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“My Students Fear Me because I harass them and I Like It,” says 72-Year-Old Professor

A 72-Year-Old Nigerian Professor, Rauf Ayoade Dunmoye who recently retired from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria has disclosed that he usually harasses his students so that they can fear him.

Speaking in an interview with DailyTrust, Prof. Dunmoye said that he harasses students under his supervision to ensure that they produce good work. As a result of that, they fear him and he likes it because it makes them work hard to finish their work.

He went further to add that he doesn’t do any other job apart from supervising the student’s work.

“When one is supervising, he is also learning. I know many things about journalism, because I have supervised four masters’ students that researched in that field.

“I don’t keep students’ work. I write the date a student submits his work to allow me treat it in good time. This work is a trust and therefore it touches on one’s conscience. 

“Again, I treat assessments the same way I treat the works of my PG students. Other people did my assessment when I was growing up in the academics and so there is no basis to delay anyone’s assessment.

“A lecturer cannot develop if he doesn’t supervise, and he will not have a legacy. When students realised that I didn’t hold others unnecessarily, they trooped to me and I can’t say no, because this is my job.

“One of my students has been a VC and many others are professors all over the country. I don’t think there is any university, especially in the North West and North East, where I don’t have students.

“I have supervised 47 PhD scholars who are now working in different universities and other institutions across Nigeria and abroad. Many of them are now professors. For MSc, I have supervised about 100 students. These are those who have successfully completed their research. The number of students I have supervised at PG level will be running into hundreds when internal and external assessments are considered,” Prof Rauf added.

Talking more about himself, the academic don revealed when he was quite young, his Youthful exuberance led him to lead a demonstration against the principal at the time which resulted to his expulsion in Form 5.

“Youthful exuberance led me to lead a demonstration against the principal. So, I was expelled when I was in Form 5. Fortunately, there was this examination for Federal Government Colleges (FGCs) where the best students were picked. I did the exam and I passed. I also registered for West African School Certificate (WASC) and passed. So, I went to FGC, Sokoto, between 1969 and 1970. That was the best period of my life. After the civil war, some Igbo students were brought to the college. We were pampered with the best teachers, free food and free transport fare. Most of our teachers were white and many of them had PhD.

“When I finished in December, 1970, I waited for nine months because that was the convention as universities usually started lectures in October. As a result of this, I taught in Sokoto Teachers’ College under a scheme tagged “Temporary Upgraded Teacher”. After that, I decided I wanted to work more. However, initially I wanted to study business administration, but the admission came late, hence I decided to do something else. Therefore, I joined Radio Nigeria, Kaduna, as studio manager and announcer in 1971. I worked there for about four months. A controversial report I wrote led to my transfer to Katsina. In Katsina, I also enjoyed myself, as I became popular. I became well known to people like Mamman Shata as I had to record him most of the time.

“People thought I failed the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and that was why I was working. My mum started complaining. So, I applied to many universities, because that time there was no Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). I was given admission by three universities. But before then, Federal Radio of Nigeria, Lagos, had sighted my HSC with very good grades and they requested I should be transferred to Lagos. I said I was not going to Lagos. I decided to study history at ABU.

“I was doing well with some of my classmates like Prof Abdullahi Mahadi, a former Vice Chancellor (VC) of ABU and the Gombe State University (GSU). One day, I decided I didn’t like Bachelor of Arts (BA) and I wanted to change to Bachelor of Science (BSc) in government. Therefore, I changed from BA History to BSc Social Sciences with specialisation in Government. Because they felt I was intelligent, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) dean asked my whereabouts as they were not seeing me. I told them that I had changed my course. It was easy to know the students that were not around, because we were not many. They told me that I couldn’t change my course without application. So, I wrote and they approved, hence my change to government. This was in 1972. 

“I graduated in 1975 with Second Class (Upper) or 2.1 and I was posted to Sokoto. Then, looking for job was not difficult at all. Before we graduated, customs, Civil Service Commission (CSC), et cetera came to interview us. I was picked by the customs. However, the department wrote me that I had been appointed as graduate assistant. I didn’t apply. It was the period of the nationalisation of academics. This was when Professor Ishaya Audu was the VC. Most of us were sent abroad. This was why after my masters in 1979, I went to Canada and came back with a PhD in Political Economy through scholarships from the Kwara State Government and ABU. 

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Peter Ajewole

It’s a pity that the generation of this Prof who enjoyed Nigeria when they were Young are the same set of people who destroyed it and deprived the current youths of good things. It’s a pity

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