Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has commended the establishment of the Al-Istiqama University in Kano, saying such an endeavour has huge potential to impact people in a significant and positive way.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving on a courtesy call a delegation from the new university led by the founder, Hon. Suleiman A. Kawu Sumaila, OFR, a former member of the House of Representatives and later Presidential Liaison at the National Assembly.
“This may be the most important thing you can do; you will impact a lot of people. God has given you this opportunity to do this,” Prof. Osinbajo told the founder and others in the delegation, even as they requested that the VP, being an accomplished academic himself, should mentor leaders of the new institution.
Expressing excitement about the prospects of the new university (which, according to the delegation, has registered close to 500 students permissible for the school already), the VP prayed that “you make this a unique opportunity, impact the students so much that they won’t just be the beneficiaries alone, but the nation too.”
While noting the important assignment of (running) a university, the Vice President then urged the university management to pay attention to issues of funding, stating that “university funding is very expensive.”
Prof. Osinbajo recalled his experience as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Redeemers University, Ede and also cited the establishment of Crescent University, Abeokuta, both of which are faith-based universities, emphasising the significance of funding to make the idea of a private university successful.
At the meeting the Vice President also urged Nigerians generally to continue to be respectful to each other. He added that “we must teach tolerance,” avoiding situations where people take hard positions as such could be divisive.
“We need to respect each other, it’s so important, ” Prof. Osinbajo stressed while also admonishing that “the love of country is so important.”
Earlier the founder of the faith-based Al-Istiqama University, Hon. Sumaila, told the VP that he learnt a lot from him while serving as Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House).
“You are a role model. We want to benefit from your experience as an academic,” he observed while disclosing that the university is located in a rural setting in Sumaila, about 80km from Kano. He added that 100 students in the University have already received scholarships from eminent philanthropists in Kano.
Among the Al-Istiqama University delegation were several academics, including the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Salisu Shehu, a Professor of Educational Psychology, who was previously with the Department of Education, Bayero University, Kano.
According to the University’s VC, “as a faith-based university, we share the world view that God is integral,” adding that there is a need to bring back religious education. He also described the VP as “an accomplished academic, an accomplished leader, and we see you as a leader.”
The Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila (AUSU), is a privately-owned university in Kano State, Nigeria. It is officially accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC). “The mission of the University is to encourage global study, experiential learning and research, interdisciplinary scholarship, creativity and entrepreneurial endeavours with ultimate fear of Allah,” according to its website.