Garissa University, the former constituent college of Moi University, held its first graduation ceremony on Thursday, in a colourful ceremony with memories of the Al-Shabaab attack that claimed lives of 148 people most of them students still fresh in the minds of many.
The ceremony started with a minute silence to remember students and security officers killed in the 2015 terror attack, one of the worst in Kenyan soil.
Over 400 students graduated in a ceremony with the National Assembly Majority Leader and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, who was the chief guest, saying the terror attack was the darkest moment in his political career.
Most of the survivors who were government-sponsored students were transferred to Eldoret-based Moi University.
“We will not forget what happened in April 2nd 2015. But no challenge is too great not to be overcome. Al-Shabab wanted this university closed but now this is the fruit of our resilience,” Duale said.
He urged the university management to remain innovative and enhance consultation with all the stakeholders to ensure up to date interventions in handling insecurity and cases of violent extremism which he said remained a global challenge.
The ceremony was attended by, among others, MPs Mohamed Dahiye (Dadaab), Mohamed Hire (Lagdera), Sophia Abdinoor (Ijara), and Garissa Senator Mohamed Yussuf Haji.
The University’s Chancellor Prof Hellen Sambili appreciated government’s effort in enhancing the security in and around the university after the terror attack.
“We remember those who lost their lives and their families. The university will remain strong and it will transform this region,” Sambili said.
Security was tight in and around the University with armed security officers stationed at various strategic places along Kismayu road that leads to the university.