An aura of festivity pervaded the entire campus of Covenant University on Thursday, March 4, 2010 as the University celebrated the 50th Birthday of her amiable Vice Chancellor, Professor Aize Oloigbe Imouokhome Obayan.
The Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo, Members of the Board of Regents (the highest governing body of the University), the Management team, Eminent Professors, Faculty, Staff, Students and other stakeholders in the University gathered to celebrate the woman of virtue and an internationally acclaimed professor.
At a special chapel service in her honour, the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo extolled her passion and commitment to the vision and growth of the University saying, â€œYou have done wellâ€.
The Chancellor in a word of exaltation stated that life is a race which can not be won by physical appearance or strength but by the grace of God which is made available by constantly acknowledging God Almighty as the Source.
Quoting from Romans 9 verse 16 and 1Samuel 2 verse 9, to establish his point, Dr. Oyedepo reiterated that, â€œEvery time the grace of God is mis-appropriated, it is turned to disgrace.
He admonished the audience to shun pride which he said is the cheapest way to shut the door of grace upon oneâ€™s life, adding that, â€œThere is no end to making progress in life but at the point where pride begins, thatâ€™s where progress stopsâ€.
Also at the reception organised to celebrate the occasion, the Chancellor further commended her for adding value to other peopleâ€™s lives and the University. He however urged her to do more and move from the level of diligence to sacrifice.
He said, â€œYou have been diligent over the years; you have worked. Now itâ€™s time to move from the level of diligence to sacrifice. Do not take the grace of God upon your life for grantedâ€. He then prayed for more grace and favour of God upon her even as she continues in her assignment.
Also, various individuals and groups including friends, family members, the Faculty Women Advance (a group of Covenant University women faculty) and Studentsâ€™ Council eulogised her virtues of selflessness, simplicity, humility and exemplary motherhood.
In her testimony, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Obayan who is also referred to as the Handmaiden of God and the daughter of Africa stated that she was the least qualified, but the grace of God located her.
She said, â€œIâ€™m the least qualified but grace located me and brought me here. Anyone that knew my circumstances from 1992 to 2002 will know that this is just the grace and favour of God. Many have written me off. Colleagues would see me and turn other way, but grace located me and by the reason of liberation mandate, Iâ€™ve found liberationâ€.
She stated that all she was able to achieve would not have been possible without the support of the Chancellor whom she referred to as Father and Mentor. She expressed appreciation to Pastor (Mrs.) Faith Oyedepo for showing her examples to follow.
She also acknowledged the support of the Management team, particularly the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Charles Ogbulogo and the Registrar, Dr. Daniel Rotimi, Faculty and Staff who she said worked as a family and promised that the grace of God will not be taken for granted.
Professor Aize Oloigbe Imouokhome Obayan was born on March 4, 1960 to the family of Sir and Lady Frank Imouokhome in the then Bendel State, now Edo State.
She attended among others, the famous St. Maria Goreti Girlsâ€™ Secondary School, Benin City, Saint Leonards School for Girls, and for her â€œAâ€ Levels, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland â€“ a school which has produced many women of international repute.
On her return, she gained admission to the University of Benin, Benin City for a B. Ed (English) degree from 1979 to 1982. Immediately after her Youth Service in Kano, she gained admission to the University of Ilorin where she earned her Masterâ€™s and Doctorate degrees in Guidance and Counselling.
Professor Aize Obayan started her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State in 1986. She rose through the ranks, thus becoming a Reader at the same University in 1995.
For three years, between 1996 and 1999, she was at the University of Roehampton, United Kingdom as a Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology. On her return to Nigeria, she was appointed to the Chair in counselling and as Pioneer Head of Department of Human Resource Development at Covenant University, Ota Nigeria.
In July 2003, she was appointed the Dean of the former College of Human Development now part of the College of Development Studies. In October 2004, she became the Coordinator of the Universityâ€™s School of Postgraduate Studies. In addition, Professor Obayan served as Anchor Person of the Universityâ€™s Total Man Concept Programme â€“ Covenant Universityâ€™s home grown in-loco-parentis programme for mentoring studentsâ€™ and addressing essential student issues.