The Unilorin Drivers' Welfare Association has congratulated Prof. Sulyman Age AbdulKareem on his recent appointment as the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin. The Association also congratulated the newly appointed Ag. Director of Works, Engr. Mudathir Abisoye.

In a congratulatory letter signed by its General Secretary, Mr. Afolabi Samuel, a copy of which was made available to Unilorin Bulletin, the Association pledged its “unalloyed loyalty” to the new Vice-Chancellor, saying,  “We are highly elated to have you pilot the affairs of the Better by Far institution considering your wealth of experience academically and administratively”.

Whilst also wishing the Ag. Director of Works a successful tenure, the Association stated that Engr. Abisoye is well-deserving of the post because his “attitude and relationship with all staff of the Department, irrespective of Units, have made him a competent officer to man this sensitive post”.

The Association added that the Ag. Director's “effort in ensuring that all staff are well remunerated and promoted without religious or tribal sentiments has endeared him to all staff of the Works Department”.

A Peace and Development scholar and staff of the Centre for Translation Art, University of Ilorin, Mr. Paul Akingbola, was among the 600 young people from nearly 120 countries of the world that gathered recently in Sarawak, Kuching, Malaysia, for the International Summit on Peace.

Organised by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) with support from the Government of Sarawak, the International Summit held between September 6 and September 8, 2017 with the main aim of identifying the barriers and proffering pathways to world peace.

Among the dignitaries at the summit were former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who was the Closing Keynote Speaker, and MSNBC NewsAnchor, Richard Luias, the Opening Keynote Speaker.

In his contributions at the interactive workshops designed to pioneer dialogue and action-oriented planning for the future of our world, at the summit, Mr. Akingbola, who is also the Peace Is Possible Campaign Director for JCI Nigeria told the participants that “the truth about violence is, not that it catches us unawares but that for many nations of the world, a problem is never a problem today until it finally becomes a problem tomorrow”.

The immediate past President of the University of Ilorin Students' Union, Mr. Lukman Shobowale, has been praised for his exemplary and innovative leadership while he was at the helm of affairs of the students' body.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON) gave the commendation last Thursday (October 5, 2017), during the presentation and launching of a book, entitled Emerge: Like a Lotus in a Pond”, written by the ex-student leader.

Prof. Ambali noted that Mr. Shobowale has contributed immensely to the educational awareness among the youth.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, “the contribution of Mr. Shobowale cannot be forgotten and with the documentation of his life in this book, he will forever be remembered”. He noted that the author emerged from a humble beginning to be voted the best Students' Union President in Nigeria in the year 2017.

The book reviewer, Dr. Azeez Lukman, ably represented by Dr. Mustapha Lambe, described the book as a great motivation for the youth of this generation, saying that the story of the author is truly that of an individual that had the world against him but was determined to succeed.

Dr. Lambe underscored the fact that Shobowale did not give up on life despite the loss of his parents at a very tender age.

He said, “The author should be commended and supported for this great work. This book preaches the gospel of excellence and determination”.

Among those who witnessed the book launch were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. (Mrs.) N. Y. S. Ijaiya; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. A. Y. Abdulkareem; and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RTI), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), has said that all hands must be on deck to protect the legacy of excellence and integrity for which the University has been known for some time now.

Prof. Ambali, who gave the charge last Tuesday (September 26, 2017) at the End-of-Session Dinner, commended members of the University Senate for their dedication and ground breaking efforts in ensuring the timely passage of students' examination results, and for sustaining the good image and legacy of the institution.

The Vice-Chancellor said, “We have come a long way and sustaining the University's legacy is not the easiest thing in the world. But having achieved that, we have to protect it by all means necessary. I thank you for ensuring we keep Unilorin shining.”

Prof. Ambali also appreciated the Academic Support Services Unit and the Chairman, Senate Business Committee, Prof. N.Y.S Ijaiya, in “providing a conducive atmosphere that ensured the smooth running of the 2016/2017 academic session”.

While urging all staff members to continue to be diligent in the discharge of their duties, the Vice-Chancellor appealed to members of the Senate to cooperate with the Vice-Chancellor-designate, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem to ensure a successful tenure.

Prof. Ambali said, “I am confident that Prof. Abdulkareem will take the University of Ilorin to the next level. He has all it takes to sustain our better by far legacy and we all will be proud of his achievements.”

In her remarks at the dinner, Prof. (Mrs.) Jekayinfa of the Department of Social Studies Education, lauded the Vice-Chancellor for the great achievements recorded during his tenure, stating that “during his administration, the Social Studies programme was approved even though many looked down on the programme. We also passed the resource verification and accreditation exercise. The Vice-Chancellor was really helpful and supportive”.

