The outbreak of the World’s Pandemic Covid-19 has in recent time led to the shutting down of all sectors with the Academic Institutions not been spared. This however is part of the Federal government’s effort to curtail spread of the disease. In this interview with CAMPUS FOCUS Correspondent, Shekara Aulamem, the newly inaugurated Students Representative Council(SRC), of Ahmadu Bellow University Zaria, Ali Sadiq unveils plans to support government’s effort.
Q: Tell us about yourself
A: My name is Abubakar Ali Sadiq from the faculty of administration, department of public administration, ABU Zaria. I am from Yobe state and Kanuri by tribe, from Manchina local government. I was born in Manchina on 23rd May 1991.
I attended Saint Agness primary school, Maryland, Lagos which I completed in 2005. I started my junior secondary school at Immaculate Hearts Junior Comprehensive High School which is now split into two. After my junior secondary school, we moved to Maiduguri which I secured the transfer to study in Alkalami College of Business Administration, Borno, where I completed my senior secondary school in 2010.
I moved back to my state, Yobe, where I attended Atiku Abubakar College of Legal and Islamic Studies. There, I started my diploma in public administration. One year into my study, I got admitted to study in International Helicopter Flying School, Nigerian Airforce Base, Enugu state, where I had my training as a commercial pilot, helicopter wing. I am a licensed commercial pilot, helicopter wing.
Upon graduation, I applied and got employed by an aviation company called OAS Helicopters, Maryland, Lagos. But due to numerous challenges facing the aviation industry then, a lot of employees were dropped which I was among.
I have always being a person with a passion for knowledge. I applied through Jamb and got admitted into ABU Zaria in the year 2016 to study public administration.
Ahmadu Bello University have always being my long time dream since I was in senior secondary school. I remember very well that I wrote it on a wall at our home in Borno. ABU Zaria is a dream come true.
Q: Who is your political role model or mentor and what prompted you to join the line of students leadership?
A: My political career started long before ABU SRC. I was the Chairman of Yobe students back then in flying school. What prompted me into politics? I am against this saying that “those who don’t want to destroy the system probably don’t need to get themselves engaged or keep their hands clean” I believe that we can always do something, we can always contribute our quota.
On the aspect of mentors, I have different mentors when I was in flying school. I have my then Rector in the person of Group Captain Ayo Jola Simi, he has being a good inspiration to me. I also have my then instructor in the person of fauzziyu sani ma’aji. These people among others have being of great inspiration to me and have mentored me. My Rector has made it stick to my head the importance of taking responsibility of even our immediate society. One of the core ideologies that I have is, we need to take responsibility of what surround us, we need to take responsibility of every aspect of our lives no matter how little it is. I believe there is a lot that can be improved in terms of students welfarism. This is one of the key ideologies that made me aspire for this office.
I was made faculty representative when I was in 200 level. I contested for the post of SRC Auditor General which I won unopposed in 2018/2019 academic session. Looking at it that the presidency is coming back to Congo campus, Faculty of Administration to be precise, i seized the opportunity and here I am with the idea that it is my opportunity to do better in terms of students welfarism and equality.
Q: What is your view about students leadership?
A: My idea centres on the issue of responsibility. I always talk about adequate representation. How do you represent the students? It is for the students to feel that “yes, we have been represented, we have the best government”. This can only happen when you have the right idea. Like, what is the problem of the students? And by making their problem as your own problem because you have no choice. I am looking at it that I won’t be at rest or I am not going to be free of my conscience if I work as the president and the students I am representing didn’t feel my impact. It is all about looking at the problems of the students, monitoring the strength and what did the students need. Even if some of their needs cannot be achieved, at least, we will make sure that the majority are represented and even the minority that couldn’t accept some things we feel that, yes, their interest also is been protected. The issue of maximum representation is very important. That can only be done when we look at the core problems that are affecting the students. By being a leader, it is not necessary that you will organise something and share it to the students, it all starts with the students beating their chest and saying that they have confidence in you to do the needful. It is all about looking into their problems by motivating them, how do you relate with them, how do you present yourself to them and how accommodating you are to them. To be an altruistic leader, we all know that leadership of today is not only limited to students. The key focus should be the general interest of the students which is very paramount. With that coupled with our purest intention and God’s assistance on our side, we will be able to achieve what we have set out to achieve.
Q: How can you serve ABU students in a way that is better than your predecessor?
A: It is very important for me to acknowledge the point that I was part of the last administration as its Auditor General. I will say that the last administration has done a lot in terms of students welfarism and in terms of students interest being protected. But I believe that we can always improve. When you are making a policy or you are taking a decision and when they are very good but were not implemented it becomes useless.
I believe that in this our process of decision or policy making, we can always look and evaluate the immediate past shortcomings and areas that have less effective implementation and we would build upon that. Another problem that I have also noticed is that, ABU SRC is a system which is interrelated with interconnected parts that depends on one another. You should know that the ABU SRC is divided into the Executive, the Chairmen Forum, Hall Governors Forum and the Hall Representative Forum. What I noticed as a past mistake is that there is no much coordination at these different levels of the Council which resulted from poor communication channel and poor leadership skill.
As a successful leader, you should be able to have this followership and the communication channel should be clear and there is a need for you to build a cordial and functional relationship among the council members. This is one of the things I have noted as a mistake of the past administration and I have plan to improve it.
Q: With this Corona Virus break, which we know has affected the current approved academic calendar, what is your leadership planning to do to make sure that students are not academically affected when they resume?
A: As we all know, we were sworn into office on the 19th of March, that is leadership for you. As you put up plans, you sometimes realize that other problems keep emanating. Nonetheless, there is already a plan in place and on our part as the ABU Student’s Representative Council we are planning on a health program that is going to talk about preventive measures on Covid-19, lassa fever and other health related issues. We are also planning a campaign outreach in and outside the campus. We are making this our first major agenda.
Q: I believe that is the medical aspect, what about the academic aspect to the question?
A: The issue of ABU SRC intervening on behalf of the students is not a new thing. Ahmadu Bello University Student’s Representative Council is a link between the students and the management. SRC serves two major purposes; the face of the management in regard to the students and the face of the students in regard to the management. On no account are we going to stop in presenting the key challenges that are facing the students. On that note, to the best of our ability, we are going to be proactive and make sure that our students have a flexible, dynamic and suitable academic calendar that will consider the situation we have found ourselves in.