President Dawn Dekle is the new chairperson of the AUN-Adamawa Peace Initiative (API). She becomes the second substantive chair and succeeds her predecessor and pioneer, Dr. Margee Ensign, who resigned in February.
AUN-API is the highly-acclaimed partnership of prominent community, religious, business and academic leaders in Adamawa state and which has been in the forefront of humanitarian interventions and peace building initiatives in the state and in the Northeast region.
At her first formal meeting with members of the influential forum in the Peace Room, AUN Hotel, President Dekle was briefed on the workings of AUN-API and how their various undertakings have impacted Adamawa State. She commended the role former President Ensign played in founding and leading the organization.
“We do need to thank Margee because the way I see it, Margee had a lot of courage to stay here during the insurgency. She had a lot of courage to bring all of us together, and we are still together. We need to remember that… Margee has laid the foundation for us and set the table, and now we need to roll up our sleeves and rededicate ourselves to the mission of AUN-API.
President Dekle noted the many achievements of AUN-API and expects more commitment from members. During her time in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Dekle said, they had community outreach programs in refugee camps and gave scholarships to marginalized students.
“But there is nothing like AUN-API, trust me. But we cannot become complacent. I’m going to expect more from you… And as I heard your comments from the table, I think you have an appetite for more.”
President Dekle noted that AUN-API is the gateway to AUN becoming known for community outreach programs. She envisions projects which the University can collaborate with the NGO that can make the University become known in all of the country. “AUN is the best kept secret in Nigeria. But in my tenure as president, everyone is going to know about AUN through our work with the community."
She expressed readiness to lead the organization.
“And those of you at AUN know that my definition of leadership is capturing the imagination of everyone. That’s how I will take this. I want to have a big imagination of what we can do together with AUN-API.”
She charged members to think about projects they are going to be involved in that can really create impact in the region. “Going forward, why don’t we consider an expanded vision for AUN-API of building human capital and transforming communities?”
By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa