By Abraham Olatokunbo
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 State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum saved the education of a Nigerian female medical student from Bauchi State, by offsetting her unpaid fees with US$ 8,000.
Zulum, was said to have made the intervention last October during his trip in furtherance of Borno State dealing with Egyptian institutions towards ongoing construction of a new teaching hospital in Maiduguri.
A statement by spokesman to Borno State Governor, Mallam Isa Gusau said 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 none payment of the balance of her fees.
The statement read in part that: “Lu’ubatu Aliyu, was among 23 students awarded scholarship to study medicine by the Isa Yuguda administration in Bauchi State in 2012.”
The statement said the Charge d’Affaires, of the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo Mr Bashir Ibrahim Ma’Aji,, 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 succour, however, came the way of Aliyu when Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno visited Egypt and offset the fees as a result of the intervention of the Nigerian Embassy in Egypt.
He said: “Aliyu completed her studies about four years ago, but due to the challenges from her sponsor, she had to leave the certificate for about 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.”
Ma’Aji disclosed that: “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.”
The Minister of foreign affairs, Onyeama on Tuesday in Abuja ceremonially presented Lu’ubatu with her degree certificate.
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 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 to the Nigerian Embassy and Gov. Zulum for the assistance in ensuring she became a certified medical doctor.