by MSUE AZA,Kaduna
Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai yesterday announced that the state will name one of its schools and hospitals and locate a campus of one of the tertiary institutions in Nok, the hometown of late commissioner of education, Prof. Andrew Jonathan Nok, in his memory.
Governor el-Rufai also said that the Kaduna State government would sponsor the children of the late professor in their studies up to Ph.D. level.
In his tribute at the valedictory session of the Kaduna State Executive Council in honour of Nok, held at Government House, Kaduna, el-Rufai said the deceased was outstanding in character, learning and fame.
The governor said, “This accomplished scientist, teacher and administrator was well-known and respected in the scientific community. As we say in these parts, he was a big man, but he was not too big to serve.
“This international figure provided dedicated service at state level with energy, focus and determination. Prof. Nok was one of the very best persons this country has produced, and he gave Kaduna State one of the best examples in public service.
“He was aware that there were people who sniggered that a professor of his stature accepted to be a commissioner. He responded by serving the people of Kaduna State with his very best. He graced our government with his presence, his intellect, his capacity for hard work and an outstanding sense of objectivity.”
According to el-Rufai, the late professor earned deserved fame as a scientist, putting Nigeria on the global map for cutting edge research in genetics.
He described the late academic as someone who upheld meritocracy without apologies.
“As commissioner, he was firm in his beliefs. For instance, this government was ready to send 30 students on scholarship to Cuba. Professor Nok insisted that it must be an exercise in meritocracy, not patronage! And so shall it be. Only the six students who passed the test that he set will go to Cuba,” el Rufai said.
According to the governor, “Jonathan Andrew Nok wanted the very best for our people. He pushed with vigour our projects to expand access to healthcare and education. He was a moving spirit for better schools, higher standards and the celebration of merit.
“His departure is a big loss to our state and country. We in the Kaduna State Executive Council have lost a friend, and a leader who personified the possibilities of this country. We told him often how proud we were of the work he was doing. This distinguished holder of the Nigerian National Order of Merit took his responsibilities seriously and delivered with panache. We thank him for his service, and the memories of excellence he has left for us.”