Prof. Jekayinfa then appreciated the entire management team for supporting the Social Studies Association of Nigeria (SOSAN) Conference that recently held in the University, adding that despite the ASUU strike, the conference was well attended and the Vice-Chancellor supported the event with all that was needed.

In his own remarks, Prof. D.D. Durosaro described Prof. Ambali as “an excellent administrator with human feelings for workers”. He noted that “for the past five years, the University has developed in terms of infrastructure and there is an improvement in curriculum. Almost all our courses are fully accredited and of all the universities in Nigeria, University of Ilorin is the only one that has achieved this much.”

On his part, Prof. Bayo Adeyanju of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine appreciated the Vice-Chancellor for establishing the Faculty, as well as the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, saying, “the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is the best in West Africa in terms of equipment and expertise and we are very proud of him for the noble feat.”

Prof. Adeyanju, who disclosed that the Faculty will be graduating its first set of students this year, also commended Prof. Ambali for making teaching and learning easier through the various infrastructures that were put in place during his administration.

In her own remarks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N.Y.S. Ijaiya, stressed the need to sustain the system in order to ensure that things run smoothly. She appealed to new Deans and Heads of Departments to follow due process, keep learning and also “follow the rules and regulations so as to do the right thing at the right time”.

The Registrar, Mr. E.D. Obafemi, who was represented by the Deputy Registrar (Human Resources), Mrs. R.A. Okojie, commended the Vice-Chancellor for sustaining the culture of gratitude and appreciated the Deputy Vice-Chancellors for being “strong pillars of support”.

There are strong indications that outgoing University Librarian, University of Ilorin, Dr. Joseph O. Omoniyi, will proceed to the Kogi State University, Anyigba, where he has been appointed the Ag. University Librarian for the duration of his accumulated and Sabbatical Leave. Dr. Omoniyi's five-year tenure ends this Thursday (October 12, 2017).

A copy of Dr. Omoniyi's appointment letter, signed by the Registrar of that University, Dr. Y. I. Abubakar, and made available to Unilorin Bulletin, listed other responsibilities for the veteran Librarian as including “teaching, seminar presentations on previously completed projects as well as to initiate projects that will be of benefit to the Library and the University”.

Reacting to Dr. Omoniyi's new appointment, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. A. B. Olayemi, said he was not really surprised at the University Librarian's fortune, describing “his (Dr. Omoniyi's) tenure as the University Librarian here (Unilorin) as a remarkable success”.  

Prof. Olayemi said, “This, together with Dr. Omoniyi's appointment coming at the end of his tenure is worthy of celebration.  For one, the University has been able to appoint a successor (awaiting Council's approval).  The implication of this is that Dr. Omoniyi is assured of a sustainable legacy; particularly that filling leadership position is becoming a hard task in most universities.  The seamless change and relocation from the apex position of librarianship of the University of Ilorin to Kogi State University is certainly an eloquent testimony to his quality credentials.  This is also a credit to the university system of peer review”.

Also in his reaction, the Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Mr. E.D. Obafemi, congratulated Dr. Omoniyi on his new appointment and wished him success in his future endeavours.

Mr. Obafemi said that Dr. Omoniyi's appointment came at the appropriate time, noting that he was not surprised by such appointment because he did not expect anything less to happen, considering Dr. Omoniyi's antecedents as the University Librarian of the Better By Far University as well as his intimidating credentials.

An associate of the outgoing University Librarian, Chief Enimola described Dr. Omoniyi's new appointment as “a communal call to go to Kogi State and contribute to the development of his State unconditionally in the same manner he had done for the University of Ilorin.  It is a call from God to go to Anyigba and God will not abandon him”.

Another associate, Mr. Biodun Kajotoni, described Dr. Omoniyi as “quiet, easy-going and focused, hence, his appointment to head Kogi State University Library at a time he is leaving the same position at Unilorin is a right decision that any organisation that appreciates quality ought to take”.

On his part, Mr.  Supo Odejide urged Dr. Omoniyi to also put in his best in his new appointment to the Glory of God and the growth of his new place of call.  He opined that the authorities of Kogi State University must have their good reasons before giving Dr. Omoniyi such an appointment rather than allowing him to go and rest after spending five years in a similar position.

