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Nastura Ashir Sharif: A Resilient Activist From Northern Nigeria

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By Usman Abdullahi Koli

One of the rationales that worsen the challenges societies are going through is absence of activists that speak-out or channeling the pleas of people to the rightful authorities. Northern part of Nigeria had potential elites such as Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, etc that all merged and fought tirelessly along with others from Southern and Eastern regions which led to the independence of the country from British Colonial Masters. The Northern Nigeria for decades lack someone that can confidently come out to speak or stage mass protest on its challenges but in God blessed us with Nastura Ashir Shariff; he is an activist, unionist, voice of the voiceless who always strives for the benefit of all.

Biographically, Nastura Ashir Shariff was born on January 1st 1970, into the family of an Islamic scholar in Sabuwa of Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State. As a tradition in Northern Nigeria a child first attend Islamic school before any other education, Nastura had his rudimentary Islamic education from his father, he had his western education all in Kano State. He started work with the Kano State Ministry of Education in 1988 and was later transferred to Dala Local Government Secretariat in 1989 as a Sport Secretary. Nastura’s political journey started in Social Democratic Party (SDP) as Deputy Administrative Secretary in 1993 and became Personal Assistant to the then Vice Chairman of Dala LGA in 1995, he finally retired and engaged in private businesses.

The agile Nastura is the present leader of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) which initially started as Arewa Students Forum (ASF), it later mutated into Arewa Youths Development Foundation (AYDF). The ASF and AYDP merged and gave birth to Arewa Citizens Action for Change (ACAC) which strove through writings, speeches and protests against misgovernance and challenges of the entire North. In 2017, the ACAC met with 26 like-minded Northern groups and formed Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) that fights for those whose rights were violated, clamours for qualitative education, struggles for effective health care, reminds politicians of their promises and re-awakens Northerners about the sacrifices made by past leaders.

Indelible dreams of Nastura is to have a North which is free from all sorts of societal ills or any form of conflicts; he along with some similar-minded personalities came up with Initiative for Community Action against Drug Abuse aimed at halting drug abuse and Mentorship Programme that targets Northern students pursing higher education. Factually, Nastura Ashir Shariff is the only immutable man that stages peaceful protests severally against the insecurity and inadequacy of social amenities to people. In an interview with LawCareNigeria, he stated that his career in activism had its root in history where he was exposed to the Late Yusuf Maitama Sule’s school of thought, he further explained that contemporary training in political history, philosophical oratory and diplomatic communication are what inspired many referred him as activist and rights crusader.

The fearless Nastura openly expresses his view on issues affecting citizens or which put them in unbearable hardships, like the spate of students’ kidnappings in north-western States. Months ago, after a peaceful protest in Katsina State, he was arrested and taken to Abuja by the Police where he spent two days in detention; it did not discourage him in the quest for good governance. Nastura uses his hard-earned money in sponsoring of many students that could not afford and whenever they graduate, he asks them to do same to others. In his unwearied vision, he wants authorities to make it mandatory in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions the revision of northern histories, cultures, past elites and how they lived their lives which would make the present and future generations imbibe.

More so, as getting government’s work is becoming impossible to poor and qualified applicants, Nastura strategically and financially support all ranges of youths into businesses while some into acquiring skills in order to stand on their own. Most of those involved in criminalities are unemployed, whenever Nastura is at events, he always draws leaders’ attentions on job creation as it is vital for crimes reduction. In recent years, the whole Northern region is afflicted by activities of bandits, insurgents etc where unspecified number of people are losing their lives on daily basis; if people like Nastura are given chance to lead, certainly all would be well. Nastura prefers to speak-out and risk his life than to remain taciturn.

There is no doubt about it that Northern Nigeria is the epicenter of politics, in view of limitless challenges of the region, the current President gave most political appointments to people from the side but all to no avail as they are passive in curtailing the challenges. It is therefore sacrosanct that individuals like Nastura deserve to be protected because he is contributing toward developments of others than his. Nastura’s vast experience, foresight and like-minded colleagues around him would never let him accept bribe to be quiet without calling him back to track. Nastura Ashir Shariff is happily married and blessed with two boys and two daughters.

Koli, a graduate of Mass Communication, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi
mernoukoli@gmail.com

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Adamawa Poly Matriculates 2,818 New Students For 2023/2024 Academic Session

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By Atanga Philip

A total of 2,818 student have been matriculated into various discipline of studies at the Adamawa State Polytechnic Yola for the 2023/2024 academic session.

Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof Mohammed Dahiru Toungos gave the revelation at the weekend in his welcome address at the school’s matriculation ceremony Polytechnic.

Breaking down the admission category, the Rector explained that Yola and Jambutu campus have two thousand four hundred and twelve, two hundred and fourteen at Numan campus while it’s National Skill Qualification, NSQF has one hundred and two.

Professor Toungos pointed out that though the institution recorded low enrollment it however poised to delivering quality service to the students.

He enjoined the matriculants to commit to their studies with tenacity and focus.

The Rector urged the learners to be regular and consistent in attendance at lecture and eschew all forms of deviant behaviours.

While assuring them of maximum security and safety, Dahiru Toungos congratulated and them successful and prosperous studies.

Earlier in a remark, the students representative of the Polytechnic, Mr. Kingsley Johanna appreciated the school’s management for the privilege to study.

He counselled the matriculating students to widen their horizon and positively impact the society during and after their stay at the Polytechnic.

Yohanna who expressed their readiness to be law abiding charged his colleagues to seek and embrace wisdom, honesty and integrity among other noble virtues.

It is now left for the students to delve into studies in earnest and all tenacity to justify the oath they took and get their parents to pride in them.

SAHEL REPORTERS

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Bauchi Lawmaker Pledges To Expedite Passage Of Bill On Reduction Of Out-Of-School Children

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Honourable Nasiru Ala, the Chairman, House Committee on Education in the Bauchi State House of Assembly has pledged to expedite the passage of the state framework Bill to reduce Out-Of-School in the state.

He made the pledge during a two-day regional stakeholders meeting on out-of-school children and retention, transition as well as completion models in Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa states.

According to him, any moment the bill is sent to the state House of Assembly from the Executive, the lawmakers would expedite actions to ensure that the bill is passed within three to four weeks.

He said “based on the law making, we are going to enact this particular law on the domestication of the Bauchi state framework to reduce Out-of-School children bill within three to four weeks from the day of reception from the Executive Arm.

“Our governor has been very cooperative and supportive on this particular issue of out of school children because it is a serious menace.

“As an academic, I’m not always happy anytime I hear the word Out-of-School children.

“That is why it’s not going to be a big deal in the Bauchi state House of Assembly to enact the state framework to reduce Out-of-School children in the state.

“In three weeks time In-Sha-Allah, we are going to pass into Bill this State Framework to reduce Out-of-School children in the state”.

Also speaking, Mr Raphael Aiyedipe, Education Officer, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, said that the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had developed a National Framework of Action to Reduce Out-of-School Children and drive access to education in the country.

According to him, the framework commits to substantially and systematically decrease the number of Out-of-School children in Nigeria by 2030.

He highlighted some of the objectives of the framework to include; improve access and quality of education for all Nigerian children, drive improvement in learning and relevant skills development.

Others, he said, were to accelerate the social and economic development of communities and the country at large.

“The Framework has 5 thematic areas that includes; political actors and this means gaining the political will and government commitment.

“Best practices and alternative pathways and this translates to defeating learning poverty, Community accountability, that is engaging stakeholders to build ownership.

“Technology and ICT which means improving access through innovative solutions and Financing mechanisms, that is, reaching the most vulnerable,” he explained.

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Child Dedication: Adamawa Dep Gov, Others Pray For Maduwa Family’s Newborn

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Adamawa State Deputy Governor Professor Kaletapwa Farauta has prayed God to bless the new baby born to the family of Stephen Maduwa, describing it as source of succour and blessings.

Speaking at St Augustine Catholic Church Bekaji Sunday, Farauta appreciated the family for being close and supportive to the seat of power.

“That is why Governor Fintiri deems it fit to celebrate the new born baby and the entire faith community. Our prayer is that the baby would be a source of succour and will be pillar in the house of the Lord, she said.

The deputy governor among others prayed to God bless the new baby.

The Catholic Bishop of Yola, Most Reverend Stephen Dami Mamza in his address, enjoined Christians to stand against any divisive tendencies, and work towards achieving Christ’s desire for unity among His followers.

In his vote of thanks, Maduwa prayed God to bless families seeking the fruit of the womb.

He thanked officials from the state government for gracing the dedication of his child.

SAHEL REPORTERS

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