Upon reading my article on “Nigeria’s Nascent Democratic Institution”, which has now been reviewed by an eminent political scientist, Dr. Idowu Johnson, I received a message, then later an invitation from one of the strongest, influential and most versatile scholar in the University of Ibadan, Niger state and Nigeria, Professor Mohammed Yahaya Kuta.
My first and only time (until today) of seeing professor Kuta was during his inaugural lecture on July 11,2019, which till today has not been beaten in terms of political, economic, and aristocratic weight of attendees including former head of state General AbdulSalami Abubakar his wife Hon Justice Fati Lami Abubakar and Former First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and with key stakeholders in attendance especially President Muhammadu Buhari represented by Dr MB Umar Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger Traditional Council, and Chancellor OAU, HRH Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar , Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akambi, Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Niger state Deputy Governor Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, Amb Zubairu Dada, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, JAMB Registrar, Prof I’shaq Oloyede, Emiritus Prof Ayo Banjo, first woman professor of History in Nigeria, Prof Bolanle Awe former Governor of Kano State Senator Mallam Ibrahim Shakarau and other dignitaries. On the day of his inaugural, I pleasantly sat outside under the sun and watched the inaugural address via projector since the hall was already filled.
Professor Kuta had no academic relationship with political science, nor social sciences. He is a professor of Agricultural extension. I also have no relationship with him. Myself and my friend, Adetayo Adekunle, attended his inaugural lecture having a hindsight on the weight of prominent people that will attend.
According to Professor Kuta, he said to me; “you did not find me. I discovered your talent and I want us to work together, and henceforth on many projects to start with COAHD. You will be to me what I was to Gen Tunde Idiagbon during his lifetime and Late Shehu Musa mentors per excellence !
I was marveled seeing the note President Olusegun Obasanjo in the autographed to him after the launching of the book MY WATCH. It reads; “Dear Prof Kuta, with Profound respect, love, affection, and best wishes “.. General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Professor Yahaya Kuta was former commissioner, Chief of staff, Secretary to Government of Niger State and Chairman Forum of 19 Northern States SSGs and leading light in the politics and development of Niger state, and till now a high and prominent member of the Northern elite.
After our meeting. Professor Kuta announced my appoint as a Principal collaborator of Collective Action for Harmony and Development COAHD.
I am glad meeting him and pleased to be in the COAHD family. Please look forward to COAHD from now.
In company with me to the meeting was Scholar Olanrewaju Ayorinde.
Azeem Oladimeji SALAKO