The Islamic Movement of Izalatil Bidi’a Wa Ikamatus Sunnah (JBWIS) says it has set up As-Salam International University with the aim of “making life easier for Muslims and non-Muslims in northern Nigeria“. The group’s chairman, Sheikh Bala Lau, said on Tuesday.
On Sunday, the group held a groundbreaking ceremony for the university building in Hadejia, Jigawa State, attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, governors, members of parliament, and political leaders.
Participants donated nearly one billion naira, which was donated by Sultan Muhammad Abuabakar Sa’ad III and the Nigerian Minister of Communications Dr. Isa Ali Pantami – a representative of President Buhari.
Where is the university located?
As-Salam International University is a permanent resident of Hadejia, Jigawa State in Northwestern Nigeria.
“The university will be under the supervision of the Izala group,” said Sheikh Bala Lau.
Why was the university established?
The Izala organisation explained the reasons for establishing the university, which included facilitating the northern Nigerians and changing the mindset and attitude of young Muslims towards terrorism.
It said, “We set up the university to make life easier for Muslims and non-Muslims in northern Nigeria and we named it As-Salam International University,” said Bala Lau.
He said, “We did this especially because of the demand situation, our young people almost two million write the JAMB exam every year and the statistics of the university governing bodies show that Nigerian universities only have the ability to enrol 500,000 students throughout the year.
“So about 1.5 million students don’t have access to university education.”
In addition, Sheikh Lau said they intend to change the mindset and behavior of young Muslims “who think of perpetrating terrorist acts”.
“The hadith of the Prophet shows that the killing of one person is like killing the whole of humanity.
“Then there are our young people who are going to study in Sudan or Egypt, each of them has a religious or modern education but they have nowhere to go to work. You see, creating a university is a necessity for us.”
He added that they hope that the graduating students of religious secondary schools will continue their studies at the university.
Who will sponsor the university?
“This university is sponsored by the community because we asked them to donate N1,000, and members of this group [Izala] and non-Muslims donated to us,” Bala Lau said.
“In this case, we have received a grant of N150 million. There is another businessman in Nigeria who has donated N500 million while about six governors have pledged N50 million.
“Then Abdussamad Isiyaka Rabi’u and his younger brother who gave us 30 million. Bola Ahmed Tinubu gave us 10 million. Then there are those who promised to build some parts of the university.”
However, he did not say when the construction of the university would be completed.
What courses will be taught at the university?
As-Salam University will teach Islamic and modern courses at conventional university, according to Malam Bala Lau.
“Apart from religious studies, there is a department of higher education, and we are even thinking of opening a college of medicine and engineering and other things that universities do in the foreseeable future.”
“We have set up this university in Nigeria and wherever we are looking for administrative support in Nigeria, we have no need to seek foreign funding,” said Sheikh Bala.
He added that they welcome anyone who can contribute because they opened the university to contribute “for the advancement of education in Nigeria”.
What are the requirements for admission to the university?
“Anyone who meets the university entrance requirements will enter,” Bala Lau said. “She is a Muslim, not just because she was built by the Izala group but by the people of Izala.”
He said before they could be licensed there were conditions set for them “so whoever fulfills these conditions will be admitted, God willing.”