NSUK Registrar, Bala Ahmed II displays the award plaque
Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) on this year’s United Nations’ International Day of Education was presented with a recognition as Most Peaceful State Owned University in Nigeria, by International Association of World Peace Advocates,(IAWPA). Apex News Exclusive covered the event, and was privileged to get the impression of the Registrar of the university, Bala I Ahmed II. The experienced scholar, a veteran journalist who was also awarded for his enormous contribution to sustainable peace in the university as Peace Ambassador, bares his mind on the scorecard of the university. He attributed to the fact that present peaceful status of the university is not an original state of the affairs, it is a product of conscious management strategy rooted from strict ahderence due process and regulations
He spoke to Samuel Torlumun, editor
NSUK has earned another feat at global stage, been adjudged the most peaceful among the comity of state universities in Nigeria. How impressive is this to you?
I will first and foremost give thanks to Almighty God for making this day possible because He determines how everything works out.
Secondly, I must say with joy that this recognition is well accepted, it is awesome and as you said it is landmark to NSUK in particular and Nasarawa State in general. I feel very elated with this recognition and award, first to the university as an institution and to my humble self and other members of the staff of the university.
The fact that International Association of World Peace Advocates, (IAWPA) initiated this project, NSUK happens to be the first university in Nigeria to be so recognized. This will go a long way in making the management of this university to sit up to do more. It is a recognition done in realization of what the university has accomplished over the years. And when they were doing their survey on how to come up with the most peaceful state owned university in Nigeria, they never contacted us, we never knew about them. What we got to know was when they came here to announce the result of the survey. And during the award presentation you see how the international spokesman came up with the indices they have used. This is very commendable and every member of NSUK community is happy.
What are you doing differently to have deserved this?
It is very simple. We didn’t just get up and get ourselves in this position of local and international recognitions. It is a planned thing. It is management by strategy. We believe that everything we are going to be doing here is being done within the ambit of regulations and law. We believe in due process, ensuring that every of our actions is guided by due diligence and the rule of law. You must have noticed that, year in year out, the university continuously attracted attention both local and international.
So things we have done differently are propellers of this success. For instance, you can not be involved in exam malpractice and you go scot free. The students and staff are aware of that. Whoever that is involved, there are no sacred cows.
Secondly, what we have been doing differently especially under the leadership of Prof. Bala Muhammed, the present Vice Chancellor (VC) is to ensure that due process is followed in every action we are taking. We have launched the whistle blowing policy and have encouraged students to say it when they hear it. And students have been reporting. We are against marks for sex. We are against intimidation on the side of students. We are the most students’ friendly institution. And we encourage every staff of this institution to give student his due and his rights. This is because the overall objective of this university is to train, and you don’t just train buildings, you train human beings. Our major resource is the student. Once the students are not here, we will not be here too.
Indirectly, they are our employers, so we have to treat them like parents. God has given us this role to cater for these children, mode character, and to ensure that we nurture them to take over leadership of this great country tomorrow.
So we are training leaders to take over from us.
Above all, through this nurturing or leadership perspective, you will discover that, just of recent, our staff have emerged leaders of other institutions. So today, NSUK is seen as a grooming ground for leadership in other Nigerian universities.
Just recently, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Prof Akinwumi has been appointed the VC of Federal University, Lokoja. Also our trained Professor, Rahaman has been appointed VC, Federal University Lafia. Just recently too, Deputy Bursar of the university, who applied and attended interview, has been appointed the Bursar of Federal University, Lokoja.
Recently again, two staff in the registry, under me, have been appointed as registrars of Nasarawa State Polytechnics, Lafia, and College of Science and Agriculture, Lafia. That’s not all, recently, a Deputy Librarian in the university has been appointed Chief Librarian at the state polytechnic Lafia. So as you can see, we are nurturing and producing leaders for other institutions. So this is a giant stride the university is making as a result of doing things differently.
This recognition comes in two phases which you’re all part of; as a Peace Ambassador, how do you translate this message of peace in your personal capacity, out the university community?
It is all about leadership by example. Yes, once you are a leader, the followers will watch your foot steps, to see those things you do rightly, and those you may not be doing correctly. And many number of them will copy those things you do. So our responsibility to our society and community is that we should continue to be the best example of being honest, being accountable and to demonstrate integrity in every sense of the world, in our actions, in our relationships with people, be it our elders, age mate, and younger ones. To give back to the society what you have taken from the society.
We are here to built capacity; we are here to build the younger generation. So our duty here is to assist the entire community to build itself because education is the key to overall development of the community, society and the nation. We are here to make sure that qualified candidates from Nasarawa State, Nigeria and other countries are fairly treated in getting slots for admission. And to make sure that it is only qualified persons that are examined through due process of examination that can carry up our certificate
How are going to improve on this peace status being conferred to the university by IAWPA this year?
We are already talking with the VC and the SUG that, what has happened today should even propel us further to see that we entrenched and develop peace and communality in the university. Very soon, through the SUG, we will come up with Peace Ambassadors of the university so that the culture of peace is further entrenched in our psyche, in our thinking, our activities and even our interaction with the students and the immediate community.
We will use the forum of dissemination of information through your platforms (Apex news) through your outreach. We will continue to render services through this advocacy of living in peace with one another, irrespective of religion, cultural diversity and social difference.
You can see in this university, we don’t tolerate any form of discrimination, be it religious, ethnic or cultural. As long as you remain a student or staff of this university, it is irrespective of where you come from, irrespective of the religion you profess or culture you advance.