NEWS Jega deserves GCON, Babalola says
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.