Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, at the weekend vowed that his administration would ensure that every child in Kano has unhindered access to free, compulsory and qualitative education.
Ganduje, who stated this while receiving the Kano State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Award of Excellence and Appreciation as the Father of Modern Free Education in Nigeria 2019, held in Kano, also reiterated his desire to ensure that Almajiri in the state benefit from his free, compulsory basic and secondary education policy, even though most of them are children from neighbouring states.
He described the status of Kano as the state with the highest number of out-of-school children in the country as a challenge that must be faced and defeated.
According to the governor, with the free school feeding programme and free education policy in place, all children in the state now have the privilege to be educated, just as he charged parents to take advantage of the ample opportunity to send their wards to school for a better future.
He appreciated the award bestowed on him by the Kano NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, adding that: “We are happy that you identified with the heavily-loaded statement we made here in Kano, which is free, compulsory basic and secondary education for our children.
“We are happy we are sending our children to school free of charge. We are happy that we are sending the Almajarai to go and learn just like other children. We want to live a legacy, and we believe that journalists are our partners in progress.”
Ganduje, who was visibly excited, recalled how he met and recruited his Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, who was two-time President of the NUJ, into politics.
According to him, “I have been partnering journalists in all my public life. My present Commissioner of Information was the Chairman of Kano State Council of the NUJ when I was the Commissioner for Works.
“Then, I discovered him and saw him as someone that can work with me. He moved up to the position of NUJ Deputy President (North-West) and later become NUJ president. He also did his second-term and also headed the African Union of Journalists.
“I tell you this story not because he is working for me, but because he used his wealth of experience to assist me. NUJ is very important and indispensable in the art of governance.
“Journalists are part of governance. You criticize us and our policies, and you make us get down to work. Sometimes, your reports get us angry as well as make us laugh. But in all, you always remind us of the mandate we have with the people. Indeed you are partners in progress, and we will continue to partner you for the development of our dear state and the welfare of the good people of Kano State.”
In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who was also honoured for his commitment to Digital Communication and Cyber Security in Nigeria, described journalists as very important professionals that are indispensable to national development.
Danbatta, who assured Nigerians that NCC is doing everything possible to ensure that they get adequate services from service providers, confessed that the achievements recorded so far, under his watch at NCC would not have been possible without the partnership, contribution and cooperation of the media.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of Kano State NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu, noted that “today marks a new dawn in the history if our great chapel. What we are witnessing today is the maiden edition of the Chapel’s Appreciation Award ceremony designed to reward diligence, excellence and uncommon achievements in governance, public administration and success in business, arts and others areas of endeavours.”