Keynote speaker at AUN’s 13th Founder's Day, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, on November 24, shared his experience and those of two iconic personalities on how dreams and opportunity determine future successes.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatization, who founded the Silverbird Entertainment empire 38 years ago, narrated how he took the initial steps to achieve his dream, renting a corner space in his family’s Domino Stores, with only ₦20,000 seed fund from his father.
He believes that a humble beginning should not deter one from dreaming big to illuminate the dark recesses of the future.
“Atiku Abubakar was focused on today and tomorrow, and that future focus has resulted in this magnificent place of learning,” the Senator remarked, speaking highly of AUN’s founder.
Now, soon, today, tomorrow, and opportunity have altogether nine ‘O’ because they harbor many opportunities for the future. Yesterday has none, he further contended, also discouraging dwelling on one's background.
“Because you may have been an orphan selling firewood on the streets, just like H. E. Atiku Abubakar did, should not make your dreams smaller than [those] of the heir to the British throne.” He said there would have been no AUN in Yola today if the Founder had not dreamed it.
Citing the historical example of a sprinter, Roger Bannister, who defied expert analysis of the time by becoming the first human to run a mile under four minutes. He urged the audience never to self-doubt. He also talked about US President Donald Trump, who emerged president against the prediction of election experts, and the emergence of Nigeria’s Agbani Darego as Miss World, even when conventional wisdom said no Black woman could wear the crown.
Responding after the Senator’s keynote, “Opportunity and Dreams: The Key to all Successes,” the AUN Founder, H.E. Atiku Abubakar urged youths to continue to have dreams and ambitions. He added that there is no obstacle that cannot be surmounted.
“It is always good for young people growing ...when you have that dream or ambition, please plan for it. You plan for it, work hard to achieve that ambition or that target.
“You may at times miss some of those targets but don’t be discouraged, because it has happened to me before over and over again. I went back to my plan and my dream, and I have realized them.” [Full Text here]
Earlier in her welcome speech, President Dekle described Founder's Day as an occasion to publicly thank H.E. Atiku Abubakar for establishing AUN and for his continued support.
“The AUN Founder’s Day celebrates the founding, progress, and development of our beautiful university for the future of Nigeria, Africa, and the world. It is an annual tradition that we as a learning community are proud to celebrate and look forward to each year.”
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa