The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has said that the institution's Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS) has all it takes to restore sustainable peace to the country, if given all the needed support.

Prof. Abdulkareem stated this last Monday (March 5, 2018) while declaring open the CPSS 7th Conflict Management Skills and Capacity Building Retreat, held at G-Pinnacle Suite, Ilorin.

The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that if the Centre is adequately empowered, it has the capacity to tackle some of the security problems Nigeria is currently facing.

He pledged the University management's necessary support to the Centre in order for it to be able to achieve the purpose for which it was established.

Prof. Abdulkareem, therefore, commended the staff and management of the Centre for coming up with such fascinating and impact-driven retreat at this critical time that Nigeria needs peace and progress more than any other thing.

The Vice Chancellor, who described peacekeeping and peacemaking as a responsibility of all and sundry, said that there cannot be progress and development in an atmosphere of rancour and acrimony.

In his remarks on the occasion, the Kwara State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Olusegun Adeyemi, said that his agency was ready to partner with peace-driven centres like the CPSS in an attempt to collectively realise the Nigeria of our dream.

Mr. Adeyemi commended the leadership of the centre for coming up with regular retreats aimed at promoting peace, harmony and progress in the country.

Also speaking, the immediate past Director of the Centre, Dr Mahfouz Adedimeji, expressed satisfaction over the rising profile of the CPSS and called on the Federal Government to as a matter of priority establish a Ministry of Peace in the country as a potent tool to bring peace back to the country.

Dr. Adedimeji, who described peace as the hallmark of development, said that Costa Rica, Solomon Island and Nepal are the three countries that have Ministry of Peace, saying that those countries are enjoying absolute peace.

He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to take a cue from these three countries by considering the establishment of Ministry of Peace or Peace Commission a topmost priority for the benefit of peaceful and accelerated development of the country. 

Earlier in his address, the Director of the Centre, Prof. Noah Yusuf, said that the five-day retreat and lunching of a book on security was to train students of the Centre, security agents and stakeholders in security on the need to fight security challenges in the country.

Prof. Yusuf expressed optimism that the participants at the retreat will be better informed and equipped at the end of the exercise, saying that the knowledge gained would give them necessary directions and support to curtail the upsurge of all manners of security challenges currently facing the country.

A Professor in the Department of Geology, Faculty of Physical Science, University of Ilorin, Samuel Olusegun Akande, has been elected Fellow of the prestigious Academy of Science.

According to a statement signed by the Ag. Head of the Department of Geology, Dr O. O. Ige and made available to Unilorin Bulletin, Prof. Akande's emergence as a Fellow of the Academy was in recognition of his spectacular contributions to the field of Geology over the years. 

Prof. Akande's election took place at the end of the Academy's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos on January 31, 2018.

Retiring Professor of Islamic Studies, Yasir Anjola Quadri, has been described as an embodiment of discipline and an encyclopedia of the rules and regulations of the University of Ilorin.

This was the candid assessment of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management Services), University of Ilorin, Prof. Adedayo Yusuf Abdulkareem, and members of the University Campus Security Committee at a valedictory meeting in honour of Prof. Quadri last Tuesday (February 27, 2018). Until his retirement, Prof. Quadri was a key member of the committee.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, who is also the Chairman of the committee, said that Prof. Quadri was an active and strong member of the Campus Security Committee whose contributions to the rising profile of the University were very enormous and profound.

Prof. Abdulkareem described the retired Professor as a democrat and a man who has a great respect for constituted authorities. He said that the security committee of which the former Dean, Faculty of Arts, was a member until his retirement would sorely miss him.

According to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, "Professor Y. A. Quadri is an elder statesman and one of the strong pillars that hold the University of Ilorin in its developmental efforts over the years. He is very passionate about security and other matters that could promote peace, progress and productivity of the University”. 

He said, "Prof. Quadri could be described as an encyclopedia of rules and regulations in the University. He is very strict in obeying rules and regulations. He respects constituted authorities. He is always committed to the promotion of discipline.  He is democrat”. 

Prof. Abdulkareem noted further, "As a man of God, Prof. Quadri fears God in his dealings with people. He respects the worth and dignity of labour and people. He would always be remembered by the Unilorin Security Committee for his unquantifiable contributions to the development, activities and achievements of the Committee. We pray Allah to continue to strengthen him in all his endeavours".

