By Bukar Bolori
The University of Ibadan has appointed and decorated Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum as the University’s ambassador ahead of its forthcoming 75th anniversary, tagged “UI@75.”
The university which was established in 1948 will be 75 this year, 2023, and a celebration is being planned at a date to be made public.
The anniversary’s planning committee was set up in February, this year.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Kayode Adebowale led management and other officials to Maiduguri where Governor Zulum was decorated and presented with a plaque of honour.
The presentation took place at the council chambers of the Government House in Maiduguri on Saturday.
Decorating the governor, the Vice Chancellor said: “The University of Ibadan turns 75 years this year and there is every reason to roll out the drums and celebrate the excellence that the university symbolizes. Your Excellency (Zulum), Sir, it is noteworthy to note that you are a part of that tradition of excellence. To this end, the UI@75 Anniversary Committee has recommended and the Management has approved that your Excellency be designated as a UI@75 Ambassador. We are here today to decorate you as the first person to be so decorated.”
Zulum’s conferment, the VC noted, was an opportunity for the university’s community to acknowledge his exceptional contributions to education.
Adebowale praised the governor’s relentless dedication to improving educational standards, particularly in regions affected by insurgency.
He said: “In his first term as governor, he undertook not less than, at least, 556 major projects and completed 70% of them within 4 years. One-third of these capital projects were on education. One of his hallmarks is to build mega secondary schools with each having 1,500 students capacity and equipped enough to compare with some universities.”
He added, “this (Zulum) is the governor that steered the ship of Borno through the twin turbulence of COVID-19 and unrelenting insurgency. He has proved himself to be a leader that walks the talk by keeping his promise.”
In his response, Zulum expressed gratitude for the recognition bestowed on him by the university.
He said: “Let me first and foremost express my deep appreciation to the Vice Chancellor and the management team for finding me worthy of this decoration as an ambassador of UI’s 75th anniversary.
”The governor also accepted the request by the university to be one of the four guests to deliver lectures at the event.
Zulum acknowledged the pivotal role education plays in transforming societies and highlighted the need for collaboration between the University of Ibadan and the Borno State University.
He said: “I want to assure you that we shall continue to partner with you and we shall continue to collaborate with you with a view to repositioning the education sector. Borno State University is young, it is just four years old. Therefore, we will partner in the areas of staff development.”
Borno State Deputy Governor, Umar Usman Kadafur, Secretary to the State Government, Bukar Tijjani, the Vice Chancellor, Borno State University, Head of Service, Barrister Mallam Fannami, Special Advisers and other officials were in attendance during the brief ceremony.