By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
An alumnus of the University of Maiduguri and Permanent Secretary in the Borno state civil service, Mairo Bunu Lawan, had on Tuesday presented a memorandum to the University of Maiduguri’s Presidential Visitation Panel, seeking a recommendation to have a Convocation Representative back on the Governing Council of the University.
The Convocation representative has not been part of the last two Governing Council of the university.
The Universities Miscellaneous Provision Amended Act 2012 provides that a Governing Council for each university must comprise, amongst others, one member of proven integrity, knowledge be appointed by Convocation.
The status explains that Convocation is membered by all graduates of the university as well as teachers in the university.
Mrs Bunu Lawan who was making a case on behalf of the UNIMAID Alumni Association lamented that the Convocation has not been represented in the governing council of the university during the 2011 and 2016 inauguration of the council. Security reasons were cited as excuses for not conducting the elections that would have produced a Convocation Representative in the Governing Council.
Presenting a non-corporate memorandum on the matter to the secretary of the Presidential Visitation Panel, Mrs Bunu-Lawan, said her association which has eminent Nigerians, including the current senate president, Ahmed Lawan, as members, has not been able to field a representative in the last two governing councils.
“Convocation is expected to elect one representative to represent it on the Governing Council to make meaningful contributions,” said Mrs Bunu-Lawan, a permanent secretary in the Borno state civil service.
“Regrettably, however, Convocation did not have a representative on the council of the University of Maiduguri during the periods under review. It is against this background that I deemed it pertinent to write and intimate the Presidential Visitation Panel and the Visitor to the University, Mr President, about this unfortunate development and urge the panel to recommend that this vital body is represented on the next governing council.”
It is on record that when the governing council was about to be appointed in 2011, security reason was cited then as an excuse for not conducting the election for the Convocation Representative. The then management went ahead to inaugurate the Council without a representation from the Convocation. The status quo was maintained in the subsequent constitution of the university’s council.
Mrs Bunu-Lawan who was a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award of the UNIMAID Alumni Association in 2019, argued that it is no longer excusable to cite insecurity as a reason for denying the Convocation its right to be in the Council.
“Let the security situation in Maiduguri and its environs not be used as an excuse in summoning Convocation Meetings for electing its representatives,” she said.
The Permanent secretary argued further that “general elections were successfully conducted in the State by INEC within these periods; and recently, the Borno state Independent Electoral Commission (BOSIEC) had also successfully conducted Local Government Election in the state. Therefore, there is no convincing reason not to conduct an election for such enlightened members, who are expected to conduct themselves with high sense of responsibility.”
Mrs Bunu-Lawan who was also a former Accountant General of Borno state noted that the university may have suffered a lack o meaningful contributions and supports from its alumni due to lack of representation at the Governing Council. She listed some of the eminent alumni to include serving and former governors, about 17 senators, including the current senate president; the current minister of agriculture and minister of state works; the former chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai; and former Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar; the NNPC Group Managing Director, the Acting Inspector General of Police as well as the vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Aliyu Shugaba.