General Murtala College In Ruins

General Murtala Mohammed College (GMMC) Yola is one of the oldest schools in Northern Nigeria today and has produced outstanding alumni who served at the top level of governments, industries and the academia. But the 100-year-old famous school is currently in a deplorable state and begging for urgent attention, Daily Trust Saturday reports.

In the colonial Northern Nigeria era, Captain F.W. Taylor, the Junior Superintendent of Education started preparation for a school in Yola in 1916. Taylor left for war service in 1917 and returned in 1920 to reopen the school.

The enrolment of the first set of 11 students was contentious as many parents wanted their children to work on the farm or did not want them to enrol in the white man’s or ‘nasara’ school as the locals called it.

The first set of pupils comprised of mainly the children of district heads, judges, administrators in the Native Authority and other people who realised the potential of Western education.

The school, which started as elementary, was upgraded to Middle School in 1930 and by 1957, it achieved the status of secondary school and renamed Yola Provincial Secondary School.

In 1967, the military government under General Aguiyi Ironsi abolished the provinces and promulgated a unitary form of government as a result of which all provincial schools were converted to government secondary schools.

Hence, the school became GSS Yola and ten years later, when the then Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed fell to the assassin’s bullet in 1976, GSS Yola was renamed General Murtala Mohammed College (GMMC) in his honour.

Personalities including a former Vice president and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; former Defence Chief, General Gibson Jalo; former Naval Chief and governor of Adamawa State, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako; former Inspector General of Police, Gambo Jimeta; former Air Chief, Air Marshal Ibrahim Alfa; Air Marshal Natiti; the current chairman of the North East Development Commission (NEDC),  Major General Paul Chabri Tarfa; former Education Minister, Professor Jibril Aminu; a First Republic Minister, Danburam Jada, and governor of the defunct Gongola State, Abubakar Barde, were all students of the college.

Others are former Adamawa governor, Saleh Michika; a historian, Professor Sa’adu Abubakar; Alhaji Muhammadu Mubi; former Minister of Environment, Hassan Adamu and former Adamawa governor, Bala James Nggilari to mention just a few.

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