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Awujale lays Foundation for VC’s Lodge, Lauds OOU Management

Another historic feat was made on Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye when the foundation laying ceremony of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge facilitated by the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, was held at the Main Campus of the University. The epochal event was undoubtedly historic as it crystallized the University’s dream of having a befitting and magnificent residential building for its Vice-Chancellor.

Although facilitated by the Awujale, the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge has also got the buy-in of a group of 12 prominent Ijebu indigenes who had equally volunteered to finance and deliver the building project in record time.

The University Management and some of the donors in a group photograph with the Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba Abdulrazaq Adenugba and the Awujale of Ijebu Land, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona

Oba Adetona, in his remarks at the foundation laying ceremony held at the project site, said he was excited to identify with OOU as an institution that had made giant strides in teaching, research and service to the community. The monarch, who had previously endowed a multi-million Naira Professorial Chair in Governance at the University and also complemented it with the establishment of an Institute of Governance Studies, pledged to continue to support OOU in actualizing its vision and mission.

He commended the impressive and visionary leadership of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, whom, he noted, had further encouraged him to make more positive contributions to the University. He said while still alive, he would not relent in playing active role to ensure the University achieves greatness.

Oba Adetona, who said he was unhappy that the University lacked a permanent residence for its Vice-Chancellor since its establishment almost 40 years ago, however, stated that he was grateful to God for using him to address the problem.

He added, “I want to use this opportunity to thank the Vice-Chancellor because he further encouraged me to come more positively to this University. I thank him and am grateful to all of you for the support you have given to him. I promise that while I’m still living, I will continue to play my part and make sure that this University achieves greatness.

“I want to thank the University, once again, for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I pray that this University will continue to grow from greatness to greatness.”

The Awujale, who recalled his days as a minister in the defunct government of the old Western Region, decried the problems confronting the country as a result of bad governance. He, however, expressed optimism that both the Professorial Chair in Governance and the Institute of Governance Studies he established in the University would be able to execute researches capable of proffering solutions  to contemporary challenges and issues of governance at both local and global levels.

“I believe that if governance is right, Nigeria would be a great country. My objective is to contribute towards the greatness of this country and I’m sure that both the Professorial Chair in Governance and the Institute of Governance Studies will provide a lot of help to guide this country to good governance,” the monarch submitted.

The Awujale had, during his visit to the University on 27th August, 2021 in company of the donors of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge, revealed that the project would cost the sum of N175million and be completed within 12 months. He had assured that the funds for construction of the landmark project had already been set aside.

AWUJALE-LAYS-FOUNDATION-FOR-VC--LODGE-3The donors include Otunba Lekan Osifeso, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, Hon. Korede Osunsanya, Otunba Jimi Lawal, Otunba Laide Fowosere, Mr Gbenga Fetuga, Engr. Olufemi Omotayo, Otunba Abiola Odunowo, Otunba Gboyega Soye, Chief Taiwo Adeniji, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall (KWAM 1) and Engr. Yinka Owodunni.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Deji Agboola, was full of gratitude to the Awujale whom he described as one of the greatest benefactors of the University. He acknowledged the legendary contributions of the monarch to the institution, including his donation of iconic buildings, access road construction and endowment of professorial chair. According to him, it is rare to find anyone that can match Oba Adetona in terms of mobilising people for developmental purposes. Prof. Olatunde also noted that the various interventions of the Paramount Ruler had boosted the capacity of OOU to provide solutions for leadership failure and governance deficit in the country.

He, therefore, urged well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the monarch and embrace his good governance initiatives in a bid to improve the socio-political and economic situation of the country.

The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that anytime from January, next year, the National Universities Commission (NUC) will come to the University for Resource Verification of the Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona Institute of Governance Studies to enable the institution start running certificate, postgraduate diploma, Master degree and PhD degree programmes in Governance Studies.

His words: “Today, we are bold to say that the Institute of Governance Studies has come to stay. We have submitted the letter to the National Universities Commission for resource visit and anytime from January, they will come for resource visit so that they can start the MSc, postgraduate diploma as well as the PhD in Governance.

“I believe that when we start having all those things, this country will change for better. Kabiyesi has sponsored the Professorial Chair in Governance for the past five years now and apart from the process that we are talking about, we have started seeing changes in the University  as well because all of us are students of governance and we are putting in what we have started learning from Kabiyesi informally to practice. I believe, at the end of the day, we are all going to be happy that what we have learnt from Kabiyesi is turning around the University for good.”

In an effort to improve staff welfare and alleviate accommodation challenges in the University, Prof. Olatunde stated that the Management had commenced the construction of 25 units of self-contained houses at the Main Campus in Ago-Iwoye. He revealed that by January, another 25 units will be added to the project.

“In order not to allow members of the University Community to continue to run from pillar to post, coming from Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ijebu-Ode to work here, we have started the 25 units of self-contained houses. We know majority of them are married, they will want to go to their families by weekend. So they will be making use of these houses when they are at work between Monday and Friday. Every year, we have it in our plan that we will continue to put 50 units of this self-contained house until it is adequate for staff,” he explained.

Speaking on behalf of the donor group, Otunba Lekan Osifeso said the 12 Ijebu indigenes were happy to commit their resources to the construction of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge. He thanked the Awujale for inviting them to add value to the University.

“On behalf of the donors, I want to say a very big thank you to Kabiyesi for giving us the opportunity to come together and donate the project,” Osifeso stated.  Highpoint of the ceremony was when the Awujale, assisted by the Vice-Chancellor, performed the symbolic turning of the sod of the multi-million naira residential building.

Members of the University Management in attendance included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Charles Adekoya; Registrar, Mr Femi Ogunwomoju; University Librarian, Dr Adebambo Oduwole; and the Bursar, Mr Semiu Makinde.

Some of the dignitaries present at the occasion were the Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba Abdulrazaq Adenugba; Otunba Abiodun Onanuga; Director-General, Institute of Governance Studies, Prof. Adigun Agbaje; the Occupier of Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, Prof. Akinsola Agagu; and his predecessor, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, among others.

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