Former Nigeria’s Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubabakar has outlined measures that will bring about sustainable democracy that will guarantee the attainment of our national development.
Speaking during the Pre-endowment Lecture at the 22nd Convocation Ceremony of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, General Abubakar said tolerance, patience, dialogue, genuine patriotism, security of lives and property, respect for human dignity and institutions are a 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 are 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.
General Abdulsalami Abubakar 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”.
The Former Head of State, who underscores the contributions of the University to the growth and development of the country, 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 policymakers 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 Giant 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, HE Adama Barrow also expressed gratitude to Nigeria playing a central role in ensuring that his predecessor, Yahaya Jammeh handed 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 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.
Highlight of the occasion were donations made by eminent persons including the Guest Lecturer, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and visitor to the University, Governor Godwin Obaseki. Also, the major donor and business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote also donated to build a male and female hostel for the university.