By Francis Okoye, Maiduguri
Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, has emerged the University of Ibaban (UI) Alumnus of the year 2020, the fifth since 1973, and as well bagged the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The decision to recognise Zulum was reached by all-time graduates of the University from all parts of the world through their alumni association.
Zulum, a professor of soil and water engineering, was a student of the University from 1997 to 1998 during which he bagged an MSc in agricultural engineering, before obtaining his PhD at the University of Maiduguri in 2009.
The presentation of the award held at Dame Edith Okowa Auditorium, Dr. Michael Omolayole Alumni Complex at the University of Ibadan on Saturday.
The event was attended by Governors of Osun and Kwara States, Gboyega Oyetola and Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq respectively.
The immediate past president of the association, Dr. Kemi Anthony Emina, who handed Zulum the award plaque, described the governor’s performance in office as outstanding.
Emina said Zulum becomes the fifth alumnus to win the award since 1973 when the University of Ibadan Alumni Association came into existence.
The event had four award categories: life-time achievement, worthy ambassador, most distinguished alumnus and alumnus of the year 2020, while some prominent Nigerians were honoured.
Zulum was honoured in two different categories; most distinguished alumnus, and the alumnus of the year 2020.
In their separate remarks, both Governor Oyetola and former Minister of Health, Prof. Issac Adewole, commended Governor Zulum for his quality leadership in Borno State.
Responding, Zulum said: “I personally see this award as a challenge. Let me assure you that this will further encourage me to do more.”
The governor also expressed appreciation to his lecturers while he was a student at the University of Ibadan between 1997 to 1998.
Zulum also said he would work on strengthening the relationship between the University of Ibadan and University of Maiduguri.
The governor was accompanied to the ceremony by his predecessor in office, former Governor Kashim Shettima, Senators Mohammed Ali Ndume and Abubakar Kyari, Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, some principal officers and members of the Assembly, Commissioner of Agriculture, Engr. Bukar Talba, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Protocol, Alhaji Ahmed Sanda.
Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman AbdulRazak, received a posthumous award in honour of his late father, late Alh. Abdulganiyu Abdulrazaq (SAN).
Also present at the event was the acting vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Adebola Babatunde Ekanola.