THE TENTH CONVOCATION ADDRESS

AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE TENTH CONVOCATION OF

LEAD CITY UNIVERSITY, IBADAN.

 

BY

PROFESSOR GABRIEL B. OGUNMOLA FAS

CHANCELLOR

 

LEAD CITY UNIVERSITY, IBADAN.

 

THURSDAY 9TH NOVEMBER, 2017.

 

His Excellency: Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, SAN, Vice-President Federal Republic of Nigeria.

His Excellency, Senator Dr. Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi, The Governor of Oyo State & Chief (Mrs.) Florence Ajimobi, The First Lady of Oyo State

His Excellency, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor, State of Osun

Oyo State Commissioner for Education Prof. J.A. Olowofela & other members of the State Executive Council

The GOC 2nd Mechanized Division, Nigerian Army, Major Gen. C.M. Abraham

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Lead City University, Prof. J.A. Aladekomo

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Lead City University Prof. Jide Owoeye

The Vice Chancellor, Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof. Remi Adeyemo

The Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Rasheed Adamu Abubakar

The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Isiaq Oloyede

Top Government Functionaries at both Federal and State Levels

The Registrar, Lead City University

The Bursar

The Librarian

Deans of Faculties

Chaplain of Convocation

The Public Orator

Members of Senate and Congregation

Members of the University Community

Visiting Pro-Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Provosts and Registrars of our Sister Institutions

2017 Enterprise Graduates

Parents, Friends and Well-Wishers

Gentlemen of the Press, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

 

The Chaplain of Convocation, Venerable Godwin Daramola, I thank you for your prayers. This is the 10th Convocation prayer blessedly entered into the Lead City University book of prayers of Convocation and May God accept your supplications for Lead City University, our State and our Nation. We have faith, we have hope and we believe in God for his sustenance of the noblest of our intension in building a University.

I offer a very special warm welcome to our special guest of honour His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to this 10th convocation ceremony of Lead City University, Ibadan. We feel highly honoured by Your Excellency’s presence with us today, as a good encouragement to us in our commitment to all we do here, in our mission to produce worthy graduates to meet the skill and manpower needs of this nation. We thank your Excellency for your graciousness as we look forward to your Excellency address to the 10th convocation, Lead City University, Ibadan.

I welcome all of you, our Graduants of today, your families and friends.

I continue as always to remind you on an occasion like this that this is your University, you have today become its Alumnus for life, you must believe in it, help to build it and feedback unto it with gratitude with the great profit of your acquired education and the proceeds of your labour.

You must work along other compatriots to build a country different from our current situations. It is our pride to have the new set of ‘Enterprise Graduates 2017’ pass through our portal and glad to be able to send you out to excel in the wider world and to continue to add more laurels to the one you are receiving today.

Our honourary degree recipients of today are people of outstanding achievements and worthy role models for you to emulate for the achievements that they have made in different areas of life. We would listen with delight to the public orator as he presents them for their respective honors. I offer you my congratulations!

We must continue to thank our proprietor and benefactor for the continued support in resources made available to this University in its expansion of facilities, content of our academic programme in our aspiration to be a University of high ranking in the nation and globally as well. We will continue to enhance our academic programs based on needs, and future trends. With support from our Board of Trustees, the Chairman and members of Council, the Vice Chancellor and members of Senate, Management and members of Faculties and staff for their valuable contributions to the great strides and achievements of this University, through the efforts of our faculty and students, I would like to express our sincere gratitude.

We are happy to welcome Professor Remi Adeyemo, an accomplished Professor and administrator who had served this University previously as Deputy Vice Chancellor, as the new Vice Chancellor, Lead City University. He succeeds Professor Femi Onabanjo who has completed his term of office in February, 2017. Hearty Congratulation as we look forward to an inspired leadership during your tenure as Vice Chancellor.  He would in due course, inform convocation of the achievements of the University since the last convocation in 2016. We thank Professor Femi Onabanjo, the past Vice-Chancellor for his services to Lead City University. We wish him well in his new endeavours.

To our 2017 graduating students and their family and friends, Lead City University, Ibadan shares this joyful day with many and all of you. This day will be an extremely happy one. You are graduating from a University of higher standard created to serve our nation, our world and humanity. You do have a splendid future in front of you. There is hope in each and every one of you and about Nigeria’s future despite all of our many challenges.  It is on the solid strength of your character and a sense of high responsibility that Nigeria will progress and become a prosperous and become a developed nation. Let us own this country, it is ours to build and develop by our very energies and patriotism. Let us serve our nation with the best of our abilities. When you reach my age, Nigeria would be your investments in its future through your contributed skill and enterprise have eliminated poverty and be in the ranks of the best 20 economies in the world. Some of you would have climbed your way to the top ladder of leadership companies in the world, while others will have created such companies as well. Some will be leaders in government, and some learned University Professors. A number of you will choose to dedicate your lives to helping others through philanthropy or by bringing up families. The one certainty is that you will all face challenges but you have received the training here of a good University to overcome those challenges. As you have survived here in the past four or five years at this University, you can survive almost anything.

