The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), has decried the incessant blame on the colonialists for Africa's underdevelopment, saying that Africans should rather reach a unanimous decision to seek ways of utilising the continent's remaining resources for developmental purpose.

Prof. Ambali stated this last Wednesday (July 19, 2017), in his address at the 8th International Students' Day and Public Lecture, organised by the Centre for International Education (CIE), University of Ilorin.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji, noted that “Africa has the largest reserves of precious metals in the world, with over 40% of gold reserves, 60% of cobalt and 90% of platinum. There are abundant oil deposits that can be converted to wealth and benefit the majority.”

Stressing that developing Africa is a shared responsibility between its leaders and its people, Prof. Ambali stated that bad leadership has made it uneasy for some, especially the vulnerable ones living in poverty, adding that in many African countries, the needy and neglected people are subjected to harsh living conditions and this needs to change because “we cannot be without them”.

The Vice-Chancellor submitted that to develop Africa, “a unanimous decision of providing for the needy and avoiding greed must be reached” because a privileged few has been stealing the commonwealth and if this continues, development will be a mirage, adding that there are enough resources to take care of everyone's need if only people shun corruption.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director of CIE, Prof. Mohammed Ibrahim, disclosed that the students have improved greatly compared to the previous year, adding that the Centre produced the best Accounting student in 2016 and the students have been engaging in innovative projects that will develop Africa.

In his address, the President of the Unilorin International Students Association (UISA), Comrade Kaba Musa, appreciated the University administration for giving the Association a platform for cultural integration. He noted that the presence of the Guest Speakers is an advantage for the students and Africa as a whole as they would speak on topics that are paramount to the existence of humanity.

Among other dignitaries present were the representative of the University Bursar, Mr Isaac Ogunbiyi; a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Issa Fakunle; former Directors of CIE, Prof. A. Omotosho and Prof. O. Mokuolu; the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. A. Abdussallam; a representative of the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Isiaka Gold; the Olola of Olla, Oba (Dr.) Stephen Billy Olajide; as well as staff and students of the University.

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has commended the University of Ilorin for its commitment to excellence, urging the management to sustain and improve on the enviable legacy.

Mr. Falana, who gave the commendation penultimate Thursday (July 13, 2017) at the launch of the 22nd edition of The Jurist Journal, an annual publication of the University's Law Students' Society, said that from available records, the Law students of the University are doing well.     

The Senior lawyer, in whose honour this year's edition of the Journal was published, noted further that the University of Ilorin has given a challenge to the nation's academic community to pursue excellence, noting that universities in the country can run successfully on funds generated from TETFund if the laws are monitored and complied with.

Mr. Falana said that the Bill recently passed by the Nigerian Senate, seeking to punish any hospital that rejects victims of gunshot wounds, is a trivial matter and a duplication of existing provisions of the constitution.

Advising the lawmakers to engage in other pressing matters that will add more value to the lives of Nigerians, the legal luminary said that the 1999 Constitution has already provided for a six-months jail term and N100,000 fine as punishment for any hospital that denies admission of a gunshot victim.

In his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), said that the University is blessed with obedient students who have been demonstrating maturity for the past 17 years.

Prof. Ambali, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya, thanked Mr. Femi Falana for his contribution to the development of the country and for accepting the invitation of the Unilorin Law students and for personally attending the presentation of The Jurist in his honour.

The Vice-Chancellor described Mr. Falana as a Senior Advocate with a difference and a voice of the masses, noting that TETFund has contributed immensely to the development of the institution.

The University of Ilorin Command of the Cadet Corps has honoured the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. (Mrs.) N. Y. S. Ijaiya, and decorated her as one of the Cadet Patrons at an event marking its Second Annual Passing out Parade and Durbar.

Speaking at the colourful event, which took place penultimate Saturday (July 15, 2017) at the Main Bowl of the Unilorin Sports Stadium, Prof. Ijaiya described the honour as a pleasant surprise and pledged that the recognition would spur her to intensify her efforts towards making students attain their full potentials in addition to their academic pursuits.

Decked in the full ceremonial regalia of a Chief Cadet, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor expressed joy for being part of “the forward-thinking, responsible, resourceful and highly disciplined group of students”, who have deemed it fit to consider her for the prestigious honour.

Prof. Ijaiya said, "I am happy to be part of this eminent, responsible and resourceful, highly disciplined group of students. When I see students, boys and girls, doing great things outside their academic work, I feel proud of them and elated as a teacher. I feel highly honoured to be invited by this great Cadet Corps to be one of their patrons. It came as a surprise to me but I said to myself, 'why not, they are doing good things for the University'. I have seen them in action. But little did I know then that it would turn to bigger things like the parade, decoration, wearing cadet uniform etc. My humble acceptance turned out to be bigger than I thought".

