Nsukka (Enugu State) – Former Governor of Kano State Malam Ibrahim Shekarau says it is unfair for any government to owe pensioners who worked for many years to serve their fatherland.
Shekarau said this in Nsukka on Saturday while delivering a lecture entitled ‘Nation-Building : The Role of Human Development and Good Governance’.
It was at the maiden alumni homecoming/reunion of the school of postgraduate studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka.
He said to encourage nation-building, pensioners who sacrificed major part of their lives to serve their fatherland should be accorded respect and paid their pension regularly to spur other civil servants to put in their best.
“To me as a person, it is unfair for government, be it federal or state, to owe pensioners who served their fatherland with all their strength and youthful age.
“it’s unfortunate that majority of these ‘senior citizens’ are suffering because they are owned arrears of pension.
“it is the respect I have for pensioners that made me, as soon as l assumed office as governor of Kano state to clear all arrears owed pensioners.
” Throughout my administration, no pensioner was owed even one month and the record is there for anybody to verify,” he said
Shekarau, who was also a former Minister of Education, said for nation building to thrive, there must be adequate security, quality education and social justice as well as patriotism that would be a propelling force.
“it is impossible to get required nation building and good governance in absence of security of lives and property quality education as well as patriotism.
“Education plays vital role in nation development. that is why it is said that “no nation can rise beyond the level of its education.”
“Corruption, economic mismanagement, political instability and lack of internal party democracy are enemies of good governance.”
The former governor urged politicians to always put the interest of the country first by being patriotic and avoid corruption in all its ramifications.
” it was as result of sacrifice and patriotism that made it possible for our forefathers to secure independence for the country.
“Our problem today is that, majority of our politicians and leaders put their own interest first and lack patriotism that drives nation building and good governance.”
The former Minister of education expressed appreciation to UNN school of postgraduate for finding him worthy to deliver it’s first alumni homecoming lecture.
“UNN is one of the universities in the country that is highly respected because of its academic excellence, I feel humbled to be found worthy to deliver this lecture.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, said the main mission.of the institution’s post graduate school was to produce high level manpower for leadership and national development.
He was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Prof. Charles Igwe.
“Over the years, the school’s teeming alumni may not know the whereabouts of one other, because after graduation, the chain of unity is broken and everybody goes his or her way.
” This home coming and reunion event also present the super lions and lionesses the opportunity for self rediscovery and to reunite.
“I am aware of the urgent need of the school to have befitting building or remodeling of the existing one, It is my hope that our guests will help us to achieve this urgent need,” he said.
Speaking, the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof.Patience Osadebe, said that the school organised the home coming to interface with the alumni of the postgraduate school.
She said that the school had produced distinguished Nigerians at top positions in various fields of human endeavor.
” We call on the alumni to assist the school to complete the new PG school building stalled over 10 years ago due to paucity of fund.as present postgraduate building in use was built 40 years ago,” she said.
Earlier in a remark, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, of the event Prof. Florence Orabueze, said the homecoming was also to celebrate alumni who graduated from the postgraduate school and to welcome them back to the “den” which many of them left many years ago.
“We are using this homecoming to draw attention to the critical situation of the postgraduate school donated to the university, 40 years ago by late Chief Augustine Ilodibe, the Managing Director of Ekene Dili Chukwu transport
“UNN postgraduate school that has produced over one hundred thousand super lion and lionesses that occupy top positions in various sectors of the economy within the country and outside deserve a befitting building, ” she said.
Highpoint of the occasion was excellent award to 30 alumuni of UNN school of postgraduate (NAN