By Mary Obaebor
EDUCATION is the power that every individual should possess to be able to develop their physical, mental and social capabilities, the Global President, Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife Alumni Association, Engineer Wale Olaleye, has said.
Olaleye stated this during a retreat organised by the association as part of the activities marking the 60th anniversary of the university. According to him, the gathering was also to strategize and brainstorm on how to reposition the university for better delivery of its mandates.
He added that the alumni association would do all it could to see that the institution becomes outstanding among other sister universities in the country. “Obafemi Awolowo University has fulfilled the mission and vision of its founding fathers, towards ensuring that the Great Ife maintains its academic standards and excellence as well as it leads in other areas such as sports and culture.
“We have placed a lot of emphasis on the awareness and encouragement of more members to key into the association’s agenda towards providing serious and meaningful intervention in our Alma Mater, he said: ”Alumni given awards during the event included Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi (the immediate past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council); Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede (the current Vice-Chancellor of the university); Alh. Rafiu Ebiti (a worthy alumnus and Philanthropist); and Barr. Olasupo Ojo (the composer of the well embraced university anthem.
The Guest Lecturer at the event, Director/C.E.O Nigeria French Language Village Ajara-Badagry, Lagos, Prof. Babatunde Ayeleru, spoke on “Repositioning Nigeria University,Towards Sustainable National Growth And Development.”
Ayeleru decried the situation whereby the nation depends on foreign countries for most of its needs despite the huge number of universities in the country.
“For instance, no COVID-19 vaccine has been researched and concluded by any of the Nigerian universities and approved by the World Health Organization(WHO) for the benefit of the citizenry instead we are looking, cap-in-hand, toward the Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna NIAID vaccine from a foreign university and research institutes abroad.”
Ayeleru enjoined the alumni to be committed to mobilization and provision of steady financial support for their alma mater.
In his remarks, Prof. Ogunbodede described OAU as the highest standard and worldwide reputation institution in the Western part of Nigeria, and appreciated the alumni for their kind gesture and impacts on the institution at large.
He also advised the public to be wary of some unknown persons who have opened social media accounts in his name and soliciting assistance in the process.