Why the voice of Convocation in UNIMAID Governing Council is crucial – Mairo

Mario Bunu-Lawan, Borno Perm Sec, Ministry of Water Resources

Former Accountant General of Borno state, Mairo Bunu-Lawan, was recently in the news for yet another good reason. The award-winning public servant and permanent secretary in the Borno state Civil service, last week, led a powerful delegation of University of Maiduguri Alumni to present a memo to the Presidential Visitation Panel to the University where she made a landmark recommendation.

Mrs Bunu-Lawan wants the PVP to endorse her recommendation that the Convocation representative seat should be in the next UNIMAID Governing Council.

It is on record that the Governing Council did not have a representative of the Convocation in the last two regimes.

The Permanent Secretary presented the memo in response to the call by the Presidential Visitation Panel for concerned stakeholders to come forward with memorandum that could improve the University.

Mrs Bunu-Lawan who commended President Muhammadu Buhari “for his foresight in constituting the Panel”, said the visitation panel and their membership composition was commendable.

The Permanent Secretary said she is an Alumna of University of Maiduguri where she obtained her first degree in Accounting, Postgraduate Diploma in Management as well as Masters Degree in Business Administration.

She is also a recipient of the “Outstanding Achievement Award” of the National Body of the Alumni in November 2019.

“I deemed it necessary to call on the Visitation Panel and the University Management to ensure that the voice of such an important body is heard on the next Governing Council.

She emphasized that having representative of the Convocation is in line with with one of requirements of the Universities Miscellaneous Provisions Amendment Act, 2012 which buttresses the need to give voice to the Convocation, “which will add great value to the growth and development of UNIMAID.

The former Accountant General observed with concerns that “in the two previous Governing Councils, the Convocation which is made up of all graduates of the university and those with degrees from other Universities working in Unimaid, did not have any representative.”

“The University of Maiduguri has produced great ambassadors in various positions of influence that can add value to the university if represented at the University Governing Council.

“As a matter of fact, alumni of University includes the Senate president, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, Minister of Justice Dr. Abubakar Malami, Minister of State Agriculture Mustapha Shehuri, that of works Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, the NNPC Group Managing Director Kyari Kolo Mele, as well as five serving Governors of Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno and Niger States in addition to Deputy Governors of Borno and Yobe.

“Others include the immediate past chief of Army Staff General Buratai, chief of air staff Sadiq Abubakar, the Acting Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali as well as many serving and former Vice-Chancellors of Universities including, Professor Aliyu Shugaba.”

“As an advocate of Freedom, Gender as well as Women and Child Rights, for the council to work without the voice of this important component is not only a disservice to Members of the Convocation, but to these great Alumni, including those in Diaspora.

In 2011 and 2015, the management of the University had cited insecurity as reason for not convking a meeting of the alumni where elections for the Convocation rep would been conducted.

To that excuse, Mrs Bunu-Lawan pointed out that “insecurity should not be used as an excuse not to hold election for Convocation.”

“In view of the relative peace achieved in the state which paved the way for both INEC and BOSIEC to successfully conduct elections into various elective offices for National and State as well as for Chairmen and Councilors respectively,” she said.

Mrs Mairo Bunu Lawan, is an Alumna of the University, a member of the Convocation and founder of Kumbal Support Initiative. She is also the Permanent Secretary Borno State Ministry for Water Resources.

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