008, the newly founded Bukar Usman Foundation issued a handbook for public consumption, including its mode of operation, which stipulated that cases deserving assistance may be presented to the foundation and treated in the following manner:
“Individuals, organisations and institutions may apply in writing to the foundation for assistance. Such applications shall be considered on their merits. Registered trustees and members of the foundation may bring to the attention of the foundation cases requiring assistance from the foundation. In emergency cases, the President may consider and approve assistance. Such approvals will be presented to the Board of Trustees for ratification.”
For almost ten years, the foundation has been assisting Nigerians from different facets silently. Among others, the foundation routinely donates his books freely to schools, organisations and individuals and his writings are available in most of the institutions in northern Nigeria and beyond. Beneficiaries are never in short of words to appreciate his generosity. Umar Ibrahim, a class teacher in Honesty Nursery, Primary and Secondary School, Nguru, Yobe State, was full of encomiums for his benefactor, “I want to use this medium to express my deepest appreciation on what you did, sir. It is really appreciative and motivating to young students like me. I am honoured, doctor. I have benefited in my relationship with you what I haven’t benefited from all the people around me for many years. I pray God keeps my good relationship with you, doctor. As a young student, I also hope that you will keep guiding me where it is possible.
“I also want to use this opportunity to tell you that I received these prizes as best graduating student in the Department of English, Yobe Sate University, Damaturu, for 2015/2016 academic session: The Study of Language by George Yule, Language and Linguistics by John Lyons; and Students’ Companion from Webster’s Reference Library.”
It was a view echoed by Abdullahi Shehu, “This student has spoken the minds of many of us who are indebted to you. May Allah (SWT) reward you abundantly and replenish your purse. Mun gode sosai.” Likewise, Irikefe Gbeyonron, remarked, “Appreciation well-deserved. You have been a mentor and a pillar to a million people.”
An Academic, Professor Ahmad Kofa Babajo, was also on the same page with the students in his response to Dr. Usman, “Your initiative is yielding rewards and good results, as your writings are available in almost all tertiary institutions of northern Nigeria. More kudos to your unflinching support to promote literature.”
Accolades for the foundation came from different parts of the country. Anthony Ikobho Howells from Bayelsa State, said, “Touching lives through education, mentorship, coaching, etcetera, is the one true legacy we can bequeath the younger generation. Thank you for continuing to invest your time, energy and resources in the younger generation”. Professor Ismaila A. Tsiga of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria, was also grateful to him for his support to the new university in Damaturu in time of need.
An Igbo, Japh Nwosu, shared the sentiments of those lauding the Bukar Usman Foundation. He said, “We’re united in appreciating. Do remain ever blessed.” Another scholar, Prof. Gidado Tahir of the Department of Educational Management, University of Abuja, was fascinated that the efforts of Dr. Usman had reached far and wide, hence, “May Allah SWT continue to place you in an exemplary position so as to inspire the upcoming ones for the betterment of our country and generations yet unborn.”
At the last count, the University of London; BBC World Service; NTA, Dutse; Nigeria Immigration Service, Linguistic Association of Nigeria; Centre for Human Security, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta; and FCT Universal Education Board; Capital Science Academy, Abuja; have written to acknowledge donation of books to them.
Also are National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Jos; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu; Bura Women Development Association, Abuja; Borno State Fire Service, Biu; National Open University, Abuja; African Policy Research Institute, Abuja, to mention a few.