By; Abdullahi Yusuf Kuta
This is Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) Primary School, Gwari/Stadium Road, Minna,(formerly Central Primary School), named after one her famous Old Boys and former Nigerian Military President.
Founded in 1936, IBB primary school is if not the oldest primary school in Minna metropolis with its motto as; Listen and Learn.
The school having produced notable and famous pupils that became so prominent in the affairs of Niger State, Nigeria, Africa and the World at large. But, the school should at least serve as a model of what modern primary school should be in terms of good and conducive teaching and learning environment.
Why i am saying this? Because, this was the school that made them or prepared the likes of Generals IBB and Abdulsalami A. Abubakar and our revered and highly respected Emir of Minna, HRH. Alh.(Dr) Umaru Faruk Bahago CON to notable individuals in the affairs of men. Also, the likes of Malam Ibrahim Aliyu, Dr M. Babangida Aliyu, Justice Musa Dattijo Mohd (Justice of the Supreme Court), Engr I.K Musa, Engr, Mal M.D Usman, Hon. Bala Adamu Kuta, Aliyu Datti and Iliyasu Dhacko and the list is endless.
I could recall during the regime of former governor Dr Babangida Aliyu efforts were made by the old boys to raise funds to upgrade the school to a more befitting learning institution that impact knowledge to tomorrow’s leaders. At the event, Ismail Isa Funtau who is a longtime associate of General Babangida, was the Chief Launcher and lived up to the billing and donated the a whopping sum of 25million and also, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah who owns Capital Oil donated computers and, late Patrick Yakowa represented Governor Namadi Sambo of Kaduna state at the time. While many other people made large donations including the old boys. And the Chief Servant who coordinated the fund raising did well that faithful Saturday at the school premises. I could vividly recalled that, Mal Ibrahim Aliyu (Chaimarn, Ubarn Shelter ltd) pledged to provide all the blocks (burnt bricks) that will ensure the completion of the entire project. That was received by a rousing applause.
Fast forward to 2018, that is almost 10years after the fund raising event which took place in Minna and saw to the realisation of a lot of money but, nothing or little has happened in terms of face-lift at the school. Though, its to the credit of the Chief Servant and former governor of Niger state that the UBEC/SUBEB that about 3 or 4 high raising (1storey) buildings were erected, even though some of the dubious contractors sabotaged the projects with shady deals. But, that will be a topic for another day!
Let me inform my readers that, yours truly is not a product of the school but I was born and raised at the same neighborhood where the school is located. I felt I needed to lend my voice to a seemingly forgotten project after monies were realised or yet to be redeemed from donors to actualize the ascetically beautiful and pleasant prototype and blueprint of the new project that was to be embark upon by the Old Boys.
Only the members of the Central Primary School Old Boys Association who were charged with the responsibility of Raising Funds can provide useful, genuine, reliable and satisfying answers to what stall such a gigantic project that would have made their Alma Marta on of the BEST public primary school not only in Niger State but in Nigeria as a whole. And if that project is to see the light of the day, IBB primary school will be priding itself as the school where leaders are made because, pupils; Listen and Learn!
By the way, I wouldn’t know if most of the notable Old Boys like the Babangida’s & Abdulsalami’s, the Aliyu’s, the Dattijo’s and many distinguished products of Central Primary School still want to be known and identified with their humble beginning.
Help me ask them, when last did anyone of them visited the SCHOOL?