Governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum has called for a robust partnership between his government and the alumni association of a prestigious secondary school in Nigeria, Barewa College, Zaria on ways to revitalize the failing education system in northern Nigeria.
Governor sought such synergies intervention on Friday when he hosted the top leadership of the Barewa Old Boys Association(BOBA) at a courtesy call in his office at the government house Maiduguri.
The members of BOBA led by eminent personalities including the Sultan of Sokoto, the former chief army staff, Always Kazir, and a host of others were in Maiduguri to attend the association’s annual get-together scheduled to hold on Saturday, November 26.
Governor Zulum said he was “delighted that the prestigious BOBA is hosting their annual get-together in the ancient city of Maiduguri, and for bringing eminent Nigerians including the Sultan of Sokoto into our midst today.”
Promising to attend both the lecture session and the evening public dinner as a mark of respect to the association and the elder statesmen that form its membership, also wanted to explore other synergizing avenues of value-adding engagement.
The governor said he was particularly interested in the theme of the annual conference which is ‘Challenge of leadership and governance, looking inwards and falling back on indigenous knowledge’.
“After the lectures and dinner, I want to let you know that my doors are opened to further explore a working relationship with you. We want to see how we can leverage your experiences for the development of our nation; especially we want to partner with you on how we can develop our education system.
“Another area of partnership with BOBA is to see how we can do intense advocacy on a very important issue, which is job creation. We have to create jobs for our people. We have abundant land resources, yet over 70 per cent of our youths are unemployed and jobless. We want to partner with you by leveraging your membership in your association we are eminent Nigerians who can knock on doors. We have to work hard now so that our younger ones can have a better means of livelihood.
“These problems of Boko Haram and other criminalities that we are facing in this part of the nation are a result of self-inflicted poverty.”
The governor also called on the leadership on the need to do the needful.
“Once there is no leadership, nothing meaningful can be achieved. As leaders, we must ensure discipline and accountability, and above all, we must ensure monitoring and evaluation of activities under our leadership and domain. Without that nothing can be achieved.
He noted, finally, that although he is not an alumnus of BOBA, he would be proud to partner with the association in the areas of helping it to meet set goals and objectives.
BOBA has many indigenes of Borno state, including Senator Abubakar Kyari, the current deputy national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who led the pack of BOBA alumni in the state to the courtesy visit.
Earlier, the national president of BOBA, thanked the Governor for providing every logistical support including accommodations, venue of the conference, vehicles, meals and enabling environment for the association to host its first-ever meeting in the northeast subregion.
Established in 1921, as Katsina College, before it metamorphosed to its present name, Barewa College has produced five Nigerian presidents and about 20 governors, amongst other prominent national figures that served and are still serving the nation.
Among the list are Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of Northern Nigeria from 1954 to 1966; Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa, Prime Minister of Nigeria from 1960 to 1961; Gen. Murtala Mohammed, Military President from 1975 to 1976;
Gen. Yakubu Gowon(retd.) Military President from 1966 to 1975; Shehu Shagari, President of Nigeria from 1979 to 1983; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of Nigeria from 2007 to 2010; Mallam Adamu Ciroma, 3-time Minister (Industries; Agriculture; and Finance); Senator (Prof.) Jubril Aminu – 2-time Minister (Education; Petroleum and Mineral Resources); Umaru Dikko – Minister of Transportation; Ibrahim Mahmud Alfa, Ex-Governor of Kaduna State; Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State; Dr. Orji Uzor-Kalu, Ex-Governor of Abia State; Mohammed Bello – (current) Minister of FCT; Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau (retd.) current) Minister of Interior; Air Commodore Ibrahim Alkali(retd, – Ex-Military Governor of Kwara State; Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi – Ex-Minister of Education; Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi – Former Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN); Hon. Justice Uwais – Former Chief Justice of Nigeria; Hon. Justice Mohammed Bello, Former Chief Justice of Nigeria; and Senator Abubakar Kyari, 2-times Northern Borno Senator among others.