Receiving an honorary doctorate degree in Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar bemused his public as he reminisced how his, now late, father banned him from attending school in his hometown of Jada, Adamawa State, and was subsequently confined.
"When my father was put in jail by local authorities because he needed my assistance with herding the livestock, it seemed like a harsh punishment," Atiku recalled.
Mr Abubakar, founder of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, stressed that he was able to realize his dreams only thanks to education -- the dreams he had as a young boy being brought up in his village of Jada.
Said he, "education is what brought me in contact with members of the United States of America's Peace Corps when I was still a little boy; a contact and interaction that would have profound impact on my life, especially my love for education and service."
Apart from "personal growth and development," education gave him friends everywhere in Nigeria, as he attended high school and university; it made him able to get the job in the Nigerian civil service; it provided him with opportunities to meet and form more life-long friendships from across the world.
The former Vice President also added via his media office that if his father were "alive to witness this day and the last 30 or so years of my life, I am sure that he would exclaim 'wow! Education pays after all!'"