A Pot Calling Kettle Black: A Response To Atiku Abubakar Sayings That Nigerian Public University Graduates Are Brainless.

The Former vice president of the federal republic of Nigeria between 1999 to 2007 made a statement while celebrating his 70th birthday which he confirmed himself that he will be the first in his family to attain such age, that graduates of public universities are brainless and they cannot stand his secondary school students.

It is very necessary that we that graduated from public universities respond to this comment because he may not know he has said something bad if his attention is not called to it.

I will like to ask Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, first, where he got the money to build both his secondary and university from? A Yoruba Adage says he who turn somebody to a worthless human being will be the first to call the person useless. Where was the Nigerian Education before Atiku and his Boss, Obasanjo assumed office in 1999? What was their contributions to it between 1999 to 2007? Where do they leave it when they left office?

Having used the money that is meant for over 150 million Nigerians to build schools by the president and his vice, I am sure the vice president will have the audacity to call the Nigerian graduates from public universities brainless.

Shame on you Mr Former Vice- President for saying that the graduates of Public universities of a country where you are vice president for 8 good years are brainless. Let’s call your attention to the fact that the Academic staff Union of University complained about the poor state of the Public university during your time as the vice president which is due to poor funding, the only thing you and your Oga can do then was to promise you will do something about it and up till now nothing has been done. Presently, the ASUU is on a warning strike to remind the present administration of the promises made during your time in the office.

Let’s remind Alhaji Atiku again of his background maybe he will realize he is not better than those he called brainless. History told us that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar could not start school when he ought to because his father was opposed to him obtaining western education. When his not going to school was noticed, his father was arrested and jailed until he paid a fine. Consequently, Atiku Abubakar got registered into Jada Primary School at the age of eight. After his primary school, Atiku was admitted into Adamawa Provincial Secondary School Yola in the year 1960. He later finished his Secondary school in 1965 after he made Grade Three in West African School Certificate Examination.

Atiku Abubakar then proceeded to Nigerian Police College, Kaduna. He left the college for a work as Tax Officer in the Regional Ministry of Finance. Later he got admission to study at the School of Hygiene Kano in 1966. In 1967, he graduated with a Diploma. That same year, Atiku Abubakar was admitted for a Law Diploma at Ahmadu Bello University on a scholarship. He graduated in 1969 and got employed in the Nigerian Custom Service that same year.

Having been employed at the Custom Service, Atiku proceeded for further studies to both Police College and Custom Training School. After the studies,  Atiku Abubakar was posted Idi-Iroko, a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic. His assignments was to be in charge of the Lagos Airport, Apapa Ports, Ibadan Customs Command between 1974 and 1979. Later he moved to North and served in the Kano Command in 1976, then to Maiduguri ( as Area Comptroller) in  1977, from there to Kaduna in 1980 and back to the Apapa Ports in 1982. In 1987 Atiku was promoted to the post of a Deputy Director in charge of Enforcement and Drugs. In April 1989, aged 43, Atiku voluntarily retired from Customs. So what are we talking about?



Olajide Obi

Olajide Obi is a Graduate of Philosophy From the Prestigious Lagos State University, Ojo.



  1. Mr. Abdin Reply to Mr.

    All this mischief makers will not succeed, Atiku never said so.

  2. This false….Atiku never said such….
    Here is his full speech at the event.
    Crisis, Education and Africa’s Recovery
    Being Chairman’s Remarks at the 2016 Zik Lecture Series, at the University Auditorium,
    Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
    16 November, 2016.

