NEWS Jega de­serves GCON, Babalola says

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Doyin Ade­busuyi, Ado Ek­iti

The na­tional hon­our of Of­fi­cer of the Or­der of the Niger (OFR) is too small for the former chair­man of the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion Prof At­tahiru Jega who de­serves a Grand Com­man­der of the Or­der of the Niger (GCON) for or­ga­niz­ing and con­duct­ing the 2015 elec­tions, pro­pri­etor of Afe Babalola Univer­sity, Ado Ak­iti Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), said yes­ter­day.

He also cred­ited Jega with en­cour­ag­ing him to es­tab­lish the univer­sity. He spoke at the univer­sity’s third con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mony in Ado Ek­iti.

At the cer­e­mony, Gover­nor Ayo Fayose and Pro­fes­sor Jega both can­vassed for a re­form in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor that would lay em­pha­sis on learn­ing and char­ac­ter for­ma­tion. They also com­mended the ini­tia­tive of the founder, Chief Afe

Babalola (SAN) for es­tab­lish­ing his univer­sity on the two virtues of learn­ing and char­ac­ter for­ma­tion. They said em­pha­sis on the two virtues would go a long way in sharp­en­ing the minds of fu­ture lead­ers for bet­ter gov­er­nance and value re-ori­en­ta­tion.

736 stu­dents grad­u­ated at the con­vo­ca­tion out of which 65 bagged First Class, 39 with Sec­ond Class Up­per, 258 with Sec­ond Class Lower and 74 with Pass de­grees.

Fayose and Jega said there was no al­ter­na­tive to holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion, adding that it would broaden their knowl­edge and fur­ther im­bue grad­u­ates with char­ac­ters that could help them make de­sir­able changes in the sys­tem.

At the con­vo­ca­tion, Jega bagged an hon­orary Doc­tor of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, was con­ferred with the hon­orary Doc­tor of Let­ters, former ICPC Chair­man, Jus­tice Em­manuel Ay­oola, was con­ferred with the Doc­tor of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Bishop Matthew Kukah bagged Doc­tor of Let­ters. Gover­nor Fayose, who de­scribed Afe Babalola as the largest em­ployer of labour af­ter the state gov­ern­ment, said: “Ed­u­ca­tion is more about life than wealth. Aside gov­ern­ment, Afe Babalola is the largest em­ployer of labour in Ek­iti and that is why my gov­ern­ment wants to build an airstrip in Ado Ek­iti that would be­come a full-fledged air­port later to help in the ex­pan­sion of this univer­sity.

I am com­mit­ted to this project and there is no go­ing back on that”.

Ex­press­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion with num­ber of pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties in the coun­try, the gover­nor said com­pared to other states, Ek­iti should have more pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties.

He added: “There are 12 pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties in Ogun, six in Osun, six in Lagos, four in Ondo and one in Ek­iti, which is the Afe Babalola Univer­sity. So, I will do every­thing to make this univer­sity sur­vive”.

The promised to to cre­ate gover­nor con­tinue en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for the academia to thrive in the state, and ap­pealed to well-mean­ing in­di­genes to em­u­late the pa­tri­o­tism dis­played by Babalola.

Jega urged the fed­eral and state gov­ern­ments to em­u­late ABUAD’s in­no­va­tion of ed­u­ca­tion with learn­ing and char­ac­ter build­ing to help the fu­ture of the coun­try.

“Nige­ria’s vi­sion in ed­u­ca­tion is grad­u­ally be­ing achieved through Afe

Babalola Univer­sity. There is need to set a stan­dard for the growth of ed­u­ca­tion in this coun­try.

One can­not deem­pha­size the char­ac­ter of a grad­u­ate. Learn­ing and char­ac­ter must go to­gether and when th­ese virtues are ex­hib­ited out there, it will surely con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of our coun­try”.

The Pro-Chan­cel­lor and Chair­man of Coun­cil of the univer­sity, Prof. Iy­or­wuese Hagher, ad­vised that cor­rup­tion would have to be out rightly up­rooted in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

“A cor­rupt ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem will pro­duce fake pro­fes­sion­als and an ill-equipped work­force. This is why we call on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to look into all facets of cor­rup­tion in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

This could mean di­rect­ing the amend­ment of the EFCC Act to in­ves­ti­gate all as­pects to ad­dress anti-cor­rup­tion strate­gies and al­low proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion of cor­rup­tion in the sec­tor and prof­fer ef­fec­tive reme­dies for vic­tims”, he said.

From left: In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, Na­tional Com­mis­sioner, Amb. Lawrence Nwu­ruku; former Act­ing Chair­man/ new na­tional Com­mis­sioner north-west, Ha­jia Amina Zakari; former Na­tional Com­mis­sioner, Dr Chris Iy­i­moga; and Res­i­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sioner for Lagos, Mr Akin Ore­biyi at the pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of the 2015 Gen­eral Elec­tions’ Re­port, in Abuja yes­ter­day.

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