One of the three girls who escaped from Boko Haram captivity in 2014, Mary Katambi has graduated with an accounting degree, on Saturday, July 10, alongside other 474 students who also obtained various degrees from the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola.
Katambi was one of the 276 schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists in 2014 from their hostel rooms at Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok in Borno state.
Ecstatic former Nigeria’s Vice President who doubles as the founder of the institution, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said Katambi has beaten the odds to become a graduate seven years after her abduction by Boko Haram.
“Mary Katambi, I’m proud that seven years after your release from Boko Haram captivity, you’ve beaten the odds to graduate with a degree in accounting from the American University of Nigeria. The best years are still ahead of you,” Atiku said on his Facebook handle.
During its 12th commencement ceremony, the university awarded one Doctor of Philosophy, 38 masters degrees, 3 postgraduate diplomas and 433 bachelor degrees.
Margee Ensign, the President of AUN, in her remark challenged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution.
She expressed optimism that with the kind of training and mentorship they received, they will excel in their chosen careers urging them to make both their parents and institution proud.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group in his keynote address charged the graduating students to extol the virtues of selflessness, justice, equity and fair play.
He urged Nigerians to embrace unity and patriotism adding that “our diversity should be our source of strength.”
According to him, had Nigeria managed its diversity well, the country would have become a haven of development and prosperity, drawing an analogy with Singapore doing excellently well despite its diverse cultures, religions, and ethnicities.
He called for the opening of more space for youth participation in governance, economy and all other spheres of life noting that Nigeria’s major challenge lies with the creation of predominantly rich and predominantly poor classes of citizens.
While calling on actors and policymakers to dedicate more energy to agriculture, Adesina said the sector is the biggest asset that can bail Nigeria out of the woods.
He assured of African Development Bank’s readiness to invest heavily in the agricultural sector to raise productivity by supporting women to access land and other implements.
The founder of the University, Atiku Abubakar, in response to Dr Akinwumi Adesina, advocated for the African Development Bank to consider supporting the private sector more in agribusiness.
Alhaji Abubakar who own a microfinance bank says the bank has lifted 45 thousand families out of poverty and called on the bank to assist the women in agriculture.