by Christians Gokyo, Jos
It was a night of glamour, laughter and friendship as the Ahmadu Bello University Law Class of 1990 organised a reunion in Abuja where Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, alongside 8 serving Judges, Heads of Government and private agencies, Senior Advocates of Nigeria and many others – all members of the Class – were honoured for their achievements at a Reunion Dinner.
The graduands, who left Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, over 30 years ago were excited to meet and celebrate one another again after their last meeting in 2017.
During the event hosted at the Sheraton Hotel Abuja, Chairman of the ABU 1990 Law Class, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, said the reunion provides another opportunity for the members to reflect on their achievements and also look into the challenges they are passing through with a view to resolving them.
According to him, many of the class members have continued to record achievements in the legal profession, politics, corporate governance and business world.
He said, while many having been appointed Judges of various courts, others have risen to the level of Senior Advocates in the legal profession and others have been appointed to head Government parastatals at the Federal and State Governments.
He commended Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, for his humility, generosity and assistance to the members of the class, describing him as a shining example, who has made them proud in his governance of Plateau State where he has engendered peace, unity and reconciliation among the citizens and also carried out various projects that impact the lives of the people.
Mr. Tahir said it was for his level of achievements in various positions such as the Chairman Northern Governors’ Forum, Chairman Conference of Former Speakers of State Assemblies, among others, that the Set decided to celebrate him and others, who have made their marks in the Nigerian Bar and Bench, as well as other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Governor Lalong, while accepting the award in company of his wife, First Lady Regina Lalong, said he was humbled by the honour bestowed on him and other course mates, who have continued to fly the flag of the ABU Law Class of 1990 very high by making tangible contributions to the development of Nigeria.
He noted that, “This occasion is another testimony of the friendship and goodwill we have shared with one another at several levels many years after our graduation; the stories we hear of love, assistance, counsel and generosity makes one to thank God again and again for making our paths to cross more than 30 years ago. This certainly is not a coincidence but a divine arrangement, which we must never take for granted.”
The governor also disclosed that he has personally received love and goodwill from several of his course mates right from when he started practice, to when he joined politics and got elected as Member Plateau State House of Assembly and then Speaker.
Accordingly, he said, “Even when I faced ‘persecution’ in my days at the House of Assembly, you were there for me. You people did not also leave me when you heard of my plans to run for the Governor of Plateau State in 2015.
“You did not only pray for me and advised me, but also contributed money and made donations, which greatly assisted me; you have not also left me up till today. Just recently, you sent a delegation to deliver relief materials to support the victims of attacks in Plateau State. I am proud of you all,” he said.
The governor used the event to express worry over the challenges Nigeria is facing relating to insecurity, lack of cohesion and intolerance emanating from religious, political and ethnic tensions, which are being fuelled by politics.
He recalled how they met in ABU and graduated as Law Class of 1990 having come from various backgrounds, celebrated their diversity and respected one another, adding that, it is important that they pass this message for the younger generation to know that Nigerians are not at war with one another.
Such posture, he said, has guided him since he became Governor of Plateau State where he inherited a state that was divided along ethno-religious, lines but the grace of God, his Rescue Administration has done a lot to restore peace, tolerance and unity in the State.
The event was witnessed by Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, First Lady of Plateau, Mrs. Regina Lalong, Member Representing Pankshin, Kanke, and Kanam Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Yusuf Gagdi, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, and many other guests.
Cultural groups from Plateau State performed at the ceremony, while a minute’s silence was observed for the members of the ABU Law Class of 1990 and lecturers, who have passed on.