Mrs. Sarah Ramadan. 2OO9/2010


AMONSA EB: Good day ma, may we meet you?

Mrs. Ramadan: I am Mrs. Sarah John Ramadan. By descent, I am Amo, born and brought up, grown up in Amo land, and married to…. Mallaki and I’m still Amo because it is not possible to get off.


I don’t think I have any better home so I’ve been following interestingly the activities of AMONSA. I’ve had the opportunity of advising and counseling them as a mother, because the experience I had when I was like you is not the same with what you people are going through, because there are many things that exist now that didn’t when I was a youth like you and so I take time as a professional teacher to advise you on how to go about life.


AMONSA EB: Which advice would you want us to always remember?

Mrs. Ramadan: Be careful about the influence that modernity has brought that weren’t there when I was a youth like you. And I caution you on how to go about life. I advise this EXCO to lead the people as the Bible says : when you’re a leader, it’s you who is supposed to be the servant to the people. Not that you should be the boss and people being servants to you.


AMONSA EB: What is it that inspires you to offer such assistance?

Mrs. Ramadan: Absolutely, it is nothing more than the word of God. In addition to the fact I saw it in my own parents. My parents were brought up as orphans at Jengre. There are times my mother will give a story that a woman came and gave birth and the woman died and the people will say they will not take the baby because if they do, the baby will die. So she breast-feeds them along-side her baby and so they grew up as part of us. And I appreciated that. Incidentally I discovered my husband had the same passion. He said he grew up when his parents were very poor and the issue of going to school was not there and so he was education by missionaries and so he too will do with some other people the same way.


AMONSA EB: Ma, who are your parents? Their names and where they came from?

Mrs. Ramadan: My father was Yohanna Chakara and he was the first Chief of Amo in Jengre. His clan is Adaza and my mother was Hauwa Asabe and she is from the Anan Liki clan.


AMONSA EB: Ma, we have realized that the Amo, man does well in accommodating strangers but finds it very difficult to help his fellow brother. So what do you think are the steps we must take as a people to help one another?

Mrs. Ramadan: Actually, let me tell you the truth, the first step is the knowledge and fear of God. Know who God is and I mean G.O.D and what he expects from us as His children. We say we are Christians. What does Christianity mean to us? It means following the footsteps of Christ. If I believe in God, I believe in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and what kind of life did Christ live on earth? Was he a liar, was he a cheat, was he a selfish person that only wanted the lineage of his father to get what he wanted? He had no lineage. He said to his parents “why come looking for me, these people who fear God are my brothers and sisters.”

If we are really converted Christians there should be no selfishness in us. And when you remove that aspect in you called selfishness and self-centeredness, then unity will not be a problem. Some will say I am “Kudaza” by clan anything good must go to ‘Adaza’. Does that sound Christian? Apart from that I am from “Kazuri” and anything good should not go to Lalang, should not go to anan-liki, should not go to ----, and other places. And will say, anybody from outside “Kazuri”   looking for a place I will make sure I find a way of pulling him down because he is not from “Kazuri”.


This is the major thing killing us and the elders above are not showing a good example. I am sorry to say so because the young ones are suppose to get their examples from the elders. Isn’t it? What are the elders doing? Do we have any example from them that any Kimap fought for anybody from Kazuri to be fixed somewhere to earn a living? Do we have any example that somebody from Majaja that fought for somebody from Lishin to fix him somewhere to earn a living? That is the problem.


The elders from Majaja will always be having a caucus meeting with their people from Majaja. So also those from Kawam, Kimpa, Lishin, Kazuri etc. Tell me; in what ways can we come together? So that by the time a general meeting of the whole house is called these people have their own idea they have constituted and locked up in their own caucus meeting and when they come for the general meeting, do you think things will go well? This is the problem. Until we are able to shake that off and think Amo instead of thinking Kazuri or Kitankali, or Kimap or Majaja unity can never be achieved.

The second is the clan meetings locked up safely and it is either that plan or noting else and that of different villages having their different plans and it is either that plan or nothing else, it is either somebody from that place or my clan or nothing happens.


