Yakubu Dati

New Open University Study Center reignites a passion for Hon. Wase – Yakubu Dati


It was not the first time that Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase would be attracting significant projects to Plateau State.

Since the trained engineer and now highly experienced lawmaker was elected into the Green Chamber of the National Assembly in 2007, Plateau has witnessed a constant flow of projects that have added value to the lives of the citizenry.

Despite the tons of achievements, the commissioning of the National Open University (NOUN) Study Centre in Wase local government area of Plateau state still came as a pleasant surprise to the people because of the humble manner it was delivered.

No noise, no media hype, no propaganda, yet people woke up and saw a citadel of learning which would enhance research and scholarship delivered to their door steps.

To citizens of Wase (his constituency),and indeed the entire Plateau State who have come to appreciate the humble and calm disposition of the Lawmaker, the landmark achievement only represents another testimony of hard work and commitment towards improving the lives of the citizenry.

This is even as many recall that Wase has in the past attracted projects like the Police secondary school; Police Division headquarters; Federal Medical Center; Wase/Langtang bridge and other bridges to the constituency. Not to talk of the distribution of tractors to every ward; boreholes; standard tarred roads within and outside his constituency; construction of befitting palaces for emirs and chiefs; providing employment opportunities to practically every household; empowerment and several impacting projects, programs and infrastructural development.

Rt. Hon. Wase who doubles as the former Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament has been instrumental to siting of the National Orthopedic hospital in Jos to cater for the North central zone of the country.

Not relenting, the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, has continued to rebrand the nooks and crannies of his constituency with social amenities beyond the expectations of his people without the inviting the cameras or social media sponsored hype.

Coming from a background as a comrade during his stint in the academia as an engineer and lecturer, Idris Ahmed has shied away from the media, due to his deep devotion to his faith that all glory should go to Allah.

Even this piece was done without his prior knowledge as he would definitely have discouraged it if he had been in the know. But that’s vintage RT Hon Idris Ahmed Wase for you.

It is therefore at the risk of attracting his wrath that I celebrate this icon who has prioritized welfare of the people and attracted over 70 billion naira worth of constituency projects to his constituency, Plateau state and Nigeria.

The Open University complex, complete with magnificent classrooms, administrative offices, computer centers and other facilities befitting of a University has projected the historic city of Wase to international reckoning.

Conceived by the former Deputy Speaker, it took his experience and prowess to lobby among his colleagues, provide the needed budgetary provisions and boots on ground for the project to see the light of day.

At the inauguration of the Complex, the Federal lawmaker payed glowing tribute to President Bola Tinubu thus: “I want to appreciate His Excellency President Bola Tinubu for giving us the support in line with the Renewed Agenda, to bring this project to completion and commissioning.”
The federal lawmaker was compelled to come out of his shell to highlight the broader impact of the project saying it would serve as a center of learning, not only for the people of Plateau State but also for those in Gombe, Taraba, Nassarawa, Benue and other neighboring states.”

Wase said the vision behind the NOUN Study Centre is to make tertiary education accessible to most rural dwellers in the area and also build capacity for national development. He celebrated the former Governor Simon Lalong as a leader and true democrat whose disposition to unity, peace and collective achievements is worthy of mention.

Sen Simon Bako Lalong, who commissioned the magnificent edifice re-echoed the general sentiments of the people where he described Hon. Wase as a worthy representative who is bringing development and opportunities to the rural areas in order to empower them to break the shackles of poverty and ignorance.

Through clear vision and sheer passion to create opportunities for the people, Idris Wase has joined the rank of visionary leaders who have written their names in gold in the educational development, in the mould of Joseph Gomwalk who established the University of Jos; Joshua Dariye who established the Plateau State University, Bokkos; and Simon Lalong who attracted the Federal Polytechnic,Nyak, to Plateau State.

This Prince of Bashar Royal family has earned his pride of place as a transformational leader, seamlessly combining a healthy mix of Aminu Kano’s talakawa ideology, Awolowo’s educational philosophy and emancipation program of Baba Solomon Lar, whose legacies left a lasting footprints in the sands of time.

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) which has over 500,000 enrolled students that cut across all the strata of society. Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Olufemi Peters represented by the Deputy VC (administration) Isaac Butswat, said the center’s mission is to empower Nigerians through education, foster community engagement, and facilitate sustainable development.

The NOUN VC disclosed the university has graduated 22,175 students at its 13th Convocation ceremony this year alone from its 114 study centres.

By next year, the number is bound to swell as the Wase Study Center opens to students aspiring for degrees and certificates recognised both locally and internationally.

The impact of this institution midwifed by the silent revolutionary, RT Hon Idris Ahmed Wase, will impact this generation and generations yet unborn.

Yakubu Dati can be reached at Yakubudati@gmail.com

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