Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Kaduna (FRCNK): The Ghost Of It’s Past: Who Is To Blame? By Shehu Ahmed Buwayi

Looking at the map of the Northern Region, indicates it’s complexities. The Region is somewhat paradoxically, a British concept, it’s an assembly of the wish of the Colonialists; who neatly percelled Nigeria into Three (3) Regions. Like the composition of the Region, it’s Politics is itself very complex. Despite these challenges, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto was able to handle the tangential questions of language, wealth, religion and group loyalties into an entity called ‘Arewa.’ You may enquire, about the secret of the success of the Sardauna of Sokoto in uniting the multi-cultural/ethnic North!! Pointer to the success, Sardauna said, “…Lets understand our differences…By understanding our differences, We can build Unity…” One of the Institutions the Sardauna used to achieved that feat was Radio/Television Kaduna, now FRCNK.

2. FRCNK is one of the Sardauna legacies, the institution served as the process for enlightenment, instilling culture of tolerance and brotherhood, as well as the spread of innovation in Agriculture. Peace management to the hitherto, diverse society was part of the roles of the station. The Radio Station served as training ground for the willing Northerners with zeal in broadcasting. Best Journalists of Northern extraction in Radio and TV fields passed through FRCNK. It’s services was very excellent, equal to non in the country; in terms of clearity in pronounciation, especially, names and words in their operational languages was superb. The Station’s lines of programmes were very attractive, catchy, direct and eloquent that glitters it’s acceptability. The Radio station was used in the Promotion of new ideas and innovation of new items and products to the Region. For instance, the introduction chemicals Fertilizer (Takin Zamani) succeeded and gain popularity with ease in the Region. FRCNK Radio Jingles and the outreach service anchored by late Alhaji Garba ABC, Noma Karkara.The teaches innovation in farming in Collaboration with the Institute of Agriculture, ABU Zaria. The Station discovered and publicised many artists/singers from every corner of the North. Check their archive to listen and watch videos of different songs of all Northern tribes. In fact, FRCNK supplied the Traditional Musics to all the new and old generations of FM Radio Stations in the North. The FRCNK Staff visibly went to all parts of the North, especially, during Sallah and Christmas Celebration and occasions such ‘wasan gona’ Agric Show, Coronation of Chiefs, and the ‘wasan dambe/kokawa’ local boxing and wrestling, etc.

3. FRCNK, also serve as Training ground for their members of Staff; mostly recruited locally with ordinary level Certificates and progress through the ranks and became prominant under the tutulage of Alhaji Aliyu Moddibo (Managing Director) and his lieutenant Alhaji Sani Kontagora of blessed memory. As stated above, the Radio station was established to provide audio and visual services to their audience through Radio and Television channels. The regime of Murtala/Obasanjo took over all the Regional Radio stations in the country; FRCNK and it’s Television component was exercised to Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria. The FRCNK made innovation with the split to Two Sister Stations: Hausa station and English station which accommodate other Northern languages minus Tiv, Igala and Idoma languages that was operated at Ibadan and Enugu Stations respectively. Notable Programmes presented by the FRCNK and it’s renown Staff that anchored them includes but not limited to the following: i) News- Alhaji Aminu Ladan, Bashir Isma’ila Ahmad, Richard Umaru, Khalifa Baba Ahmad and Yaka Mandaba, etc.; ii) Editorial – Alhaji Abdulkarim Albashir, etc; iii) Political (Alkawari Kaya ne, A Fada a cika, etc) – Alhaji Halilu Getso; Correspondence – Malam LAWAL Yusuf Saulawa, Mahmoud Baba Ahmad, Ghali Sadik, etc; Entertainment – Malam Ladan Kwantagora, Alhaji Baba Pategi, etc; Zabi Sonka – Tabature ‘Yandume, etc. Radio School Programme for Primary and Secondary Schools of the Region; mostly, English language lesson.

4. FRCNK services, brought prominence to the station and many people in the North such as Jan Kidi Sokoto, Alhaji Mamman Shata Katsina, Kurna Maradun, Dan Kwairo Maradun, Dan Anace Sokoto, Dan Maraya Jos, Alhaji Danlami Nasarawa and Alhaji Gilashi Azare, etc. Many ordinary Citizens were made popular especially, in Zabi Soka, which includes Alhaji Inunu Mai Dankalin Turawa, Muhammadu Dan SARKIN Bariki Azare, etc. Similarly, prominant Staff of the Station became Role Models to many; for instance, Alhaji Halilu Ahmad Getso is a good example. For, my close friend and classmate, Malam Isa Ahmed Bauchi, veteran Journalist per Excellence had to change his name to adopt Alhaji Halilu Ahmad Getso, where he removed Bauchi from name and replaced by Getso. He, now address himself as Isa Ahmad Getso.

5. Despite all these Contributions, the FRCNK faced some glitch, which include funding that is taking the station to extinction. Several attempts by the Federal Government from 1976 to date to stripe the Wing of the Station from National coverage to FM service, notable amongst the attrocities, were the Obasanjo’s regime in 1976 to make it operates within few radius outside Kaduna, this was resisted by many including the then incumbent military Governor of Kaduna State, Group Captain Usman Jibrin of blessed memory. The travail also resulted into the retirement of the Governor Usman prematurely and the removal of Navy Commander Murtala Nyako then Governor of Niger State. The negligence of FRCNK by the owner (Federal Government) is no longer secret with the recent disconnection of Power by KETCO as well as the outrageous Staff demoralization of staff. Staff were not motivated thereby, demoralized, stagnated and lacks capacity building, welfare absent; is the opposite of the past. It is high time for Federal Government to do the needful to salvage the famous Radio station. The Northern States, and Northern Companies as well as the Elders should patronize the services of the Station to enable the Station improve it’s Internally Generated Revenue to assists it stabilize.

6. ‘Da haifuwar yuyu gara daya kwakkwara.’ Instead of giving birth to many, better You have One you concentrates on. It is a known fact that all the 36 States and FCT have FRCN FM Station, which Very difficult to maintain in this economic crunch. Merging them all to form formidable Seven (7) Stations in Abuja, Enugu, Ibadan, Kaduna, Lagos and Port Harcourt will be effective. Federal Government will take Care of the Seven Stations effectively in terms of the provisions of equipments, Staff training and welfare as well as paid the utility bills with ease. Federal Government need the Radio Stations the most, especially Now that the nefarious activities of the enemies of the State is in it’s advance stage: insurgency, banditry and the greediness of the elites causing unnecessary tension in the polity. Rightly observed by the Academic luminary, Prof. Alkasum Abba of History Department, ABU, Zaria, reads: “…the minds of our detractors, both domestic and foreign as well as in the Editorial Rooms of most of our private newspapers, Radio and Television Stations that preach doom and gloom and of course the Social Media Platforms…non-State actors and men of Yester-years have been provided with unlimited Platform by a Section of the privately owned Electronic and print Media to continue to propagate falsehood against the Unity, stability and the Corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…As a Historian, I have been worried by the level of Ignorance being Circulated about our recent political history…” Certainly, formidable Radio Station controled by the Federal Government will checkmate the activities of the enemies of the State like the ones mentioned above.

Long Live FRCNK,

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ahmed Buwayi writes from Azare, Bauchi State.

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