By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, was among the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) alumni hosted to a dinner by the Alumni Association of the university.
Expressing happiness for the honour, Ahmed said: “I feel so honoured and deeply touched and inspired by this recognition. With boundless gratitude for the honour, I wish to express my appreciation to every member of the governing council of ABU.
“For me, this is a call to do more for our country, to follow in a line of remarkable leaders. This honour has spurred me to be more resolute in what I am doing at this critical juncture in our country’s history.
‘I am determined to make important and lasting contribution to our common and collective interest, in upholding the country’s economic values and highest aspirations. I am deeply honoured to become one of those that have been so recognized,” she said further.
A statement by the Minister’s Media aide, Yunusa Abdullahi in Abuja on Monday, quoted the Chancellor of the university, and chairman of the occasion, Igwe (Dr) Nnemeka Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, as saying that the dinner was in honour of the alumni of the university who had been elected or appointed to national and international positions to serve humanity.
The Obi said it was unprecedented to have such a large number of appointees from the same institution, adding that it was a proof that the university was living up to the dreams of its founding fathers.
He therefore called on those being honoured not to rest on their oars in serving the nation and humanity, but to strive to maintain the legacies of the founding fathers of the university by proffering solutions to the nation’s numerous challenges.
Others honoured were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the President of the Senate and some state governors.
While enumerating the various strides the university had attained in various fields of study and infrastructural development, the Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. Ibrahim Garba, stated that the university was in collaboration with South Japan University in the study of tropical medicine as well as in a training programme for 75 engineering students of the university in China.
He called on the honorees to remember their alma mater and “take it upon yourselves to give back to the university the privilege it had given each one of you to be where you are today”.
This, the Vice Chancellor said, had become imperative as the university continues to face challenges, especially that of hostel accommodation. He regretted that the inadequate accommodation limits the number of students admitted yearly.
Prof Garba called on the honorees to emulate the commendable gesture of the SGF who had donated an expanse of land to the university which had enabled the university to commence the physical development of its second campus in Kongo.
Similarly, a member of the Board of Trustee of the alumni, Senator Daisy Danjuma, also called on the honorees to “remember that the university environment today is no longer what we enjoyed”.
While bemoaning the current challenges universities are facing, the senator stated that it behoves the honorees, who in their time benefited from the conducive university environment then, to assist the younger ones to have the similar atmosphere by assisting the university in any way they could.
The public presentation of the second edition of the alumni compendium was made by Mr. Mustapha who was also the Keynote Speaker at the event.