By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
One of the high points of the three-day centenary celebration for Samaru College of Agriculture founded in 1921 was the launch of a book reviewed by a distinguished academic, Prof. Tanimu Abubakar, of Department of English and Literary Studies, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU),
It is a documentation of the antecedence, transformation and development” of the agricultural training centre as the first College of Agriculture in Northern Nigeria and second in the country.
The 151-page book, titled ‘Samaru College of Agriculture at 100 (1921-2021)’, was launched by His Highness, the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, shortly after its review at a Centenary Lecture organised by Division of Agricultural Colleges (DAC), Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
The book, which was presented for the review and launch at the lecture by the Provost of the College, Prof. E.M. Shuaibu-Imodagbe, was published by Ahmadu Bello University Press.
The publication, which foreword and preface were written by the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Kabiru Bala and Director, Division of Agricultural Colleges, Prof. Musa Abdullahi Mahadi, was dedicated to the pioneers who labored to bring the Samaru College of Agriculture from 1921 to where it is today.
Reviewing the book, a renowned lecturer at the Department of English and Literary Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Tanimu Abubakar, said that a centenary celebration for which the book was written was indeed an epochal event for any organization, person or entity.
The book reviewer lauded the courage of Division of Agricultural Colleges, its management and staff in producing the publication by putting together the “causal factors, events and personalities” that shaped the history of the College in the last 100 years.
“This is conceptually and technically a herculean task due to the extensive nature of historical narratives in which there is always a tension between what to select and present, what to discard and how best to present an objective account of past events”, he said.
Prof. Abubakar, who stated that the book attempted to encapsulate events that took place over a long historical period through compressed techniques, also said that the design and value of the book significantly influenced its linear or sequence-driven mode of presentation.
He noted that in tracing the evolution and growth of the College to British Colonial interest in Nigeria, the book clearly showed the link between colonial agriculture, the rise of institutions for agricultural education and the transformation of both by the tension between colonial domination and nationalist resistance.
The renowned Professor of English and Literary Studies also said that due to the successes recorded and its collaboration with government, communities and farmers, the College aided a net increase in agricultural production by up to 54 percent across the Northern Region in the period under review.
The book, according to him, encoded the view that the transformation of the College from a training centre into an institution for agricultural education was influenced by factors within and outside agricultural development.
He said that the dissolution of the Regions and their replacement with States in 1967 and the increasing federal presence in hitherto regional institutions, including the takeover of ABU by the Federal Government in 1975, affected the fortunes of the College.
Prof. Abubakar also stressed that there was every reason to celebrate the College’s glorious history of a hundred years of invaluable service to society, its monumental transformation and unparalleled achievements.
“It is a sign of merit and deferment to posterity that instead of devoting time to whimsical day dreams, DAC has told its own story and traced its footsteps in the sands of time through the publication”, he said.
He further stated that beyond the joviality that celebration entailed, there was a profound legacy that the book encoded about the College’s history.
The book, according to him, also showed the affinity between the history of the College and the history of Colonial and Post-Colonial Northern Nigeria.
Emit of Zazzau Malam Ahmed Bamalli presenting publication of Samaru Collage at 100 to the public.