Yobe Governor Mai Mala Buni says it is a counter-extremism measure that he approved the sponsorship of 32 students to Egypt’s Al Azhar University to study the Qur’an and Arabic Language.
The approval came despite Yobe State University and the Federal University Gashua offering the courses.
Mr Mala Buni stated this in response to criticism of the decision, pointing out that the sponsorship to counter extremism. Yobe has been a hotbed of extremism, with Boko Haram is killing dozens of schoolboys and abducting schoolgirls from their hostels.
Speaking on behalf of the governor, Abubakar Kagu, the Executive Secretary of the Yobe Scholarship Board, told journalists, “Alazhar University is a reputable institution known for promoting and teaching Islam based on peace, tolerance, compassion, and unity.”
He added, “We want our students to tap from this knowledge and experience to counter any dubious interpretation of the teachings of Islam.”
Mr Mala Buni, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, had sponsored 233 students to study in India’s educational institutions in February.
Muhammad Gujba, the Executive Secretary of Yobe State Arabic and Islamic Education Board disclosed this on Monday while briefing journalists in Damaturu.
Mr Gujba, represented by Umar Muhammad, an official at the board, said the sponsorship was part of the present administration’s effort to improve the quality of education in the state.
“The present administration led by Governor Mai Mala Buni has a variety of programmes aimed at promoting the system of education by imparting sound knowledge among the students,” he said.
He appealed to the sponsored students to be good ambassadors of the state and the country and reciprocate the gesture by concentrating on their studies.
The governor had also spent N800 million on 316 students to receive foreign education in different institutions between 2019 and 2021.