MM Yusuf: An activist scholar Retires- Hassan A. Saliu
By Hassan A. Saliu
Mallam Muazu Mohammed Yusuf retired from the services of Bayero University, Kano (BUK) in April 2023 after putting in forty-two years in service.
The years he spent in BUK as a lecturer were quite exciting and dotted with activism. He was my lecturer in BUK who handled some notable courses all virtually defined by ideology.
I first encountered him in my final year when he handled a course on South Africa during the heydays of the obnoxious apartheid regime in that country.
He was a committed teacher who was devoted to his calling, teaching. In the course of teaching our class, he would come around with a mountain of photocopied materials about South Africa which he gladly shared with us.
One thing made him distinct that time. He would go through his course with passion; making students feel the situation in a far away South Africa. He was always dictating his note to us most times extempore and sometimes he would raise his voice as if he was in front of the apartheid officials, speaking for the oppressed black South Africans.
Answers to any question asked in the class were always preceded with a smile and at times, laughter. The impression that I came down with was that he wanted us to feel the pains being inflicted on the blacks under the white supremacist regime. I could feel the urge of wanting to go and fight the then Pretoria regime in some of the students. After graduating from the school, I still followed developments regarding this Marxist teacher.
I learnt that he was the longest-serving ASUU Chair in that University with all the inconveniences that went with the position.
I recall vividly that even before he became the Chairman of ASUU, he never ceased to be on the radar of the security agencies for his radical submissions at seminars and symposia. And with his assumption of office as an official of ASUU, the intensity of his harassment by official security increased. He was never allowed to be as the security searchlight was always beaming on him and others that time.
I think that was so because the military governments were afraid of people like him for fear of infesting the students with their dose of radicalism. Consequently, he was always being detained or questioned over one thing or the other, bordering on the radical views that he was freely expressing. The striking thing about it is that whenever he was being taken away or being left off the hook, his countenance would not change.
He would always smile and laugh over it. His close allies and family members, especially his wife must have felt the heat that was constantly being turned on him by the security agencies during that time. He was quite a popular face on campus through the numerous appearances he made at the outings of the students and labor events outside the campus.
Also, being a teacher who used gesticulations a lot while teaching his class in a fashion of the tradition he is committed to, the radical family in BUK would definitely miss him as he bowed out of service. One can only wish him a happy retirement life. He did make some impact on us as his students. Happy retirement life to a man of courage and conviction. Comrade teacher he was.
Saliu is the president of, NPSA