By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir
I’m an active member of The Habu Mamman Foundation group, and when I come across messages shared by Uncle Habu Mamman himself, it gets my rapt attention. Uncle Habu is an engineer turned politician, along with another Uncle, Nuhu Gidado, former deputy governor of Bauchi state and commissioner for education. I could feel Uncle Habu’s roaring and infectious laughter when I got the audio file, but realising that it was a 45-minute long recording, I knew he meant business. I steadied and listened to it. It was Dr. Tilde’s voice, the present commissioner for education in Bauchi state.
In his voice, I could feel his pain, and as he spoke, his breath delivered his anger, yet, in a soft spoken manner. Dr. Tilde is the pioneer chairman of the Bauchi Special School’s Management Board, during the Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu administration of 1999-2007. He was sought after by the M A Abubakar Esq. administration of 2015-2019, to which he was unavoidably absent. The Bala Mohammed government of 2019 to date got his services as the education commissioner.
Dr. Tilde’s sterling achievements during the Ahmed Mu’azu administration brought us to the present efforts in revamping and revitalising the education sector in Bauchi state. The commissioner spoke at length of the rot in the system, the poor quality of teachers in the sector, and the corruption that is eating away the resources that would have otherwise helped in uplifting the standard of education in Bauchi state. He is battling an entrenched system of corruption that doesn’t care about the future of the children; a system where people get paid for doing no work at all; a system where school children cannot write a sentence, or read one; and if they wrote a word or sentence, you couldn’t possible read what they’ve written.
During his 45-minute delivery, Dr Tilde kept reflecting on the work that was done during the Mua’zu administration. He was always pontificating at what they achieved during that time, how they did it, and the quality of the products they hatched at the time. He declared that today, if you go to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi, you will meet doctors, laboratory scientists, pharmacists and many other professionals who are products of the special schools of the Mu’azu era.
During Ahmed Mu’azu’s tenure as governor, primary school students’ enrollment rose from 438,350 to 1.3 million within a period of six years. Before he became governor in 1999, only 279 students passed their WAEC examinations with five or more credits. That figure rose to 9,000 students under his watch in 2005. His achievements in the education sector in the history of Bauchi state are second to none. The quality of education was simply outstanding.
The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi itself warehouses a lot of the infrastructure projects of the Mua’zu administration, when it was the Bauchi Specialist Hospital. The quality of the wards, laboratories and equipment installed is second to none, and are still being utilised today. The amenity ward stands as a perfect example of the standard of works executed at that time. There is no difference between the National Hospital Abuja, and the Amenity division of the Specialist Hospital Bauchi.
Ahmed Mu’azu built over 1000kms of intra-state roads, and over 230kms of urban township roads. His rural development strides saw to the electrification of 800 towns and villages, where they were connected to the national grid. The Federal Ministry of Information ranked him as the best governor in rural development, and the second overall best in all areas, in the country.
Ahmed Mu’azu’s first degree is in quantity surveying, and his masters degree is in construction management. I believe this accounts for his quest for excellence, when he delivers his projects. He was recently honoured by the Federal University, Wukari in Taraba state with a honorary doctorate degree in science, in recognition of his selfless service and visionary leadership.
Mu’azu has five other honourary doctorates from very notable institutions. They include Federal University of Technology, Akure in Ondo state; University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Igbinedion University, Benin, Edo state; and University of Maiduguri, Borno state. Ahmed Mu’azu is widely travelled and well known across the country, with friends and associates in every nook and cranny.
Many groups and movements have sprung up, urging him to run for president. Even though he is yet to make any declaration, he is, certainly, an administrator with a most enviable track record of excellence in service delivery, filled with legacies from his tenure as Bauchi governor. Dr. Tilde really got me nostalgic over our unforgettable Mu’azu of Bauchi state.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily.