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Awujale rallies Ijebu Indigenes for VC’s Lodge Project *OOU is our Pride, Says Monarch

The construction of a befitting and magnificent residential building for the Vice-Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye has gathered momentum as the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, rallied prominent Ijebu indigenes to fund and deliver the project in record time. The revered traditional ruler, who described OOU as the pride of Ijebu people, said everything would be done to consolidate and expand the frontiers of development going on in the University.

Speaking during a special visit to the Main Campus in Ago-Iwoye on Friday, August 27, 2021, the Awujale said he was impressed by the monumental achievements recorded by the University under the leadership of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde. He assured the institution Management of his continued unflinching support and that of well-meaning Ijebu sons and daughters towards taking the University to greater heights.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof.Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde addressing Awujale and the Donor Group

The monarch, who had domiciled a multi-million Naira Professorial Chair in Governance at the University and also complemented it with the establishment of an Institute of Governance Studies to execute researches capable of proffering solutions to contemporary challenges and issues of governance at both local and global levels, said OOU should expect more positive contributions to further enhance its tripartite mandate of teaching, research and service to the community.

The Awujale was accompanied on the occasion by the Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba Abdulrazaq Adenugba, and some eminent members of a group of 12 Ijebu indigenes who had volunteered to finance the building of Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge within the University.

Oba Adetona revealed that the project would cost a sum of N175million and be completed within 12 months, adding that the funds for construction had already been set aside. He thanked the donors for believing in him and for taking the challenge to bequeath an enduring legacy in the foremost tertiary institution in Ogun State.

He said, “I thank God for all He had enabled me to do. Sometimes you can even have an idea and if you are not enable to do it, you are just wasting your time. But God enabled me to do it and I’m very grateful to God.”

“But it’s been a big disappointment for me to learn that this University has no place for the Vice-Chancellor which should be the number one place in the campus. Therefore, I want to thank the gentlemen who had accepted to build a residential place for the VC.”

“The project now is put at N175million and the whole fund is ready, I assure you of that. God will help us. I have to thank you all for your love, for your affection and for the help you are rendering to our people,” the Awujale further stated while commending the donors.

The Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba AbdulRazaq Adenugba commending Awujale and the Donor Group
The Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba AbdulRazaq Adenugba commending Awujale and the Donor Group

Oba Adetona, who hinted that one of the donors and Fuji music maestro, Wasiu Ayinde, plans to build a cinema hall for the varsity students, appreciated all the Ijebu people, both living and the dead, who had made sacrifices and contributed immensely to the growth and development of OOU over the years.

“We are grateful to each and every one of them, both dead and alive. I thank them for their support and for having a stake in the development of this University,” he added.
“I’m sure that with this one (VC’s Lodge), others are still coming to make contributions to this University. And we have what it takes to do it. We have the people, men and material to do it. So the gate is now open for you and you should expect support from all of our people all the time.”

“This University is our pride, it’s the pride of the Ijebus. I thank the VC; he was all over inside the rain trying to welcome us here. I thank everyone of you for the warm reception you have given us. You have given us further encouragement. As long as we are on this earth, you can count on our support,” the monarch told the Vice-Chancellor and other functionaries of the University at the event.

Otunba Jimi Lawal, speaking on behalf of the Donor Group

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Vice-Chancellor said though the University had a rough past, it is now widely known for positive things and tremendous development in recent years. He reaffirmed the commitment of the University Management towards attracting broader support for the institution and improving on its fortunes.

Prof. Olatunde applauded the Awujale for facilitating landmark projects to the University, adding that the Professorial Chair instituted by Oba Adetona had been impactful and equally positioned OOU to provide solutions for leadership failure and governance deficit in the country.

He disclosed that having presented the Institute of Governance Studies before the National Universities Commission (NUC), the regulatory agency had given nod for the University to “start running certificate programmes, postgraduate programmes, masters degree programmes, professional masters degree programmes and PhD degree programmes in Governance Studies” ahead of resource verification.

“The National Universities Commission approved that we can start that programme but they are coming for resource verification. So, we are expecting them. We have the human and material resources to be able to drive that programme. So, we are confident that by God’s grace we will get approval to run that programme by the next visit of National Universities Commission,” said the Vice-Chancellor, who revealed that OOU was successful in the last accreditation exercise carried out by the NUC.

Prof. Olatunde disclosed that based on the approval by the Awujale, the Institute of Governance Studies in the University would be offering scholarships to five best postgraduate students in Governance Studies in Africa with a travel grant of five thousand dollars each. He explained that the scholarship award was part of measures to popularise and make the Institute known globally.

5th from right: The Awsujale of Ijebu-Land, Oba (Dr.) S.K. Adetona and the Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba AbdulRazaq Adenugba (4th right) in a group photograph with the University Management and the Donor Group.

“With what Kabiyesi has done for us, we are so happy and glad. Kabiyesi told us that those who will assist us further would be here today and we are glad to welcome and thank you all,” he stated.

The Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba Abdulrazaq Adenugba, who also spoke at the event, expressed gratitude to the Awujale for his kind gesture and prayed God to bless him with good health and longer years. He said Ago-Iwoye and its environs would continue to be grateful to the Paramount Ruler for adding value to OOU.

Responding on behalf of the group of 12 Ijebu indigenes who had agreed to fund the construction of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge, Otunba Jimi Lawal said the donors were happy to commit their resources to the project. He thanked the Awujale for inviting them for a worthy cause in the University.

Lawal said, “I want to assure you that it’s a pleasure for us to contribute to this project. For us, it’s a duty that Kabiyesi has directed us to carry out and we have no choice about it. If he asked us to do more than the VC’s residence, by God’s grace we will do it. So, we are committed to this; that’s why we resolved to make Kabiyesi our trustee to ensure this project is successful.

Just like Kabiyesi said, the money for the project is ready. We are highly committed to ensure that the project will be ready within a year. We have resolved among ourselves that paucity of funds will not affect construction.”

“Education, of course, is one of the most important legacies that one can leave behind. So, apart from the task given to us by Kabiyesi, the cause of education is one we can never be tired of supporting, especially a laudable project such as this in the University,” he added.

Dignitaries in attendance included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Deji Agboola; Director-General, Institute of Governance Studies, Prof. Adigun Agbaje; and the immediate past Occupier of Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, Prof. Ayo Olukotun.

Members of the donor group present at the event were Olotu Lekan Osifeso, Engr. Femi Omotayo, Otunba Abiodun Onanuga, Otunba Gboyega Balogun Adesoye, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, Otunba Taiwo Adeniji and King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall popularly known as KWAM 1.

Otunba Laide Fowosere, Hon. Korede Osunsanya, Engr. Yinka Owodunni, Otunba Abiola Odunowo and Gbenga Fetuga were also identified as members of the group.

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