An institute known as Arabic Institute of Nigeria, has announced the acquisition of 50 acres of land for the establishment of a university in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Sheikh AbdulWahab Ahmod, the Director of the institute, made the disclosure in Ibadan on Sunday at the grand finale of the institute’s 60th anniversary.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institute, also known as Al-Ma’had Al-Arabiyy, was established in 1958 by Shaikh Murtada AbdulSalam.
Ahmod said that the proposed university, located on Moniya/Iseyin road in the state, would be a conventional institution in line with the vision of the founder of the arabic institute.
He said the introduction of free education in the western region motivated the founder to transform the Arabic school from mat and slate to classroom and chalk board setting.
“AbdusSalam observed that the introduction of free education had discouraged Muslim children from attending Arabic classes after which he decided to standardize the classes to be in tune with what operated in western schools,” he said.
Prof. Muheeb Opeloye, the President, Alumni Association of the institution, said the products of the school had contributed significantly in different ways to human capital development.
Opeloye, a professor of Islamic Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said the institute had produced scholars competing with those produced by conventional western schools.
“Some products of the institute have served in professions associated with the products of the conventional western schools.
“Some of these products are career diplomats, academic guru, top government functionaries, top civil servants, top military officers, top medical personnel, legal luminaries among others.
“This is aside the traditional professional calling associated with Madrasha school system, like being Imams or Islamic propagators,” he said.
He said that the list of professors who were alumni of the institute was profound, adding such was apart from many associate professors who would soon join the group.
The alumni president said the institute had recorded tremendous growth since the introduction of diploma programme in Arabic and Islamic Studies in affiliation with the University of Ibadan in 1991.
According to him, “Some of the giant stride recorded by the institution included affiliation with Imam University, Saudi Arabia and commencement of National Certificate of Education programme.
“Others were the recognition by Oyo State Government, participation in external examination conducted by National Board of Arabic and Islamic Studies for Senior Certificate in Arabic and Islamic Studies Examination.”
In his lecture, Prof. Amidu Sanni, Chief Imam, Lagos State University, said apart from incorporation of western education into the curriculum of Arabic schools, technical and vocational studies should not be left out.
Alhaji Daud Akinola, Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, called for investment in the education of Muslim children, adding such remained the only lasting legacy.
NAN reports that the three-day programme to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the institution featured news conference, visitation to the residence of the founder, special Jumaat service, anniversary lecture and an academic conference.