From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
Prof Smaranda Olarinde, the Vice Chancellor of Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) has said 121 students will graduate with First Class out of the 1,673 graduands of the university, at the 12th anniversary and 10th unbroken convocation ceremonies of the institution.
Olarinde made this known to newsmen on Monday, in Ado Ekiti, during a pre-convocation press conference heralding the ceremonies slated for Friday, October 21.
The VC said the graduands include 1,418 undergraduates comprising 121 First Class, 666 Second Class Upper, 489 Second Class Lower, 70 Third Class and 225 students at the Postgraduate levels.
She also added that honorary doctorate degrees would be conferred on former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni, Human Rights and Constitutional Lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, (SAN) and the Sheu of Borno, Alhaji Garba El-Kanemi in recognition of their impacts in the society.
Olarinde said that the three eminent personalities are selected in compliance with the popular 2012 Keffi Declaration after a thorough, rigorous, as well as merit-based selection process.
The VC explained that Oni was selected for the honorary degree in appreciation of his famous role in the establishment of ABUAD 12 years ago.
“A lover of functional education, Engr Segun Oni would be decorated in appreciation of the role played in getting ABUAD to be sited in Ekiti. Unknown to many but for this selfless, most patriotic role by the eminently humble Nigeria, the now flourishing ABUAD would probably not have been sited in Ekiti State,” she said.
“Following the wide publicity that Baba Afe was going to establish a university in Ibadan, Engr. Oni, who was then governor raced to Ibadan, fervently pleading that Aare Babalola should site the university in Ekiti in order to enhance the development of the state. As a major stakeholder in the Ekiti project, Baba got persuaded and then decided to locate the university in Ado Ekiti.
“His Royal Majesty, Alhaji El-Kanemi is deserving of the award on account of his unbending commitment to functional education and his incurable pursuit of peace in a theatre of war.
“On his part, Mike Ozekhome is being honoured for his contributions to the enthronement of a conducive environment for the sustenance of human rights, democracy, good governance and the rule of law,” she added.
Olarinde said that the institution had continued to be driven and guided by the vision of its founder, Chief Afe Babalola which included moulding a generation of new Nigerians.
The VC added that the university, which had 10 unbroken convocations was a practical and exemplary demonstration of how the country’s tertiary education should be run.