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Maintaining security requires teamwork,If you see something, say something – Buratai




In a significant development, the Nigerian Army University Biu (NAUB), during its maiden convocation ceremony on Saturday, conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters (honoris causa) on former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Rtd) and Doctor of Law on His Royal Majesty, the Orodje of Okpe and Chairman of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, Major General Felix Mujakperuo Rtd CFR.


Speaking during the occasion on behalf of the duo, Buratai who played a critical role in the establishment of the University in 2018 while he was the COAS, thanked the management of the university for the honour and expressed gratitude to God for seeing him through his 40 years of military career and blessing him with life and good health after retirement.


The former COAS noted that the award will motivate him to further rededicate his life to the service of humanity.


Noting that the Nigerian Army University Biu (NAUB) was established to curtail insecurity in the North-East through education, Buratai urged the management of the university to include in its curriculum, life skills that must be taught to the youths to make them become responsible members of the larger society.


The former Army chief congratulated the graduands and urged them to be excellent representatives of the university.


Buratai commended the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Kyari Mohammed for his diligence, hard work, discipline and prudence in the management of resources of the institution.


He also thanked his successors, the immediate former COAS, Lt.-Gen Faruk Yahaya (Rtd) and the current COAS, Lt.-Gen Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja for maintaining the legacy he laid for the university.




Here is the full acceptance speech…






1. It is my good fortune and privilege to not only address this august gathering, but to also speak on behalf of His Royal Majesty, the Orodje of Okpe and Chairman of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, Major General Felix Mujakperuo Rtd CFR. Your Majesty, I am honoured that you trust me to speak for the two of us as this young, promising and flowering university honours us with its highest degrees. I am also glad to be sharing the same podium with our First Chancellor on the day of his formal investiture and installation. Your Majesty, May your reign be long, peaceful and prosperous. We are therefore excited to accept the award of the degrees of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) and that of Letters (honoris causa) on the Chancellor and my humble self respectively. It is indeed a privilege to be a part of Africa’s first green university, the Nigerian Army University, Biu, particularly on the day of its inaugural convocation. I would like to thank the Pro-Chancellor and members of Council, Lt Gen TA Lagbaja NAM, the Vice Chancellor Prof Kyari Mohammed and members of Senate, and the university community for finding us worthy of these prestigious awards. We understand these degrees automatically confer on us membership of the Alumni Association and Board of Fellows, like good alumni, we promise to be good ambassadors of the university. You have given us additional opportunity to continue our association with, and contributions to this exceptional institution.

2. His Royal Majesty, Gen Felix Mujakperou Rtd CFR is a well-known personality in Nigeria. Although, while in service, I was far junior, because as at the time he retired from Service, I was a Major in rank. I had admired him from far. Fortunately, I was privileged to meet and interact closely with him at his palatial palace in Orerokpe during my visit as then Chief of Army Staff. He is an enigma to behold. A highly respected traditional ruler at home and beyond, Gen Mujakperou personifies excellence right from his time in the Nigerian Defence Academy. In March 1971 he graduated as the Best-All-Round Cadet of the Academy Course 5. A professional Infantry General who saw action in Sierra Leone where he served as the force commander under ECOMOG. I am sure President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a retired general, must have weighted all these in appointing you, out of numerous deserving traditional rulers, as our First Chancellor. We thank the former President for this wise decision.

3. To the Nigerian Army University Biu, it is gratifying to see what has been accomplished in such a short period of only five years. I am confident that those of us who participated in the establishment of the Nigerian Army University Biu, will share my delight at the institution’s outstanding performance.

4. Since the arrival of colonial masters, the people of Biu and, by extension, Borno State, have been leaders and pioneers in educational initiatives throughout the country and beyond. This is because our people recognize the transformative power of education on individuals, their families, villages, and communities. For this reason, throughout contemporary history of this land, families and communities have made significant investments in education. They view it as a means to escape poverty, acquire gainful employment, generate wealth, improve the standard of living, and empower the next generation to live a better life than they did. The insecurity that has been the bane of Nigeria since 2009 has it’s roots in ignorance as a consequence of lack of education by a large section of the society. The decision of the Nigerian Army to establish this university is strategic. It is a long term strategy to to contain insecurity in the North East through education.

5. Yesterday, the Biu Emirate Council, under the skillful leadership of His Royal Highness, Dr Mustapha Umar Mustapha II, CON graciously turbaned me as the Betara of Biu. Today, this university is doing me yet another honor by conferring upon me this doctorate degree of Letters honoris causa. I am grateful to the Almighty Allah for seeing me through my 40-year military career and for blessing me with life and good health after retirement so that I can continue to contribute to the betterment of our fatherland. These two prestigious awards will motivate me to further rededicate my life to the service of humanity.

6. I can’t avoid the thorny issue of security in a forum like this because I come from a military background. Let’s not forget that maintaining security requires teamwork, therefore I’ll remind everyone to heed the maxim, “If you see something, say something.”

