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Euphoria, As Ex-N/Delta Militant Emerges Best Graduating Student At WDU

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Mr. Ebiwari Shadrach, a student under the Presidential Amnesty Scholarship Programme, on Saturday, emerged as the best-graduating student of the Western Delta University (WDU), Oghara, Delta state, at its convocation ceremony.

Reports indicate that the environment turned into a field of dreams as Shadrach also bagged a first-class degree in Computer Science.

According to reports, many people in the WDU main Auditorium shed tears of joy when Shadrach, in his speech, thanked the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and his successors, including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for continuing with the Amnesty programme.

Thanking God for the Amnesty scholarship, Shadrach said his sojourn in the University has opened many doors which could enable him to achieve his academic and career goals.

Shadrach, a member of the 2022/2023 graduating class, challenged his fellow graduates to “work on their weaknesses and proffer solutions to societal problems as they embark on a new journey”.

Eighteen graduating students from 2020/2021, 2021/2022, 2022/2023 sessions also bagged First Class degrees of the 426 graduating students.

At the ceremony, two persons received honorary Doctorate degrees. They were Mr. Oritsedere Otubu, Chairman, of Eko Disco (Business Administration), and Mr. Igho Okotete, Chairman of Pioneer Global Resource and Integrated Energy Ltd, (International Affairs and Diplomacy).

Elated by the honour bestowed on them, the two honourary awardees made consequential bequests to WDU, pledging to construct an auditorium and a science laboratory respectively.

Also, the Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamballi, Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika, and the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young Chae, were conferred with Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Public Affairs, Science, International Affairs and Diplomacy and Business Administration, respectively.

In her convocation lecture, Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), called on the graduates to make good choices that will shape their lives.

In the lecture, titled “A People–Centred Governance Process in Nigeria: The Role of the Youth”, Okoosi-Simbine said “The challenges facing Nigerian youths are multifaceted but interrelated. They include limited access to quality education, unemployment, underemployment, poverty, corruption, insecurity, a poor health system, culture, cultism, and drug abuse”.

She noted that the average youth had sought refuge in drugs to “weather the challenge”, saying that while the Nigerian population is predominantly young, the young people have not been adequately catered for over the years.

She therefore urged governments at all levels to engage youths in socio-political activities to foster a people-centered, inclusive, accountable, and responsive system.

“Over two-thirds of Nigeria’s population is under 30 years old, so youth involvement would ensure an appreciable degree of representation in political and policy decision-making”.

Urging the graduands to engage themselves with important things because “the onus lies with you to take the bull by the horns”, Okoosi-Simbine said that “the key is responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most
important things.

“The choices you make are pivotal in shaping your future self”.

The University Visitor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, appreciated the Emir of Zazzau for physically attending the convocation ceremony despite his busy schedule, noting; “your humility is worth emulating”.

Ibori urged the graduates to improve themselves in the face of adversity and called on the University management to stick to its academic and educational plan to be a model for other institutions.

In his address, the Chancellor of Western Delta University, Obong Victor Attah, lauded Ibori for his vision and hard work in nurturing the institution.

Attah commended the graduates for their hard work in completing their various courses of study, but warned that the future of Nigeria depends on them and that ”Nigeria needs people who can learn, adapt to change, and persuade others to do the same.”

Meanwhile, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Emmanuel Eghosa Osaghae, reiterated that the giant strides and
accomplishments of the University would not have been achieved without Chief Ibori, saying “we remain grateful for your unwavering support over the years and we pledge to never let you down”.

He also appreciated the host community, Oghara town, for making the university environment hospitable for the institution to grow since its inception.

In his address, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe, mooted that the institution is proud to be a player in the private university system which is leading the way in quality education.

He revealed that the university has significantly expanded its academic colleges from three to six.

He charged the graduates to remember the mission of their alma mater – to produce men and women with capability and a deep sense of responsibility for contribution to development, saying “you have to prove your mettle in the real world where you have to demonstrate the virtues, knowledge, and competence acquired in Western Delta University.

Also, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, who was represented by his Deputy, Phillip Shaibu, congratulated Ibori and the management of the institution for their immense contribution to the educational sector of Nigeria.

He urged the graduates to be the catalyst that will boost the economy of the country, saying “let us focus on production for local consumption.”

He called on the state government to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

In her remarks, the Member of the House of Representatives, representing Ethiope-West Federal Constituency, Mrs Erhitake Ibori-Suenu, urged the graduates to be good products of the institution by contributing to the growth of the society.

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Education

Lion Kills OAU Zoo Attendant 

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…Lion killed instantly 

Mr Olawuyi Olarewaju, a veterinary technologist with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun,  has been killed by a Lion.

It was learnt that Olarewaju, who had been in charge of the OAU Zoological Garden for over a decade, was attacked by a nine -year-old male lion on Monday.

He was said to have been attacked while feeding the lion at the zoological garden of the university.

Confirming the incident, Mr Biodun Olarewaju, the OAU Public Relations Officer, said the management of the university had been thrown into mourning following the incident.

