It is my pleasure to welcome you to a most dynamic University that has recently joined the comity of the Nigerian University System. The Sokoto State University was officially brought into being by the signing into law the instrument of its legal existence in May 2009, by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji (Dr.) Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, GMON, MMWL, MIIFE. From the moment the University was conceived, the aesthetically minded Governor went about designing and building arguably a most beautiful campus, which has since become its unique symbol and feature for both identification and aspiration. In other words, the beautiful Campus combines its beauty with its aspirations to be a world-class University. Since its beauty can be sustained by making sure that the already attained standard does not degenerate, how does it intend to attain its world-class status?
To start with, the founder and the first Visitor to the University, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State ensured that the caliber of the pioneer top officials of the institution would not be but world-class. Indeed, it is expected that they would radiate superlative quality with respect to administrative experience and high moral ground. Starting from the Chancellor to the members of the Governing Council and the Management, both men and women of distinction were therefore appointed. They, in turn, especially members of the Governing Council, settled into their assignment by ensuring that those to be recruited as “line staff” would include the best from all over the place. Consequently, at inception of academic activities in October 2013, the Sokoto State University has had on its staff list academics and administrators of distinction. In addition, the Council has ensured that the staff would come from both within and without the shores of Nigeria. The diversity of the institution is indeed kaleidoscopic, conforming, in the process, to the tradition of the average and pristine academe. This situation is already placing Sokoto State University in a class of its own as manifested, for example, in sound and vibrant scholarship and institutional partnership of several dimensions. Even in students’ in-take, diversity is manifest, a process that is equally showcasing the young institution as an exemplar to a number of universities in the Nigeria as to what a university should be – a cosmopolitan entity.
This unique University is all of the following: the past, the present, and the future. There is a thread that has linked these various periodizations and this is captured in the motto of the University: “It All Begins Here!” The meaning of this is the 19th century historic Jihad Movement in the Western Sudan, with its origins richly embedded in the Sokoto soil. Contrary to misinformed opinion about the import of the Sokoto Caliphate, the Jihad was and still is about the pursuit of knowledge, even if it is the knowledge of the Islam that was and still is primary concern. Even if this orientation of the Jihad Movement is primary, the body of Islamic knowledge has had such powerful influence on Western education in the areas of mathematics and other branches of science as well as the social science. Perhaps it should also be mentioned that the triumvirate – Sheikh Uthman Ibn Fodiyo, Abdullahi, and Bello – wrote copiously on a variety of subjects that are still very relevant to the intellectual, sociological, socio-economic and policy issues of today. The present and future stages of the development of the University shall not be unconnected with how this rich historical inspiration and academic tradition shall be blended from now till eternity, to sustain its relevance. This is the task the University has set for itself such that the inherited tradition of scholarship shall have to be maintained and deepened.
In our bid to achieve the synergy of the generational essence and connectedness, the University shall also promote an aggressive policy of entering into partnerships with other universities both nationally and internationally. This policy emanates from the basic logic that the institution cannot on its own alone achieve what its mandate prescribes for it. Rather, this can only be achieved through such mutually beneficial partnerships. It, furthermore, aims to achieve the feat of a research-oriented University that shall be committed to all basic and applied research endeavors at its point of full maturity. To this extent, the Sokoto State University welcomes cooperation from all and sundry; our door is simply open for the benefit of the humankind. In one sentence, therefore, I wish to encourage fellow academic institutions and other stakeholders to join us in facilitating the realization of the dreamers of the Sokoto State University and make it a world-class centre of academic excellence. We can make it!!!
PROFESSOR NUHU YAQUB, OFR, FSPSP, FNIIA, MNIM
March, 2015 >