You or your parents have paid a great deal for you to have the opportunity to be here and to have achieved success. One thing that must be of public interest is the fact that we have more capacity than the number of students that we are graduating today. This is a scenario common to most Private Universities many of which are operating below 50% capacity as many qualified students could not take advantage of what we offer because their parent could not fund their tuition. Also, there is this pervasive but clearly erroneous perception that the Nigerian University system cannot admit all aspiring candidates. To the best of my knowledge, we have more spaces in our 146 universities to accommodate qualified students from all over the West African Sub-region but the problem of access remains scarcity of resources on the part of those willing to attend fee paying institutions. This should challenge this nation’s government at the Federal, State and Local Government levels to put their budget, grants to support indigent students’ aspiring into any tertiary institutions where they have been offered placement irrespective of the character of proprietorship of the institution be it public or private. I know the Vice-Chancellor would have more to say on this in his own address very shortly.

Once again, I congratulate parents, sponsors and all the enterprise graduates of 2017 at Diploma, Bachelors and Masters Degree levels. May you fulfil your dreams for yourself, our dear Nation and the World at large.

God bless you all and God bless our country, Nigeria.

Thank you all for your kind attention

 

Professor Gabriel B. Ogunmola FAS

Chancellor,

Lead City University,

Ibadan.

What we expect from the next Akarigbo of Remo

ogunmola pixAremo (Professor) Gabriel Babatunde Ogunmola is retired professor of Chemistry and Chancellor of Lead City University, a former president of the Nigerian Academy of Science. He was Dean of the Faculty of Science of the University of Ibadan and today remains a celebrated scientist globally. He is equally from the Torungbuwa Akarigbo Ruling House of Sagamu, Remo land in Ogun State. In this interview by KEHINDE OYETIMI, he speaks, inter alia, about the development of Remo land, the expectations of the people from the next Akarigbo to be installed.

What would you tie to Remo’s historical development?

Remo is a community that is primordial. When you talk of the Yoruba race, history will tell you that the origin of the Yoruba people is Ife. When you talk to the Ooni of Ife, he will tell you that the origin of the world is Ife. We all believe that Ife is our ancestral root. The Remo people came from the Iremo quarters of Ife. Different groups migrated from Ife to different parts of the Yoruba country. They walked through the virgin land to build new communities; there was no railway and they were moving until we eventually got to where we are located now as Remo people. The migration story had it that we went through different place and came through Ijebu Ode, Okun Owa and Orile- offin. We moved in packets of different groups and we all got to the same place in Remo.

What are those ingredients that formed the traditional and political outlook of Remo?

We have our own style of governance. It is the people that make a community. Different people expand the family size and the community expands. Remo, from history, was traditionally made up of 33 federated towns. Today, they are more than that. The evolution of new towns has expanded the 33 to almost 45. Each of them has their own governance structure. There is an Oba, a judiciary system and our method of putting in place law and order. That is what we call the traditional governance. They all have their economies and their technologies for a productive life based on agriculture.

But what colonialism did for us was to hamper the development of our own traditional governance to enhance who we are. There is need for a search for going back to look for where we came from for the improvement of our original concept of governance. We already had a democracy even in the traditional style of governance of our people. We stopped our expansion of our thinking process; we became confused because we stopped growing in our creative worldview. This is what traditional governance must revisit and re-energise and then be able to improve through education and service with whatever civilisation that the Western thinking has brought to us to be creative. What we can call a union of civilisations, an improvement of our civilisation for the well-being of the people for a productive living in harmony and peace.

How effective are the efforts put in place to get back what got lost?

You can see every community talk about building their culture. Our culture is more than just for tourism. Our culture is rebuilding who we are and our worldview. We must start thinking who we are, ab initio. What were our aspirations as a people? What do we aspire to be? If you say that the world started from us as African and we are the founding race, of course we must have aspiration to be the best, we must all contribute to our collective improvement. Even the western  democratic process was an evolution of how people came together to understand themselves of building a community. What do you achieve by building a community? Shouldn’t it be the improvement of the human race? After all we all came in here and the big search question is who are we and why are we here to fulfil our destiny as a community and as a nation.

In your preface to the book Obafemi Awolowo and the Making of Remo: The Local Politics of the Nigerian Nationalist, you claim that if federalism has a primordial root, Remo is one place to look for it. Would you say that Remo had an exclusive preserve of such practice or it was widespread then?

