Assassinated Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Late Chief James Bola Ige, was on Wednesday honoured as the visitor to the Osun State University and Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola named the state-owned university after him.
This was part of a sweeping renaming of all the tertiary institutions in the state which was announced at the convocation ceremony of the university where oil magnate and founder of the Rose of Sharon Foundation, Mrs, Folorunsho Alakija was unveiled as the new Chancellor of the institution.
Other institutions renamed were: Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke will now be Bisi Akande College of Technology; Osun State Polytechnic Iree now, Sunday Afolabi Polytechnic; College Of Education, Ila Orangun now Adeyemi Oyeduntan College of Education and the College of Education Ilesa which will now be Lawrence Omole College of Education.
Others are UNIOSUN College of Law, Ifetedo now Kayode Esho College of Law; College of Social Sciences and Management Okuku, now Olagunsoye College of Social Sciences, Okuku; College of Agriculture Ejigbo, now Isiaka Adeleke College of Agriculture, Ejigbo; College of Education Ipetu Ijesa, now Ezekiah Oluwasanmi College of Education and College of Humanities and Culture, Ikire, now Eniola Atanda College of Humanities and Culture
This was even as the new Chancellor, Alakija, described her conferment as the Chancellor of UNIOSUN and the Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business administration as another glass ceiling broken by womanhood.
Aregbesola commended Dr. Alakija who with her investiture becomes the first female Chancellor in any publicly-owned university in Nigeria for counting the University worthy and accepting to serve as the Chancellor of the university when she could have easily turned down top universities in Europe and America with the same request.
He enjoined Dr. Alakija to join the state in the desire for an institution that exists for the society and advancement of mankind, saying most Nigerian universities are too withdrawn and unconcerned from the society an its problems.
Aregbesola said, “I therefore want this university at three levels to affect our society.
The first is at the level of teaching which should prepare the students for post graduate life by equipping them with life sustenance skills, especially technical and entrepreneurial education.
“Secondly, the universities should tailor its researches into immediate and prospective challenges of mankind in health, food, housing, infrastructure, societal organisation and the seemingly unknown aspects on nature and so on.
“The essence of the education enterprise is for man to be able to conquer nature and dominate the environment. This should translate into better life for all. An end should come to the idea of research for getting promotion which then gathers dust in a shelf somewhere.
“Thirdly, the universities should also be engaged in society through public service, by bringing their knowledge and research findings to bear directly in needed areas as their counterparts in other parts of the world are wont to do”. The Governor emphasised.
Aregbesola advised the university to re-programme itself to be able to raise funds without burdening government and its students.
He stressed that there are lots of firms and individuals who will like to endow chairs, courses, programmes and projects willing to pay any amount to have themselves immortalised in a place like a university, saying not all of them merit it, but people deserving them must be reach out to.
Speaking earlier, the new Chancellor harped on the central role of academic empowerment so as to guarantee economic growth among the people of the country.
According to Mrs Alakija education cannot and can never be over-emphasized because the lack of it could only bring poverty of body, mind and of living.
The Chancellor said being educated would give anyone the opportunity to play significant role and articulate his or her own agenda for change within space such individual occupies.
She called on all stakeholders involved in policies and programmes design for education to be committed education, saying the nation will be the better for it.
She said: “I feel extremely humbled, proud and excited to be receiving this conferment as Chancellor. I also appreciate the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration (DBA) (Honoris Causa), which came in as a surprise.
“Whatever role you are playing here today, it is obvious we all have a common goal, one that borders on Academic Empowerment for Economic Growth amongst our people for the benefit of Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.
“We all have a role to play to articulate our own agenda for for change; to change the world. If we can make a commitment to do something differently from now on, our world will be a better place to live in.
“Nigeria will flourish with the input from all of you gathered here as you embark on this exciting journey called life.”
The Chancellor also admonished the graduands to always be conscious that they form part of the threads with which the story of the university’s woven together, urging them to be good ambassador of the school wherever they find themselves.
In his inaugural speech, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jelil Guntola Alamu, remarked that the University has been sustaining it’s reputation as an institution purposely established to promote academic a excellence and sound moral education.
He revealed that the University has continued to grow in leaps and bounds with the recent accreditation of six more programmes by the National University Commission, bringing the programmes the school is running to 32 mature academic programmes.
Professor Oguntola equally disclosed that the university has become a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as well as signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
According to the Don, the school also excelled both nationally and internationally as students of the state, who participated in debating competition organised by African Regional Inter-University Debate Competition organised by UNESCO, came 3rd overall.
“Osun State University continues to sustain it’s reputation as an institution established to promote academic and moral standard.
“My greatest joy today is the relative peace and high level of academic excellence attained by the institution since I became the Acting Vice Chancellor about a year ago,” he said.
In his valedictory speech, the overall best student of the institution for 2014/ 2015session, Peter Oluwatobiloba Daniel, was full of appreciation to the God, his parents, lecturers and the Government of Osun for the establishment the University.
Daniel, with the best CGPA of 4.81 from Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, said he achieved the feat by steady and dedicated commitment to his academics.
He encouraged other students to plan well and follow their plans with dogged determination, saying “Whatever you conceive, you can achieve. Just keep on trying and the sky will be the beginning.”