President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday commended the management of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State for not placing a priority on money in the conferment of honourary awards on Nigerians, calling on other institutions in the country to emulate same.
Those who were honoured with honourary degrees include: The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Reverend Felix Femi Ajakaye; the cleric who saved 262 Christians from being killed by bandits in Barkin Ladi in Plateau State, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi and Chief Guy Garguilo, a British National, who had mentored many Nigerians and rendered a lot of humanitarian services to the nation.
Also, the Chairman and the Pro-Chancellor of the university, Prof Tunde Samuel, warned that it would be a great disservice to the country for rumour peddlers and militant unionists to demarket the university for primordial gains, saying this may hamper the glowing future of the institution.
President Buhari, who commended the institution at the 2nd combined convocation ceremony, said he was particularly elated by the quality of people being conferred with honours in FUOYE, describing them as Nigerians with impeccable characters.
Buhari, represented by a Director at the Tertiary Education Trust Find(TETFUND), Dr. John Ojo Olusola said, “as a government, we take pride in our popular appeal to integrity and excellence. That is why we are glad by the exemplary personalities and outstanding pedigrees of the distinguished Nigerians that the university had awarded.
“You can never be wrong in the choice of these worthy Nigerians, who have been absolutely selfless and altruistic in their commitments to the Nigerian projects.
“The university’s decision, in this respect, I must admit, says a lot not only about the integrity of the selection process but also the quality of university’s management, especially the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kayode Soremekun.
“That this is coming at a time when most other Nigerian universities have completely bastardised and instrumentalised such awards, offering it to the highest bidders, makes it more commendable.
“But FUOYE chose to follow the path of honour. I congratulate you for this lofty height and I call on Nigerian universities to emulate this inspiring story.”
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi appreciated the contributions of the university to the socio-economic growth of Ekiti, saying, “that is why we are tarring intra-campus road in the institution and the contractor will soon go-to site.”
He disclosed that President Buhari had assured that the legal mandate of the renaming from FUOYE to Adeyinka Adebayo University would soon be put in place.
“Recently, I called the attention of the visitor to this university, President Buhari to that fact that this institution has not legally bear its new name. You could all remember that the name was changed two years ago and incidentally, it was named after our own hero, Major Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo.
“And the visitor assured us that in short time, that legal mandate will be put in place and the university will bear its new and legal name,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Soremekun said his vision is to transform FUOYE into a model across Africa, as a university which graduates are of quality and can compete anywhere across the globe.
He said all the programmes being offered by the institution are accredited while efforts have been intensified to seek accreditation for Law and Pharmacy Faculties from their respective councils, having been granted the leave to run the two courses by National Universities Commission (NUC).