Former Nigeria’s Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has outlined measures that will bring about sustainable democracy that will guarantee the attainment of our national development.
Speaking through his representative Governor of Niger state Abubakar Sani Bello at the Pre-endowment Lecture of the 22nd Convocation Ceremony at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Abdulsalam said tolerance, patience, dialogue, genuine patriotism, security of lives and property, respect for human dignity and institutions were necessary prerequisites in the attainment of sustainable democracy that will engender the much needed national development.
According to him, Electoral malpractices, offensive propaganda, ethnic and religious sentiment, nepotism, hatred and hate speeches, selfishness and greed among others have characterized our polity but were inimical to achieving sustainable democracy, hence the urgent need for a turn around.
He stated that sustainable democracy can only bring about national development if all of us can desist from and abide by only those acts that are required to bring about sustainable democracy of the nation.
Gen.Abdulsalam noted that sustainable democracy towards the attainment of national development is not one person’s task but a collective responsibility of every citizen of this country.
“When you do your part and I do my part, there will be sustainability of our democracy, which will turn around to bring the needed national development”.
While underscoring the contributions of the University to the growth and development of the country, he called on all Nigerians to donate generously towards the N10Billion Endowment Fund of the institution.
In his remarks, the Chancellor of AAU, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman of Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Yahaya Abubakar reechoed the importance of education and appealed to leaders and policy makers to structure their budgetary provision in favour of education because it’s the pivot upon which survival and greatness of a nation revolves.
The Pro Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the University, Chief Lawson Omokhodion enumerated some of the achievements of the council and called on the University management to join hands in taking the institution to the next level of unparalleled accomplishment.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ignatius Onimawo disclosed that 8276 students were awarded Degrees, 478 higher Degrees while five eminent personalities were conferred with Honorary Degrees including His Excellency, Adama Barrow, the President of Gambia.
While appreciating the University for the award, the President of Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow also expressed gratitude to Nigeria playing a central role in ensuring that his predecessor, Yahaya Jammeh handed over power peacefully thereby avoiding imminent conflict.
Visitor to the University and Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki appealed to the Federal Government to handover the Benin – Ekpoma – Auchi – Okpela road to the Edo state government because it’s the major artery that runs through the state and is in a deplorable state.
The Governor promised to complete the administrative Block and property improve the infrastructure within the University assuring that before the end of his government, AAU should be among the top five universities in the country.
Highlights of the occasion were Award of honorary Degress and donations made by eminent persons including the Guest Lecturer, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state, Visitor to the University and Governor of Edo state Godwin Obaseki, while major donations came from phillanthropists running into Hundreds of Millions of Naira including business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote who pledged to build a male and female hostel for the university.