The father of the best graduating student of University of Abuja, Mr Akawu Adamu, is a police officer serving in the FCT. He spoke to Aso Chronicle when his daughter was honoured by the chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) recently.
How do you feel that you and your daughter are being celebrated today?
I am excited. I have five children – four girls and my fifth child who is a boy. My passion for education has always made me ensure that none of them is out of school. They are always in school so I have hope that they will become great in their endeavours. My desire to enroll them in school was borne out of my passion for education.
What was the reaction of people around you when you enrolled your girls in school?
Being who I am, I do not listen to them. But the discouragement came from different people because they are all girls. But as for me, I was not discouraged because I believe that anything a boy can do a girl can do better. That is my policy.
I can remember some of my close associates who said I was just wasting my time, that the girl might not complete her education or somebody might impregnate her. They said my money and efforts would be wasted at the end. But I maintained my stance. I told them if that is how my money will be wasted, so be it.
‘What a man can do, a woman can do better’, that has always been my policy from the beginning so I was not bothered by whatever people said about my children. I don’t have to say anything to those people because they can now see what has happened. I just pray that God should broaden their minds to abandon such utterances.
How will you describe the journey of sending the children to school?
It was not easy but it was a sacrifice. I did it with my salary, nothing more than that. I don’t even farm. That is why you are seeing me like this. I don’t have a car, all those social amenities, good house, I don’t have them. I stay in a mud house in Kuchingoro. But for my sacrifice to ensure that they get good education, I could have been staying in a better house.
What are you hoping from the government or other people?
After participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), I hope other people will also help her secure a good employment and to also further her studies.
What advice do you have for parents?
My advice is that they should not segregate among their children. Whether a girl or a boy, they should believe that their children would go far in life. Some people believe that girls should not be enrolled in school because they would end up in the kitchen but we have the likes of Sirleaf of Liberia, Dora Akunyilli and several other great women. All of them belonged to a family. My advice to parents is that they should treat a girl-child equally as a boy.