Amidst music, banters and camaraderie, members of the Oye Ekiti August Ten Club last weekend feted Professor Kayode Soremekun, the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE).
According to the club’s president, Chief Bola Awe, the reception, which held at Westown Hotels, behind Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, was a ‘warm handshake’ aimed at fostering good relationship with Soremekun.
“We cannot keep our hands behind and expect a handshake; we have stretched our hands of fellowship with a view to fostering good relationship with Prof. Soremekun as an adopted son of the soil,” Awe said, stressing, “We solicit his support in ensuring an enduring marriage between the gown and town, that is, FUOYE the university community and Oye Ekiti, the school’s host community.”
He enjoined the Vice Chancellor and his management team to patronise local entrepreneurs and accord priority to employing both skilled and unskilled but employable youth of Oye Ekiti so that the host community could feel the impact of FUOYE. Awe further charged the management of FUOYE to maintain the institution’s culture of academic excellence as embodied by the feat of Dr. Enoch Opeyemi who launched FUOYE and Oye Ekiti to global reckoning by solving the 156-year old mathematical Rheima Hypothesis.
Responding, Prof. Soremekun said he was touched by the fervent commitment of indigenes of Oye Ekiti as well as other Ekiti communities to the success of the university. “The job of building FUOYE may belong primarily to the Oye Ekiti community but it also belongs to other communities in Ekiti; everyone in Ekiti, therefore, has to set hands on the plough,” he said, adding “FUOYE also belongs to all Nigerians and to the world because of resources to be tapped from the global community.”
Soremekun said while the management of the university had noted the request for patronage of local resources; indigenes of Oye Ekiti also must consider the extent to which they could assist FUOYE, which is still a very young institution.
“Our current challenges also present opportunities for us to etch our names in an indelible way in the sands of time by shaping the university into what we want it to become. By committing to a project, you would have gone a long way to demonstrate your obligation to the university,” he stated.
Also speaking at the reception, the Oloye of Oye Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Sir) Oluwole Ademolaju, Adugbole III, said the larger Oye Ekiti community would still organise a civic reception in honour of the Vice Chancellor to formally welcome him to the community.
“As the custodian of the tradition and culture of my community, I have the key to the town, which I hope to present to Prof. Soremekun only at home in Oye Ekiti,” Oba Ademolaju said.
The well attended reception was graced by eminent indigenes of Oye Ekiti, notably the President of Oye Progressive Union, Barrister Akin Omole; CEO, Havilah Merchants Ltd, Mr. Lanre Adesuyi; Senator Ayo Arise; YemKem Enterprises’ boss, Chief Akintunde Ayeni and Ekiti State Commissioner of Commerce, Mr. Ayo Oguntoye.
The FUOYE delegation included Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Raphael Ajayi; Registrar, Mr. Daniel Adeyemo; Bursar, Mr. Bashir Badmus; Librarian, Mr. Gboyega Adio; Director of Academic Planning, Prof. Olusegun Oladimeji; Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare; Director of Physical Planning, Mr Debo Ayodele and Director of Admin (VC’s Office), Mr. Olatubosun Odusanya.