Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Yakubu Dogara, the Chancellor of Achievers University Owo (AUO), has urged all Nigerians to see themselves as part of the solution to the problem of insecurity bedeviling the country. The former Speaker, House of Representatives, while speaking at the 10th Convocation of the University held on 24th April, 2021, said, “Stemming the tide of insecurity in Nigeria requires all hands to be on deck. We must all be involved. All Nigerians must consider themselves stakeholders if the war against insecurity must be won.” Dogara, who is the second Chancellor of the University believes that although the “challenges of our nationhood are difficult”, they are surmountable.
Rt. Hon. Dogara identified too many ungoverned spaces, high unemployment rate, epileptic economic growth, overwhelmed security agencies as well as weak institutional capacity within the security agencies, extreme inequality cum poverty, citizens’ alienation from government as some of the causes of insecurity in the country.
He also identified “government’s failure or lack of capacity to deliver public service as well as provide for basic needs of the people”, inequality and unfairness in appointment and distribution of public utilities, unprofessional media reports, inadequate equipping and training of security personnel, loss of socio-cultural and communal value system, the country’s porous borders, extreme poverty, illiteracy and the pervasive corruption in the land as issues that are festering insecurity in the country.
The astute politician posited that all Nigerians, no matter the status, were feeling the pinch of insecurity in the land. “The effects of insecurity are multi-dimensional, including loss of investment, which in turn discourages potential domestic and international investors; destruction of critical infrastructure; human resource decimation through hostage taking, kidnapping and genocide; disruption of human capital development through kidnapping of students in educational institutions; and disruption of economic activities through theft, armed robbery, assassination, ritual killing and numerous fraudulent activities, among others,” he said.
Dogara does not believe that setting up vigilante and zonal security outfits is a panacea to the security challenge because, historically, they have not been effective. According to him, “historically, they have not worked. As it has always been the case in so many communities and nations that promote these outfits, they will soon degenerate into lucrative criminal cartels themselves.”
He called on Nigerians to focus on 2023 general election as its aftermath may spell doom for the country. To avoid the disintegration of the country, the former Number 2 lawmaker of the country said the electorate must elect leaders who will unite Nigerians. “We need a team whose pedigree must match their rhetoric for unity, peace and progress. Our most immediate challenge now is to bring our disparate peoples together and pull down our barrier; otherwise we cannot build,” he said.
He challenged the graduating students to be “determined to be part of the solution and not the problem” and ensure that “we work together to confine these difficult times to the dustbin of history”.
Industrialization: Panacea for Hunger, Poverty, Banditry and Other Social Vices – Ayorinde
The Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council of Achievers University, Hon. Dr. ’Bode Ayorinde, has canvassed massive industrialization of the Nigerian economy as solution to the unemployment crisis facing the country.
The founder of the University said this in his address at its 10thConvocation held on 24th April, 2021. According to him, the crisis had aggravated criminality nationwide, including banditry, kidnapping, internet fraud and other social vices. “Industrialization is the key and only single dose that will cure the menace of hunger, criminality, banditry, poverty, restlessness and other vices being indulged in by our youths,” he said.
The law teacher urged each state government to establish industrial estates across the country as well as “provide incentives such as tax holiday, easy access to land and provision of good roads to encourage the private sector to establish companies”. He also advised the federal and state governments to formulate industrial policies aimed at assisting small-scale industries to grow.
Since government cannot do it alone, he said members of every town and community must join hands and “galvanize human and material resources to establish industries”. He recommended the “Achievers University model as a good example of how cooperation and commitment among the people can mobilize resources and fill a gap of common interest”. While appreciating the other 70 stakeholders “who contributed in no small measure to making Achievers University a reality”, he challenged the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, who was one of the “Royal Fathers of the Day”, to mobilize the people of Owo Kingdom to rekindle the spirit that led to the establishment of Achievers University “by establishing nine big companies in the nine towns that make up Owo Kingdom”.
The ex-banker also charged religious organizations to be in the forefront of effort to massively industrialize the country. He was confident that they could do it, considering what they had done in the establishment of private universities, and construction of crusade grounds and domes for their adherents. According to him, “Preaching the gospel and begging the government that is very busy strategizing on how to win the next election will not help our people. Let the church and mosques set up factories that will provide jobs for their members and also expand the wealth of their ministries.”
‘Go and Conquer the World’
The 10th set of graduating students of the University, having been armed with what it takes to succeed in life, have been charged to excel in whatever they set out to do. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Aje, said this in his address at the institution’s 10th Convocation, where 339 students graduated.
Aje, who is the third Vice-Chancellor of the University, reiterated the institution’s commitment “to the development of the total person in body, soul and character.” He said that the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic brought out the best in the University as it had to deploy technology to ensure that its academic activities were not negatively affected during the lockdown. He said, “We deployed technology in administering online teaching to deliver lectures and maintain regular contact with our students”. He added that the situation did not prevent the University from achieving academic and professional landmarks, which include recording 83 per cent and 100 per cent success respectively in the Final Nursing and Final Midwifery examinations organized by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, and chalking up 100 per cent in the Final Medical Laboratory Science Examination of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria. During the period, the University also secured the Nigeria Universities Commission’s approval to run additional undergraduate programmes in Human Anatomy, Human Physiology and Public Health, postgraduate diploma, master’s as well as doctorate degrees in six programmes, among others.
Prof. Aje commended ’Dr. Bode Ayorinde-led Governing Council’s scholarship award offers, which he described as “an unprecedented opportunity to all intending students who, under normal circumstances, would not have the opportunity to enjoy this level of education in a private university”. According to him, 255 students had subscribed to enjoy free tuition over a period of three academic sessions in Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Economics, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, Industrial Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geology, and Plant Science and Biotechnology, as at March, 2021.
The University also graduated 39 postgraduate students, which comprises Master of Science in Accounting, Business Administration and Computer Science, and Master of Business Administration. Three eminent Nigerians – Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi , Emeritus Judge, Legal Consultant, Arbitrator and Mediator; Engr. Prof. Joseph Odigure, FAIHEM, FNATE, Registrar/Chief Executive, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria; and Mr. Foluso Falaye, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, CBC emea Ltd – were conferred with honorary doctoral degrees of the University.
Speaking at the event, one of the 15 students that clinched First Class and overall best graduating student of the set, Mariam Oloko, appreciated the medical personnel and the staff of the University for coming to her aid when she fell seriously ill, said “studying at Achievers University was definitely an experience that’s worth it”.
COREN Registrar Commissions Ultramodern College of Engineering Complex
The Registrar/Chief Executive, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Engr. Prof. Joseph Odigure, has described the University’s newly built College of Engineering Complex as a masterpiece that will add value to the Engineering profession in the country. He said this on Friday, 23rd April, 2021, when he commissioned the building, an event organized as part of 10th Convocation activities. He said the structure would facilitate teaching and learning.
Speaking after he had been taken round the complex, Oba Gbadegesin Ajibade Ogunoye III, Olowo of Owo, who was marvelled by the gigantic nature of the building and the state-o-the-art facilities, which he calls “a hen’s teeth”, commended the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, Hon. Dr. ’Bode Ayorinde, for his love for Owo and for bringing development to the host community. He said, “I’m elated seeing the wonders being performed by the Pro-Chancellor. Anyone who sees this edifice will marvel by this idea”.
In his address at the event, Ayorinde said the building, one of its kind among Colleges of Engineering in the country, has 20 offices, nine lecture rooms and 14 laboratories that are well-equipped to turn around the face of Engineering profession in Nigeria.
Dr. Henry Ojongbede, Ag. Dean of the College, thanked Ayorinde profusely for giving the College the gigantic structure staff and students of the College were all proud of. He described the building as a blessing to the host community.
Odigure Advises Graduands to Embrace Lifelong Learning
In order to be relevant, the graduating students of the University have been charged to learn new skills and reinventing themselves. The Registrar/Chief Executive, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Engr. Prof. Joseph Odigure, said this on Friday, 23rd April, 2021 at the 10th Convocation Lecture of the University titled “The Reality of University Education Objectives: Post-Convocation Life”.
The Professor of Chemical Engineering urged them not to be deterred by the programmes they studied or the grades obtained because they do not determine their life journeys. He admonished them not to stop engaging in rigorous studies. However, while doing this, he advised them not to jettison character development, which he called “the coalesce of the nature learning and spirit”. “You have a place in history, a destiny to fulfil but it all depends on you: the application of your belief in life, how you apply the skills you have acquired, the certificate you have earned today and the extent you understand the power of character which unfortunately you are not visibly certified for,” he said.
Odigure pointed out that the “New Social Global Economic Order” goes beyond graduating from a discipline and has moved to “multilevel integrated understanding of nature, human psychology, professionalism, security, etc.” According to him, “Today’s knowledge is infinite, and readily available in your hands. We live in the age of digitalization and integration of vertical and horizontal value chains, digitalization of business models and customer access, and digitalization of products and service offered.”
The Guest Lecturer charged the country’s educational system to change and accommodate the new age, which he called the “4th Industrial Revolution.” The only way to do this, he posits, is by embracing “Outcome-based Education”, OBE. He said the archaic traditional education system had outlived its usefulness because it is “exam-oriented and Cumulative Grade Point Average driven”. He, therefore, called for “complete restructuring of the curriculum, assessment and reporting practices” and adoption of OBE, which emphasizes “success for all students and staff”.
Dr. Bode Ayorinde, founder and Pro-Chancellor of the University, speaking after the lecture, implored the students of the University to work hard, get good grades, get certificates and await their opportunities. “It is sad when there are opportunities but no certificates,” he said. He counselled them to always allow themselves to be guided by the middle name of the University, “Integrity”, as “character maketh a man”