Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12:49 am
As the Premier University clocks 67, the institution celebrates with installation of new chancellor and graduates doctoral degree holders
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan.
On 17 November 2015, all roads led to the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan, UI, situated along UI-Ojoo Road in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State for the institution’s founders’ day celebration.
The occasion saw the installation of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III as the 7th Chancellor of the institution and his conferment with the honourary Doctor of Law (LLD). The institution’s longest serving Vice Chancellor, Emeritus Professor, Ayodeji Banjo was also conferred with Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.). There was also the convocation of doctoral graduands, including the first ever visually impaired doctoral graduand of the school from the Department of Special Education, Dr. Chukwuka Blessing. The premier university also graduated 20 Masters’ graduands of Life and Health Sciences Institute, PAN African University who are of various nationalities in Africa. There was also the presentation of the 12th Vice Chancellor, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, whose tenure officially starts on December 1st 2015.
There was tight security. Heavily armed security operatives, including policemen, led by the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade. DSS, Civil Defence and special squad from the presidency were on ground. The institution’s security personnel were not ;eft behind either..
In attendance were the institution’s visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by his vice, Professor Yemi Osibajo; Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie and his health counterpart, Professor Isaac Adewole, who is the outgoing vice chancellor of the institution; Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Umar Musa Mustapha; Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State; Emeritus Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe, vice chancellors from other universities, clergymen and royal fathers.
In his speech, Buhari, who was apt in declaring that the determinants of the nation’s future were creativity, character and technology, said that the future of Nigeria is bright if Nigerians could conduct their activities with highest discipline, integrity and sound value adding that the nation would go nowhere without sound value system and character deficiency.
Pointing out that the world we live now is different from that of a decade ago, he noted that the assumptions that were made a decade ago are no longer applicable. “Today many newspapers are not doing well as before because before they print their newspapers the following day, most of the stories would have been read online. In this era of citizen journalists, who is a journalist or who is not a journalist? The nature of telling and hearing the news has changed. So, things must be done differently and in line with the dictates of today without sacrificing good value, integrity and discipline if the nation must move forward”.
He said that the Federal Government is committed to responsible and responsive government, zero tolerance of corruption, job creation, rapid development of critical development, road construction, technology, improvement in infrastructure, and power sectors, diversification of economy, development of agriculture, promotion of entrepreneurs, and supporting creative individual.
Acknowledging that the nation is facing lot of challenges including extreme poverty and poor GDP growth, literacy, infant and maternal mortality, unemployment, the president concluded, “We will succeed by His grace.”
Speaking earlier, the chancellor lauded the premier university for meeting the realistic expectations of the majority of its patrons in the conscientious discharge of its mandate since its inception pointing out, “The standard is set, the strategic role it played in the establishment of new universities, the broad spectrum of academic programmes it offered and the variety of institutes and centres it established, had all gone to confirm the premier status of the university and the paragon of excellence that it is.”
The chancellor, who was grateful to the university for naming one of its hall residence after Sultan Ahmadu Bello, noted that the next journey of the institution would not only be exciting but laden with many daunting challenges stressing, “We must never compromise on the quality of our products. The strength of a nation is usually judged by the value of the human capital it produces. It is for this reason that our industrialized cousins spare no expense at sustaining the best educational institutions in their respective countries. We must therefore appreciate the fact that when the principal producers of our human resources begin to debase and devalue it from source, they place the entire nation in jeopardy. Our university must also never compromise on nurturing creativity and innovation. This constitutes the life-blood of a university and a vertical life-line to the nation. We must be able to extend the frontiers of knowledge and to apply it in addressing our socio-political, economic and technological life. Any nation that is unable to support its tertiary educational institutions to undertake serious research would not be able to address the current challenges facing it with any degree of efficacy nor retain its relevance and competitiveness in the wider world. The current malady where research is jettisoned in favour of routine teaching and administration should not be allowed to afflict UI. We must never compromise on the character of our products and their moral and ethical orientation.”
Commenting on the state of security in the country, Abubakar said that insurgency attacks in the North-East has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people as well as displacing over two million people pointing out that the ideology of terrorists has nothing to do with Islamic religion. “The spread of the group was also aided by other socio-economic factors which are usually glossed over as we search for solutions to this menace. The North East sub-region harbours one of the largest concentration of Almajiri, numbering over two and half million, who are outside the conventional school system. In some state, there are more Almajiri than there are pupils in the conventional school system. Secondly, the low educational indices also translate into high incidences of relative poverty, with the North East posting a figure of 76.3 percent. This phenomenon would definitely not augur well for the orderly development of our diverse societies and of our nation. It is urgent and necessary for our tertiary educational institutions, including UI, to take real and sustainable action to address this sad situation”, he added.
The monarch also called for peace building and conflict resolution as well as nation building.
For Adewole, it was an occasion to show gratitude to the university community that played major roles in his progress.
This year, the premier university graduated a total number of 9,429 graduands. For higher degrees, a total number of 5,722 graduated and the breakdown shows: 450 doctoral graduands, 31 M.PhiI graduands, 13 MPH graduands, 3,795 Masters (academic), 718 Masters (professional), 59 PGD graduands.
For first Degree and Diplomas, a total of 3,814 graduands graduated and the breakdown reflects: 102 First class; 935, 2nd Class Honours (Upper Division); 1946, 2nd Class (Lower Division); 359, 3rd Class Honours; 67, Pass; and 298, Diplomas.