Olarewaju, in a statement in Ile-Ife, said that other members of staff of the university, who were at the scene of the incident did everything within their powers to rescue the deceased but the wild cat had already caused severe fatalities.

He said that saddened by the tragic event, the aggressive lion had been euthanized.

“On hearing the sad news, the management team, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adebayo Bamire, abruptly ended an on-going meeting for an on-the-spot assessment.

“The vice chancellor was informed on arrival by the Acting Director of the University Health and Medical Centre, Dr Tirimisiyu Olatunji, that all first aid and medical efforts to save the life of the victim failed.

“The deceased has been taking care of the lions since they were born on campus about nine years ago but tragically, the male lion killed the man who had been feeding them.

“The university management has sent a delegation to the widow and children of the deceased,    imploring them to take solace in God who gives life and also has the power to take life,” he said.

Olarewaju said that the management had ordered a comprehensive investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

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Education

ASUU Says 46 Members Lost Their Lives To Economic Hardship

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Abuja zone, has disclosed the death of some of its members due to economic hardship alongside poor remuneration of academics and unfavourable working conditions.

The 1st zonal coordinator, ASUU, Abuja zone, Salahu Muhammed made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

Muhammad said no fewer than 46 academics lost their lives in universities under the Abuja zone.

They are the University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State University, Nasarawa, and the Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai.

He said that the union recently lost an eminent Professor of Fisheries, Johnson Oyero, of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, due to inability to afford quality medical facilities.

“In the last decade, more Nigerian academics are leaving the country in droves in search of greener pastures, thereby overworking the patriotic ones that remain in the system whose level of patriotism is dwindling daily due to poor remuneration and working conditions.

“It is also worthy of note that the union has lost several members during the period under review due to herculean working conditions, psychological and emotional stress, and diseases related to these conditions.

“For instance, universities in the Abuja zone have lost 46 members,” Muhammed said.

He decried the payment to their members, of amputated two-month salaries by the Federal Government out of the seven-and-a-half month withheld salaries.

Also, the 2nd ASUU Abuja Zonal Coordinator, Mr Salahu Lawal, said the salaries were withheld when the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari invoked a ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy on members of the union that embarked on a strike that lasted eight months in 2022.

Lawal said despite the order by President Tinubu for the release and payment of their withheld salaries, some members have reportedly received an amputated two-month salary of the seven-and-a-half-month withheld salaries, while many were yet to get anything.

“This is far below the expectation of the union and further weakens the morale of our members and the union’s trust in government promises.

“We use this medium to call on all that are involved in this inglorious act to do the needful with regards to lecturers’ withheld salaries as there is nothing more to prove,” he said.

Lawal also lamented the inability of the government to implement the exemption of Federal Universities from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as approved by the federal Executive Council in December 2023.

‘’In December 2023, the Minister of Education after a FEC meeting told the world that tertiary institutions are now exempted from the IPPIS an imposition on federal universities by the immediate past Buhari-led government.

“It is worrisome that two months after that pronouncement, the directive has not been implemented rather there was a funny narration on the salaries paid in January stating ‘’New IPPIS’’.

“This is lack of political will to carry out a directive from the president or even FEC by some elements who are beneficiaries of the dubious payment platform,’’ Lawal stated.

He further called on the Federal Government to sign and implement the Professor Nimi Briggs committee renegotiation agreement.

The ASUU Zonal Coordinator called for the immediate implementation of salary awards of 25 percent and 35 percent and payment of its arrears from January 2023 to date

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Education

SIFAX Chairman, Afolabi Agrees To Deliver LAUTECH Convocation Lecture In April

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…Following the University’s Special Visit and Invitation

The Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has agreed to deliver the Convocation lecture at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, come April 2024.

This was a sequel to an invitation by the management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho led by its Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Rasak Olatunde Rom Kalilu, following a courtesy visit to the revered SIFAX Group Chairman, recently. 

*L-R: Professor Temisan Ebijuwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Chike Ogeah, Managing Director, Mac-Folly Hospitality, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group owners of Lagos Marriott Hotel; Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group and Wunmi Eniola-Jegede, Executive Director, Business Development and Strategic Planning during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja.

The SIFAX Group Chairman, in the course of the visit, was adequately briefed on happenings in the University.

ALSO READ: SIFAX Chairman Lauds Gerar University On Infrastructure, Donates Bus

The LAUTECH has been at the forefront of Nigerian universities actively promoting transportation logistics and maritime studies.

*R-L: Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group; Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho; Professor Temisan Ebijuwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and another staff of the university during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, 

Consequently, the Maritime First learnt that the Convocation lecture would provide a unique opportunity for the renowned business mogul, not only to further expose the lucky audience, to the unfolding opportunities in the various industries where he presently towers like a colossus; but also to impact them with the tools and motivation needed for a successful exploration of the nation’s Blue Economy.

ALSO READ: SIFAX: Ajayi Crowther University Honours Taiwo Afolabi With a Doctorate Degree

* L-R: Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho and Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group in a discussion during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, today.

 The University’s next convocation is scheduled for April 2024.

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