– Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, ex-Provost, now INEC boss
From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Taking time off electoral matters, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu at the weekend disclosed how he helped authorities of Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) to save N150 million in setting up a post graduate school in the Academy.
Prof Yakubu who was a lecturer in the Academy before rising through the ranks to become its Provost, said he proposed N10m as against N160m proposed for the establishment of postgraduate school in the Academy.
The INEC boss stated this during a ceremony meant to honour his contribution by naming its multipurpose auditorium after him, at the permanent site of Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), in Kaduna.
Expressing his desire to return to his teaching profession at the end of his tenure at the Commission, he called on the NDA Commandant to reserve his lecture job.
Going down memory lane, the INEC boss said: “I was the Acting Provost of NDA during the time of General Alex Akale. Then, the Minister and Chairman of NDA Governing Board came and during our meeting, and asked, why is it that, NDA unlike other universities doesn’t give honorary doctorate degrees?
“General Akale looked at me and said, Prof Yakubu, any reply? So, I said, sir, in NDA, we don’t give what we don’t have. We don’t have a post-graduate school, so we cannot give honorary doctorate degree.
“Few weeks later, the minister asked me to come and look at the proposal for the NDA post-graduate school. I got there and saw a proposal of N160m. The Minister said it was beautiful but there was no money. So, I quickly told him, with a maximum of N10m, we can start a post-graduate school.
“So, other Professors who submitted proposals were looking at me that, look at this NDA-made Professor, proposing N10m for a post graduate school. The Commandant too did not believe me. But I told him that postgraduate school does not have to be very big. Once you admit students, they will go to their various departments. “That was how we started it during the 40th anniversary of the Academy in 2004. Today, the NDA postgraduate school is one of the best in the country.”
Responding on behalf of the honoured guests, Prof Yakubu commended the academy for doing him the honour and urged other serving staff to be committed in their various assignments in the academy.