By Mahmud Gambo Sani
The School for Arabic Studies (SAS) located in the ancient city of Kano, is now in such a state of miserable and poor condition, that writing or speech of words cannot explain the terrible situation the school is.
One Saturday, in the last month, the alumni association of the school (Class 1981), organized a meeting to re-unite the members and honour some old students who championed and excelled in their areas of disciplines. Among them is an outstanding Islamic scholar, Prof. Umar Sani Fagge.
The occasion was graced by other scholars from all fields of studies, including Prof. Tijjani Naniya from Bayero University, Kano, who was the chief guest speaker.
One of the awardees, Prof. Umar Sani Fagge, made a speech entitled: ‘SAS, yesterday, today and tomorrow.’ While the third speaker, Alhaji Sa’idu Dattijo Adahama, made his speech on economy regarding Islamic perspective.
But alas! The organizers of the occasion were hesitated in organising the occasion in one day, considering the fact that it needs to be organised in three days. Where day-one will feature visit to their colleagues who are in dire need of help at their respective homes and hospitals; on day-two, they should embark on visit to the school to see for themselves its condition; then ultimately, on day-three, they could proceed to prepare for the lectures and honour the awardees.
By so doing, everyone’s thinking must be changed. Furthermore, the association needs to fix another time to hold the meeting according to the plan mentioned above, because, anyone who enters the school presently, there is nothing that will stop him from shedding tears, because of the poor condition the school is suffering from, which is the worst compared to its kinds in the history of the Northern part of the country.
During our fact finding we embarked on shortly after the occasion, we witnessed with our own eyes the true picture of the poor condition of the school, in terms of damaged classes, crack buildings, lack of chairs and other needed equipment in which about 85 per cent of the classes are seen without chairs for the students to the extent they use to sit on bare ground for lessons.
The School for Arabic Studies was established in 1934, with a view to train Shari’a judges across Northern Nigeria. The aims that led to the establishment of the school have been achieved 100 per cent, seeing that, the school had produced most of the judges of the Shari’a courts across the 19 Northern states, including some judges of the common-law courts.
In fact, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero (Sarki Alhaji), who was the founding father of the school, as well as who started building classes with his money, (which were shown to us during our visit), had a great vision in establishing the school and taking care of it and seeing to its development, as there was no other school that benefited Kano Province and other Northern Nigeria in terms of producing Shari’a court judges and even the common-law judges, famous Islamic scholars, lawyers and wealthy individuals, school teachers, government workers and other outstanding persons, who excelled in various fields of life, at home and abroad.
For this, we challenge all stakeholders, especially the 12 implementing Shari’a states, to put the school in forefront, as their states benefited a lot from the school’s contribution in improving the affairs of Shari’a legal system and common-law in their respective states.
To the groups of the former students, we advised them, not only to organize the celebration that we have left school years back, but, come and inspect it and see the problems it is facing, as well as taking bold measures in bringing succour to rid it of the problems it is facing presently, because, there is an adage which says ‘to whom much is given, much is expected,’ while in Hausa rendering it reads: Yaba kyauta tukwici.
Likewise, the School Basic Management Committee (SBMC), should come and see how they can support the school, in collaboration with the governments by going round all nook and cranny to ensure that they find a lasting solution for the school. Going by the contribution to be given by the well-to-do individuals, who attended the school and as well as those who did not, to come and help the school, by shouldering the responsibility of getting the school repaired or rebuilt, thus improving the school in terms of teaching and learning, as well as restoring the glamour position it was known right from the beginning.
We would like the people to know some of the important personalities who attended the school, and we assume they are still alive, like, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rashid; Prof. Auwal Yadudu; Alhaji Abdussamad Isyaka Rabi’u; Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura; Dr. Yahaya Tanko; Dr. Muhammad Tahar Adamu, (Baba Impossible); Mallam Tijjani Yakasai, Grand Khadi of Kano State and Justice Muhammad Lawan Uwais, former Chief Justice of the Federation.
Others are Prof. Sani Zaharaddeen, Chief Imam of Kano; Prof. Umar Sani Fagge; Prof. Tijjani Naniya; Alhaji Sa’idu Dattijo Adahama, to mention but a few. We are soliciting to other well wishers, to look into the great work done by our good leaders and ancestors for protecting our religion, culture and norms and values through fighting colonial masters physically and decisively to ensure that our religion is protected.
They should not let the school collapse, because all the people in the North and the whole country have benefited from the school.
Mahmud is a staff with The Triumph can be reach via talk2mahmud2012@gmail. com or 08146900002