"The William Mitchell student chapter of the Minnesota Justice Foundation [USA] has collected, cataloged,and packed more than 8,000 legal texts to re-establish a law library at the Nigerian University of Abuja, Faculty of Law, and as a result saved the law program at the university”, according to an article on the William Mitchell College of Law news web page.
Are you wondering what is going on, and what is the connection between these colleges in Minnesota and Abuja? Why would the law program in Abuja need saving by some folks in Minnesota?
This is why:
The university of Abuja’s Faculty of Law library has only 250 books for the school’s 3,000 students- a ratio of about 12 students to one book! The Nigerian Council of Legal education decided this was totally unacceptable and summarily rescinded the accreditation of the faculty.
So the law faculty of university of Abuja went soliciting (a.k.a begging) for assistance. Thank goodness there are people like Hauwa Ibrahim, a part-time law professor at the Abuja law faculty, who was able to make the necessary connection with the Minnesota college of law. As I understand, the books will be shipped to Nigeria and Abuja before Christmas. I doff my hat to Hauwa and those good-hearted folks in Minnesota for saving the future of some of my Nigerian kindred.
Hauwa by the way, is the first female lawyer from northern Nigeria, she won the European Parliament’s top human rights award- the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2005. Hauwa represented Amina Lawal- the Muslim woman sentenced to death by stoning by a Sharia court in northern Nigeria for having had a child while divorced. It appears it is going to be a sweet Christmas for the law students at University of Abuja.
So, what it required was 8,000 law books plus shipping cost and some able bodied, good intentioned souls to revive a dying law school in Nigeria? Not much, just the right dose of emphathy.
Does it then mean that there are no deep-pocketed, or groups of concerned and empathic Nigerians that can bail out the Abuja law faculty? By the way, the University of Abuja is located within the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and as close as it is to the Nigerian seat of power; the ears that heard and responded to their cries of help were thousands of miles away, in a land of different tongue and tradition.
Something is definitely not right.
Read more of Imnakoya's postings at Grandiose Parlor
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