 (Excerpts from an upcoming documentary book, “The Ambali Years: A Chronicle of the Landmark Achievements of Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali [2012 – 2017], written by Kunle Akogun, Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs)

(Excerpts from an upcoming documentary book, “The Ambali Years: A Chronicle of the Landmark Achievements of  Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali [2012 – 2017], written by Kunle Akogun, Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs)

(Contd. from last week)

Prof. Gabriel A. Olatunji, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research Technology and Innovation)

“It is no exaggeration. Like former President Olusegun Obasanjo would always say, if you have eyes to see you must see well and say it loud and clear. I am in a position to say it loud and clear that I have enjoyed to the maximum the working of an astute veterinary medical doctor, a scientist par excellence who devoted his time, his energy to doing everything it takes to elevate the University of Ilorin from where he met it to the time he completed his tour of duty.

 “Just look at the campus, from the mere point of number of physical structures, you will say I give this man kudos. As a scientist myself, I don't have much regard for buildings but what is inside the building to work with. When you now go into the buildings to see what Professor Ambali has succeeded in putting inside them, you will say God, we thank you for this man. We thank you for bringing this man at a time some of us he brought on board would have been so sad if he had not done that. I for one, as a researcher, I have no other duty; in fact this office is called Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Technology and Innovation and as one who loves research so much, it would have been so boring for me in the first year if things to work with are not in those buildings.”

“Any first time visitor to the University should take out time to visit the Central Research Laboratory; when you are there, you will stand up and say God, I thank you for this thing that happened in the time of Professor Ambali and you cannot find another University that has that kind of thing in the country: a whole big building devoted to Laboratory research. It is wonderful.

 “So, as a whole, Professor Ambali has done excellently well. God bless him. May God prosper him; may God continue to elevate him”.

Dr Joseph Omoniyi, University Librarian

“The first time I had contact with him was before I became the University Librarian. I looked at him and as I was discussing with him, I discovered that this person, don't take him for granted. When he became the Vice-Chancellor, I was not surprised that he would eventually achieve; he had that gift. He was able to settle down and understand the culture here. He is from Ilorin yes, but if you look at the number of years he stayed in Nigeria abroad before coming back home, you will agree with me that he's supposed to find it a little more difficult. So, I appreciate the Almighty God on his behalf for what he has been able to achieve.

“It is not a mean thing; it is not easy to control a family, let alone a university. The University of Ilorin is the most complex university in Nigeria because every state is represented here both staff and students. He is a man of vision, and his vision tallies with that of the University and he was able to pursue the vision correctly in the right direction. No wonder he was able to achieve so much. He is very fast, but of course, don't forget we are operating in a world of human beings, and there is no way that you can satisfy everybody in this world, but if you have been able to satisfy the majority, you satisfy your conscience, you satisfy your creator, you are okay. He has achieved a lot. Anytime people came from Abuja, the government officials, people from overseas, they marveled at what Professor Ambali was able to accomplish, and what else do you want anybody to do other than to pray for him that in his future endeavours, God will continue to lift him.

“I am privileged to know most of the previous vice-chancellors, and I am still here. I can say I am the oldest now, not in terms of age but I can say conveniently, having started with the University in 1976 and I am still here, Professor Ambali has done well, there is no doubt about it. He did his best, and his best is good enough for this University”.

Prof. W.B.R. Johnson, Provost, College of Health Sciences

“From my own perspective, the College of Health Sciences benefited immensely from the tenure of Professor Ambali. I am not saying that he did it from his personal purse, what I am saying is that the relationship between the University administration and the College during Professor Ambali's tenure was very cordial. Not just the growth but the development of the College occupied the front burner as far as the Ambali administration is concerned.

“I must start by saying that one of the motivating factors or one of the reasons why I should give the Provostship election a shot …was based on the fact that I have worked with his predecessor for a while and I thought the person that was coming after was going to have a similar style of governance and relationship. I expected it to be even better in view of the fact that he is an applied scientist. His predecessor was a friend, we call him my spiritual leader if you want to say so, my brother or friend … But somebody coming from a different environment, and who has some professional knowledge of the medical school, how it should be; seeing that he is the one coming in, I thought this would be an opportunity to make some of those aspirations that I have always had as well as dream of making a difference at the leadership level…Of course, to make that kind of difference, you need somebody at the Centre that would key into whatever you want to do. So, at the time we conducted the election, he was already the Vice-Chancellor. I felt very comfortable and I was very hopeful that a lot of things would change regarding infrastructural development, regarding the attention from the centre, regarding putting us at a position that I thought we ought to be and I don't think that I've been put wrong in every sense.

“Again the construction of the College – Main Campus link road is a very big plus to the administration of Professor Ambali. The road has shortened, significantly, the gulf between us and the University main campus; in terms of safety too, and it is a much safer route to take than going through the Israelites' journey. That he was able to ensure that the road was built during his tenure is one achievement that will go down in history as momentous. Indeed, I suggested at a particular forum that there is no better way to honour Professor Ambali than to name that road after him. But in his characteristic humility, he mentioned that that should be left to whoever is going to take over from him that we should skip the subject of giving the road a name. I have no doubt in my mind that if anybody should take the glory for that road, I think it should be him.

