From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged other institutions of higher learning in the country to take a cue from the University of Ilorin by always working for and maintaining peace at all times.
The President, who made the call at the weekend during his address at the 36th Convocation of the University of Ilorin, pointed out that “our universities must remain citadels of learning, research and community service. They should remain the leading lights of every human society”.
President Buhari, who was represented on the occasion by Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, commended the University of Ilorin for sustaining its glowing reputation as the nation’s most sought-after University in the country in the last eight years. Our universities must remain citadels of learning, research and community service. They should remain the leading lights of every human society and ours should not be a difference.
He said, “This reputation is not only as a result of the good work of the staff but also due to the consistent maturity of Unilorin students, adding that “your University is, therefore, a pride to the nation. It has remained largely peaceful in the last two decades. It has become an example of the best of what a University should be and I must say that the nation is very proud of what you have turned the University into”.
President Buhari charged Nigerian youths to positively explore their intellect, energies and other peculiar characteristics associated with their level of development and contemporary age with a view to carving a space for themselves to enable them offer their contributions to national development.
The President said that the nation expected its youthful segment, which constituted the greatest percentage of its population, to play more positive roles in nation-building.
He urged the youth not to procrastinate but begin to challenge themselves with what they would do that would eventuate in the creation of a sustainable space for themselves in national affairs, saying that “they must task themselves and explore their competencies to do things differently having been carefully prepared and nurtured to bring out and demonstrate the best of attitude and skills”.
The President also reiterated the fact that as much as his administration tried it cannot provide jobs for all the graduates whose number is on the increase. He however, assured that enabling environment would be created and sustained for them to discover their ingenuity and for industries to thrive so as to complement government efforts in that direction.
President Buhari emphasised the need for youths “to be determined and focused to be worthy of being described as the potential leaders of this great nation”, saying that they must justify the huge investment of government, their parents and larger society on them.
While congratulating the graduands and their parents for successfully completing various courses of studies, the President reiterated the commitment of his administration to improve the quality of service delivery in all the levels of the nation’s educational system.
He explained that it was towards achieving this that his administration introduced the payment of stipends to students pursuing teacher education at government-owned Universities and Colleges of Education to ensure that those who are being trained to teach are given the desired comfort that would turn them into great teachers in the interest of the nation’s present and future.
President Buhari, who bemoaned the negative impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on the nation, congratulated the management and staff of the University of Ilorin for concluding the 2019/2020 academic session despite the COVID-19 and other challenges.
He reminded Nigerians of the need to remain conscious of the perilous effects of COVID-19 as he urged them not to take things for granted but protect themselves and their communities against its spread by following all the protocols and regulations dished out by relevant authorities.