Frankly, as I seat on this table, it is not the issue of Amo that I treat here. It is not only an issue Pengana that I treat here. I’ve assisted people from Miango, Rukuba etc. Are they my own people. I don’t discriminate as long as you are qualified for something you are the one I will fight for. In fact, I have assisted many who are not from Bassa who come here to me. I’ve secured admission for young people from different places, as long s somebody comes and say mummy, this is my ambition, this is my certificate, I don’t know how to get admission, mummy I want an advice, wonderful, you’ll become my son from that day.


AMONSA: Ma, we have noticed that the rate at which youths from the Amo nation enroll into tertiary institutions is on the increase, what advices do you have to those who having all the requirements for University or Polytechnic education are being turned down because of the rate of competition?

Mrs. Ramadan: I think I’ve been saying it whenever I address you in your AMONSA meeting. The one that is difficult for me is that of the University of Jos. It is a federal institution and the competition is so high. But I’ve always said if you want admission in any of the tertiary institutions in the state come and meet me. In fact you are the fourth set of people coming to me here just from the Pengana chiefdom alone. (What time is it? 11 am) and that is what happens every day. And I always say if you want admission in the tertiary institution and you feel you have the qualification come and meet me.


I discovered that some of our people insist they don’t have the money to even sustain the child here, so I struggled with the polytechnic for over three to four years striving all alone and gradually they granted the approval for the polytechnic extension campus to be cited at Jengre in order to bring it to the door steps of those who cannot sustain their children’s stay in Jos. They can now at least get a certificate at their door steps. So any-body who will say I don’t have the money means you are not even interested in going to school because as I always say I don’t want any strong and healthy youth to tell me that (Baba na bashi da kudi) as far as I am concerned it means that you are not determined, because I’ve been a Principal for years and I’ve seen orphans training themselves in schools. I have assisted some of them who truly tried because I appreciate that. I had orphans that will pay over a year school fees and I never knew they were orphans.


AMONSA: Then, Mummy, how did you know they were orphans?

Mrs. Ramadan: It was when I said to one of them you must appreciate the effort of your parents for buying all your textbooks, paying a year’s school fees and getting good sets of uniforms for you. Then the little ones will say mummy we don’t have /parents and I’ll ask how do you get the money to do that? They will say we use our strength to labor and get that. But that was in Nassarawa state before we were split. How many boys will do that in Jengre? All you do is wash your trousers, iron them and on market days raise your shoulders on the streets: how will that help you? I’ve said,s form farming cooperatives. We have it here in the culture and we call it “gama hannu” yes, if you are up to 15 all you do is to ask your father for a day off, I’m sure that if your father knows that by doing that which he has failed, he can even give you two days.


AMONSA: Thank you ma, we will want to know the intentions of our present day government to improve the educational sector?

Mrs. Ramadan: Well I am not a politician. I am a civil servant, and you know civil servants, are supposed to see more and talk less. But the truth is that what I can say is that the present government is performing more than any government has ever did. If you look at the television, look at the programs we have. The market at Rukuba road, the road projects. How many have been ----? And by the grace of God we will also be part of the road project-Jengre to katako: have we ever dreamt of that? But at least we are in the list. Have we ever known an Amo man in government?


I am telling you he has good intentions for us and our schools. Right now the new education commissioner has gone on tour with some specific people from the ministry. She wants to go round the schools in the state starting from the primary, secondary, and the tertiary, she wants to see the state they are in with her eyes and the governor said go round and come and report to me. Give me an honest report of the situation and advise me. And when she comes back he will sit down and advice on what should be on ground and she will in turn advise the governor and I know the governor means it. Even at the tertiary institutions he has done a lot for them because there are a number of subjects that were not accredited and so he has given money to have a number of them accredited.

One thing with Government is that when you are a leader you will be cautious because any tiny demand you’ll want to wait and study because if you r not careful you’ll pay for some thing that is not real. So you need to get the concrete information that you need to make sure that when the money leaves, it he has a destination. And do you know it takes the grace of God to get that in leadership?


AMONSA: What advices do have for our ladies?

Mrs. Ramadan: Go to school: don’t say you are a lady. For the men, even if you marry an illiterate make sure you make your wife become something, because you may not know when you’ll die, and if you die she might be the only one to train your kids. So no matter what, train your wives.


AMONSA: Thank you ma,

Mrs. Ramadan: Read your books diligently and make sure you excel in your academics.