    I heartily welcome today’s Zik Lecturer, Mr Raila Odinga, to Awka and Nigeria. Please enjoy the warm hospitality of Nigeria and especially the great people of Awka and the South East.
    I am told that the Igbo, as an ethnic and cultural group, originated or first settled around this area of Igboland, the Nri-Awka axis. The man in whose name we have gathered here today, the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, is without a doubt the greatest Igbo man to come out of Nigeria.
    It is fitting, therefore, that the Zik Lecture series is endowed in the federal university that bears the name of this remarkable African of Igbo extraction, a university that is located in the area where the Igbo are said to have originated. Like Oliver Twist I call for more of such endowments and support for this university and others across the country. I hope that more lectures and chairs are endowed in this and other universities across Nigeria and indeed Africa. We must not forget that in words and deeds Dr Azikiwe transcended Igboland and Nigeria. He was the Zik of Africa.
    I sincerely thank my friend, and long-time political associate, Senator Ben Obi, for endowing the Zik Lecture series in the Faculty of Social Sciences of this young and dynamic university. Ben is reminding us that the evidence of good living is more than just binging on isi ewu, nkwobi and beer. It is more than driving the most expensive cars or living in the most elegant mansions. It should include support for others and our institutions. It should include actions that ensure that we are remembered for something meaningful, productive and enduring.
    I understand that our Guest Lecturer, Mr Odinga, will speak on the Crisis of the Nation State in Africa. So permit me to steer clear of that topic in my remarks. As you know, I like to stay out of trouble. Instead, let me say a few things about the kind of philanthropy that brought us together at this event and why it is so important for the revival of education in Nigeria.
    You may recall that public education began as a private and voluntary endeavour in our country. Christian missionaries built the first schools. As more and more of our people embraced Western education and as the need for trained labour force grew, the colonial government stepped in and expanded educational opportunities. This was continued in the post-colonial period by our regional and local governments. A few public spirited Nigerians also established primary and secondary schools to further expand educational opportunities for our people.
    With the sudden increase in government revenues in the 1970s, mainly from crude oil exports, government virtually monopolized the provision of education in the country. Access was expanded, infrastructure was increased and scholarships were provided while the cost to students and parents was significantly subsidized.
    As we all know, the fiscal environment has drastically changed. Our governments are struggling with a multitude of challenges amidst dwindling revenues. While we must insist that the provision of good quality public education remains primarily the responsibility of government,
    philanthropic individuals and organizations must step in and assist in a variety of ways.
    The importance of education to modern societies and their peoples cannot be overemphasized. Education is too important to be left in the hands of government alone. And good quality education should not depend solely on the ebbs and flows of government revenues. It is education that took me from a small village in Adamawa to the position that I have attained today, and helped me to make the modest contributions that I have made so far to our country and humanity. And every Nigerian child should have similar opportunities to reach his or her full potentials.
    I could not have gone to school if my parents were required to pay for it. That and the importance of education to nation building is the reason why I strongly believe that primary and secondary education should be free and compulsory in our country and indeed across Africa. That way every child gets to acquire basic education to help them improve their lives and help us produce an enlightened citizenry. That is how it is in the countries that we look up to as models of development.
    What education has done for me and my commitment to it is the reason why my biggest philanthropic endeavour has been in the field of education. In the educational village that I established in Yola, our focus is not just providing students with high quality education from kindergarten to university. We are also focused on providing them with the skills to become leaders in their various communities and countries. That is why we involve them in the lives of the surrounding community so they become part of the solutions to the challenges those communities face. Thus critical thinking, problem solving and leadership development are integral parts of their educational experience. And we provide scholarships to many deserving students from across Africa to help them fulfil their educational aspirations.
    That way our youth will be in a better position to find creative ways to solve the myriad of social, economic and political challenges facing African states.
    This gathering also provides me with the opportunity to urge those of us involved in university life as as students, faculty, and administrators to address our minds to the decline of scholarship in our universities in all its dimensions.
    Let me in particular talk about the exchange of ideas, the hallmark of universities. Many of us are old enough to remember when our universities were vibrant centres of discourse, scholarly research and intellectual debates. It is obvious that that tradition is eroding to varying degrees across our universities and other tertiary institutions of learning. We should revive the tradition of inviting people who have distinguished themselves in various walks of life to come to our universities to share their ideas and experiences and be challenged on those in lively conversations and debates.
    How do we, for instance, expand the political space for more democratic solutions to our development challenges? How do we promote more formal trade among African states to make it at least as easy as it is to trade with non-African countries?
    How can we promote interconnected transportation infrastructure across Africa, especially roads and rail?
    And can we remove ideological, religious and cultural blinders and borrow policies and practices that work to help our various countries and the continent move ahead? What will it take to get us ashamed and angry to help motivate us to move ahead as a continent?
    I commend the Faculty of Social Sciences of UNIZIK for organizing today’s lecture, and bringing a distinguished African to deliver it, an African who, going back to his distinguished father, can be said to have had a front-row view of the crisis of the nation-state in Africa. I urge you to continue with this tradition of bringing distinguished lecturers from all over Africa. Cross fertilization of ideas and experiences remain critical to the mission of universities.
    We should also go beyond that to encourage more inter-African educational exchanges among students and faculty even as we exchange with the rest of the world too. Such exchanges would help as we try to understand the crisis besetting us and find solutions to them, including, perhaps the crisis of the nation state.
    Thank you.

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