The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has said that there will be no preferential treatment for any individual, group or region in terms of admission, appointment or promotion in the institution.

Prof. Abdulkareem said this when he received the First Class Traditional Rulers from the Igbomiland of Kwara State and members of the Executive Council of Omo Ibile Igbomina, who visited to congratulate him last Thursday (November 2, 2017).

The Vice-Chancellor appreciated the team for understanding that the University of Ilorin is a public school which belongs to everybody.

While welcoming advices and prayers of the traditional rulers and prominent people in the team, the Vice-Chancellor said that he needs the prayers and support of all and sundry to succeed as the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the country's most subscribed institution.

Earlier in his address, the National President of Omo Ibile Igbomina, Engr. Timothy Adebayo, said the visit was to assure the Vice-Chancellor of the immense support of all Igbomina people.

Also in his remarks, the Olupo of Ajasse-Ipo, Oba Sikiru Woleola II, said Prof. Abdulkareem was representing the entire people of Kwara State, hence he should be a good Ambassador of Igbomina land and the State in general.

Other dignitaries on the team included the Elese of Igbaja, Oba Ahmed Arepo, and other National Executive Council members of Omo Ibile Igbomina.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has reaffirmed his desire to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the institution, using the resources available at his disposal.

Prof. Abdulkareem stated this last Thursday (November 2, 2017) when members of the Management Board of Unilorin Drama Village and Lakeside Resort visited him in his office.

The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that he was already looking for ways to generate more revenue for the University and expressed happiness that the Drama Village and Lakeside Resort is one of the areas that may be promising if properly harnessed. 

He said, “I subscribe to the idea of harnessing what we have around the Dam properly in order to generate a lot of money for the University. We supposed to be good managers as University staff and I hope what is said about government bureaucracy institution will not affect the system of our institution.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman, Management Board of Unilorin Drama Village and Lakeside Resort, Prof. James Morakinyo, told the Vice-Chancellor that the Drama Village is a facility for education, entertainment, ethical evolution and exchange of ideas.

Prof. Morakinyo, who was represented by a member of the Board, Prof. Abdulrasheed Adeoye, explained that the idea of creating a Drama Village to showcase the cultural diversity of Nigeria was mooted during the Vice-Chancellorship of Prof. I.O. Oloyede “and since then, efforts have been made to give physical expression to the lofty idea.

He said, “The Drama Village, as the name implies, is a place to display the historical and contemporary life styles of people of particular cultures. It is a place where dramatic expression is given to life styles and cultures of people. It is, therefore, a facility for education, entertainment, ethical evolution and exchange of ideas”.

The Management Board Chairman said, “The architectural concepts have been produced in line with the multicultural reality of Nigeria. The design provides a central place for the host and proprietor of the village, and this is surrounded by spaces designed for geographical/cultural zones of Nigeria where the zones can showcase their cultural identities in architectural designs, artifacts and life styles.

Prof. Morakinyo said that “another main mandate of the Board was the Lakeside resort with the idea to build a jetty literarily on the artificial lake earlier created by UNILORIN on Oyun River. This will provide an enhancing environment for various social events and is always in popular demand for such event”.

He, however, lamented that “financial constraints have prevented further development that would have raised the resort to world standard for greater patronage from within and outside Nigeria, particularly, with the standard accommodation provided in the nearby Researchers' Lodge. This has led the University to seek private partnership/collaboration for the development of the Lakeside resort”.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has appointed Dr. Abdulkarim Oloyede of the Department of Telecommunications Science, University of Ilorin, as Vice Chairman of its Telecommunication Development Advisory Group (TDAG).

The appointment, which was ratified at the ITU-D Conference, which held in Argentina between October 9th and 20th, 2017, followed Dr. Oloyede's nomination by the Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu.

With the appointment, Dr. Oloyede will be part of an expert group responsible for the formulation of policies, rules and regulations for the telecommunication industry worldwide.

Reacting to the development in a chat with Unilorin Bulletin last Thursday (November 2, 2017), the don gave thanks to Almighty God for the appointment.

Dr. Oloyede said, “The appointment will help accelerate the contribution of the academia to the development of the telecommunication industry in the world and in Nigeria in particular”, adding that “hitherto, it has always been people from the industry that have been involved. But this appointment is an opportunity for members of the academia to make their impact felt. This is something we have been canvassing for long. It is an opportunity for the academia to be part of those formulating the policy, rules and regulations for the telecommunication industry”.

An Electrical Engineering graduate of Bayero University, Kano, Dr. Oloyede also holds the M.Sc and Telecommunication Engineering from the University of York, United Kingdom. His current research interests include Cognitive Green Radio Spectrum and Spectrum Pricing. He is an author of over 15 scientific publications. He has previously participated in the ITU study group members.

