Ambassadors of the Economic Community of West Africa States Youth Council (EYC) on Friday were at the premises of the Delta State University, Abraka as part of its tour of West African countries in furtherance of its enthusiasm to build bridges of friendship and create a pool/communities of nation builders across the ECOWAS region.
Their primary objective for the tour is to identify outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves particularly in human capital development in order to recognise their inputs and roles in achieving better and more appropriate lifestyle for Africans. The spokesman of the group, Ambassador Daniel Emeka Nwachukwu, while highlighting the mission of the visit, noted the remarkable inputs of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor F.
Peretomode, to the academia, particularly in the area of infrastructure development, quality study environment, capacity building, quick response to students’ challenges, peaceful and stable academic calendar, uncompromising attitude towards evil directed at staff and students amongst other notable achievements intended towards capacity building and human capital needs peculiar to Africa.
Highlighting the problems and challenges experienced by African countries, Amb. Nwachukwu reiterated that poor leadership, as well as poor followership in Africa accounts for the poor image of the continent. He asserted that perpetual inconsistencies in implementation of education policy and technology roadmap for Africa must give way for more pragmatic approach as displayed by the present leadership of Professor Peretomode.
He however, added that the foreign media in most cases, orchestrate the negativities that exists in Nigeria and Africa in general; whereas, such negative activities abound in most advanced countries in the world today. Speaking further, he reiterated the fact that Africa urgently requires an accelerated production of quality youths armed with current technologies and knowledge to lead the rest of the world. He urged African leaders to curb the menace of lack of plans which has often derails the intellectual, political and social capabilities of the average African child.
The EYC, Vice-Commissioner of Engagement, Hon. Nochiso Toure, who is from Cote De Voire (Ivory Coast), while addressing Management of the University, demonstrated his versatility on various issues bothering on Africa, especially issues relating to youths and nation-building. Speaking in French, he told the Vice-Chancellor that the body is on tour of West African countries to affirm the developments made by organisations saddled with human capital development, particularly tertiary educational institutions in the west African sub region; adding that EYC do not give Awards of Excellence indiscriminately except to those nation builders, who have distinguished themselves in quality service delivery, integrity, honesty, and visible achievement towards nation building for which, Professor Victor Peretomode stands out.
He, recounted some of the unprecedented achievements of the Vice-Chancellor such as enduring peace and stable academic calendar experienced during his tenure; institution of worldwide standard academic calendar (October –June) with three months Holiday for academic staff and students; sustaining work-study programme for economically disadvantaged students; institution of academic sanity, integrity and academic honesty in research; and the bull-by-the-horn approach to examination malpractice, corruptible and moral decadence overtly practiced by some staff of the University and sponsoring officials of the Student Union Government to attend International Student Union Youth Conference overseas to interact with youth from other countries of Africa to learn dialogue to approaching issues affecting students. No wonder there is peace and tranquility and stable academic calendar in Delta State University, Abraka.
Describing the Vice-Chancellor as a Pan Africanist, a distinguished Nigerian teacher, and an academician par excellence and a lover of his students whom he considers as first (No. 1) and it is for their sake administrator, teaching and non-teaching staff are here. Hon. Nochiso Toure, re-emphasized that the purpose of the visit was to ascertain the media reportage of the achievement of the Vice-Chancellor adding that the state-of-the-arts educational infrastructure and facilities on ground puts the university far and above most federal universities and international universities in capacity building and good university governance. He capped his speech thus;“without fear or favour, it is our firm belief that Professor Peretomode has distinguished himself in nation building through his service over the years in various capacities – his administrative prudence, policy implementation, Pan Africanism ideologies – his experiential knowledge and modest inputs to human capital development are too paramount to be discarded and unnoticed”.
Presenting the Afrocentric Vice-Chancellor of the Year Award on behalf of the EYC, Hon. Nochiso Toure congratulated the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peretomode who was flanked by his wife, Dr. Mrs. Otaroghene Peretomode, on his noble and rare achievement as a 21st Century Head of tertiary educational institutions most of whom are notable for corruptive practices capable of depriving the average Nigerian youth (students), the opportunity of quality education and character needed by Nigeria and Africa to overcome its challenges. He projected Professor Peretomode as true ambassador of the Nigerian educational sector, worthy of a Minister of Education for the realisation of the Nigeria National Policy on Education and its objectives. He used the opportunity to call for the overhaul of the education sector and review of the education curricula to meet the thirst for development.
The Vice-Chancellor received with enthusiasm the triple award of a medal, a plaque inscribed with the “Afrocentric Vice-Chancellor of the Year Award” and a certificate of “Thomas Sankara Agnize Award for Excellence and Integrity” amidst ovation from other members of the University Management team and portfolio professors that were present at the occasion.
In his response, the Vice-Chancellor Professor Peretomode who was visibly elated appreciated the EYC delegates for the gesture and most importantly for their mission of harnessing Africans for Africa development. He however noted that as a person, he is not awards frenzy but that he welcomed the gesture because of the Council’s robust mission and vision that cuts across West Africa and its enthusiasm to build bridges of friendship and pool of nation builders across the ECOWAS sub region. While thanking them for recognizing him noted that the vision of EYC will go a long way to help our future leaders.
Furthermore, he requested that Management would welcome and appreciate that the ECOWAS Youth Conference scheduled for September this year should be hosted by Delta State University, Abraka assuring them of free and befitting accommodation for all delegates as well as venues for the conference.
The Vice-Chancellor further stated that the success of his administration so far was not without the immense support of his Management team, staff and students; and above all, God Almighty Who ordained him for the success and achievement recorded. The Vice-Chancellor dedicated the award to God and the entire University community for their unwavering support since he assumed duty as Vice-Chancellor four years and eight months ago and has peaceful reign and stable academic calendar to the extent that staff and students can proceed on three to four months’ holiday; graduating students and are promptly mobilized for the National Youth Service Corps Programme.
The delegates of the visiting ECOWAS Youth Council (EYC) for the award included Ivorian, Ghanaian and Nigerian.