From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
A senior Nigerian lawyer and lecturer, Dr Bello Mohammed Magaji, has been appointed the Dean, Faculty of Law, at the Islamic University in Uganda, the first Nigerian to hold the position in that academic institution.
Dr Magaji left Nigeria some few years ago to lecture at the faculty of law in the Uganda Islamic University after similar services at the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano.
The Uganda ivory tower was founded by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which Nigeria is one of the contributors.
In a chat on WhatsApp with Daily Sun, Dr Magaji lamented that Nigeria’s educational system is taking a nosedive when compared to other countries.
He advised Nigerian government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end the protracted strike for the sake of students idling away at homes.
‘I have been appointed the Dean of law for the Islamic university in Uganda, the first Nigerian to hold this position. The school was founded by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which Nigeria is a very important contributor. And the Faculty is the biggest in terms of students and staff from the OIC countries.
‘It was a most gratifying moment for me considering the fact that it is an international university funded by a reputable organisation second only to United Nations Organisation that is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation with international students and staffing.
‘I can say to a great extent that my leaving Nigeria has paid off in that I am able to attain the highest administrative cum academic position in a law Faculty of a reputable university.’
Asked if he is missing Nigeria, he said: ‘I am not too homesick in the sense that I am always in touch with home and I visit Nigeria from time to time. I have no regrets whatsoever in leaving Nigeria if only for the opportunity it offers me to see things from the perspective of other countries and peoples. It has been a rewarding experience.
‘The Nigerian community and embassy in Uganda have congratulated and felicitated with me over the appointment.’
On the Federal Government/ASUU crisis, the Uganda-based Dean of law faculty said: ‘My advice to FGN and ASUU is for both of them to respect the agreements they have been entering in the interests of the students and the educational system in the country. Compared to other countries Nigeria’s educational system is unfortunately taking a nosedive. Protracted strikes and lately insecurity to the institutions themselves are not helping matters.’
He pointed out that ‘Uganda is having its share of COVID-19 but the recent announcement by the President on schools reopening with strict guidelines has been commendable. More commendable is the adherence by the institutions with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).With this adherence by the schools it will go a long way to reduce or even halt the spread of the virus.’
Dr Magaji, a retired military officer, added his voice to rising insecurity in Nigeria, saying: ‘Security challenges in Nigeria is very concerning especially to us who had a stint in the military. The recent tinkering with the security architecture by replacing the service chiefs with new blood is promising but it is not yet uhuru.
‘That no day passes by without one security challenge or another calls for serious stock taking. Many security experts(on this paper and on many fora) have proffered many suggestions but it appears the leadership in the country doesn’t have the political will to do the needful.
‘And unfortunately the challenges are drawing closer to our doorsteps. Funding in order to obtain intelligence reports, community policing, state police, more recruitment in military and paramilitary organisations etc have all been canvassed,’ Dr Magaji stated.