How Jigawa government politicises appointment of Jahun HealthTech principal

The Governor of Jigawa State Muhammad Badaru Abubakar
The Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar

The School of Health Technology (HealthTech) Jahun, Jigawa state, has been in a diplorable condition for many years owing to poor leadership caused by politicising the process of selection of the school’s principal.

Last week, the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi, appealed to the Jigawa state government to stop politicising the selection process of principal for the school.

The monarch made the call during an event organised to sensitise female health workers in Dutse. The monarch, who lamented that since when the former principal of the school Tijjani Hadejia left, the school had been retrogressing.

“Stop playing politics with health schools in the state. Both directors of the health schools in the state are on acting capacity at the moment. The directors of Collage of Nursing Birnin Kudu and School of Health Technology Jahun are on acting capacity and there is a limit to which an officer can perform at that capacity.”

Trouble began in the Health Technology School in 2018 when the last principal of the school, Sani Musa Adamu, was reappointed as sole administrator after retiring from service as the principal of the school.

Traditionally, the principals of the school are appointed based on seniority from among the members of the staff.

Despite the fact that there were those qualified to take over but Adamu was forced to be re-appointed by the power that be as the head of the school for the second term.

Trouble reached its peak not only as a result of re-appointing the former principal but because the re-appointment bears no specific period under which he would continue serve as the head of the school.

Staff members of the school became aggrieved after realizing that there was a grand plan for the sole administrator to remain as their head forever, therefore a petition was written by the Academic Staff Union of the School to the state

House of Assembly in January this year calling for his removal.

The union alleged that the principal’s first tenure was full of mal-administration bordered on admission, result racketeering and corruption through denying students their monthly food stipends.The then embattled sole administrator, who was summoned by the assembly, denied all the allegations, saying the petition was driven by hatred.

Acting on the petition, the State Assembly recommended his immediate removal and that the state government should start shopping for a qualified person to be appointed as the substantive principal of the school.

Two staff members of the school, who preferred to be anonymous, said when Sani Adamu was appointed, as against the laid down procedure of appointing the most senior both in number of years in service and qualification, the members of the academic staff took it in good faith especially, looking at the fact that he was one of them.

They added that they members of academic staff of the school became aggrieved after his reappointment as a sole administrator of the school.

By tradition, since he had retired from service after attaining the highest position of the school, he ought to leave but because he was enjoying the support of politicians he was made to be reappointed as sole administrator, despite the fact that he did not perform well during his tenure ship as the principal.

They said during his tenure as the principal the school suffered a lot of setbacks. The academic status of the school dropped as academic and financial corruption set in, adding that during his time, there was a rumour that students graduated prematurely by paying their way out.

“There was even rumour going round that the certificates of the school were forged for money. The 2018 students of the school, did not start enjoying the N3000 stipend given to them by the state government as food allowance until only last month.

“The academic staff fought the reappointment of Mr Adamu for the fact that they are training health workers and as such could not afford to train half bake students.”

When our reporter visited the school, the hostel accommodation of the students was an eye sore as most of the rooms are leaking. Students’ mattresses were seen placed on the perimeter fence of the male hostel to dry.

The hostel smells as most of the rooms are not only leaking but they have been taken over by bats. The ceilings of the hostels have fallen down thereby exposing the students to the hazard of sleeping in a wet room.

The story remains the same in their toilets as most of them lack doors and the students had no option than to use them the way they are.

One of the students (name withheld) said if it rains in the morning while they were in class, their rooms would be taken over by water.

He said they started collecting their monthly N3000 allowance in June after spending seven months in the school adding there were no any explanation for the delay and no information on when the outstanding allowances would be paid.

A female student who also doesn’t want her name in print, told our reporter that the situation in their hostel was not much different from that of the male hostel. She added that the condition of the toilet facility in their hostel was very terrible condition that needs urgent attention.

According to her, the female students forwarded their complaints on several occasions but nothing was done, saying “urgent attention is needed in order to improve the hygiene of the toilet facilities in our hostel.”

Jigawa state government had relief the sole administrator last two month ago and directed Vice Principal to oversee the school in acting capacity.

When the acting principal was contacted he declined comment, saying he was a civil servant and therefore he could not talk to the press.

A source close to the school management told our reporter that payment of stipends to the students had resume two months after acting principal took over from the sole administrator.

He added that the past glory of the school had since started coming back, as supervision for students on practical in hospital had resumed.

“During the occasion of sensitizing female health workers in Dutse, the Jigawa state governor promised to look into the problems associated with students hostels, saying already the governor has promised to send a team to evaluate the level of the deterioration for immediate action,” he said.

Contacted, the Permanent Secretary of Jigawa State Ministry of Health, Ahmed Rufai Datti, who was not on seat, told our reporter that he would not speak on any issue on phone, saying “you should book for an appointment and see me in person.”

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