A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said that he would continue using his experience and fortune to bolster democracy and education in the country.
This is contained in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the statement was issued to mark his 69th birthday on Nov. 25.
According to the statement, the former vice president has provided scholarship both in Nigeria and abroad to thousands of needy Nigerian students and had also built several schools across the country.
This, the statement said, included the American University in Yola which he founded with the cooperation of the American University in Washington, among others.
“I get enduring joy from seeing my people empowered with jobs, skills, income and opportunities through my investment”, the statement quoted Atiku as saying.
The university, which was started 11 years ago, presently, has 1,500 students.
Although a private university, the 60 per cent subsidy from the former Vice President has enabled children of both the rich and the poor to gain access to world-class education, the statement stated.
“Gifted children, regardless of their parental background, are also afforded opportunity to better their fortune in the university.
“The university not only helps students acquire first rate degrees, but promotes entrepreneurship courses to meet the challenges of the present Nigerian realities”, the statement said.
It added that the former vice president was inspired by his early life experience as an orphan who struggled through life to make it to the top.
The statement noted that Atiku was not only committed to education, but was also a remarkable philanthropist who dedicated his life to bringing succor to humanity.
It added that the former vice president had donated to worthy causes to tackle many deadly but preventable diseases like the now eradicated polio and had identified with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“Atiku is also an exponent of peace, unity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence as exemplified by the setting up of the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API) by the America University”, the statement said.
The API, the statement noted, was presently, a viable model for dealing with strife in multi-religious communities.
It further stated that Atiku’s generosity had extended to the United Kingdom where he recently endowed a Professorial Chair in African History at Oxford University.