He therefore appealed to Prof. Quadri not to leave the Campus Security Committee alone as he retires from the University's active service.

In their separate comments, some members of the committee described Prof. Quadri as a thorough-bred Professor, a disciplinarian and a very honest man who understands the complexity of the University of Ilorin issues.

In her contribution, Engr. (Mrs.) Abidoye from Works Department described the retired Professor as a straight-forward person who has served the University of Ilorin in various capacities. 

Mrs. Abidoye explained that “such an agile and highly resourceful man like Prof. Quadri should not be left alone like that”, saying that “the University still stands to gain a lot from this retired but not tired erudite scholar”. 

Also in his comment, the Chief Securty Officer of the University iof Ilorin, Mr. Inuwa Tijani, described Prof. Quadri as a man who is always on duty when it comes to the issue of security on campus and a dedicated teacher to his students. Mr. Tijani said that the University community will sorely miss him. 

In his own remarks, Dr Waheed B. Yahaya described Prof. Quadri as an embodiment of cultural values as he worked tenaciously to ensure that students uphold the value of the University's dress code and moral standards, adding that those who are yet to come to the University of Ilorin will equally miss him. 

Dr. Kameel Azeez, the Mayor of the Senior Staff Quarters (Main Campus), Engr. Ajimatokan, the Mayor of G. R. A. Quarters; Mr. Isarinade Julius Olaolu, the Chairman, Special Marshal, the Student Union President, Adebisi Ridwan, and a host of other members of the committee seated during the valedictory session described Prof. Quadri as a committed, dedicated, firm, principled, God fearing, humble and a thorough-bred Professor of great repute, whose landmark of achievements in the University and the education sector in general cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has advised the newly admitted students of the institution to attach seriousness to their studies and shun all negative tendencies that may jeopardise their academic pursuit.

Prof. Abdulkareem gave the advice last Tuesday (February 27, 2018) while declaring open the week-long Orientation Programme for the 2017/2018 fresh students at the University Auditorium.

The Vice-Chancellor, who considered the admitted students lucky for being chosen out of numerous candidates that applied for admission, also advised them to make judicious use of their time on campus, saying that time is the most precious factor that is available to them now.  

Prof. Abdulkareem counseled the students to spend less time on facebook and all those social media platforms that are capable of distracting and derailing them from their academic track.

The Vice Chancellor also warned the students to be conscious of bad gangs, unregistered associations, examination malpractice, indecent dressings and other anti-social behaviour, saying that the University authority would not hesitate to deal decisively with any violator of the school's regulations among them.

Prof. Abdulkareem assured the fresh students of the University's support at all time for them to actualise their set goals of becoming good ambassadors of the University of Ilorin and Nigeria as a whole after their graduation.

Earlier in his address, entitled "Remember the Children of Whom You are", the Registrar of the University, Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi, urged the new students to be decent and moderate in their approach to issues, saying that any form of uncivilised conduct will be visited with appreciate sanctions.

Mr. Obafemi told the freshers, "You are enjoined to manage your time very well by ensuring that you attend lectures, tutorials, and practical classes regularly as well as carry out all your assignments.

"The University has rules and regulations, which guide students' stay on the campus. If your academic journey must end successful, you must obey these rules religiously.

"You are advised to shun all forms of defiant behaviour and vices such as cultism, examination malpractices, rape, stealing, and mutilation of library books, hooliganism, drug abuse,  molestation, disrespect to staff and fellow students, indecent dressing, among others.

"Take very good care of yourself and avoid bad company. Endeavour to listen to Unilorin 89.3 FM radio, read notices and visit Unilorin website on www.unilorin.edu.ng for important news and important information that may be communicated to you from time to time".

Also in her remarks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya, advised the students to comport themselves orderly and refrain from any habit that may send them out of the University prematurely.

Others who spoke the programme included the Dean, Student Affairs, Prof. Lanre Ajibade; the Chaplain in charge of the Chapel Of Light, University of Ilorin, Dr Caleb Ogunkunle; the Deputy Chief Imam of the University of Ilorin Central Mosque,  Prof. Nasir Abdulsalam; the Deputy Chief Security Officer, Mr. Woli; and a representative of the University Librarian, among others.

