In his late 20s, Abdulwahab Fatiu mourned his challenges as a History and International Studies student at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
Fatiu was born and bred in Ilorin — the capital of Kwara State in North-Central Nigeria, where he attended primary and secondary school but could not secure admission into the University of Ilorin. He journeyed to Sokoto state Northwest Nigeria on Saturday, 6 May 2023, for the first time to pursue a degree.
“I sat for more than sixteen hours on the road, and the bus kept developing faults that warranted pushing it at times”, he said.
He said that the Sokoto weather has made residing in the state awful.
“The second day I arrived at UDUS, I slept in the afternoon and started to regret why I came here. I was asking myself, what did I come to do in UDUS?
“Truth be told, Sokoto is very tough; the heat is too much and exceeds my expectations. If my friend in the 300 level told me about it, I wouldn’t have come here. If I can leave Danfodiyo for another school, I will leave without thinking twice because nothing is giving me joy here,” he lamented.
The hot weather often makes Fatiu arrive late for lectures. He explained, “Attending a lecture in the afternoon is not easy. We don’t have options. I always fear entering the sun anytime I have a lecture which makes me too late to lecture.”
World Data Info reports, “The climate in Nigeria is very warm, with an annual average of 33 degrees, but has few truly tropical and sticky months. It is warm to hot all year round, inviting bathing at average water temperatures of 27 degrees. The warmest and also the rainiest greater region is North West. The coldest is South East. Due to less rain, the best travel time is from November to April. The most rainy days occur from June to October.”
Nigeria Informer, in August 2022, published a report on the ten hottest states in Nigeria. The report noted that Sokoto is the hottest state in Nigeria, followed by Adamawa, Borno, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Gombe and Bauchi.
The report read, “Sokoto state is Nigeria’s hottest state and region with a temperature of 28.3°C (82.9°F). Sokoto state is yearlong hot or warm. Rainfall is infrequent in Sokoto, and heavy sunshine is experienced in the state. The weather condition in Sokoto is mostly described as harsh and strong too.”
Fatiu explained that the lack of electricity in the private hostels is not helping matters. Hence, residents cannot find relief from the heat in electric fans.
Yusuf Musa, a student of Political Science at UDUS, also suffers the same fate. He explained that many times, there is usually no electricity for seven days at a stretch. Musa said that Sokoto weather is sweltering, but he has to endure it because of his vision.
“It is not easy, but I am enduring it due to what I want to achieve. I’m just adapting to the heat because I don’t have an option. I have started it and cannot give up the vision just like that,” Musa said.
Olaboye Shakirat also recently journeyed out of her hometown in Southwest Nigeria to study Microbiology at UDUS. While speaking with Campus Reporter, she lamented, “I never knew there could be a place as hot as this; their lifestyle here is out of my experience; I wonder how people are surviving the imbalance in the state’s weather condition.”
“Before, I vowed not to be going home at the end of every semester due to the long and stressful journey, but I have changed my mind now,” she added.
A Lecturer Comments
A UDUS lecturer, Dr Ibrahim Tafinta, from the Biological Science department, said, “It is always like that, when one leaves home to pursue something, either knowledge or business, one has to face some challenges, one must endure it because of the merit attached to it. There’s no place like home, but once you leave home, you have to gather all the momentum you need to actualise your dream.”
He agreed that the weather in Sokoto is hot and harsh and implored students to wear light clothes that will reduce the heat and permit ventilation.
“Since you are staying for a few years, you should try to adapt and study well to avoid spillover that may elongate your stay on campus. Reduce the rate you exercise and move around on campus to avoid much sweat,” he advised.
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