7. As I conclude, I urge those in charge of this institution to include in their curriculum the life skills that must be taught to our youths in order for them to become responsible members of the larger society and develop good character, as education is not only about learning but also about character development. It is essential to acquire advanced technical skills, but it is also expedient to have the training and discipline necessary to live in harmony with other members of society. I have in mind skills that foster tolerance for the differing perspectives of others, skills that promote peace, skills that instill ethical behavior in the practice of our profession, and above all, patriotism for our nation. Only by cultivating individuals with a diverse set of talents can we ensure that they will contribute to their own well-being and to that of society.

8. Lastly, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the graduates for earning their degrees. Be excellent representatives of this institution wherever you find yourself. I applaud the sacrifices your parents and guardians have made to support your education. I also applaud the university administration for it’s dedication and sacrifice in achieving today’s success. I must appreciate the Vice Chancellor, Prof Kyari Mohammed for his diligence, hardwork, discipline and prudence in the management of resources. I call him the rescuer of this university following a shaky start during its formative stage. I thank Prof Kyari Muhammed most sincerely.

9. As the foundation Pro-Chancellor, I owe it a duty to thank all my successors who have kept the flame of learning in this unique institution burning. I say thank you Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya Rtd CFR (Zaruman Sokoto) for continuing with this legacy of financial and infrastructural support to NAUB. You continued and upscaled from where I stopped. To Lt Gen TA Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff I say thank you for maintaining the legacy also. Your first word to me when I discussed the university on your assumption of office you said that ‘I will support the NAUB.’ You have kept to your words. You personally approved and signed this honour bestowed on the Chancellor HRM Gen Felix A Mujakperou Rtd and myself. Thank you so much.

10. As a way of reminiscing, I must thank and appreciate members of the Nigerian Army Committee that worked hard, who travelled round the country and to similar universities abroad that eventually led to the establishment of the NAUB. I thank and commend Maj Gen Mathaias Efevbokhan Rtd the chairman of the defunct establishment Committee that was later transformed into the NAUB Transition Committee. Maj Gen Mathaias Efevbokhan Rtd is one gentlemen senior officer who showed commitment, dedication, selflessness, strong will and progressive leadership. I must also appreciate the National Universities Commission, especially its former Executive Secretary NUC, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, who along with then Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, took personal interest in the establishment of this university. The Nigerian Army University owe these two gentlemen and elder statesmen gratitude. Thank you Mallam Adamu Adamu and Professor Rasheed. I must also thank the former ministers of Defence Brig Gen MM Dan-Ali Rtd and Maj Gen BS Magashi Rtd CFR for their leadership of the ministry and the Armed Forces during their tenures as ministers of Defence. Your support to the NAUB is highly appreciated. I welcome the new Ministers of Defence H.E. Muhammad Abubakar Badaru CON and H.E. Mohammed Bello Matawalle CON for their support to NAUB. Let me also on behalf of us the honorees, thank members of the National Assembly for their role in the speedy passage of the bill establishing NAUB and its eventual assent by the President. This is highly appreciated. I must thank Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume and Honourable Mukhtar Aliyu Betara for their continued support to the university especially in the areas of infrastructures. We also appreciate the good people of Biu who have been accommodative to the students and staff of the University who come from all walks of life and different parts of the country. I pay tribute to HRH the late Alhaji Umar Mustahpha Aliyu, during whose eventful reign this university was established. May Allah grant him paradise, Amin. HRH Alh Dr Mustapha Umar Mustapha II CON who assumed the mantle of leadership of the Biu Emirate has continued to support the university. We appreciate you, Your Royal Highness.

11. I will not fail to mention His Excellency Kashim Settima, the current Vice President, who then as the Governor of Borno State, did everything possible to see to the establishment of this university. The 5000-hectare land upon which this university stands was approved and donated to the Nigerian Army University by him. He was personally here to witness the ground-breaking ceremony. We are grateful to his Excellency Senator Kashim Shattima, GCON, the Vice President Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am even happier that his successor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has shown more than passing interest in the affairs of the University. Your Excellency we appreciate your passion for development, education and indeed personal interest in the Nigerian Army University Biu. Your Excellency, your love for the Biu people and the NAUB is highly appreciated.

12. I must also thank former President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, in whose time NAUB was established. Let me also appreciate our current President, HE, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for his love for education and his support to our teeming youthful population who form the bulk of tertiary institutions students in our country. The students’ loan scheme introduced by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will transform the educational system in the country. I most sincerely thank you for the support to the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Army University Biu. The ultimate gratitude and praise goes to Almighty Allah the most beneficent the most merciful. I thank Almighty Allah for the gift of life to each and everyone of us and for sustaining us to see this day, Amin.

13. I thank you all for your attention. May God bless our country Nigeria, and continue to grant us peace in Borno State.

Long live Nigerian Army University.

Long live Borno State.

Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.



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