Also speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji, appreciated the Unilorin Command of the Cadet Corps for its frantic efforts towards maintaining and sustaining peace within the campus.

In his own remarks, the Deputy Vic-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Yusuf Abdulkareem, who spoke through the Head of the Department of Human Kinetic, Dr. Tajudeen Olarewaju Ibraheem, advised students of the University to develop positive attitudes towards regular exercise.

Prof. Abdulkareem also encouraged the students to add extra curricula activities to their educational programmes, saying that the acquisition of knowledge, be it formal or informal, is a road to greatness and success.

Also speaking on the occasion, the Staff Adviser to the Cadet Corps Command, Dr. Ogunade Raymond of the Department of Religion, described extra curricula activities as a good avenue that keeps students fit both physically and academically.

Dr. Ogunade particularly thanked the University management for giving the students the freedom to develop their skills and discover their potentials through various extra curricula activities on the campus.

In his farewell message, the outgoing Cadet Major, Elewude Peter, thanked members of his team for their support and enjoined incoming cadet members to consolidate on the achievements of their predecessors.

The event, which also featured the launching of the Cadet Corps' magazine, the Volunteers, and parade, was attended by various groups like the Red Cross, Man O war, Redeem Volunteer, Kwara Poly Cadet Corps, the Air Scout, and Unilorin Cadet, among others.

The University of Ilorin Students' Union has again successfully deployed the electronic voting system to elect a new set of leaders, who will pilot its affairs for the coming 2017/2018 academic session.

In the election, conducted by the Independent Students Electoral Committee (ISEC) last Tuesday (July 18, 2017), a 400 level student of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Mr Ridwan Abimbola Adebisi, emerged President after polling a total of 5, 941 votes to defeat his rival, Mohammed Olaoluwakitan Arole, who scored 5, 108 votes.  

A report on the election sent to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), by the Dean, Student Affairs, Prof A.E. Talabi, a copy of which was made available to Unilorin Bulletin, indicated that no fewer than 775 votes were nullified.

For the position of Secretary-General, which was contested by four candidates, Mr Adekunle AbdulRasaq Sulaimon emerged winner, beating Messrs Abdulakeem Lawal, Aliyu Abdulkadir and Temitope Obayanju, who polled 2,770, 1,453 and 1,258votes respectively.

Hakeem Okanlawon clinched the position of Financial Secretary with 8,452 votes. He was the only contestant for the post.

With 561votes, Miss Damola Jimoh was elected Vice-President (College of Health Sciences), beating Miss Opeyemi Abubakar, who polled 268 votes. Also Miss Temitayo Aremu, with 4,597votes, emerged as the Vice-President (Permanent Site) after beating two other contestants, Miss Zuleihat Onuka (3,165votes) and Lydia Olajide (1,976votes).

For the post of Social Secretary, Joshua Abolarin, with 4,386 votes, emerged winner, beating three other contestants: James Ariya (3,460votes), Mubarak Feruke-Bello (1,803votes) and Jamiu Oyefeso (1,038votes)

Obashola Muritala, who polled 496 votes emerged the new Welfare Secretary for College of Health Sciences, beating Timilehin Ayeni, who polled 275votes. Similarly, Ibrahim Asukuti, who polled 2,470votes, was declared Welfare Secretary (Permanent Site), beating Olaposi Adewale (2,213votes), Tobiloba Jolaosho (1,767votes), Seyi Adetula (1,711votes) and Samuel Olaleye (655votes).

The new Public Relations Officer (P.R.O.) is Bidemi Oyewunmi, who polled 5, 191votes to beat Toyin Abdullahi (2,546votes) and Damilare Dosunmu (1,370votes) while Modupe Ibarahim, who polled 4, 708votes, won the contest for the position of Assistant General Secretary. She defeated Abosede Akande (2,244votes), Olaide Ibraheem (2,161votes) and Tawa Raji (741votes).

In another single contestant election, Adewale Bashir Bello, who polled 9,428votes, the highest vote for any contestant throughout the elections, was declared the Sports Secretary. No fewer than 2,340 null votes were also recorded.

Faculty Representatives for the Students Union Senate Council were also elected.

As part of the efforts to move Africa forward, two visiting dons to the University of Ilorin last Wednesday (July 19, 2017) schooled African students on the need to shun corruption, be socially responsible as well as reduce over-dependence on the government, saying this is necessary to stimulate a generation that will redefine governance in African nations.

The duo, Prof. Z. O. Ogunnika from Virginia State University, USA, and Prof. K. K. Kamaldeen, the Country Director of the  United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sudan, were guest lecturers at the 8th International Students' Day and Public Lecture, organised by the Centre for International Education (CIE), University of Ilorin.  

Prof. Ogunnika, who spoke on “Intellectual and Community Development: the Nigerian Case”, explained that an intellectual is not someone with the book knowledge alone but someone who has or is willing to contribute to positive change in the society, “someone who is looking at the future and already thinking of ways to actualise the vision that will develop the nation or community he is in.”

