Ibb Dragged To Okija, Begs Nig Youths
…Akpabio, Oyinlola Avoid Him
Former Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was yesterday dragged to the ancient city of Okija. Typical of the Maradona that he is, the former army general meandered his way to Madonna University Okija, carefully avoiding the dreaded Okija shrine.
IBB as the former president is fondly called was in the city to receive a honourary doctorate degree in law from Madonna University, Okija, Anambra state, at a special convocation ceremony of the institution.
Speaking on the topic; youth training for leadership, the former military president extolled the Nigerian youths, while also advocating for proper training that will equip the Nigerian youths to excel in leadership as they are looked upon as the leaders of tomorrow.
According to IBB, “I believe that the Nigerian youths have made tremendous contributions to the development of Nigeria, and training for the youths would help the country to ensure that those it would leave its affairs in their hands would be capable of handling it.”
IBB cited the example of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein who at the ages of 24 and 26 invented the camcorder and relativity and browning motion respectively. He also reminded that the popular on-net friendship site, Facebook is the handiwork of a youth. He expressed strong optimism that the Nigerian youth if properly trained would surpass the achievement of those listed.
Though IBB carefully avoided making political statements, but onlookers viewed his remarks as apology to the youths who he had reportedly dismissed as not capable of shouldering the responsibility of leadership during the early days of the declaration of his presidential ambition.
The ceremony of the special convocation of the Madonna University started behind schedule, guests were no less excited when the retired general stormed the arena at about 1:10pm in a convoy of 28 exotic wonders on wheels. The intimidating presence of mean looking security men who flooded the arena also told much of the personality present.
Meanwhile, except for the host governor, Mr. Peter Obi who was in attendance, other government functionaries, including the duo of Chief Godswill Akpabio, governor of Akwa Ibom State and his Osun State counterpart, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola who were also billed to receive honourary doctorate awards in Political Science distanced themselves from the occasion.
Our correspondent gathered that they intentionally boycotted the occasion so as not to be seen as allies of Babangida. Representatives of both governors stated strong reasons for their absence, but were however not honoured in proxy as it is the policy of the university not to honoured absentee recipients. It would be recalled that Chief Akpabio had a month ago been linked to IBB, but he came out openly to denounce any form of affiliation with the self acclaimed evil genius.
Earlier, the Pro Chancellor of the institution, Very Reverend Father Emmanuel Mathew Paul Ede denounced any form of political undertone in the award of the degree. He stated that the institution decided to honour Babangida for all his contribution towards the setting up of the school from the time he was the president.
He stated further that IBB it was who liberalized private ownership of both media outfits and universities, when he approved the setting up of Madonna university in 1993, making it the first ever private owned university to take off in the country.| Article source