By Hassan Sani
In the Southern Rano, Local Government Area of Kano State sits remote and serene village, Munture, a predominantly Fulani settlement. The men, like most Fulani, took pride in the number of cattle they own and often engage in petty trade especially on market days.
The women sold milk and little boys & girls hawk and helped in the milk businesses. There weren’t any provisions in their lives for knowledge, not because they couldn’t afford time for it but because those important factors that stimulate learning were absent and virtually nonexistent in their settlement.
Luck smiled at these villagers when Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso visited Munture 2 years ago. The visit was primarily to assess the situation of his long-abandoned large farm, which used to accommodate his livestock long before he ventured into politics.
On arrival, Senator Kwankwaso realized the settlement does not have a single room they could call a class. No provision was ever made to educate them. No Qur’anic/Islamiyya School.
No Primary School. The whole settlement was dwelling in the darkness of mass ignorance and something had to be done. The decision to convert his farm into a school was taken immediately, a block of classrooms were immediately constructed and the drive to encourage parents to enrol their wards began.
The school started off as an Islamiyya school. More blocks were constructed and the Primary School took off. Time went by and just months after the primary school took off, parents of the pupils indicated interest to seek knowledge too, and so the adult education took off. The primary school which was established last year now boasts of over 300 Fulani pupils.
Their fathers take adult education classes in the day and mothers in the night as Solar power was adequately provided for this same purpose. The level of enthusiasm for the education of Munture Fulani people can be seen in the number of their enrollment but even more encouraging is the enthusiasm of the teachers at this school. They travel many kilometres just to educate and they love doing it.
The country is at a very difficult and critical stage, specifically the issues of banditry. It has eaten deep and has become a national problem. Of course, not all Fulani are criminals. It’s evil to assume that. Part of the issues that contribute largely to the rise in banditry is the institutionalized neglect of the Fulani people and the denial of basic necessities, specifically education.
Only with a basic education can an average Fulani understands how important and more advantageous Ruga Settlement Plan could be to him. Only with education, they can ever realize the world is full of endless possibilities and opportunities, that success is not only measured by the number of cattle one owns.
We, at Kwankwasiyya, are of the opinion that Education is the most basic necessity in human life. You give it to any soul and it shall prosper. We believe that nothing competes with Human Capital Development and giving equal opportunities to all so that sons of nobodies can become somebody is the best cure for most of the problems that currently bedevil us as a nation.
The Munture Settlement is now an ongoing experiment and only time will tell how different and distinguished them, as people will stand. At the very least, the people are now engaged and as they embark on a journey to seek the knowledge we’re very sure in the years to come, positive reference shall be made with them.
Our call is that government at all levels should take a cue and make provisions, especially for those Fulani settlements that lack the basic necessities of human life. Provide education and basic healthcare to them and most of the banditry problems we have today will be solved.
Sani, @Noble_Hassan on Twitter.