A member of the University of Maiduguri Alumni Association, Mairo Bunu-Lawan, has submitted a written memo to the Presidential Visitation Panel emphasizing the imperatives of having a Convocation Representative on the Governing Council of the University.
It should be noted that the Universities Miscellaneous ProvisionAmendedd 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.
Members of the UNIMAID Alumni Association have lamented their not being represented in the governing council of the university in the last 10 years.
The members observe with concerns that 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 two Governing Councils.
Presenting a non-corporate memorandum on the matter to the secretary of the Presidential Visitation Panel, Mrs Mairo Bunu-Lawan, who is also a permanent secretary in Botno state civil service, worried that 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.
“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.
“The voices and contributions that these eminent Nigerians who are members of the UNIMAID Convocation can not be ignored; the volume of assistance that they can mobilise for the alma mater cannot be overemphasized as well,” she said.
Mrs Bunu-Lawan applauded President Buhari for “appointing people of impeccable character and commitment as Chairman and members of the Pane.”
She also prayed to Allah to grant them the wisdom to discharge their duties creditably and justify the President’s confidence in them.
Responding after receiving the Memo presented by the Perm Sec at the secretariat of the Visitation Panel, Ebenezer Ajuola Felix who stood in for Secretary of the Presidential Visitation Panel to University of Maiduguri, thanked Hajiya Mairo Bunu Lawan for “being an active and patriotic citizen, that answers the clarion call of the panel, by submitting a personal memorandum to help improve services of the University.”
He said the panel has received many submissions from individuals and corporate groups on different issues. He assured her that the Panel will do justice to all memoranda.
Mr Felix had also acknowledged the various contributions of Mairo Bunu Lawan to the University, even as he praised her for establishing an NGO “Girl Child Education and Humanitarian Support” to help the less privileged in the society.