Mazeed Mukhtar Oyeleye.writes

While in basic 5, we were asked to rewrite a quote by Herbert Spencer, which says “the greatest aim of education is not knowledge but action” in a Handwriting test and somehow it stuck to date. Well, I always felt that he said such because he was a natural, rather physical scientist; a biologist.

An act of the Faculty of Social Sciences Students Association of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (FOSSA-UDUS) heightened my senses to the fact that putting one’s academic training into physical use is not restricted to the natural or physical sciences alone. FOSSA-UDUS, an association with similitude to an orange, sliced into quarters; comprises four departments namely Economics, Geography, Political Science and Sociology respectively.

These courses accentuate on the relation of man with his environment, just like natural sciences discuss life from the most minute level. Unfortunately, the Faculty has been quite hapless and has little or no bragging rights over producing academic first-class graduates, yet it grooms students who have more than what a first-class graduate needs to make the world a better place.

FOSSA-UDUS has proven that; despite the tedious accumulation of resources and ardent planning on how to escape the confines of this choking academic community to inhale fresh air and let out the heat aroused by academic stress, their tour around the city of Sokoto is more than just an escapade, but also a ploy aimed at the propagation of joy amongst humanity.

The long-awaited FOSSSA-UDUS tour around Sokoto city took place on Saturday 29th February 2020. Anyone would assume that their first deed would be to heave sighs of relief that they finally got the temporal freedom from the clutches of academics they sought dearly. ‘Anyone’ could have been right, but he is wrong; the social scientists were so much engulfed with the yearning for the welfare of humanity, that they forgot to heave the supposed sighs.

Behold! The FOSSA-UDUS convoy did not stop till we arrived at the Orphanage, along Lodge road in Sokoto. The convoy did not stop as a result of any mobility faults, or because traffic wardens beckoned like anyone would have thought. Unfortunately, anyone is wrong again, because the stop was deliberate. The yearnings to put the knowledge acquired into action didn’t allow social scientists to rest. Instead, it led to a selfless act; making them put the comfort of others before theirs.

The students alighted and paced into the Orphanage beaming naturally, showing how much pleasure that of humanity sources. They headed towards the admin block before which the inhabitants therein (comprising staff and the kids) sat like they were anticipating their arrival. They curtseyed to acknowledge their hosts, who were blinded by the awe evoked by their knockout attires.

A lecturer, a socialist by discipline (from the Department of Geography), words and actions, Mallam Murtala Dangulla couldn’t help the silence. He broke it in shards with his impeccable command of Hausa language. He started by showering encomia on Almighty God, then stating on behalf of the guild; the intent for stopping by. He praised the orphanage staff for their commitment to taking care of the kids entrusted in their care by fate’s whim. He reminded them and likewise the kids that they were as humane as the socialists before them, notwithstanding the lack of care from blood relations, as a few of those who have and live with both parents happen to be deprived as well. He went further to encourage the children to challenge fate, with their resolve to be great, supported by hard-work and prayers. He assured them of an enviable future should they keep to his advice.

He passed the audience over to the final year economist, FOSSA-UDUS President, Comrade Adamu Bala, who held the children spellbound as his utterances matched the glow of his radiantly white attire. He admitted that a lot had been said, and went ahead to give a piece of his mind. He encouraged the children to be religion-conscious, have unwavering faith in Almighty God, before passing up the stage.

The competition for inheriting the stage was quite limited, as only Hausa speakers could step in such shoes, for fear that the children might not completely comprehend other languages. However, the search for the heir did not take long as anyone would have thought; he bent the nail instead of driving it into the wall. The heiress, a final year student of Sociology, Rahamatu Lawal Suraj’s motherly instinct didn’t allow her to keep to herself. She poured out her heart, while wrapping an arm over one of the kids, and holding the microphone in the other.

Firdaus Arzika, the FOSSA-UDUS treasurer, and a student of Political Science department began her speech in a thought-provoking manner. She asked the kids “who amongst you wants to be a teacher?”, a number of tiny hands were raised, before she asked “who amongst you wants to be a doctor?” again fingers were raised. To clear anyone’s misconception that she was the one influencing their choices, she asked the kids what they wanted to become one after another, you can bet she got impressive answers. She continued to ask until a boy said his ambition was to become a soldier, and the whole congregation burst into laughter. She started with his answer; she encouraged the children to believe in their dreams and hold on steadily to them. She said other encouraging things that could set anyone straight. Anyone just can’t help it; she is a Social Scientist after all.

Similarly, the last speaker, a student of the Department of Geography, Usman Muhammad Babanyaro’s speech was full of advice and encouragement for the kids. Anyone would be wrong once again if he thinks the magnanimous Social Scientists took their leave immediately after Babanyaro’s speech, as that was lucky to not have happened. Alas! Pricey gift items procured from FOSSSA-UDUS’s treasury were presented by the able President flanked by the staff adviser, from the Department of Political Science (Power), the Mallam with a remarkable dress sense; Ibrahim Baba Shatambaya.

The kids’ faces gave off volumes of happiness as they beamed uncontrollably. The Social Scientists succeeded in making the children and even their handlers glad, as evident in the Manager’s vote of thanks. She showered the association with gratitude, prayers, and encomia, she also promised to uphold the golden standards of the orphanage, just like the students immortalized the socialists’ theories they study to pass exams, by practicing them.

The students portrayed exemplary magnanimity throughout the trip as they donated generously at the other locations they visited. Anyone is as good as an illiterate if his knowledge does not reflect in his words and deeds. It is never too late to emulate the magnanimous Pacesetters, FOSSA-UDUS; and immortalize the positive theories you learn, for the service of humanity.

Hearken! Reflect!! and Decide!!!

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