By Salim Yunusa
Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama alongside Charge d’Affaires, of the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo, Mr Bashir Ibrahim Ma’Aji, have revealed how Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum saved the education of a Nigerian female medical student from Bauchi State, by offsetting her unpaid fees with 8,000 US dollars.
Zulum made the intervention last October even though his trip to Egypt had nothing to do with the student as he was in Cairo to enter agreements with institutions towards ongoing construction of a new teaching hospital in Maiduguri.
Mrs Lu’ubatu Aliyu, 23 years old, a student on scholarship of Bauchi State government, had finished her studies about four years ago from Ain Shams University, in Cairo, Egypt, but her Degree certificate was withheld due to nonpayment of her fees.
Lu’ubatu Aliyu, was among 23 students awarded scholarship to study medicine by the Isa Yuguda administration in Bauchi State in 2012.
Mr Bashir Ibrahim Ma’Aji, Charge d’Affaires, of the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo, explained that Lu’ubatu’s certificate was withheld because the succeeding government in Bauchi state did not meet her financial obligations.
Ma’aji disclosed that relief, however, came the way of Ms Aliyu when Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno visited Egypt and paid the fees as a result of the intervention of the Nigerian Embassy in Egypt.
“Aliyu completed her studies about four years ago, but due to the challenges from her sponsor, she had to leave the certificate for about another four years.
“And luckily for us, last October, Zulum was in Cairo on official assignment.
“And in our usual discussion with him, he asked us about the challenges Nigerian students faced in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
“We appealed to him to come to the rescue of Dr Lu’ubatu Aliyu, who has graduated and passed her medical studies in Egypt but could not get her result due to financial difficulties and also the failure of her sponsor.
“The governor graciously accepted the appeal of the embassy and sent us a total sum of $8,000 to facilitate the collection of her result,” Ma’Aji said.
Yesterday (Tuesday) in Abuja, Minister of foreign affairs, Onyeama ceremonially presented Lu’ubatu with her degree certificate. The presentation was made in the presence of Ma’Aji, the Nigerian Charge d’Affaires in Cairo.
The Minister said resolving the certificate issues of Lu’ubatu highlighted the very positive things that Nigerian embassies, missions and diplomats were doing to assist distressed Nigerians in foreign countries.
“So, here, we have a Nigerian sister of ours who had some difficulties getting her certificate and the embassy was able to be proactive.
“We extend our gratitude to Zulum, for his very timely and very generous intervention to help the Nigerian Embassy to address the situation,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama also told Aliyu that the situation showed her level of determination as she persevered notwithstanding the difficult challenges that she faced.
“So, we also commend you for not giving up and it is a thing of great joy that you have been able to get this degree certificate from Ain Shams University, a reputable university in Egypt,” Onyeama said.
Lu’natu Aliyu expressed gratitude to God and appreciated the Nigerian Embassy and Gov. Zulum for the assistance in ensuring she became a certified medical doctor.
“Alhamdulillah! I will like to thank His Excellency, Gov. Zulum. Your Excellency, thank you very much. Today, you have put to an end the delay for the collection of my MBBS certificate.
“I really appreciate what you did to me and I will never forget this effort, Sir.
“I pray the Almighty Allah to restore peace in Borno and the entire nation, Nigeria,” Aliyu said.