The Virginia varsity don stated that the genesis of Nigeria's problems began with the previous leaders who drove away the colonialists from the country. “It was from one master to the other. They believed they were the owners of knowledge and used their power to enslave other Nigerians and acquired properties. Nigerians and Africans in general started seeing relative deprivation when our people started ruling us.”

Also in his own lecture, entitled “Oh, Waiting for Africa”, Prof. Kamaldeen stated that for Africa to develop, goals need to be clearly defined, adding that “achieving progress in Africa is highly doable but we need to start by applying ourselves to it. We have to go beyond technical construct and figure out action plans to realise our goals.”

The UNDP Country Director, who noted that the responsibility of making Africa great “falls on all of us”, urged all to be innovative in seeking ways to drive Africa forward “and not relax waiting for a saviour because you are Africa, Africa is waiting for you to redefine its image and make it better.”

Urging students to engage in innovative thinking, Prof. Kamaldeen explained that the development choices made by past leaders have made it impossible to provide jobs for everyone, noting that in charting the pathway for the development of Africa, individuals need to know their responsibilities, government needs to be accountable and real development objectives should focus on the people.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), will this Tuesday (July 25, 2017) be honoured with the award of “Most Outstanding Vice-Chancellor of the Year 2017” by Modisult Media Concept, the Producers of Royalty Extra Television Programme.

The award will be conferred on Prof. Ambali during the 1st Annual Royal Public Lecture/Award 2017 at the Banquet Hall of Kwara Hotels, Ilorin.

Disclosing this during a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor in his office last Monday (July 17, 2017), the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the 1st Royal Public lecture and Award Presentation, who is also the Magaji-Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammad Saliu-Woru, said that the award is in recognition of the various giant strides of Prof. Ambali since he became the Unilorin helmsman about five years ago.

Alhaji Saliu-Woru specifically commended the administration of the Vice-Chancellor for maintaining academic stability and industrial harmony in the institution.

He said that the 1st Royal Public Lecture and Award Presentation is put together to mark the one-year Anniversary of the Royalty Extra Television Porgramme, which is aired weekly on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ilorin, by Mr. Arowona AbdulAzeez.

A Professor of Environment and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Ilorin, Folahan Amao Adekola, has underscored the need to preserve the environment and shun environmental pollution in order to avoid ozone layer depletion, global warming and climate change because the environment is key to a sustainable future.

Prof. Adekola stated this penultimate Wednesday (July 12, 2017), while delivering the maiden lecture of the Association of Students of Peace and Strategic Studies (ASPASS), Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), University of Ilorin.

The Lecture, organised to celebrate the World Environment Day, was themed “Connecting People to Nature; Protecting the World We Share”.

The celebration was aimed at creating awareness on the importance of preserving biodiversity, identifying environmental related problems, proffering solutions to these environmental issues, as well as encouraging people to keep their surroundings safe in order to enjoy a more prosperous future.

In his lecture, entitled “The Earth, Our Common Heritage”, the Guest Lecturer noted that pollution, climate change and over-exploitation are threats to nature, stressing that because environmental components are interconnected with each other in order to maintain a balanced ecosystem, any form of pollution in the environment causes the ozone layer meant to protect the earth from solar radiation depletion.

Prof. Adekola added that the ozone layer depletion poses a threat to human and animal health, terrestrial plants, aquatic ecosystems, and air quality,

In his address, the Director of the CPSS, Dr M. A. Adedimeji, stated that environmental security has been an issue of global concern, adding that “the environment is so important as a component of security that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) identified environmental security as one of the seven forms of human security because when the environment is not secure, we are also not secure.”

Dr Adedimeji noted that because of the changes and dynamics of the constantly evolving environment, a way forward, especially for those in the Niger Delta, should be established so as to enable people maximise the use of the environment  in such a way that oil spillage will not disturb the ecosystem that people's survival and livelihood are dependent on.

Emphasizing the importance of the environment, the CPSS Director said, “Without the environment, there is nothing we can hang on to”.

On his part, the President of ASPASS, Mr. AbdulFathi Arabi, disclosed that one of the mandates of the Association is to create awareness on the importance of peace and development in the environment in order to reduce the danger done to the environment because “the environment is the most precious asset given to mankind”.

 The Director of the School of Preliminary Studies, University of Ilorin, Prof. M. M. Akanbi, urged the participants to be mindful of their activities in the environment by looking out for one another in order to have a sustainable environment.

Also in her remarks, the pioneer President of ASPASS, Sister Josephine Olagunju, stated that the Association has been able to achieve its aim of making students see what the Centre stands for. She submitted that a rally to the Government House should be organised in order to attract the government's attention to the environmental pollution on the roads.