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Published On: Thu, Mar 15th, 2018

Gov Ajimobi: We used ‘Prayer Warriors’ to pick the Vice Chancellor of Tech-U

By OLUSESAN LAOYE

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state stunned the audience including the large dignitaries and parents during the matriculation of over 1,000 pioneer students of the Technical University Ibadan Oyo state when he revealed that, because they wanted the best for the institution, they had to employ prayer warriors to make that possible.

Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo State Governor (guardian)

Governor Ajimobi in his usual way of casting jokes to make a serious point while addressing the people, said ‘’People may not believe me but that was what happened, we had to use prayers to ensure that the present Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Ayobami Salami took the Job because we wanted an intelligent person with sound academic background to take up the position’’

He said that from the onset when the idea of the University was conceived, ‘’we wanted an erudite, person who is  committed, with wealth of experience to be the vice chancellor and when we were ruminating on it, the idea was to snatch someone from either the University of Ibadan or Obafemi Awolowo Ife. As the debate on this went on, I was told that there was a man very brilliant and committed who is at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife and I asked, how we can get him, they said he is currently the acting VC. At this point I told all those in the committee to start praying so that when we invite him he would not refuse. We eventually invited him and he did well.’’

Governor Ajimobi went on, ‘’after the interview, we asked him what he wanted and he said nothing but he would like the University to be the best in the country and rank shoulder high with  University of Ibadan, OAU, Lagos  and others in the world. He said I am now acting  and the only thing that could prevent me from taking the job is if they delay or refused to confirm me as the Vice Chancellor.’’

According to Governor Ajimobi who was intermittently interjecting his speech with jokes, ‘’When I heard this I said the Job is done because I am such a person who believed strongly in prayers and there is nothing I asked from God without getting it. When I got home I told my wife. You know the advantage I have is that my wife is a Christian while I am a Muslim. I then told my wife to gather her prayer warriors together while as a Muslim too I gather my own prayer group  and by the grace of god who answered prayers he accepted to come  to be our VC and I am proud to say here, that since he assumed office, he has been doing very well. ‘’

On his advice for the Pioneer students of the University, the Governor said the government and the people would do everything to support and encourage them ‘‘because as a father I would want you to succeed’. “I wish to assure you of our support and the encouragement we intend to give to brilliant students which I believe all of you are. We are also to encourage students of poor parents who would be giving scholarships. The institution would not in any way accept dull students from either rich or poor parents but would accept and encourage brilliant students from both the rich and poor families to succeed’’

Management (Tech U)

The Vice chancellor of the University, Professor Ayobami Salamis in his speech, said that the day has brought a new and a memorable day that would be remembered and referred to for as long as heaven and earth remain as several things fused into the day that made it unique.

He was of the opinion that the physical presence of the Visitor in any University was a rare occasion and at the matriculation ceremony for that matter for the university, especially for the fact that the matriculation happens to be the first of such and among the few solemn academic traditions held sacred in all universities the world over.

Professor Salami pointed out also that it was a big joy for parents to see their wards being matriculated and admitted to membership of a University. To the matriculating students, he said, the ceremony was a rite of passage that confers certain rights and privileges as they are admitted to life membership of the Technical University.

He revealed that the University was conceived and birthed by Governor Ajimobi to fill the yearning vacuum despite that the fact that there are several Universities in Nigeria out of which thousands graduates are turned out yearly. ‘’But as the numbers of Universities and of graduates they produce are increasing, so is the gap between the suitability of the graduates and the requirements of the potential employers.’’

He argued that this schism has been attributed to lack of entrepreneurial orientation and employability focus of academic programmes on the one hand, and the rigidity of the employers in particular and the larger society at large. ‘’ This gap is what the Technical University Ibadan was established and is growing to fill’’

He revealed that the University  would strive to provide educational training that would balance the theoretical knowledge requirements with practical hands; on  experiences and skills in different academic disciplines, as well as vocations of interest to the students.’’ It will interest this distinguished audience in this regard to know that the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurships and vocational studies, within its short time of existence has already identified at least 10 inherent vocational skills among this set of students, and has provided an enabling environment for the students to hone these skills in addition to and as a complement to their academic degree programmes. The students have also commenced their French language programme and within the short period they have resumed studies’’

At the Installation of the Pioneer Chancellor of the University, Chief (DR.) Tunde Afolabi   governor Ajimobi said that the Technical University was a dream come true and believed that the Chancellor would help lay a good foundation to accomplish the dream of the founders.  He also expected that the chancellor who was specially picked would enhance and the rapid take off of the University.

Saying that the University was a Child of destiny, Governor Ajimobi believed that  with the cordial relationship between the  Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor,  both of them would be able to build  a university of excellence  that would be envied and compete with other universities across the globe.

The governor announced that the students were picked on merit and all from Public schools. ‘’We selected the best from Public schools and it was not based on who you know or influenced by anybody within and outside the government. We also picked 3 or 4 best students across all the Local governments in the state because the University and the government would not accept ordinary pass on point of graduation all of them are expected to come out with excellent performance.’’

In his acceptance speech as the Chancellor of the Technical University, Dr. Afolabi who is an industrialist of repute and an international figure in the Oil and Gas Industry, said he was happy to accept the offer and would do his best to ensure that the University becomes the best in the country and a centre where students would come for both academic and vocational studies all over the world.

He then immediately announced the Institute of Energy and Petroleum Training Centre in the University which he would build and finance on his own, saying, that the university was a good legacy and the first of its kind in Africa.

Students Hostel (Tech-U)

According to him, the University is not just a pace setter but a unique one ready to meet all its challenges adding that they are ready to nature it with all it takes. He was of the opinion that some of the Universities in Nigeria have been politicized, while both federal and state universities are underfunded which has resulted to half baked graduates who are neither ready for the market and was convinced that with the way the technical University which he is the First Chancellor would not suffer the same fate like these Universities owned by the federal Government and the States because it would lay a good foundation s for Nigeria industrial revolution.

Along with the Institute of energy and petroleum which Dr. Afolabi has established and which the foundation of the building was laid by Governor Ajimobi, he also pledged to finance and established a annual lecture series that would attract leading industrialists captain of Industries and reputable personalities who have been successful in their various fields, all over the world to give lectures. This he pointed out would galvanize other indigenes of Oyo state, all over the country and in Diaspora to come and contribute their quota for the development of the university.

Personalities at the ceremony are the former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, , Mrs Tola Oyediran Prof Dapo afolabi former head of service of the federation, Nigeria, Prof Dapo Asaju Mr. Lekan Biobaku, chief lekan Are, Chief Bode Amao, chief Tayo sarumi chief Lekan Biobaku,Engineer Rasak Lawal, Prof Adeniyi Osuntokun, chief Bola Afonja and Mr Sina Aiyegoro among others. The Vice Chancellors present are, that of Bishop Ajayi Crowther in Oyo, Leads UUniversity Ibadan, FEDRAL University of Technology Akure,  and rector of the Polytechnic Ibadan as well as representatives of the 1982 set of the Lagelu Grammar school Ibadan who came to honour the vice chancellor.

The PRO chancellor and Chairman of Council of the s University is Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe while the Deputy Vice Chancellor is  Professor Adesola Ajayi.

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