A member of the Nigerian Technical Advisory Council for ITU, Dr. Oloyede was a delegate to the 2nd African Preparatory Meeting (APM) for the 2017 World Telecommunication Development Conference and 1st African Preparatory Meeting for the 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference.

Only recently, Dr. Oloyede was invited by the University of Lagos to serve as one of the three consultants to the University Council on the appointment of its new Vice Chancellor. The other consultants were Prof. Bamiro, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan and Prof. Briggs, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt.

The interview took place on Friday, October 27, 2017 at Unilag and he participated throughout the interview process, where he had the opportunity to ask all the contestants for the post of Vice-Chancellor how they intend to use ICT to aid their work. At the end of the interview, Prof. Ogundipe, the incumbent Deputy Vice-Chancellor, was appointed by the Council.

It is often said that when everyone around you likes you, it means you are not doing anything extraordinary. This is, however, not the case for Mr Yisa Omotayo Adewuyi, a level 4 Caretaker at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ilorin, whose hard work, passion and total commitment to his job for the past 26 years has endeared to the hearts of all his colleagues and bosses.

Since he joined the service of the institution in 1991, Mr Adewuyi, despite various financial, educational and physical limitations, has often defied all odds to get to work at 6.00a.m. everyday even though the official resumption time is 7:30am. He demonstrates a high level of enthusiasm to work.

Curious to know how he manages to get to the office that early despite not having a car and living very far away from the campus, Unilorin Bulletin went to meet him at his duty post last Monday (October 30, 2017).

Mr. Adewuyi said, “I live at Taiwo Oke. I always set my alarm early so I can leave my house at 5.00a.m. every day. There is a commercial driver I made arrangement with; he picks me and three other people every day at 5.00a.m. and I get to the office latest 6.00a.m”.

Some of his colleagues hinted Unilorin Bulletin that Mr Adewuyi, who recently lost his undergraduate daughter in a car crash, resumed his duties just nine days after the sad incident.

When asked of his motivation, the 58 year-old Caretaker said, “I don't like to be found wanting or deficient in anything I do. I do not wait on others before I do what is expected of me. Because it doesn't speak well of me to just be cleaning the office when people are already settled or making them stand outside while I clean. I committed myself to waking up early so I can get to work on time.”

Mr Adewuyi is so dedicated to his responsibilities that on few occasions, he had to trek long distances just to carry out his duty of collecting and dispatching memos and bulletins for his Faculty and he does so without any complaints.

The 58 year-old Caretaker, who has reached the bar of his cadre (level 4), is a Secondary School Certificate holder with 7 credits, including English Language and Mathematics. He further disclosed that throughout his 26 years of service, he has never had any clash with any staff and none has also complained about him.

Commenting on Mr. Adewuyi, the former Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Prof. Suleiman Ambali, described him as “a gentleman to the core, very hardworking, humble and extremely honest. He takes his work very seriously and does not show any iota of hesitation in any given task. He is a very dedicated staff.”

Prof. Ambali added that since he has been working with him when he was transferred from the Faculty of Education two years ago, “Mr Adewuyi has been so outstanding. This is the type of staff we need in the University and I hope he can be motivated because if others can be like him, I believe the University will go places. This man deserves the University's commendation and I have not seen someone that is as dedicated among his cadre.”

On his part, the current Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Prof. S. O. Salami, described the Caretaker as “a very calm, gentle, easy going individual that cannot hurt an ant. He is very dedicated and trustworthy. Countless times, we have deliberately tested him with money and on all occasions, we met the money there just as we left it.”

The former Sub-Dean of the Faculty, Dr J.O. Aiyedun, emphasised Mr Adewuyi's devotion to work, saying, “He always comes on time and still closes late. He is always very hard-working”. This testimony was also supported by the Faculty Officer, Mr. Femi Olajugbaje.

The Secretary to the Dean of the Faculty, Mrs. Olusola Adejumo, also said that Mr. Adewuyi has been an upright officer, adding that “there is no job assigned to him that he will not do gladly. He is very reliable. He is a very pleasant and peaceful person.”

On her part, Mrs. Omowunmi Azeez, another staff of the Faculty, said, “Mr Adewuyi is very hardworking, easy-going, and trustworthy to a fault. He even does more than his assigned task by cleaning the female staff toilet. There is no day he doesn't get to the office on time. Even when he lost his daughter, he came to work just nine days after. He is someone you cannot understand his motivation. He will never quarrel with anybody no matter the level of provocation.”

The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has donated sporting equipment worth millions of naira to the University of Ilorin as part of its efforts to support and encourage sport development in the institution.

