LAST Saturday, the new Baze University in Abuja, organized its first Convocation Ceremony in Abuja. 64 young Nigerians received their first degrees on the occasion with nine achieving First Class degrees. All of these were young Nigerian girls, including a physically challenged, wheelchair-bound young girl.
At the Ceremony, the 94year-old, 18th Sultan of Sokoto,Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree for his contributions to Nigeria’s development. And may we recall that Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki was an excellent public servant who gave his all to the development of Nigeria. His stature rose higher as a community leader, especially in Northern Nigeria, after his deposition as Sultan.
He remains a go-to person for advice; and he is a major repository of the collective memory of public service, the traditional institution and inter-communal relationships in the North and beyond, because of his extensive knowledge and network of relationships around Nigeria.
Similarly, Baze University posthumously awarded Dr. Stella Adadevoh, an Honorary Doctorate degree for her uncommon courage and spirit of self-sacrifice, in the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria. It was the patriotic and professional commitment of Doctor Adadevoh and her colleagues that saved Nigeria of what might have become a monumental tragedy. She and her colleagues gave their lives so as to save our country.
I feel humbled as a Nigerian citizen that the new Baze University recognized Dr. Adadevoh, when the Nigerian government did not see the need to celebrate the late DoctorAdadevoh’s patriotism and professionalism.
I have only visited the Baze University just once. About two years ago, I was invited to meet Honorable Aliyu AhmanPategi, from Kwara State at the premises of the new university. I met him at a site verymuch under construction, busy supervising a group of workmen putting extra shifts to finish the construction of hostels that the student were expected to occupy in a few weeks from that date.
I learnt that it was the brainchild of Honorable Datti Baba-Ahmed, a scion of the famous Baba-Ahmed family of Zaria. I was not surprised that Honorable Datti was investing in the education of young Nigerians at a point when the country was in dire need of first class institutions, at all levels of the educational system.
Their father was one of the great educationists of the old Northern Nigeria and he also succeeded in parenting, giving Nigeria outstanding children who have gone to serve our country excellently in different areas of human endeavor.
When I asked Mouftah Baba-Ahmed the meaning of the “BAZE” in the university’s name, he said BA came from Baba-Ahmed, the family’s name; Z represents their hometown, Zaria that they are so proud of and E stood for education. There you have it! I have read testimonies about the quality of facilities and faculty and we look forward to the new university’s continued contribution to the development of our country.