18 Feb

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry seriake Dickson says, his
administration settled for the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubarkar Ibn
Umar Garbai El-Kanemi as chancellor of the State owned Niger Delta
University, because of his long and impressive academic, moral and
political profiles as well as the need to build bridges of unity among
the different sections of the country.

Governor Dickson, who stated this, while presenting the letter of
appointment to the Shehu of Borno at a brief ceremony in Abuja, urged
some sections of the country and some highly placed politicians
fanning the embers of ethnic and religious disunity to retrace their
steps and do things that would foster unity.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Edmond
Allison-Oguru, the Bayelsa State Governor traced the history of the
alliance between the north and the south to the first republic and how
the people of Bayelsa have always built bridges instead of walls in a
bid to foster the unity of the nation and integration.
He also brought to the fore, the fact that the alliance is not just an
act of coincidence as the Niger Delta region produced the first
Chancellor of University of Maiduguri, Late Prof. Essien Udom
The Governor stated that, it was only natural for both regions to
continue their symbiotic political relationship, which has been
mutually beneficial to all.

He however noted with regret that, but for the security situation in
the north-east, the ceremony would have held in the comfort of the
Shehu’s palace.

The Bayelsa State Chief Executive used the occasion to task political
and religious leaders in the north on the need to address the security
problems in the zone.

In his acceptance speech, the Shehu thanked the Governor for the
honour, describing the Niger Delta University as the university of the
future, adding that, he will strive to justify the confidence reposed
in him by the Government and people of Bayelsa State in particular and
the South-South region in general.

He emphasized his vision for the growth and development of the NDU to
a world class university as he canvassed the cooperation and support
of all stakeholders.

Also speaking, a former Director-General of the National Institute of
Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Prof. Muhammed Nur Alkali noted
that universities were passing through very difficult times, adding
that, ongoing reforms in the educational sector would help
universities play bigger roles in nation building.

“Our universities must play greater roles in building bridges. This is
a major role we all have to pursue. It is important we stand in
solidarity for the success of the university system,” said Alkali.


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