• Ekanem Ibokessien

Northern Nigeria Youths Endorse Ritman University

The Arewa Consultative Youth Assembly (ACYA) has presented certificate of credence to Ritman University (in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State) recognizing it as the “Most Outstanding Private University in Nigeria”. This umbrella body of Northern Nigeria youths also gave the institution’s Vice Chancellor – Prof Celestine Ntuen – the Sir Ahmadu Bello Platinum Leadership Award.

Moreover, the group turbaned Prof Ntuen as Garkuwan Matasan Arewa Najeriya (Shield of Northern Nigeria Youths) and inducted him into the Arewa Youths Hall of Fame on 21st November, 2016.

Also honoured by ACYA was the university’s Proprietor, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, whom the group said has delivered many Nigerian youths from the shackles of ignorance and illiteracy.

Speaker of ACYA, Hon. Dogo Shagari, said that Prof Ntuen is symbolic of a true Nigeria where unity, love, integrity, fairness, compassion and brotherhood rules, in addition to being a true representation of Sir Ahmadu Bello’s teaching that everyone irrespective of religion or tribe should have absolute liberty to practice his belief according to the dictates of his conscience.

In his citation of the recipient, Hon Ahmed Ibrahim, ACYA’s Director of Research and Documentation asserted that “Ritman University has been described as a model, benchmark and reference point, the most dynamic, progressive and fastest growing human resources factory of all other universities in Africa”. He described Prof Ntuen as “an acknowledged scholar, prolific author, eminent teacher and researcher… an academic of deep intellectual vision with profound commitment to the ideals and objectives of university mission”.

Responding, the Vice Chancellor appreciated the gesture and called on all to support the anti-corruption stance of President Buhari. He urged Nigerian youths to desist from taking laws into their hands but to help solve Nigeria’s problems through education, participation in the political process and entrepreneurship. He said the award was a befitting tribute to Sir Ahmadu Bello, a selfless and engaging politician who lived and died in service of Nigeria.

He disclosed that Ritman University plans to establish a Youth Development Centre and encouraged Arewa Youths to work with his university in planning and executing youth-related programmes and conferences.

In his acceptance speech, Senator Essien expressed willingness to help Nigerian Youths take over leadership of the nation, noting that most of the people who fought for Nigeria’s independence were young people.

Edidiong Esara, 23/11/2016

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