The University of Ilorin Centre of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB) has held an orientation programme for the first set of its students.

The event that took place on February 16, 2018 at the University Auditorium was aimed at sensitizing the students on issues related to security, health and all other necessary information they may require.

Prof. I. A. Abimbola of the Department of Science Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ilorin, delivered a lecture on “How to Learn” on the occasion, which was witnessed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya; the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Lanre Ajibade; the Director, Unilorin Health Services, Dr. Odunola; and the University Chief Security Officer, Mr. Inuwa Tijani, among others.

In her remarks, Prof. Ijaiya advised the students to work extra hard and remain focused throughout the programme, which on successful completion, would earn them admission to 200 level.

The Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Inland Revenue Service (KWIRS), Dr Muritala Awodun, has enjoined Nigerian universities to refrain from operating a closed economy but tap into wider areas of opportunities available in the industry and the larger society. 

Dr Awodun, who gave the advice penultimate Wednesday (February 21, 2018) when he led some senior officials of the establishment on a visit to the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), University of Ilorin, said, “If universities begin to do this, they may not even need funding from government again to survive because they would have gone into relationships that will have been very profitable and adequate to fund their projects”.

He said, “We operate a closed economy and it is killing the universities”, pointing out that this was “because the government is still funding these universities…I believe that the university should not operate exclusively…it is the university itself that will have to stretch out to the town and begin to do things with the town.”

Dr. Awodun advised the universities to start asking questions like “in our area, what are the opportunities there? We have engineering…how are we interfacing with the industry where we can actually make billions of naira?”

Lamenting that universities conduct researches that only end in journal publications, the tax chief pointed out that universities “don't consciously make investments in industry”. 

He said that “tertiary education will never be the priority of government when things are very tight…”, adding that “so, universities have to sit down and translate all these our researches into realities that can impact positively on the society. We should start to think, for instance, of what can the University of Ilorin do for Kwara State, not what Kwara State can do for the University of Ilorin…”

Dr. Awodun also identified lack of commitment and low productivity as the bane of civil service in the country just as he tasked civil servants to be more productive and efficient in the discharge of their responsibilities. 

Pointing out that a major challenge confronting Nigeria is lack of productivity, Dr. Awodun noted that a country's ability to develop its economy is dependent on the efficiency and productivity of its workforce. 

He said, “What we are doing in KWIRS is to build a new army of public servants because our people are not thinking like civil servants; they are thinking like private sector people. They know that they have assignments and targets and those targets must be accomplished and if it is accomplished, they are commended …”

According to Dr. Awodun, “responsibility and accountability are things that you can't run away from; people should not just sleep, collect salary and go home; they are even destroying their lives without them knowing”.

He said that Nigerians must “begin to think of how to change that mentality because everywhere you go, you see thousands and thousands of civil servants engaged by the states, local governments and even federal, more than half of them are doing nothing, they are just counting days, and they say I have ten or twenty years of experience…”

Dr. Awodun said, “I discover that those experiences count for nothing, and the only way they discover is when they retire and they can't do anything. Give them retirement benefits ten, twenty million… after six months, the money is gone because they don't know how to do anything because in the service, they really were not doing anything…they were not learning anything, they were just accumulating years…

“All these things are very important because that is why our productivity is extremely low; people are not ready to add value, people are just eager to make money and the more of this crusade that we carry out through Centres like this, through collaborations …we are open to all forms of collaborations that will make our societies better because we have a contribution to make while we are still on mother earth”.

Dr Awodun pointed out that his organisation was committed to adding value to the development of Kwara State which was why the revenue service had intervened in the areas of education, environment and entrepreneurship opportunities, amongst others. 

Earlier in his remarks, the Director of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Prof. Noah Yusuf, stated that the KWIRS team's visit offered an opportunity for collaboration between the Centre and the State tax body. 

Prof. Yusuf said, “While we may not be collecting taxes”, there are areas for collaboration and synergy in terms of peace building and security management, adding that “we believe that tax payment could be used to engender national peace and prosperity.”

