An adage says that the joy of the monkey is the closeness of the branches of the trees it plays on, and it is no fallacy that a tree that grows beside a river should enjoy abundant and overflowing flourishing.
The University of Abuja, being the ONLY FEDERAL UNIVERSITY in the capital city of Abuja, should by virtue of its prime location be one of the best if not the best university in terms of structural and general infrastructure. It possesses a great land mass which positions it for unprecedented development – a model University which ought to be the pride and model of the country’s tertiary education system yet it is effectively several measures below it’s potential capacity and development.
The University is home to some of the most important citizens of this great country, and a neighbour to the top three citizens of our beloved nation. The University is not only situated in Abuja as the sole Federal University but also is the only university that was created with the vision to entrench and emphasis through learning, Nigeria’s non-negotiable unity as captured in its motto; FOR UNITY AND SCHOLARSHIP!
The University has produced brains that have not only made their mark but have been contributors to the economic and political development of this great nation, the likes of Dike Chukwumerije, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (Big Brother Naija), Aisha Ndenusa-Ahmad (CBN Deputy Governor), Former Governors Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada of Kogi state, and also the likes of serving Senators, Senator Ibrahim Ida and Senator Gyunka Philip Aruwa, Rt. Hon. Eugene Odoh (two time Speaker of the Enugu state House of Assembly, Abdulmumin Justin, Dr. Abubakar Umar Kari, Barrister Pelumi Olajengbesi (Youth Lead Nigeria Convener), Lawrence Onoja (Benue State Commissioner of Information), Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe (Nassarawa State Speaker) and a host of others.
Despite the positives, the University of Abuja has remained a lamb in the midst of lions; it has crawled where other institutions have ran, it has trudged where others are flying because rather than enjoy the privilege and patronage it should receive it has suffered gross neglect, perennial oversight and disregard by those who are by official or fiduciary placement supposed to stimulate and enforce her growth and development.
The infrastructure of the University is at a state of comatose and apart from lecturing and academics, all other service deliveries in the school are dwindling because the management has been left all alone to oversee all issues with little support from the government. The funding from the government is not encouraging and the University needs aids and grant to meet up with the ever-growing needs of the ever dynamic academic system in Nigeria.
A visitor to Nigeria in the FCT who makes a visit to the University of Abuja would be forgiven for thinking the country has a negligible disregard for her tertiary institutions nationwide. It would not be a valid counter-argument to point out that elsewhere in the country thrives better-structured campuses. It is not wise to live by a river and yet wash one’ s hands with spittle, the sad irony of the University of Abuja’ situation truly deserves immediate positive action by all and sundry particularly from the central government of Nigeria it shares territorial space with. The School’ s Management cannot be expected to do it all alone and must, in fact, be commended in recent years for evening the spread of marginal development in the school.
I therefore passionately make an appeal to the Federal Government to take the issue of the University of Abuja with all seriousness, demonstrable in the following positive actions :
- To hold an emergency convention to outline the primary areas of need(s) of the University with a view to resolving all.
- To institute a stimulated cash flow management system to cater to the school’s financial needs.
- To fund, through grants and special intervention, the University’s infrastructural aspirations or target.
Finally and in emphasis, the sad tale of my University is that it is a FEDERAL CAPITAL EMBARRASSMENT IN THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY. It is not encouraging for our common interest nor for the image of our great nation, and so it’s concerns must be attended with immediate attention and resolution.
I am a voice,
I am fearless,
BASHIR ABEEB OBASANJO
Students’ Union Government
University of Abuja, FCT.