By Abdulsalam Muhammad
KANO — Vice President Namadi Sambo had a raw deal in the hands of suspected thugs in Kano, Monday, when he was held hostage for 20 minutes before a negotiated settlement.
The incident occurred at the old campus of Bayero University Kano shortly after the number two citizen rounded up official engagement in the university.
It took the intervention of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 1, Tambari Yabo, before the vice president regained his freedom.
The drama began when dozens of heavily armed thugs who posed as loyal party men beat the security cover around the vice president.
Like a well rehearsed script, some of the thugs in unison chorused on top of their voices “Bamuayi, Bamuayi, Bamuayi” which means “we are no longer with you,” while others shouted “mungaji da aiki banza,” meaning “we are tired of the job.”
Before the visibly shocked Sambo could utter a word, an equally embarrassed AIG Tamara Yabo ordered his men to disarm the protesting thugs.
However, it was at this juncture that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stalwarts in the vice president’s entourage moved in and demanded to know from ‘the boys’ why they chose to embarrass the vice president.
The thugs, explaining their position, told the vice president how they had risked their lives for PDP in the state, but that no one has paid them anything despite promises.
The party officials were, therefore, directed by the vice president to attend to their needs and save the party public embarrassment.
The thugs later rejoined the vice president convoy and headed to other areas of engagement in the city.
FG spends N34bn on higher institutions in Kano
Meanwhile, Sambo has said that the Federal Government, through intervention programmes under the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, had expended over N34 billion on the provision of various developmental programmes and projects on higher institutions in Kano State.
The vice president disclosed this at an interactive session with members of the Bayero University Kano (BUK) community during his official visit to the university, where he also commissioned and laid the foundation for various projects.
Sambo said education was the bedrock for meaningful development and had a pride of place on President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s Transformation Agenda, which he said had impacted positively on the education sector in the country and Kano State in particular.
The vice president revealed that within the period, 2010 to 2014, the “total amount expended by TETFUND for both infrastructural and academic training in Kano State tertiary institutions is N34.109 billion. Total amount of investment by TETFUND across the country within the period is N644 billion.”
He disclosed that the intervention was felt by both federal and state government-owned institutions in the state, which included BUK; Federal College of Education Kano; Police Academy, Wudil; Federal College of Education Technology, Bichi; Kano State University of Technology; North West University and Kano State Polytechnic, as well as Sa’adatu Rimi College of Eduction.
Sambo stated that the giant strides achieved was not only in the education sector alone but also in the power, transport, security, anti-corruption drive, agriculture, industrialization and other socio-economic programmes.
Sambo assured the University community of President Jonathan’s commitment and determination to deliver free and fair elections, while also debunking the rumour of the removal from office of the INEC chairman, Prof. Atahiru Jega, saying it was the fabrication of mischief makers.
Answering questions on security, he narrated the giant strides Nigeria had achieved in tacking all security concerns particularly the insurgency in the north-east, thanking Nigeria’s neigbours, sister African countries and the international community for their support, calling on all Nigerians to support and partner government to tackle terrorism.
In their separate remarks the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and the Pro Chancellor of BUK, Alhaji Mahamud Yayale Ahmed commended the Federal Government for their achievement in the education sector, particularly regarding Government’s policy of increased access and quality education.
Speaking the Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rashid, expressed the gratitude of the university community for the Vice President’s visit, also expressing delight with the unprecedented support given to the institution by the Federal Government under President Jonathan.
Speaking further he stated that the eight projects and the foundation laying of four new ones performed but the Vice President were part of the numerous development works which were being financed by the Federal Government under the TETFUND.
The Vice Chancellor, noted that the university had introduced new degree programmes to support Federal Government’s policy on expanding access to higher education and promoting Nigeria’s transition to knowledge based economy.
Some of the TETFUND projects commissioned by the Vice President included, the Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu Stadium, named after the PDP national chairman, the faculty of education building, Department of anatomy building and also the department of Physiology building. Others were the new multipurpose teaching hospital laboratory, and also a 360 bed female hostel.
Also included were two Centres at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, that of the Centre for Advance Medical Research and Infectious Diseases. He also laid the foundation for the International Conference Centre being constructed by Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo.