Education: Why Kano ancestors stoned Driver Gwalagwaje, Part II

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Gwalagwaje

Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by Memorila

Barbushe called upon one of his offspring to give reason why Gwalagwaje shouldn’t be praised for his driving skill, Pa Faruk Ahmed narrates

The issues

Yesterday, Baba Barbushe put us through a sing-a-song and after the ululation and the rejoicing had died down, our forefather, holding a staff in his hand, cleared his throat and with his deep voice, roared out:

“O ye children of Dala!”

We answered, “Na’am Baba!”

“We are gathered here today not to celebrate. But to grieve. To grieve over the current state of education in our dear Dalaland,” Barbushe continued.

“For the past few years, I have been inundated, day and night, by the weeping of my descendants. They lament that the current driver of my land is taking them on a dangerous course to the abyss.

“At first, I didn’t want to believe them, because it is not everything a child says, you as a parent will rush to reprimand the accused. But these complaints had been pouring in from left, right and centre that I couldn’t even have a good rest in my grave.

“I felt this was not an issue to be swept under the carpet. It needs to be investigated.”

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Barbushe paused for a while, strained his neck, looked around and concluded, “This is reason why this assembly at the foot of our legendary Dala Hill was summoned.”

The whole congregation responded, “Allah Ya kara maka daukaka baba Barbushe!”

The complaints

Barbushe shifted unto his right leg and called out, “Let whoever has any grievance against Driver Gwalagwaje come forward and lay his or her complaints.”

The whole place was eerily quiet as none of the descendants was bold enough to step forward in order not to cross the chief driver.

But out of the blue, a bold offspring from the local government which you have to open your mouth wide to pronounce, Dankani, stepped forward.

Barbushe strained his eyes to recognize the speaker. As the names of Barbushe’s progenies are glued to his memory, he called out, “Dankani! Come forward! Tell this distinguished gathering what your gripe is with the current condition of education in Dalaland.”

Dankani, trembling, pushed through the crowd and climbed up to the raised dais where Barbushe and other dignitaries, past emirs of Kano were stationed. He was shaking from head to toe like a leaf blown about by a gale of wind.

“Can I make it?” thought Dankani, gazing at the over 71 million old and young faces looking at him.

As if reading his thoughts, Barbushe smiled and muffled his thunderous voice, “My dear son! Don’t be afraid! These grizzled old men and women standing here before you are your ancestors. They will do you no harm. We are all here to help raise your voices to the Most High. Perchance, He will touch the hearts of my descendants to change their ways of lives so you will get better drivers of your affairs.”

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On hearing these soothing words, Dankani’s fears took flight and with an encouraging voice, narrated: “When I got admitted into one of the secondary schools in the late seventies, on your first day in the class, your form master will issue you textbooks and exercise books to keep in the class locker on which one take lessons. Anytime the exercise book gets filled up, the form master will gladly issue another one to you.

“On the second day of your arrival, you will be given two sets of white class uniforms, a set of sportswear of the colour of your hostel, and a set of outing dress with a cap.”

Dankani paused for a while, studied the millions of eyes looking and listening attentively to his tale. And the whole ground was unnervingly quiet.

But sensing Barbushe by his side, he recovered his strength and continued, “Indeed, we lacked nothing and we attended lessons without having a situation where we had no teacher for any subject. Our teachers were our role models and we felt so secured and relaxed with them.”

Tears started to leak out of Dankani’s eyes. “My dear fathers and mothers! Today, the category of schools we attended are what are referred to as public schools, neglected and in the shadow of their former selves. And then, there are private schools from kindergarten to the university levels where you pay your way and get the certificates you want…”

Before Dankani could say the last word, Gwalagwaje shot up from his seat and shout Dankani down.

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“You are lying!” cried Gwalagwaje. “There is no iota of truth in all you have said!! We…”

But like a cracking thunder, Barbushe boomed out his vociferous voice, “Keep quiet Gwalagwaje! Who gave you the permission to interrupt his speech? The floor is not yours yet. Your turn is coming.”

On hearing this, Gwalagwaje sniffled back to his seat like a frightened dog, with his tail between his legs.

“Dankani continue!” bellowed Barbushe.

After the commotion had settled down, Dankani continued, “The public schools, neglected as they are, are for the poor, the private for the rich. The rich run the government while the poor give the votes. The rich refuses to fund the public schools and steal from the government coffer to pay the exorbitant school fees of the private schools for their children.”

Read Gwalagwaje’s response here>>

Series Navigation<< Education: Why Kano ancestors stoned Driver Gwalagwaje, Part IEducation: Why Kano ancestors stoned Driver Gwalagwaje, Part III >>

Faruk Ahmed

Faruk Ahmed is the founder of Having previously worked with National Review magazine, he is a keen watcher of political events.

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