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By Nnamdi Ojiego

The Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum’s Special Adviser on Public Relations and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau, yesterday, obtained a Masters’ Degree (MA) in Media and Public Relations with the highest classification of Distinction at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

Unlike Nigerian Universities which only classify graduate degrees, UK Universities classify Masters degrees starting with Pass classification for ‘C’ students, Merit for ‘B’ students, and Distinction for ‘A’ students.

Gusau had in 2020 requested one-year study leave which was graciously granted by Professor Zulum after which he moved to the UK in September 2020, from where he was overseeing the governor’s media activities daily by remotely working with his colleagues, coordinating his own office with daily inputs on publicity materials, working with and mentoring dozens of social-media associates and bloggers, and relating with more than a hundred journalists while also studying at the University of Leicester.

The University of Leicester has 100 years of history and it is one of the UK’s highly respected academic institutions where only extreme commitments result in students graduating with the highest grades after every module’s assessment undergoes simultaneous double markings by different lecturers whose different gradings must reasonably tally on each grade before marks are approved by academic boards.

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Yesterday’s graduation ceremony was held at a famous De Montfort Hall, around the University of Leicester’s campus in Leicester city. The graduation was held in person for the first time since the pandemic.

Gusau had previously obtained a Bachelors’ Degree with the highest classification of First-Class in Media, Public Relations and Advertising from Middlesex University in London. He holds another Masters’ Degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Labour and Public Relations from the University of Maiduguri. He also holds OND and HND in Mass Communication from the Kaduna Polytechnic where he had hit 4.35 out of 5.0 in his final semester examinations.

The PR expert also holds certificates from campus-based courses on Leadership and Persuasive Communication at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States; on Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education in Cambridge, UK; on Reputation Branding, Media Relations and Political Campaigns and Communication at Thompson Reuters in New York, United States. He had at different times, undertaken intensive online certificated courses organised by Harvard University on Communication Strategies, and Crisis Communication.

Mallam Gusau had also attended dozens of other media relations, communication and journalism courses within and outside Nigeria. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, UK; the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations; the Public Relations and Communications Association, PRCA, UK; the International Public Relations Association, UK and the African Public Relations Association.

The Special Adviser to Governor Zulum had attended several conferences, summits and bilateral meetings across 18 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa for purposes of government-media relations, professional networking, training and journalistic reporting. He had, at different times, visited 16 states across the United States for similar purposes.

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