Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, December 5; appeared on the floor of the Senate as one of the stakeholders at a public hearing.
The hearing is on a bill for the conversion of the Modibbo Adama University of Technology to a conventional university.
Atiku appealed to the lawmakers to ensure the speedy passage of the bill; in order to help youth within the catchment area; who have been denied a chance to access tertiary education over the years.
“I salute the courage of the Senators from Adamawa State for pushing on this bill, the Vice-Chancellor of MAUTECH, our champions at NUC.
“I feel highly moved by our teeming youths from Adamawa State and all other States within the catchment area; whom our inability to make MAUTECH a conventional University; has denied a chance to access University education over the years.”
Atiku further championed the conversion of MAUTECH due to the paucity of institutions in the region as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
“In the North East of Nigeria, the situation is even more precarious. With the insecurity attendant upon by the activities of the Boko haram insurgents, even where admissions are offered; movement within the sub-region to access the required education becomes not only herculean but risky.
“A compelling justification for the conversion is the location of the University. MAUTECH Yola is located in the North-East region of the country; a region just emerging from a gruelling insurgency whose central creed is antagonism with conventional education.
“Limiting access to higher education to a large number of youths in the region; will not only mean submitting to the defeat of the insurgents but worsening the challenges of the youth bulge in the area.”
The former vice president also explained that indigenes of Adamawa State are unable to gain admission to other universities due to a high intake of applicants.
“It is also becoming increasingly difficult for Adamawa State candidates to get admitted into neighbouring conventional universities.
“All the States in the Federation now have conventional universities. For the purpose of equity and fairness, it is just rational for the university to be converted.
“At least, qualified Adamawa citizens and other students within the catchment area; would have the advantages of accessing admission into highly competitive courses like medicine, law, pharmacy, etc; which the country badly needs and sadly lack in sufficient numbers,” Atiku explained