The Head, North Central and FCT Zone of NLTF, Mr. Bankole Kamal, presented the items to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, in his office last Thursday (November 2, 2017).

Mr. Kamal said the gesture was in line with the Federal Government's desire to promote, advance and uplift sporting activities in the country.

He, however, refuted the impression that the commission deals with gambling. According to him, the National Lottery Trust Fund was established through the National Lottery Act of 2005 to regulate the operation and business of national lottery in Nigeria.

Mr. Kamal clarified that the objective of the commission is to receive fund that is due to the government and to promote transparency, propriety and integrity in the operation of national lottery in Nigeria.

Receiving the donated items, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdulkareem, who appreciated the lottery agency, said he had a very wrong impression of the commission until the visit of its officials and clarification of its duties.

Prof. Abdulkareem suggested that a different and easier-to-understand name should be adopted by the agency to clear any wrong impression that the people might have for them.

He, however, expressed his profound gratitude to the lottery commission for the donation of the sport equipment to the institution, explaining that giving athletes the opportunity of wearing standard jerseys and uniforms make them perform better.

Items donated include soccer boots, hose for players, socks, jerseys, chin guards, canvas, track suits, and T-shirts, among others.

Miss Rasheedat Adedoyin Alabi, a 22-year old graduand of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, has attributed her emergence as the best student of her Faculty and the overall best at the just concluded 33rd convocation ceremonies of the University to consistent reading, fervent prayers and keeping good company.

Miss Alabi, who swept 26 prizes during the convocation ceremonies, said that although she made out time to play and watch movies like her colleagues, she never allowed University side attractions to becloud her sense of reasoning in realising that she was on campus for a purpose.

In an exclusive interview with Unilorin Bulletin, the Ikirun, Osun State born medical graduand, said that knowledge sharing with colleagues helped her tremendously to attain the feat.

“The secret is that I tried as much as possible to be consistent in reading and I surrounded myself with serious minded people”, Miss Alabi said, adding, "I was a member of a very good discussion group and I am glad we all made it at the end of the Medical Exam. No one is an island. You can learn from even the person considered to be the dullest".

She explained that she was free with everybody and was always ready to share ideas with others and also learn from them. This, according to her, accounted for her deep understanding of virtually all courses under study.

"I used to go to the cinema and read in my room because reading in class wasn't meant for me. At least two hours. I tried to cover everything I'm taught that same day before I go for class the next day", she added.

Apart from surrounding herself with focused and serious minded course mates, Rasheedat was also an active member of Febrile Academia, ILUMSA's Quiz Team. She said she played good roles in various activities of the Medical Students Association in the Faculty.

Despite the fact that she read copiously, Rasheedat disclosed that she did not toy with sleep, having realised that one of the functions of sleep is consolidation of memory.

She said that “sleep is needed to remember what one read and to prevent brain block”, adding that "you'll even feel refreshed till day break”

Miss Alabi, who got an instant scholarship on Convocation day to pursue further studies at Oxford University, courtesy of Prof. Chris Imafidon, the 33rd Convocation Lecturer, attended St Clare's Nursery and Primary School, Osogbo, Osun State and had her secondary education at Our Lady and St. Francis' Catholic College, Osogbo. She got admission to read Medicine at the University of Ilorin in 2010.

Since the establishment of the University of Ilorin in 1975, the University has been growing in leaps and bounds.  Its meteoric growth, in comparison with other universities with which it was established the same time, could be described as splendid. The growth is, indeed, awe-inspiring, when one takes a critical and holistic look at the Nigeria University System, which, many will agree, is being bedeviled with many centrifugal and centripetal factors retarding the growth of the System.  In spite of the potentially regressive factors, University of Ilorin persists to grow in a stable atmosphere of peace and tranquility.  Undoubtedly, the spectacular growth of the University as well as its steady progression in the attainment of its mission and vision has won it many admirers as well as many adversaries and detractors, who are just envious of its advancement.

Just like many other discerning minds, I have come to the conclusion that the secret of the steady progression of the University is its continuous luck of having successively purposeful leaders. This is why I have once said in one of my columns entitled 'Purposeful Leadership' that “the simple secret of the distinction of the University of Ilorin lies in the purposeful leadership that has been shaping the destiny of the University over the years”.  I have also once established in one of my columns that “evidently, the secret of the positive changes and meteoric growth that Unilorin has been witnessing is in the transformational leaders that the University has been consistently lucky to have in the last 17 years”

With the new Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, on board, I have the conviction that we are lucky once again to have another purposeful and transformational leader as the captain of our ship on the voyage to a greater destination. With Prof. Abdulkareem as our new Vice-Chancellor, I have the conviction that our tomorrow is better.

