By Mike Adeyemi
The Egyptian Universities Alumni Association in Nigeria otherwise known as Al-Azhar, at the weekend honoured 11 scholars at its first Honorary Awards and Fund Raising ceremony.
Among those decorated at the event, which took place at Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, was a former Kwara State grand khadi, Justice Idris Haroon, a lecturer and Chief Imam of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyy Oladosu and nine others.
Speaking at the event, the President, World Organisation for Al-Azhar graduates, Kwara State chapter, Prof. Mahmood Jimba, said the purpose of the gathering was to honour some graduates from Egyptian universities and scholars who have served Nigeria meritoriously.
Jimba, who is also a lecturer at the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, said, “We looked at the early graduates, their age and particularly their service to humanity. The latest among them are those who graduated about 30 years ago.
“Our target basically is to bring together our entire alumnus across the country eventhough we have our base in Ilorin. We worked closely with the Egyptian Embassy to ensure Arabic scholarship for Nigerians with free feeding, free books and free accommodation throughout their stay in Egypt.”
The Don however said the activities of the organisation have been limited due to shortage of funds.
“We need money to carry out our activities. At the moment, we don’t have a building for our secretariat, also, no mobility and other logistics that could aid our operation,” he lamented.
Speaking further, he said the association was formed in 1995 at a meeting, which had 15 young graduates of Egyptian universities in attendance.
“Let me express our sincere appreciation to the Federal Government for recognising Al-Azhar graduates and the exceptional reception given to Shaykkh Al-Azhar (the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar) during his visit to Nigeria in 2016.
“We equally thank the Kwara State Government for equal employment opportunities for graduates of the foremost university in the world, Al-Azhar and graduates of other universities,” he added.
The Chief host, who is also the Provost of Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, Dr. Abdulraheem Yusuf, urged alumnus of other institutions to emulate Al-Azhar graduates by forging harmonious relationship.
Among the awardees were; Shaykh Olayiwola Kamaldeen, Shaykh Ahmad Adekilekun, Shaykh Abduraheem Hamzah, Alhaji Abdur-Rasheed Adegoke, Dr. Ibrahim Salaudeen and Dr. Ibrahim Mohmood.
Others include; Imam Moshood Adebayo, Dr. Abdulhameed Olohunoyin, Imam Uthman Olosun and Dr. Bukhari Busari.