Viewpoint

December 17, 2023

Western Delta University Moving The Nation Forward

Western Delta University Moving The Nation Forward

By Allison Abanum

The Western Delta University, founded in 2007 is a privately financed institution established with a vision to pursue excellence in all areas of academics in order to produce men and women with the intellectual and professional capabilities to resolve challenges at all levels of relevance.

The school which began its activities in 2008 after being accredited by the Nigeria University Commission currently has three campuses, with faculties in Natural and Applied Sciences, Social and Management Science, Applied Health Science, and Law. The school held her 15th Founder State Ceremony on the 29th April, 2023 attended by a number of high ranking personalities, including four former state governors in Nigeria.

The high point of the event was the commissioning of a new university clinic, a welcome post, a lawn tennis court and a cafeteria. The institution has expanded over the years to include more academic programmes and facilities; such as teaching laboratories, lecture theatres, and classrooms, software, hardware, and cyber security laboratories; a functional media studio, an econometrics laboratory, a general school and e-library, a legal clinic, a moot court, operational Guidance and Counselling Department, staff offices; and tastefully furnished hostels.

The university currently runs degree programmes in Nursing, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Law, Computer Sciences, and Social and Management Sciences; and also commenced it’s post graduate programme in the 2022/2023 academic session; with several hundreds of students enrolled in each of these programmes.

Usually, a convocation ceremony isn’t just an annual ceremony where students celebrate the completion of their chosen field of academic journey and achievements. It’s also a day where an institution celebrates its own accomplishment of the essence, intent and vision for existence. Hence, the reason the ceremony is usually hallmarked with celebration. Saturday, December 2nd, 2023 was a day of unusual celebration at the Western Delta University, Oghara where the 11th – 13th Convocation Ceremony was held.

The ceremony witnessed a host of political, academic and religious elites, as well as the crème de la crème of traditional and royal fathers in attendance. Among these were the Emir of Zazzau, His Highness, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamali, the NDDC Chairman Mr Chiedu Ebie, the leaders of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Also duly represented were the Speaker, House of Representatives, Vice Chancellors of Benson Idahosa University, Igbenedion University, Delta State University, Abraka, and the University of Benin.

Key highlights of the events included the school Chancellor’s address, the keynote lecture by Professor Antonia Taiye Okooosi- Simbine; award of honorary Doctorate Degree to some deserving individuals, presentation of prizes to first-class and best graduating students; and the conferment of Bachelors Degree and post graduate degrees on graduating and post graduating students respectively.

Addressing the both students and guests, the WDU Chancellor, Former Governor Obong Victor Attah thanked the Visitor to the University, His Excellency, Chief James Ibori for his relentless commitment to nurturing the institution and seeing that youths are academically empowered to thrive in their chosen fields of study. He also acknowledged the efforts and meaningful contributions of members of the school management board in the person’s of Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe, among others.

He described the Western Delta University as a student-centred citadel of learning building excellence in its students through research and worthwhile learning engagements. He further emphasised that the University has committed itself to raise quality human resources who can think critically and creatively to solve problems, skilfully build teams, bring consensus, motivate change and lead.

Professor Antonia Taiye Okooosi-Simbine, while delivering the day’s keynote lecture spoke on ‘Towards a People-Centred Governance: the Role of the Youths’. She spoke on the peculiarities of the 21st Century youths as being a tech-savvy generation with the capacity to influence global change through digital proficiency and diversity. She highlighted that the major challenges facing the Nigerian youths include unemployment, lack of access to quality education, insecurity, marginalisation, among others.

The effect of these on one hand could be seen in the massive migration of young people (to other countries) popularly known as ‘Japa’ in local parlance. On the other hand, the Nigerian Economy has suffered a great blow from this due to the huge brain drain. She submitted that the way out would be to have a youth inclusive government where young people can take up certain leadership responsibilities. Lastly, she urged the graduating students to seize the future by maximizing the knowledge and experience acquired through their years of learning at WDU; and prioritising continuous personal development.

It was also an exciting moment when the Emir of Zazzau, together with Dr (Mrs) Ajoritsedere Josephine Awosika, Mr Igho Okoteke and Mr Oritsedere Otubu; was awarded an honorary doctorate degree, in recognition of their contribution to society and the University. Dr Awosika in her acceptance speech hailed Chief James Ibori for his unwavering dedication to human capacity development, and finding ways to give back to the society. She t described the school as a bastion of excellence where much is being done to raise future leaders.

Mrs Blessing Itivieh, a parent of one law- graduating students remarked that she had been highly impressed with the standard delivery of learning experience and the impact it has made on her son, as compared to her older son, an accountant who graduated from another private university. On sharing his experience, Aniekan Uwak a graduating student of Economics, expressed his gratitude to the School for giving it’s students the best. His stated that the lecturers made learning fun and would miss his days there.

During the ceremony, eighteen graduands were awarded a first class honours while over three hundred post graduate students had their post graduate degrees conferred on them. The event on a high note of success.

  • Abanum is Senior Special Assistant on Strategic Communication and Documentation to the Governor of Bayelsa State.