“Also, the establishment and commissioning of the Clinical Skills and Simulation Laboratory is a major milestone and achievement of the Ambali administration. The Clinical Skills lab is undoubtedly the biggest in this country if not in sub-Saharan Africa. I don't want to boast too much, we have what I believe is an upgrade of what they have in Accra, maybe not necessarily in terms of the size but in terms of what we have. I must say that the comprehensiveness of what we have in terms of equipments in that Clinical Skills Lab cannot be ascribed to any other person than Professor Ambali. Yes, the building was started and the intent in having it at all should be rightly ascribed to his predecessor. But the credit for the equipment of the place and ensuring that the equipment were not just installed but actively put into use and ensuring also that we have a system by which our staff were trained as to how to use them, should go to Professor Ambali. Since he equipped that place, our vision as to what he should do in terms of making the training much more seamless, much less burdensome and much less dangerous to patients, I must say that that dream has been fulfilled to a large extent. And the fact that he actually acceded to our request of having a separate provision in terms of budgetary allocation to the Clinical Skills Lab, is something that I think he should be given credit for.

 “The College also got a brand new 550KVA soundproof generating set during the tenure of Professor Ambali.

The new College hostel was also commissioned during the tenure of Professor Ambali and it is another addition to his feather-saturated cap.

“Then we have the twin lecture halls envisaged - one of the two has been commissioned. “The College library was also something that has been a sore point in terms of inadequacy that we were facing before the advent of the Ambali administration. In fact, it got to a point where we said, let us approach the current Senate President… the burden of giving us a befitting College Library now fell on the laps of the Vice-Chancellor and he took up the challenge. The new College Lecture hall, 300-seater; very spacious and you are not likely to choke easily with the interval between your head and the roof; it's like some of those cathedral churches that have long ceiling fans; the Administrative block too, we are hoping that after October or thereabout, it will have gotten to a point that we move from here to occupy the appropriate part of the building which is the Administrative block that will house all academic staff.

“One thing I have been sufficiently assured by Professor Ambali is the fact that since we are moving to a University land, there was no reason for us not to benefit from the recent efforts of the University's collaboration with a foreign company to put up a solar power source and that should take quite a bit of burden away from the generating set we have just acquired; there is nothing better than having a near 24-hour source of power supply.

“Professor Ambali's other achievements include his open-door policy. Like I said earlier on, he is a listening leader: a leader that does not take unilateral decisions would always get it right.”

 

(To be continued next week)

The management of the University of Ilorin has rejected the labeling of the institution by the University of Ibadan Branch Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Deji Omole, as a 'terrorist organisation.'

Reacting to media publications credited to Dr. Omole last Monday (September 25, 2017), the Head, Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Mr. Kunle Akogun, said that such statement, coming from a supposed senior member of the academia, was a calculated attempt to smear the rising profile and well-acknowledged good name the University had made for itself.

In a widely circulated press statement, Mr. Akogun described Omole's outburst as “sheer balderdash” and a mere advertisement of his ignorance about the gravity of such appellation

He, however, said that the University was not ready to join issues with the interloper, “who appears hell bent to drag the good names that Unilorin has made for itself over the years, in the mud”.

The statement also made it clear that “the disciplinary action recently taken by the University against two of its academic staff, which is the basis for Omole's strange wailing, followed due process as it was in line with the laid down rules and regulations as contained in the University's Conditions of Service”.

Mr. Akogun, therefore, wondered when an internal affair of the University of Ilorin “has now become the business of the University of Ibadan ASUU Chairman”.

 The University image maker recalled that “this same controversial fellow recently alleged that the University of Ilorin had increased its tuition fees and shamefacedly took the false news to the media”.

The statement also read, "As a supposed senior member of the academia, we expect Dr Omole to be circumspect in his usage of words. How can you describe a University that is the toast of most Nigerian parents and the darling of admission seekers as a terrorist organisation?

“The University of Ilorin is proud of its records of achievements as the most peaceful university in the country with an unbroken record of stable academic calendar for the past 17 years and an unmatched expansion of academic programmes. These are attributes that have made the University the most sought after institution of higher learning in the country since 2013".

The statement stated that an institution like the better by far University, “with proven integrity and verifiable achievements in terms of  promoting the nation's educational ideals and fostering peace and stability cannot be rightly described as a terrorist organisation, except perhaps, Omole has a new definition for the word”.