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||By Abubakar Ibrahim and Paulinus Auta

Since his assumption of office, the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Lafia (FULafia), Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, has visited the palaces of traditional rulers, some, among them, prominent, their areas ancient and their palaces elegant.

Yet, his recent visit to the palace of the Aku Uka in Wukari, Taraba State, can be unarguably described as a visit like no other.

The Aku Uka of Wukari, His Majesty, Dr Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi Kuvyon ll, CON, is the newly appointed Chancellor of the Federal University of Lafia.

Though, as many expect, his palace, yes, is not among the best built, it does not portray elagance and material riches but, still, the description of Abdul Rahman's visit to the palace as his best can be justified in many ways. 

Firstly, the visit proved to be exciting, secondly, educating, and, thirdly, an eye-opener.

The visit was exciting because, to reach Wukari, from Lafia, at least, going by the road Abdul Rahman and members of his entourage chose to take, one had to use two modes of transportation, the road and water.

The journey was educating because the FULafia delegation members were schooled in the history of the Kwararrafa dynasty by the renown traditional ruler, who's as engaging as he's knowledgeable about the history of his ancestors, the Aku Uka.

He talked about the historical journey of the Kwararrafa people, where they came from (he said Yemen), and how they got dispersed in many states today.

Tellingly, and interestingly, too, the Aku Uka broke down the history of the movement of the Kwararrafa people to Nigeria, since they left Yemen, using mathematics to show interconnectedness of the people who were once members of a single dynasty.

Of course, the visit to Wukari was an eye-opener in the sense that we all got to understand the Jukun, who are the original inhabitants of the town, as peaceful, loving, accommodating and likeable people with loveable traditions.

But, above all, one lesson became obsolutely clear to us. That is, material wealth, richness of the king and elegance do not define palace. 

Instead, what defines size of palace and respect it commands, are the occupant of the palace and history he represents.

And, the Aku Uka, indeed, represents an ancient history, traditional significance and he's vastly knowledgeable in the history of his kingdom and people.

Speaking, during the visit, he called on members of the University community to join hands with him to make the FULafia a better place for all.

Abdul Rahman visited the Aku Uka's palace together with the management staff of the University.

The Chancellor, who described the visit as a memorable one for him, the Wukari Federation and the Taraba State, in general, assured the vice-chancellor and his management team that the journey to building a greater FULafia has just started.

He promised to use his 40 years experience in university management to greatly help in repositioning the University.

The Aku Uka was a fomer chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, and Federal University of Dutse, Jigawa State. 

He said that he would mobilise support from far and near and channel same for the development of FULafia. 

The chancellor, who is also the Chairman, Taraba State Traditional Council, said that he was impressed to see members of the FULafia community coming from different ethnic and religious backgrounds at his palace, commending the vice-chancellor for instilling the sense of unity in the University.

He pointed out that until staff of the University saw themselves and work as a family, nothing meaningful would be achieved in the institution.

Speaking earlier, Abdul Rahman said that he led the delegation to congratulate the royal father on his appointment as the second chancellor of the University. 

He said that they were also in Wukari to seek the blessing of the royal father and his advises.

Prof. Abdul Rahman, who described the chancellor as a man with immense knowledge and experience, called on him to use his position to attract to FULafia some of the wonderful projects he attracted for the universities he served as chancellor

The vice-chancellor used the occasion of the visit to commend the Aku Uka for what he described as "the role you play in the process of bringing and maintaining peace and stability in Taraba State, in particular, and the nation in general.

He appealed to the royal father to provide his fatherly counsel for the peace, progress and development of the FULafia.

Abdul Rahman prayed God to grant the Aku Uka good health and many more fruitful years.

Those who accompanied the vice-chancellor to the visit included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Idris Amali; Registrar, Dr Abubakar Mamuda; Bursar, Mr. Daniel Wilson; University Librarian, Dr. Abiodun Iyoro and Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Ahmed Yakubu Ashuku.

Others were Dr. Abubakar Hassan Ahmed II; Special Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor, Musa Bashir Agbawu; Arch. Joseph Akogu; Mr. S. O. Onah and the Chief Security Officer, Wing Cmdr. Umar Mohammed Awe (rtd).

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The Federal University of Lafia (FULafia) was established in February 2011 by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the public benefit and it is recognized globally. Throughout our great history, FULafia has offered access to a wide range of academic opportunities. Read More