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Aminat Yusuf: An Ode to Genius from LASU by Olatunji Ololade



For several years, Nigeria has feted and fooled with undeserving celebs. Many a male and female of ill repute has been tooled with renown. Thus the social space pulses with ornamented sap heads in glitter and gold.

Occasionally, we hear of an individual or two, who asserts his or her right to renown. Society enjoys the emergence of one, two, three or four genii or more, who put up brilliant performances in the humanities, arts, academia, sports, science and tech, to mention a few.

These are the ones we should really celebrate but the most they get, usually, is half a page of news mention, grudgingly doled out to them by a hesitant press.

Consequently, we know too little of them. They do not enjoy appreciable renown, like the glitter gang.

Let this be the moment we choose to acknowledge the finer breed of Nigerianness, like Aminat Imoitesemeh Yusuf, who graduated with a perfect Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 5.00 (First Class Honours) from the Lagos State University (LASU)’s Faculty of Law.

The Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, gladly pronounced Amina as “LASU’s best-graduating student in history.”

It is indeed fulfilling to acknowledge her emergence as the overall best-graduating student in LASU’s 40-year history. Moved by her achievement, the traditional ruler of Iba Kingdom, Oba Adeshina Suleiman Ashade, the Oniba Ekun of Iba, hosted Yusuf and her parents on Sunday, June 18, to celebrate her exploit.

The monarch, whose kingdom is one of LASU’s host communities presented Aminat with a cheque of N2 million in the presence of her family, her school’s management and other traditional chiefs.

According to him, Aminat’s feat was being celebrated to encourage his own children and serve as an inspiration to young people in the kingdom that hard work truly pays.

The Oniba’s cash gift to Aminat follows the N500,000 awarded to her by the University Management on Wednesday, June 14, being the first of the windfall to greet her extraordinary performance.

Her parents’ joy was perceptible on their faces. While her mother beamed brilliantly, her father, Ibrahim Yusuf, a multiple award-winning journalist with The Nation, maintained a calm, fulfilled mien.

Nothing is as gratifying as seeing his graduate daughter manifest with appreciable grandeur that surpasses his at her age; add that to her infectious humility, piety and predilection for excellence, and you have a perfect picture of a well-groomed child.

If Ibrahim is a pride of the Yusuf clan, his daughter, Aminat, becomes the prodigious heroine whose exceptional feat restyles the paradigm of accomplishment of his lineage. Aminat, like Poe’s true genius, shuddered at the probability of validating incompleteness via a mediocre performance. Thus she committed to the attainment of excellence in full measure.

She preferred silent striving to careless tripe and dulled her sense of entitlement to embrace a culture of disciplined enterprise and taqwa as counselled by her Islamic faith. The Arabic word taqwa means “forbearance, fear and abstinence.” It is also explained as “God-consciousness, piety, fear of Allah, love for Allah, and self-restraint.”

Self-restraint and tact have, so far, served as her shield against the debauchery pervasive of the university campus, larger society and social media.

It is heartening to see a contemporary Nigerian female manifest with traits and glory worth emulation by her peers and younger ones.

Amina dared to be the exception in an age teeming with the likes of Anto, a Big Brother Naija (BBN) inmate notable for her twaddle of being a “grown ass woman” who has “f..ked a lot of niggas” but wanted no one to “take it personally” because she and her fellow inmates in the DSTV/Multichoice degenerate show were simply “having a good time.”

In an age when hordes of young Nigerian (and African) females are wildly corrupted and misled into toxic femininity, Amina affects the wisdom of the ancients, which admonishes moderate assertiveness, progressive consciousness, and a disciplined pursuit of personal goals.

Swathed in her hijab, she cut a portrait of glowing modesty and respectable grooming. While some may dismiss this as an errant validation of her presumed propriety, testimonials from her tutors and peers erase all doubts about her character.

This is the kind of youth that our daughters should emulate. Not the degenerate, drug-addicted, sexually perverse, celebrity junkies ‘flexing’ their regressive savvy on both traditional and new media.

En route to her glory, Aminat flaunted no cleavage. She bared no flesh as a function of her femininity. The only thing nude about her was her assertive decency. Thus we may declare her brand of femininity ennobling.

As she ventures into the larger society, she must understand that unlike the archaic kore (maiden) whose ample graces are utilitarian, the model Muslimah must stay graciously clothed in her will, perspicacity, propriety and brilliance.

Her outward and innate beauty should constitute her votive palette from which she aspires to a more splendorous portrait. She must strive heroically shrouded in cultured femininity and uncompromising decency.

