President Ensign has reiterated the University’s commitment to positively impacting the society. This reassurance came on Friday, November 14, during the Do Not Turn a Blind Eye seminar organized by the Society for Ethics and Leadership, a student club.
President Ensign spoke on peace, and why the University cofoounded the Adamawa Peace Initiative. In her words, “Peace is food, water, shelter, and hope.” She emphasized that to have peace, one need not turn a blind eye to anything. “We are all in the midst of this, trying to make a difference.”
She said the API started following an industrial wide strike that paralyzed the country in January of 2012. “Out here it was very quiet… There were no planes… The country shut down.”
Looking back, the President said she is glad the API was formed. Three of its members were invited to an inter-faith and peace conference in UK last year, by the Tony Blair Interfaith Foundation. After that conference, AUN and API collaborated to host an international peace and development conference here in Yola in June this year. The President announced that the US government awarded a grant to the AUN-API partnership in support of a Peace Conference recently held on campus for North East Nigeria embracing Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, and Taraba states.
She also spoke of the Educate our Girls campaign that was inspired by the kidnapped Chibok girls, some 58 of whom escaped. Under this campaign, a scholarship foundation was formed through which 21 of the escaped girls are now being educated at AUN. Dr Ensign said the campaign “is for all vulnerable children in North Eastern Nigeria, not just the kidnapped Chibok girls alone.”
Other panel members for the seminar were Mr. Reginald Braggs, Assistant Dean of Students, and Dr Fidelis Ndeh-Che, a Professor in SITC. At the start of the seminar, a tribute, in video and song, was paid to the club’s Faculty Adviser, the late Dean Idorenyin Akpan.