OPINION: Promoting University Scholarship through traditional institutions. By Arowona Abdulazeez
The City of Makurdi, the Benue state capital, North Central, Nigeria was agog on Saturday, 12 December 2015 when the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, took his royalty to the ancient town of the Tiv and Idoma ethnic terrain with fun-fair full of cultural accolades.
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari who is also the 11th Emir of Ilorin who was reployed by the federal government from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State on the 5 May 2015 where he held sway for 15 years as the Chancellor to the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, was yet, formally installed as the 4th Chancellor of the University at 11am.
Since his arrival in Makurdi on Wednesday 9 December 2015, the entire atmosphere of the state capital changed as he was hosted by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and thrilled to Royalty at the Vice President lodge in the State Government House by the traditional drummers and trumpeter (Mai – Tambari and Algaita) of Ilorin Emirate.
Not only that the Emir did justice to the quest by the federal government of enhancing synergy between the town and gown, his visit to Makurdi also confirmed his demonstration for high sense of humility with greatness, tolerance as well as promotion of unity in diversity as well as peaceful co-existence which are the major recipe desired for nation-building .
On the entourage of the Emir to the epoch event were; the Olusin, Oba (Dr) Solomon Olugbenga Oloyede Alhaji Aremu Zubairu ( Magaji Aare), Alhaji Muhammed Adebayo ( Balogun Gambari), Alhaji Muhammed Issa ( Balogun Ajikobi) , Alhaji Ahmad Yusuf ( Daudu Beere), Alhaji Baba Bello ( Daudu Fufu), Alhaji Sa’adu Gambari ( Daudu Saadu) Alhaji Olarongbe AbdulKadir, ( Daudu Bala).
Also there was; Alhaji Muhammad Bashir ( Cheif Imam of Ilorin) , Justice S.O. Muhammad, Justice Idris Haroon, Alhaji Ismaila Lawal ( Secretary of the Ilorin Emirate Council), Alhaji Modibbo Sulu-Gambari, Alhaji Bolaji Jimoh ( Accountant), Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi, Alhaji Tunde Abdulkadir, Alhaji Saliu Wooru Muhammed (Magaji Nda) , Mallam Abdulraheem Murtala, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona as well as over 150 tradirional Chief across the emirate.
While performing his official assignment as the Chancellor of the University, the Emir expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for the honour bestowed on him and also conveyed his warm greetings to Governor Samuel Ortom for providing harmonious and peaceful environment in the state for the university to excel.
According to him, “It is heart-warming to appreciate and convey my deep gratitude to my colleagues, eminent personalities, special invitees and distinguished guests for sacrificing other press inf engagements ro grace this occasion. I cannot but sincerely . My special felicitation also goes to the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Cheif (Dr) Chief Udenze and the entire council if the University of Agriculture, Makurdu, the Vice Chancellor and principal officers for their diligence and commitment in running the affairs of the University.
“If the targets of the University are to be met, then, the leadership must sustain its resolve, diligence and focus. The focus of the present University leadership is on track and it should inspire the confidence of the entire University community in attaining more lofty goals of the University.”
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari further maintained that: “Permit me to congratulate the graduands for the academic successes they have attained which have called for today’s ceremonies. I urge you to regard your successes as a stepping stone to greater heights in the society. You should carefully utilise the knowledge you have acquired in this University to bequeath an enduring legacy in the society for the benefit of yourselves, humanity and glory of God. I therefore commend your parents, guardians, friends, sponsors as well as well wishers for the respective sacrifice they have made to ensure that you acquire the best education. ”
While commending the feast so far attained by the University in its 27years of existence, Alhaji Sulu-Gambari stressed the need for the university to double efforts noting that the society is looking up to it to deliver on the results of cutting-edge technologies, scientific innovation and research break-throughs in Agriculture.
He therefore challenged the entire management staff and students of the University to work harder to further assist the government in achieving food security for the nation.
“This in my view, will be a good way to justify the investments of government on this and other similar Universities. Given the new era in Nigeria, the emphasis of our Universities should be more on their social relevance . Our University should be the flagship of this noble endeavour”, the Emir said.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Emmanurl Kucha said the convocation ceremonies was a unique moment in the history of the University noting that the institution was maintaining a stream of convocations in an apparent affirmation of nomalcy and stability of the system.
He noted that : ” Today is a special day in the history of UAM with the investiture of a new Chancellor of the University, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara state Council of Chiefs. Our amiable Chancellor is, indeed, a father of immense endowments ; an accomplished jurist, a seasoned farmer and active sportsman, a highly experienced and deeply knowledgeable ruler.
“Join me in congratulating the Chancellor on his appointment and patriotism ro the nation by accepting to serve the country in this capacity. The University will definitely draw from his wealth of experience and fatherly counsel. Our Chancellor, the University is gratified of your parenthood. I therefore, call on the Chancellor to use his sporting background and diverse connections to attract sporting facilities to the University for the 25th NUGA games.”
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