The CPSS Director, who highlighted the history of the establishment, academic programmes and achievements of the Centre since its inception ten years ago, disclosed that the Centre had existing Memorandum of Understanding with elite security agencies like the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Security Services, adding that the Centre had, to a large extent, fulfilled the mission and vision for which it was founded, which is, facilitating peace and security towards reducing conflicts in the society. 

Joining the CPSS Director to welcome the KWIRS team were the Deputy Registrar and Secretary of the Centre, Dr. (Mrs.) F.M. Olowoleni, lecturers and students of the Centre.

… He's a man of all moments – Adedimeji

The lead editor of the book, “Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences”, Prof. Y. O. Imam, has said that the book was written to acknowledge the sterling leadership qualities of the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, “which have been applauded locally, nationally and internationally”. 

Prof Imam, who was also the Chairman, Organising Committee, disclosed this last Wednesday (February 21, 2018) in his welcome address at the Book Presentation that took place at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja.

According to the Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Ilorin, the book project was initiated by himself, Associate Professors R. I. Adebayo, A.I. Ali-Agan, whose Doctoral Theses were supervised by the honouree, as a mark of “appreciation  for  the thorough supervision and mentorship received in the hands of Prof. Oloyede”.

Prof. Imam said, “Thus, in the first part of the last quarter of 2012, which coincided with the expiration of Prof. Oloyede's tenure as the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, a call for submission of papers was sent to academics locally and internationally”.

He however said that this plan was kept away from Prof. Oloyede for the entire period of soliciting for the submission of papers, editing and subsequent publishing of the book  (2012 to 2016) because the editors were mindful of the honoree's distaste for people celebrating his achievements”.

Prof. Imam recalled, “Thereafter, the editors decided to approach the honoree with a copy of the published work. After flipping through the pages of the book, Prof. Oloyede commended the efforts of the editors and sought to know their plans about the book. The editors told him of the intention to present the book publicly and that proceeds from the presentation will be used to establish a Foundation in his honour to cater for the less privileged, one of the humanitarian services the honouree has devoted his life to”. 

According to the book's Lead Editor, Prof. Oloyede's “response to this was that though a popular practice, editors should go beyond the ordinary but engage in a more visible activity such as training and improving the potentials of a few children with special needs like the deaf and the dumb in the art of public presentation. After such training, annual conference where the trainees would be the facilitators and participants should be organised with a view to showing that there is ability in disability. This will help the targeted children greatly and enlist public support for their training and development”. 

Prof. Imam disclosed that the event was initially planned to hold in Ilorin, a suggestion, which he said was vehemently opposed by the Sultan of Sokoto who stated that 'the honouree is not a local champion but an international figure'. The Sultan therefore directed that the event be held in Abuja.

In a moving citation of the honoree, a Reader in the Department of English, University of Ilorin, Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji, described Prof. Oloyede as “a man of all moments”.

Dr. Adedimeji said that the ascension of the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin to prominence “was not a matter of coincidence, but rather a product of a clear vision, a sense of mission propelled by the keen passion to excel”.

The immediate past Director of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, who said that Prof. Oloyede has internalised five D's as the operational blueprint for making a difference, noted that the JAMB Registrar “is a man with a dream, who then develops a drive to achieve it”. He said, “With single-minded determination, remarkable discipline, this three-in-one man (okunrin meta) sets out to achieve his goal with dedication”.

Describing the honoree as “a workaholic, a man who electrifies his surroundings with an inimitable sense of duty, a man of action and guts”, Dr Adedimeji said, “To Prof. Oloyede, whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well”.

He said wherever the Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence finds himself, “he is renowned for being extra-ordinary and first class”.

Dr. Adedimeji pointed out that when Prof. Oloyede was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, “the University was taken to such Olympian height that vice-chancellors visited him regularly to understudy him”, adding that “within a period of five years, this great man of honour took the University of Ilorin from being an unranked university to one of the best 20 in Africa, according to international ranking agencies”.

Pointing out that Prof. Oloyede stands tall today as one of the greatest symbols of President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-corruption crusade, Dr. Adedimeji recalled that “when the Presidency released a statement on December 30, 2017 to showcase the achievements of the Federal Government, JAMB's name was conspicuous in it”.