From Tom Garba,Yola
The American University of Nigeria Yola,(AUN) at the weekend marked its 10th annual Founder’s Day during which the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to reform the education sector to ensure that no single youth in the country is left uneducated through the provision of access to free universal basic education, as it is the most possible way to reduce all kinds of insurgency.
Atiku, in his speech at the event, said the country had done a poor job in handling its natural resource endowment and therefore should not squander its human resource as he called for education reform which will make government at all levels to provide free and universal basic education.
In his keynote address entitled “Beyond Terrorism: The Need For Education Reform”, the Turaki Adamawa, urged President Buhari and all stakeholders in the All Progressives Party, (APC) which has taken control of the federal government, to see the change in government, as an opportunity given to it to right the country’s leadership.
Stressing that past leadership had done a poor job in handling available resource, he said that the new administration must recognise that education holds the key “otherwise we may squander our human resource much as we have squandered our natural resource endowment.”
Lauding the government’s effort at containing the activities of the insurgents which he noted has been targeted at western education by the terrorist, he stressed the need for government to focus its attention on providing free universal basic education.
He noted that through education reforms supporting access to qualitative education to all its youths, “we can be able to disabuse the minds of our youths who unleash terror,” adding that nothing can justify the killing of any individual.
“We can ask them to drop their guns and take up other means of productive activities, because this mindless killings of others through insurgency cannot be justified,” he said.
Atiku said “we must pester government to provide free and basic universal education that we will ensure that not one youth is uneducated,” stressing that “in the same vein government must ensure universities do not become a bastion of the privileged but a place for hope.”
He said as the nation takes the arduous road to reconciliation and reconstruction after the insurgency, these measures must be made to span borders.
Ms Margee Ensign, AUN president in her address lauded the commitment of the founder, saying the institution which reflects the ideals of the founder to development will continue to offer world-class education to Nigeria and African youths.
Some members of staff received awards for their contributions towards the growth of the institution, which Atiku, observed “was difficult to know it is in its tenth year.”
From Tom Garba,Yola