By Abdulbasit Abdusalam
Sparking ingenuity in young minds by challenging them to push the boundaries of science, technology, and environmental science in solving problems in Nigeria is the aim of The Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition (PAADC), organised by the University of Lagos Engineering Society.
February 2017, some members of the University of Lagos Engineering Society (ULES) put together a plan to bridge the gap between Nigeria undergraduates and the Nigeria technological ecosystem. Thus, began the Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition, aimed at progressing the Nigeria’s economy by promoting indigenous solutions to Nigeria’s problems.
Contesting in the design competition is “Team Al-Khawaarism”, representing the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, University of Lagos branch. Al-Khawaarism Team designed a Security Button Alert system. It solves the puzzle of getting to security personnel on time. Whenever there is a criminal act in any part of the nation, a victim can just alert the right security personnel by pressing the button, it would notify the security stating the time and venue of the incident.
Amidst participants from FUTA, FUPRE, OOU, UI and three teams at the UNILAG, The Al-Khawaarism Team emerged the second runner-up with a cash prize of N200, 000. It is indeed a joyful moment for all MSSN UNILAG members as they cheered, saying “takbeer (Glory of Allah)”.
iWitness NG in an exclusive interview with the Asset Maintenance Officer of MSSN UNILAG and also a team member of Al-Khawaarism, Mr. Abubakar Balogun, was told that the project is an innovation aimed at solving a major problem of Nigeria today which is insecurity
“It is a design aimed at REDUCING THE TIME TAKEN TO ALERT THE APPROPRIATE SECURITY OFFICIALS IN CASES OF SECURITY EMERGENCIES TO VERY FEW SECONDS WITHOUT ANY NOISE THAT WOULD ALERT THE VICTIMIZERS.
“Just at the push of a button, our device which has incorporated in it a SIM MODULE AND A GPS MODULE has been designed to send a STRESS MESSAGE, which contains the panic message, GPS exact coordinates of the location and the time and day to the appropriate security officials nearest to the location of the emergency.”
He added, “Among the challenges we faced was to balance our construction with our academics as we started earlier in the previous semester. Getting the prototype working was also a hurdle.”
He concluded by advising other students to ensure they take their academics serious not putting into consideration the poor state of the education system.
He said, “Students should rather change the negativities of the educational system into a positive energy by trying to bring out the best in them through excelling in their academic pursuit, and most importantly, looking carefully at the nation’s malady and trying to innovate and find brilliant ways to combat the nation’s biggest issues.”
“I feel elated with the success, the main goal is to sell the beauty of Islam to the world and to some extent we have done that,” the Amir of the MSSN UNILAG branch, Mr Yusuf Olohungbebe added.
In a chat with him, he said, “Scientific Innovation when utilised very well will aid the development of mankind. It is important to note that we (Muslims) are at the forefront of knowledge and that’s what majorly informed the decision of choosing the name Al-khawarizmi as the team’s name, he is the father of Algorithm. We are just reliving the golden age.
“You know when you hear MSSN, what first comes to the mind is all this “alfa sef” (As though they are not good academically) but we tell people it is about spiritual and academic excellence. In MSSN, we integrate both. This is because our primary purpose on earth is to serve Allah and also benefit mankind.
“The success at PAADC shows it all and it’s just the beginning, loads of beneficial projects are underway. So join MSSN and we are ready to train you academically and spiritually.
“We just want to continue breaking grounds for the sake of Allah and be good representatives of Islam.
“Don’t confuse our third position as what I call success, over 70% of the audience believe we should be the winner and that also defines real success. I appreciate the team members for a wonderful job. The made a lot of sacrifices.”
In conclusion, MSSN UNILAG is working relentlessly to, despite all odds, relive the golden age of Islam.
Abdulbasit Abdusalam, University of Lagos.