Unlike the confused, contemporary vixen, sculpted through decadence and gobs of imported, reckless awareness, her character must be such that invites the strolling spectator to admire her in her mould.

She should never seek to be vixen but virtuous; she must never seek to be toxic but humane.

Right now, stardom falls upon her and shines through her; she must be wary of its flicker lest it torches her modesty. This is neither to secularise her persona nor ritualise it but to identify it as an exemplary bust worthy of emulation by hordes of misguided teens aspiring to become tinsel town’s glitter mob.

Right now, Aminat is the diva to beat. But she clearly has a long journey ahead of her. If you ask her, she would tell you of her wish to be acknowledged as an accomplished female, attorney, woman, Muslimah.

Unlike the misguided BBN inmate, she does not intend to “f..k a lot of niggas” or strip and twerk on TikTok for acclaim. Rather, she has set on the path to self-actualisation the old-fashioned way, by dint of passion and honest endeavour. She would make a tough attorney someday. A successful one, hopefully.

Ibrahim Yusuf’s loins has certainly borne no strange fruit. From the bold patina of Aminat’s growth, this is understandable.

She has certainly grown from the starry-eyed girl, whose admission to LASU’s Faculty of Law elicited indescribable passion from her father, a few years ago. Ibrahim enthused with joy, regaling his colleagues with the promise reposed in his daughter. Thus he worked tirelessly to support her despite his struggles as a journalist. Those struggles have paid off now.

There is no gainsaying Nigeria teems with uncelebrated genii across various fields of endeavour. Beyond the university campuses, there are many more gems in education, journalism, public health, and law enforcement but society reserves honour for a curious breed, it would seem.

How easy it was for Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to physically show up at celebrity wannabe, Hilda Baci’s contrived and wholly inconsequential cookathon, and ignore a glorious attainment like Aminat Yusuf’s. A terse acknowledgement is never enough.

And if the state could host winners of BBN’s toxic reality, irrespective of the nature of the publicity stunt, Lagos, the Centre of Excellence could oblige more salutary glance to outstanding citizenry across all fields of endeavour.

Olatunji Ololade is a columnist with the Nation Newspaper

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Kwara Govt launches distribution of textbooks, sports kits for public basic schools



Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday flagged off the distribution of instructional materials and sports kits to pupils of public basic schools across the 16 local governments of the state.

The gesture, according to the Governor, was part of his administration’s plan to enhance educational standards, and reduce the burden on pupils/students’ parents amid economic reality in the country.

This comes a day after the administration opened bids for the 2020 FGN-UBEC/SUBEB intervention projects, where at least 215 contractors had signified interest.

“This flag-off ceremony for the distribution of both instructional materials and sports kits procured from UBEC/KWSUBEB interventions of 2018 and 2019 matching grants is of great significance to the upliftment of basic education in the state. It reduces the burden on pupils/students’ parents, most especially in this hard time in the country,” he said in Ajase-Ipo, Irepodun local government of the state.

AbdulRazaq, who was represented at the event by Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, said the programme was also aimed at repositioning basic education in the area of sporting activities, and to provide pupils/students with good and sound health.

“Similarly, this administration is working assiduously at ensuring effective teaching and learning of physical education and other subjects in our schools through prompt payment of salary, implementation of promotions, payment of palliative and provision of instructional materials which in turn breeds a conducive teaching and learning atmosphere in our schools,” he added.

AbdulRazaq appreciated key stakeholders who he said are working round the clock in ensuring the success of all programmes of the administration, with particular reference to school leaders, administrators, teachers, and non-teaching staff.

The event was well attended by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Rebecca Bake Olanrewaju; TIC Chairmen for Irepodun Comrade Jide Oyinloye, and Oke-Ero, Hon. Gbenga Yusuf; traditional rulers from Irepodun LG led by the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismaila Yahaya Alebiosu; and former deputy Chief of staff to the Governor, Princess Olubukola Babalola, among others.

Chairman Kwara SUBEB, Prof Raheem Adaramaja, for his part, said Governor AbdulRazaq has been doing so much to reposition the education sector, including the procurement of multi- million naira textbooks and sports kits that he said are meant to make the students physically and mentally fit.

He thanked AbdulRazaq for the prompt response to the yearnings and aspirations of workers in the state, especially the teaching and non-teaching staff.

Adaramaja also praised the federal government through UBEC, the royal fathers, religious leaders and other relevant stakeholders for playing outstanding roles that culminated into the successes of the state government in the sector.