One of Prof. Abdulkareem's cardinal policies, which he unveiled in his historic and highly persuasive address to the University Congregation, is that he does not want unnecessary or superfluous adulation and glorification from 'us'. Nevertheless, I cannot resist analyzing some of the significant 'soundbites' in his address, especially for the benefit of the few ones that were not lucky to attend the special meeting of congregation.  The significant 'soundbites' are, to me, policy directions that are indicators of my conviction that we have got another purposeful and transformational leader.

In a lecture delivered recently by Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu on strategic leadership, he established that leadership is based on commitment to some vision. Therefore, a true purposeful leader must have a coherent objective in mind; he must have strategies and tactics fashioned to work towards achieving the vision.  According to Tinubu, a “true leader distinguishes himself by marrying principled vision with practical strategy. In combination, these things show him the way home and how to get there. Just as importantly, they help  him determine what not to do or where to avoid as a good compass keeps one from going south when your destination lies north”.

As it is indicated in his motivational address to the University Congregation, our new Vice-Chancellor has vision just like his predecessors. He has not come to occupy power just because power needs to be occupied.

The most important vision of our new Vice-Chancellor is to make University of Ilorin a center of excellence for creative and innovative research endeavours and enterprises that can discover new technologies, products or ideas, which should be ultimately transformed to wealth for the University. So, Prof. Abdulkareem wants us to dream bigger, to be bolder and  to figure out what can make  us come live with better tomorrow. The new Vice-Chancellor has demonstrated  a  great commitment, not only for sustaining the University status as the best in the country, but also for pushing the University up to the pedestal of the world - class universities

In achieving this important vision, he has fashioned out his strategies. One of his strategies is garnering the trust, respect and administration of the majority of the members of this University as a way of stimulating intrinsic motivations for the attainment of the vision.  So, he has said he is going to be a transformational leader, who will give empathy, support and listens to followers' concerns and needs in order to make them happy and motivate them to work harder than originally expected.

One of his strategies is also reflected in the refrain that runs through his address to the University Congregation – if we are to seize this moment together, we must enjoy it together. According to him,   “this moment [of his accession to the mantle of leadership] that we  are all made for demands that we revive a more robust regime of motivations for all staff that have been labouring and sacrificing for the achievement of our desired greatness”. Therefore, he intends to make everybody happy within the possibility and limit of the resources available to him.  As he put it, “I will reward the efforts and devotion of every single staff – senior or junior, academic or non-academic, within the governing statutes”.  As he also established, “We will not only ask of you what you can do for the greater good of this University, we will also persistently ask ourselves what the University can do for your own good as well.  As we ask of a higher standard of dedication of your life to the greater purpose of moving the University higher in all ramifications, we should compensate you with the same standard of deserving rewards to motivate you and develop you through training and re-training for the larger goal.  If we are to seize this moment together, we must enjoy it together”

As he also disclosed in his historic address to the University Congregation, one of his major strategies for achieving his vision is going to be built on discipline. He unequivocally stated that, “as this tenure will place premium on rewarding deserving staff, it will not hesitate to frown at and reprimand deserving staff”. In this light, he passionately called for a new era of greater responsibility. He called for a new age of greater discipline, hard work and self-sacrifice.  He pleaded for the rejuvenation of “the enduring spirit of selfless service [that can make us] travel resolutely on the course of making our University better in all ramifications”.   He also appealed that “Our integrity, dutifulness, commitment and dedication must be voluntarily renewed and positively upgraded”, adding that “We need to reform some bad habits that are consciously or unconsciously becoming endemic, and which are strangling our progression in our journey to the desired land”. To him, “this moment requires that we have a greater sense of responsibility and dutifulness, recognising that we have a duty of promoting the glory of the University”. 

Prof. Abdulkareem has the conviction that “this moment requires that we have a revival of absolute discipline, hard work and self-sacrifice”, and so “it is his desire to lead us in this renaissance by examples”. To him, his “enduring conviction, strengthened by leadership examples, should motivate and propel the rebirth”. So, his strategy is not going to be in the least any form of coercion because his belief is that sense of dutifulness and responsibility “should not be compelled; it should be learnt and adopted willingly for the larger purpose that has been driving our journey”.

Overall, Prof. Abduljareem believes in the power of togetherness and unity of purpose. He therefore appealed that we should all “inhabit the spirit of togetherness and commitment to the larger goal, which has indeed assisted successive captains of our ship to be successful and effective”.

May God help our new Vice-Chancellor to succeed in achieving his goal for the University. The burden of promise delivery is great. We must all support him and pray that God gives him wisdom and strong will to deliver his promises.