They were faced with difficulties; there were inter-clan wars and they were in small groups. They needed something they could do to live in safety rather than living in separate enclaves. They wanted to come together to live as a federated community with each of the communities maintaining their identity but working together as a larger whole. We federated but each still had their own traditional ruler and system of government. We then decided to come together under a ruler, the Akarigbo of Remo who has paramountcy over others. This is what we have been aspiring to in Nigeria. There are different groups: the Yoruba, the Ibo, the Efik and so on.  But it is expedient from what I refer to as the primordial for us to form a federated union which is that you still remain yourself.

You equally said that Remo can be regarded as the political laboratory that formed the crucible of Awolowo’s political career and the drive he gave for federalism. If it was able to work in Remo, why has it been difficult to replicate such in the larger Nigerian society?

It is simply because we have not learnt from it. The real building of knowledge and skill is learning. You then improve on knowledge and you go to higher levels of achievement. When this crucible experience formed his growth and thinking, of course, he ended up practising it at the regional level. That was why his regional experience was a success. But we practised regionalism that for a short time true federalism and then demolished it. Regional governance in a federated nation was one of our most glorious periods.

In a federal system, you share powers. These powers belong to the people. The people at the local level have their own governance, way of life, culture and strength. They use their strength to produce and to advance their cause and then you find another group of people with peculiar evolution. This then brings in diversity. We then tap on the strengths of the different groups. We then ask by coming together on how do we want to relate together and work for the greater good of the whole. Which powers do we want to surrender to the centre for the greater good of the whole while the federating units flourish? Not that you micromanage the federating unit to the level that is unproductive. When the experience of the Western region was in place, education was concurrent which means the Federal Government could carry out education policy, the region could carry out its own education. And uniquely, the Western Region saw that there was no way that development would be achieved if the people were not educated. And they went for it. But could the people afford the education? The limitation to education at that time was access and fund. The government then removed the bottleneck and said that government would make education free and that it would pay for it. Look at the effect today. There is nowhere you go to all over the world where you won’t find Nigerians who benefitted from that scheme. It snowballed. The Federal Government then saw it and that gave birth to the Universal Basic Education (UBE). That is the strength in federalism. What we are looking for is the strength of the federating component. It is not how to control the resources of the federating unit.

Not many traditional stools in Yoruba land have such strong presence as what we see today in the Akarigbo stool. How would you describe the stool of the Akarigbo and the power that it has?

The Akarigbo stool has paramountcy in Remo. The seat is in Sagamu and each of the 33 or 45 towns there are now has their own oba and governance structure. But they all work together. There is the Remo traditional council of which the Akarigbo chairs. Akarigbo’s chiefs are those of his immediate constituency. That is a beautiful arrangement because they come together and develop a larger community; they create a larger market and a larger infrastructure. They can improve on the capacity of the people collaborate and partner with government at all level to bring development to the people, banish poverty and bring employment to the youth.

Haven’t there been moments where wrangling undermined or threatened the power of the Akarigbo?

Today, no oba or community in Remo has inflicted anything on the paramountcy of the Akarigbo in Remoland. An Akarigbo himself recognises the leadership of each community within the larger communities. For example, any issue that comes from, for instance Iperu, the Akarigbo consult the Alaperu who is the traditional ruler of Iperu. The Alaperu is responsible for what comes out from Iperu. The Alaperu and the Akarigbo would combine strengths and resources whenever it is necessary, especially in improving Iperu and the entire Remoland and so also with other towns within the federated community.

Remo has no Akarigbo at the moment. What are the processes to ensure the smooth installation of a new one?

The process is very simple. There are about five ruling houses. Each ruling house has a head of the family. It is the head of the family that would call for a family meeting where nomination would be made as to who would be chosen to represent that ruling house. As far back as the fifties, the government had put in place a rotational order that would go round the ruling houses. The last ruling house was Liyangu our own Mama Chief (Mrs.) Awolowo was the head of that family. The next house to be called upon is the Torungbuwa as laid down in the official government gazette. There shouldn’t be any problem. The Sagamu Local Government is the competent council which calls on the ruling house to call a meeting of all stakeholders for a selection process of candidate or candidates to be selected and sent to the Kingmakers who would make the final selection of an Akarigbo Elect. The Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun would then give the staff of office to the New Akarigbo.

How much can you say that Remo sons and daughters in the Diaspora have contributed to the development of that stool and of their land?

A lot has been contributed our people are very sensitive to their community and responsibility to it. They are monitoring what is going on all the time. What we need now is a mobilising leadership. The potential for development is there. People need a leader they can trust and i can assure you that they are ready to contribute to the development of their community through self help and in partnership and cooperation with different levels of government. A Bayo Ogunlesi is on Trump’s economic team. He is from Sagamu. He is a Remo son. It is Bayo Ogunlesi and others who are part of the economy from the Wall Street. Bayo is not a politician. He is neither a republican nor democrat. He is just a professional.  If you then have a leadership in an Akarigbo that would woo and recognise a Bayo Ogunlesi and tell him that ‘Bayo, you are a son of Remo land and also an expert in infrastructure, we have plans to develop Remo. We need your help.’ I can assure you that he would say yes and so many sons and daughters of Remo in different areas of the economy across the world would respond with ‘same yes’ to a trusted leadership in an Akarigbo.