Mrs. Olanrewaju, in her remarks, said what is being witnessed in the state’s education sector is unique and commendable, and affirming all this process is capable of fully reviving the lost glory in that sector.

She appealed to all benefiting schools to make sure that the given items are properly delivered and maintained to achieve the set target.

Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Yahaya Alebiosu, in his submission, said the project further attests that the administration is focused on changing the face of the education sector that he called a bedrock of any society.

He hailed AbdulRazaq for truly serving the masses, and how his government encourages the youth to fulfill their life dreams, alluding to his ascension to the throne of his forebears at youthful age as a case study.

“We thank His Excellency for deeming it fit to promote education at all times. We pray that Almighty God will continue to be with His Excellency. A government that sincerely has people in mind is the government that always thinks of how to bring its people out of ignorance,” the monarch said.

Some of the instructional materials for distribution include textbooks of Mathematics, English, Basic and Technology, Computer, Nigerian History and Jolly Phonics, plastic chairs and tables, ECCD materials, ICT equipment materials, and toys for ECCD materials among others.

The sports facilities include sets of table tennis, 120 sets of Jessey, traditional opon ayo; balls – volley, focal and hand balls; boots of different grades; crutches, mobile cane, typewriters, talking calculators, print magnifiers, digital recorders, adaptive laptops, sensory toys, walking frames and wheelchairs for pupils with physical disabilities, among others.

Atere Abiola Ameenat

Press Secretary,


September 21, 2023.

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UNGA 2023: Access to quality education is an ‘urgency of now’, says Kwara Gov



Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that promoting access to quality education for millions of children in need of it “is an urgency of now” for the international community, including donor agencies and development partners.

Speaking at an event on the sidelines of the 2023 United Nations General Assembly in New York, AbdulRazaq explained that his administration has invested billions of naira on school infrastructure and introduction of technology to promote good teaching techniques, accountability, and effective learning which empowers the children to be at par with their peers in other climes.

“What we have done has empowered teachers to adhere to curriculum standards, help the children to learn, reduce absenteeism, and raise school enrollment amid rising standards,” he said.

Organised by Devex Event and New Globe, a theme of the event was ‘Addressing Africa’s learning crisis and preparing for a young future: finding solutions.’

The Governor spoke alongside president and co-founder of NewGlobe Shannon May; executive director of Education Cannot Wait, an initiative of the United Nations, Yasmine Sherif; editorial director of Devex Richard Jones; senior fellow and deputy director of Centre for Universal Education, Brookings Institution, Jennifer O’donoghue; senior fellow at Stanford University Eric Hanushek; and executive director- Africa CAMFED Shungu Gwarinda; among many others.

The Governor said a well-funded education sector also holds the key to improvements across many other sectors like health, water, rural urban development and food security, adding that data mined from schools can help governments to make informed decisions, plan and deploy scarce resources.

“We have improved public school enrollment by some 48.7% at basic level, while the introduction of technology has really empowered our teachers and children alike,” AbdulRazaq added, although he said funding remains a big challenge.

He explained that learning deprivation in Kwara public schools has reduced from 70.8% to 51.6% within a space of 40 weeks of introducing the new programme, KwaraLEARN.

Yasmine, who commended what the Governor has done in Kwara, said he had rightly called a need to jointly fund education and promote inclusion “an urgency of now” especially in the deployment of resources to deepen functional education.

Yasmine said such urgency should not affect the quality of education as well as the scope of the target, adding that the UN body is mobilizing at least $1.5bn fund to give quality education to some 120m out of school children in distressed parts of the world.

Yasmine said she would soon lead a team to Nigeria as part of the global campaign for education rights of young children, adding that Kwara would be on their radar during such visit.

NewGlobe co-founder Shannon May said she was impressed at the vision of Abdulrazaq to transform public schools in Kwara State, urging other states and leaders in Africa to deploy the same resources and energy to the same cause.

She commended the progress so far made in Kwara State and a few other Nigerian states, saying such improvements had been made possible through political will and reliance on data-based strategies to drive inclusive education and great learning outcomes for young people.

Rafiu Ajakaye

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor

September 21, 2023

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PHOTOS: Education Minister Signs MOU With Princeton University, Other At UNGA 78



The Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Princeton University, United States and African School of Economics.

This was done on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly.

The MOU is expected to enhance Nigeria’s education system, promote vocational learning, and support research and policy formulation.




Credit: X| NTANewsNow




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