Making it Count for Nigerians: Why Dr. Dikwa is our Man of the Year, 2021.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. This may sound strange in a society like ours where a good number of persons strive to invest in all manner of things but knowledge.
It is often difficult to convince some scholars in contemporary times that Africa is rich when its resources cannot be used to develop its people and consequently lead them out of poverty. Unarguably, the root cause of poverty in our continent including our dear Nation- Nigeria, is lack of education. This is why Nelson Mandela ascribed education as the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world.
Because of the above, anyone who makes investments in human development is not just fulfilling purpose but providing the right vaccines against poverty especially in a society where government and individuals are working to eradicate poverty. Though many may not have shone their lights toward Dr Mohammed Dikwa, recent events have strengthened the need for Nigerians to further appreciate a man whose interests over time has remained the welfare of the people.
For some years now, Dr Dikwa’s Foundation has modestly committed resources in the areas of humanitarian support, information technology, healthcare services and education to vulnerable and less privileged members of the society in the quest to serve humanity. This is leadership in action. He has learnt the value of being a proactive citizen. True ‘riches’ do not come from investing in shares and capital but fulfilling purpose by investing in human development at all levels to make the world better than you met it. This is the hallmark of greatness and happiness which put every society in its right perspectives for posterity to profit therein.
The recent commissioning of Al-Ansar Radio and Television Stations, Al-Ansar Academy Maiduguri, (Alaama) and the ground-breaking ceremony of the proposed Al-Ansar University Maiduguri (AUM) all in Borno state, has placed the state in shining light in terms of what could be delivered when motives are genuine and sincere. With the ‘Borno Shall Rise Again’ Project which is being driven through people-oriented policies of Gov. Babagana Umara Zulum and being heavily complemented by Dr Dikwa, it is evident that despite the devastating and the negative human indices which the decade-long insurgency has brought upon a state that was once the centre of commerce and strong economic hub in Northern Nigeria serving people from the neighbouring country too, there is the hope of a better tomorrow for Borno state and Nigeria.
Without mincing words, Dr Dikwa is a hope-giver and a man who has shown that meeting the basic needs of the ordinary people in a locality has nothing to do with winning the election or securing a political seat. When a man is committed in spirit and truth, he can serve from any position not necessarily as a governor or a president. During the commissioning of the Al-Ansar Academy, Dr Dikwa having lauded Gov Zulum’s revolutionary leadership style said, “for those of us who have the interest of the state at heart, we shall do everything within our legitimate means to mobilize resources, investors and relevant skills for the development of our dear state to restore its lost glory to ‘the Home of Peace, Hospitality and Prayer’.’’
This is not only heart-warming but a soothing balm and a rescue mission for a state that has suffered immensely from the knocks of terrorism. With such reassuring words, coming from a leader whose promise always meets fulfilment, the people of Borno state and Nigerians living in the state will have a better future.
As Dr Dikwa is making it count in terms of his efforts toward empowering Nigerians through several interventions coupled with the efforts of the state government, Borno state will not only rise again but will come out stronger and greater to set a new developmental paradigm in Northern Nigeria.
Dr Dikwa during the ground-breaking ceremony of the first indigenous private university in Kanem-Borno gave the reason for the need of the tertiary institution by citing statistics of universities in the country and from that, it was revealed that the need for education at the tertiary institutions has much importance than one.
“According to National Universities Commission (NUC), there are seventy-nine (79) Private Universities complementing Public Universities in Nigeria as at the middle of the year 2020 and these are located as follows: 2 from North-East, 3 from North-West, 4 from FCT, 7 from North-Central, 13 from South-East, 14 from South-South, and 36 from South West. However, the combined intake of all Universities (Public and Private Universities) still leaves many eligible candidates without admission. Those that can afford to send their children to foreign Universities still do so. As you all know, education plays a major role in the growth and development of any society. It is one of the key components that can make or mar people’s cultural advancement. There is no doubt that if citizens of a society are educated, they can provide significant contributions to the advancement of their community. Therefore, the urgent need for the establishment of AUM cannot be overemphasized.’’
Dr Dikwa further assured that the products of AUM will serve as a vaccine for all forms of social vices not only in Borno but in the region and the entire country. With such intervention in the education sector by this refined Borno indigene, certainly, the best weapon for turning the tide of social vices in Borno state is being deployed by indigenes of the state for the good of the people.
On the issue of the establishment of AL-ANSAR Radio and Television stations, Dr Dikwa highlighted the reasons for his action as follows:
i. to support the state government’s efforts towards bringing lasting peace, harmony, tranquillity and development to our State, Region and the Nation by airing deliberate programmes that will support the peacebuilding process.
ii. to educate, enlighten and inform the general public on the principles of decency, moral behaviour and divine guidance;
iii. to promote programmes that will economically empower the vulnerable and less-privileged in our society;
iv. to propagate programmes that will promote diversification of the State’s economy such as agriculture, solid minerals, tourism, hospitality, water resources among others.
He added that to achieve these objectives, the outfits shall operate strictly within the confines of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act as well as norms and culture of the Borno people and beyond.
From the several moves and initiatives by Dr Dikwa, many Nigerians including leaders have commended the efforts being made by Dr Dikwa to help address the dearth in development in all aspects of human endeavour. During the ground-breaking ceremony of the AUM, Gov Zulum showered praises on Dr Dikwa in a rare fashion.
Professor Zulum commended Dr Dikwa for the initiative to set up a private varsity in the state, stressing that the recent challenge of insecurity has contributed to falling in the standard of education in Northeastern states of the Federation. According to the governor, Al-Ansar University is a feat which will help address one of the most fundamental challenges facing the state.
Prof Zulum further added that Dr Mohammed Dikwa’s initiative in creating a veritable source of encouragement and guidance for students in their relentless cost for a better future for themselves and the society at large was laudable and unprecedented as establishing the varsity will undoubtedly support the government’s effort to achieve a strong educational standard that can compete with institutions in other states of the Federation.
The governor said he welcomed the initiative to establish AUM particularly since education was a priority programme of his administration and a key part of the 10-point agenda which the state government intends to pursue vigorously to provide the much needed qualitative education at all levels.
The Governor, considering the impact of Dr Dikwa’s several interventions in humanity to ensure a better society described the founder of Al-Ansar University Dr Dikwa as not just the son of the state but a highly celebrated national figure in the country, therefore, calling on other well-meaning citizens in the state to emulate the act to move the state to enviable heights.
Dr Dikwa’s humanitarian intervention in all its aspects is making it count in human development, not for Borno state but Nigeria because the impact of his several initiatives has benefitted Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or ethnic background.
According to Calvin Coolidge – the 30th President of America, no person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave. So this piece is a contribution to honouring Dr Dikwa, having given a lot to ensure that our society becomes better because when such happens, we all benefit. As Albert Einstein captured it in his statement that the world is not dangerous because of those who harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything. Thankfully, Dr Dikwa is doing something to make the world safe as a better society is not served à la carte anywhere in the world.