From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has commended the Sokoto State University for the conferment of a posthumous honorary degree to late Marafan Sokoto, Alhaji Umaru Ali Shinkafi.
Governor Bagudu made the commendation at the convocation ceremony of the state university on Saturday when the institution successfully graduated about 1,473 students, of which 36 graduated with First-Class Degrees.
The university held its Maiden Combined 1st, 2nd and 3rd Convocation Ceremony for the 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 Academic Sessions.
The governor said that the gesture was not in anyway misplaced as the late Marafan Sokoto was an epitome of humility, scholarship, piety and patriotism.
‘Let me join Her Excellency on behalf of Marafan Sokoto family in thanking the university and the visitor, the Governor of Sokoto State, Rt Hon Aminu Tambuwal, for the magnanimous recognition and award of the posthumous degree to late Marafan Sokoto, Alhaji Ali Shinkafi,’ he said.
Governor Bagudu noted that the university has proven its mettle, stating: ‘I am hereby directing the state Ministry of Higher Education to liaise with the management of the institution and brainstorm on how the Kebbi State Government can advance more support to it.’
Responding shortly after receiving the Honorary Degree on behalf of her late father, Dr Zainab Bagudu Shinkafi, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor, said that ‘Marafan is a firm believer in the power of education to transform the development of our dear nation.’
According to the Kebbi First Lady, he was also committed to the educational development of Nigeria, especially the education of the girl child .
Dr Bagudu announced the endowment of a N5 million naira to the Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies of the university, under the Umaru Shinkafi Education Endowment Foundation.
The wife of the Kebbi State Governor also announced a N250,000 prize for the best graduating student in Arabic and Islamic studies, Political Science as well as N 250,000 prize each for the best female graduating student in Basic Sciences and Microbiology in order to promote girl child education as well as to develop science engineering technology and medicine.
Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, on behalf of the family of the late Marafan Sokoto, expressed gratitude to the university for the honor bestowed on her father, saying, ‘we are humbled and delighted beyond words for the award to late Marafan Sokoto,’ she said.
Speaking at the event, the Visitor to the University, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said that the day provided an opportunity for the celebration of academic excellence.
‘Education remains the pivotal sector of Sokoto State Government to achieve the desired level of development of the state in the political, economic, scientific and technological spheres,’ the Sokoto governor stated.
‘From 2015 to date, the sector has been getting the largest shares of the annual budgets of the state and we will sustain this happy tempo.’
Governor Tambuwal announced the renaming of the Senate Building after the late Marafan Sokoto, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, the former Pro-Chancellor, as well as the renaming of the library after his late predecessor, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, Magatakarda Babba.
Governor Tambuwal commended the former state governor, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, for his foresight and vision in establishing the university.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, thanked Wamakko for establishing the university, praising lauded Tambuwal for sustaining it to its present position.
The Sultan also appealed to the management of the institution to, among other things, set up the Faculty of Sokoto Caliphate Studies in order to broaden the study of the myriad literature written by the founders of the Sokoto Caliphate over 200 years ago.
He also commended the university for the posthumous award of a honorary degree to late Marafan Sokoto.