Posted by: Adegunle Olugbamila
• ABUAD holds second convocation
Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has promised to revive education in the state. He spoke yesterday at the second convocation of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.
The governor breached academic protocol when he announced the best graduating student, Miss Oluwatosin Joy Ogunbusola, at the end of his speech.
The best graduating student is usually announced either by the registrar or any high ranking university official.
The breach, nonetheless, turned out as a surprise to guests and the young valedictorian as the governor gave her N1million cheque, in a gesture which he described as the beginning of a revival of education, which Ekiti State is reputed for.
Fayose said: “At my inauguration last week, I mentioned education as one of the six cardinal objectives of my administration. It is because of our edge in education that our state was named: ‘Fountain of Knowledge’.
“Though this has declined over the years, my administration will ensure we revive that culture and restore education to its pride of place in Ekiti State.”
He praised Aare Babalola for creating a world-class institution and growing young leaders who would address Nigeria’s challenges.
The governor promised that the administration would work with ABUAD through the State University (EKSU).
Babalola said October 21 was a significant day in his life. His words: “I have observed that October 21 has a lot to do with my destiny. It has always been a good day in my life. Any day, I have a judgment to be delivered and it falls on that day, I know I’ll win the case.
“I want to specially thank you (parents and guardians) for believing in me and for choosing ABUAD, which was only a year old of the 136 older universities in this country four years ago.
“You believed that ABUAD would provide quality education without any disruption in the academic calendar. You were right! There is no extra week, day, hour or minute.
“This is why so many students chose ABUAD as their university of first choice. ABUAD, which is only four years old, came second of 50 private universities.
The founder said his foray into university education had opened his eyes to the realisation that people were inimical to change.
Babalola said this had not dampened his spirit, noting that the university management remains relentless in its crusade to ensure the right culture was inculcated.
In the last one year, he said the university had increased its manpower from 750 to 1500; students’ enrolment leapt from 2000 to 3, 750.
This, the legal luminary added, was in addition to the multimillion naira Talent Discovery Centre with over 29 vocations and the five-star Guest House, valued at N2.5 billion.
He urged guests to visit the university farm, which he described as a shining example of how internally generated revenue could be initiated and sustained by institutions.
Babalola expressed happiness that the university scored 100 per cent accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC), and was the first university to secure full accreditation in Medicine in just one visit.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Michael Ajisafe said 334 graduated. Ajisafe said 47 (37 women and 10 men) had first class.
One hundred and twenty eight, and another 113 got second class upper and second class lower degrees; 16 made third class.
Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Vice-Chairman Julius Berger Nigeria Plc Heinz Stockause were given honorary Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
A United States Specialist Consultant Dr Ann Coxon and Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Ndufu Alike, Ebonyi State, Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe, who delivered the convocation lecture, were given honorary Doctor of Sciences.
At the event were the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe Aladesanmi, the Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Akinbolade, former University of Lagos Registrar Rotimi Shodimu, Gowon’s wife Victoria and NUC representative Oluwole Olaoye.