The School for Arabic Studies (SAS) located in the ancient city of Kano is now in such a poor condition that words cannot explain.
In November, the Alumni Association of the school (Class 1981), organised a meeting to re-unite members and honour some old students who excelled in their disciplines. Among them is an outstanding Islamic scholar, Prof. Umar Sani Fagge.
The occasion was graced by other scholars, including Prof. Tijjani Naniya from Bayero University, 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, dwelt on the economy regarding Islamic perspective.
Day-one of the event featured visit to colleagues who are in dire need of help at their respective homes and hospitals; day-two was visit to the school to see for themselves its condition; then ultimately, on day-three had lectures and honour the awardees.
The association needs to meet over the condition of the school. Anyone who enters the school will weep, because of its dilapidated condition, which is the worst in the history of Northern Nigeria.
During our fact finding, shortly after the occasion, we saw the true picture of the poor condition of the school, in terms of damaged classes, cracked buildings, lack of chairs and other needed equipment with the students sitting on bare floors for lessons.
The School for Arabic Studies was established in 1934, with the objective to train Shari’a judges. This objective has been achieved given 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 and who started building classes with his money (which were shown to us during our visit), had a great vision in establishing the school and seeing to its development. There was no other school that benefited in 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 at home and abroad.
For this, we challenge all stakeholders, especially the 12 implementing Shari’a states, to give priority to the school, having benefited from the school’s contribution in improving Shari’a legal system.
To the groups of the former students, we advised them not only to organise 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 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 nooks and crannies to ensure that they find a lasting solution for the school’s problems. The well-to-do individuals, who attended the school and those who did not should shoulder 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 it was known right from the beginning.
Personalities who attended the school included: 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 President Court of Appeal, late Justice Tijjani Yahaya Dukaws, many judicial officers and other judicial officers at lower bench across Northern Nigeria.
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 appealing 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 Gambo Sani,
[email protected] com, 08146900002