Escaped Chibok schoolgirl among 475 AUN graduating students

Seven years after she escaped from Boko Haram captivity following attack on their school, Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok in Borno State terrorist group in which at least 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped, Mary Katambi, last week was the cynosure of all eyes during her graduation at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State.


Katambi, one of the three schoolgirls that escaped for the den of the terrorists, was among the 475 graduating students that received their scrolls for award for first degrees during the 12th Commencement/Graduation for the Class of 2020/2021, which was attended by the Founder/ Proprietor of the university, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubarka.


The 276 schoolgirls were abducted in their hostels by the Boko Haram terrorists in 2014.


Atiku, who expressed delight that Katambi has realised her dream, however, said that “she has beaten all the odds” to become a graduate seven years after her abduction by Boko Haram.


Atiku noted: “Mary Katambi, I am proud that seven years after your release from Boko Haram captivity, you have beaten the odds to graduate with a degree in Accounting from American  University of Nigeria. The best years are still ahead of you.”


Meanwhile, the President/Vice- Chancellor of AUN, Margee Ensign, expressed optimism that with the quality of training received by  Katambi from the institution, she would make a useful instrument of change for the society.


Of the 475 graduating students, one obtained Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), 38 graduated with a Masters Degree, while three obtained a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) and 433 First (Bachelor) Degrees.


The high point of the ceremony was the conferment of the university’s Honorary Doctorate Degree on the President African Development Bank (ADB) Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

Adesina, who was conferred with Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa), in his keynote address on “Building the capacity of Nigerian youths for greater heights,” noted that agriculture is the biggest asset the country has, and called for structural transformation in the sector.


He said African Development Bank would continue to invest heavily in the agricultural sector in order to raise productivity through supporting women towards accessing land, and in providing them with necessary farming needs.


The President decried the high level of malnutrition in the society, which he described as unacceptable, saying that about 30 million people lost their jobs last year due to COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

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