By Joseph Erunke
FORMER Vice President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, has said former United States President, George Bush Jnr and the former United Kingdom Prime Minister, Tony Blair, greatly influenced his passion for the development of education in Nigeria.
Same, speaking, in Abuja, when he was inaugurated into the Board of Trustees of Baze University, said the passionate positions of both former leaders tremendously propelled his desire to work for the improvement of the education system in the country.
The ex-Vice President explained that his brief journey to the United States in 2006 to attend a conference on housing development, afforded him the opportunity to watch the two former leaders’ campaign agendas, which he recalled, focusing primarily on the improvement of education in the two western nations.
According to him, the experience he gathered from the campaign issues thrown by the two leaders, drew him closer to education.
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He said: “When they approached me that I should come and be Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Baze University, I did not hesitate. I immediately accepted, and the reason being that anything that has to do with education, for me, I’m always ready to accept.
“I always tell a story of how sometimes, in 2006, when George Bush Jnr. was campaigning to be the president of the United States of America, and I was in Dallas attending a conference on housing development, and he came to give his address then as Governor of Texas. When he came, he spent almost 30 minutes talking about what he would do to improve education in the United States of America.
“And on my coming back, there was this another campaign by Tony Blair in the United Kingdom and part of their major issues was what they would do to improve western education there in the United Kingdom.
“When I came back, I said if they can devote their time and campaign on issues of education in countries that have gone far in education, then what about Nigeria. Since then, I made it a point that whatever the country would do in addressing the problems of education, that I would participate with all my efforts,” he said.
Sambo, while thanking the authorities of Baze University for finding him and other new members of the Board of Trustees worthy to serve in the private university, assured that they would bring their experiences to bear in the institution.
He particularly expressed gratitude to the Founder and Pro-Chancellor of Baze University, Alhaji Dr Datti Baba Ahmed for finding them worthy to contribute to the development of the school.
“On behalf of the members of the Board of Trustees, I want to assure you that we will put all our efforts, experience and whatever we have to ensure the development of Baze University,” he said.
On his part, the Founder and Pro-chancellor of Baze University, Alhaji Datti Baba-Ahmed, while describing the new board members as “individuals the society has become so satisfied with”, said the institution was fortunate to have them as members of the Board of Trustees.
“We are fortunate to have sought the attention of these successful,high-valued individuals to serve on the Board of Trustees. I count this as a major milestone to have these accomplished, high individuals who accepted to look our way to serve on our board.
“These are accomplished people who ordinarily many high profile events and activities are competing for their time yet Baze University was able to get their attention to get their kind acceptance to be with us.
“The service they are going to offer is not for the proprietor of Baze University, the service they are going to offer is actually not for the Baze University Community but for the nation and for humanity entirely,” he said.