What are you expecting from the next Akarigbo to accomplish?

 

What are the expectations of leadership in the next Akarigbo? Maturity is needed; commitment is needed to the people; cooperation and partnership with government in the development of the people and their communities. The people are therefore waiting to be helped. They want to improve their lives. They want to see their children better than themselves. They want to see their children put high-rise buildings in Remo. They want to develop farms, factories, and their cities with modernity.

When Chief Awolowo executed free primary education programme so that our children could go to school, he was expecting that the products of the free primary education programme would fund the next generation development of their community and the nation. We must all be committed to develop the nation, from our communities and we in Remo must do so without leaving anyone behind.

 

A SPEECH DELIVERED AT INVESTITURE OF OONI OBA DR. BABATUNDE ENITAN OGUNWUSI OJAJA II

The Imperial Majesty,

Oba Dr. Babatunde Enitan Ogunwusi,

Grand Patron,

The Vice President of the Sagamu,

Patriots Dinner’s Club,

Dr. Bola Kalejaiye,

Trustee and members of the Sagamu Patriots Dinner’s Club,

Our wives, Dames of Patriots Dinner’s Club

 

2017-04-19 11.55.13The event that has brought us here today is simple but deep. We have come as members of Sagamu Patriots Dinner’s Club to investiture His Imperial Majesty Oba Dr. Babatunde Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II the Ooni of Ife the embodiment of the Progenitor of the Yoruba Race as our Grand Patron around whom we would ‘in honour bound’, now and in the future continue to adorn our race, our nation and our world with all our endowment as we continue to seek enlightment and advance the civilization of our race our country and mankind.

Remo is a community of thirty-three towns that migrated thousands of years ago, from Iremo in Ife on the instruction of our Progenitor, Oduduwa to establish new kingdoms, increase and replenish the earth. We successfully built the Remo community.

With a headquater around Sagamu (where Orisa gun amu ewa) and hence our name. We are delighted to be home to investiture – Kabiyesi.

We come as patriots; we believe in our country, we believe in our race and its continued contribution to the evolution and development of the country Nigeria. We imbibe the leadership that your Imperial Majesty has assumed in promoting peace within Yorubaland and across the entire country. We accept the responsibility as worthy sons and daughters to join in this crusade to bring peace within Yorubaland and across the nation, promote enlightments. It is for this purpose that we found your leadership style and posture so endearing and we are honoured to have your Imperial Majesty as the Grand Patron of this unique group of professionals intellectuals and people of outstanding achievement to be so gathered around the “table of honour” to pursue ideals of development and to devote our energies and resource for the upliftment of our culture, our environment, our community, our nation and mankind.

  1. Our Culture needs security, order and leisure so as to involve noble perception, knowledge and pursuit of happiness for which we are all committed.
  2. Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative efforts. The joy and moral stimulation of work in our daily vocations, no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of escalations profits and exchange rate profiteering. These dark days of this depressed economy will be worth all the cost on us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men. This nation must survive and the race must thrive.
  3. In our communities, a host of unemployed youth face the grim problem of survival and an equally great number toil with little return. We must remove them off the streets and create farming families and produce raw materials to feed our industries. The food we eat must come from our farming hands.
  4. Our greatest primary task is to promote enlightment, skill acquisition, culture and civility and put people to work. There would be no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by directly recruiting into the farming population with improved tools accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources while protecting the environment.

5          Hand in hand with all these we must recognize the overbalance of population drift to our urban centers and, by engaging in redistribution and endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase to meet human needs and well-being with dignity your Imperial Majesty.

  1. The Giant steps that have been made since the ascension of your Imperial Majesty to the throne of Oodua, have made waves nationally and internationally, must be encouraged and we want to encourage your Imperial Majesty to continue this effort with great strides in order for us to make progress, enhance over civilization and promote our culture that would make us contribute more to the upliftment of our youth, our polity and our resources.
  2. We take this opportunity to invite your Imperial Majesty to an inaugural dinner in Sagamu Remo when we the patriots, would play host to your Imperial Majesty at your earliest convenience.

 

Kabiyesi: We are most honoured to have your Imperial Majesty investiture as Grand Patron of our prestigious club that stands for excellence, enlightment and civility in all we do.

: We ask your Imperial Majesty and our Grand Patron to anoint us with your blessings for the task we have appointed for ourselves, among our youths, our community, the nation and humanity.

 

Prof. Gabriel Babatunde Ogunmola

            President 

 

The Royal Court of Ile-Ife, Osun State.

9th September, 2016.