|Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar|
Reeling out staggering data on the deplorable state of socio-economic life in the North, Alhaji Abubakar said there were more than 2.5 million out-of-school children (popularly called Almajiri) in some states in the North.
He explained that the figure is higher than those enrolled in school in some states.
In the Sultan’s view, poor socio-economic factors help terrorism thrive because the youth are not gainfully engaged and their minds are not developed.
According to him, insurgency has left over two million people displaced, with implications on health, social infrastructure and security.
To overcome the challenge, the UI Chancellor said Nigeria must focus on increasing school enrollment, training youths in acquisition of skills and opening up opportunities for skilled labour.
Emphasising that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, Alhaji Abubakar described terrorists as “deluded individuals who are hiding under religion to perpetrate evil”.
He urged the UI to lead in the training of youths in character building and researches that can expose practical steps in dealing with society’s challenges.
The Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ayelari Emilolorun , who read the valedictory speech of the outgoing VC, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the institution awarded 456 doctorate degrees from 12 faculties and institutes this year. According to him, the figure is unrivalled in Africa.
He said his administration focused on staff welfare, infrastructural development and security to enable the university deliver on its mandate of quality training and research.
Adewole said there were already 219 linkages with several universities all over the world with 19 others in the pipeline.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, stressed the need to move energy source thermal to solar, saying the government was arranging with some companies in the United Kingdom (UK) to achieve solar energy production.
Buhari added that there were plans for self-sustenance in rice production to achieve food security instead of relying on importation.
The main focus of his administration, he said, is the common man.
Buhari urged universities to be sensitive to developments around the world to enable them key into them to make better impacts.
The Sultan and Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo were awarded honorary doctoral degrees.
After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram’s increasing radicalization led to a violent uprising in July 2009 in which its leader was summarily executed. Its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010, was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks, initially against soft targets, and progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja. The government’s establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of Nigeria,