#PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY ASIWAJU OLUDOTUN ADETUNBERU, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ON THE INAUGURATION OF DR. JOHN KAYODE FAYEMI AS EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE AND VISITOR TO THE UNIVERSITY
ON THURSDAY, 18TH OCTOBER, 2018
Gentlemen of the Press,
It is with immense pleasure that I address you at this auspicious gathering on behalf of the Board of Trustees, the National Executive Council and the entire members of Ekiti State University Alumni Association to heartily congratulate His Excellency, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi , the Executive Governor of Ekiti State and his Deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, on their inauguration on Tuesday 16th October, 2018 following the resounding victory of the July 14th gubernatorial election in Ekiti State.
We are bond to do this because the Governor is the Chief Executive of my State – Ekiti and a scholar of great repute who also occupies the position of the Visitor to our University which automatically revalidates his position as the Grand Patron of EKSU Alumni Association.
It is therefore imperative for us to rejoice with him on his inauguration after a popular and well-deserved victory at the polls coming from another national assignment where he made a good name for himself and Ekiti as whole through his perseverance, hard work and personal integrity.
We are bold and confident to celebrate His Excellency as a man of great maturity, consistency of purpose, undying commitment to the good of all and lofty heights in the transformation and sustainable development of our University. The record of his first tenure of office as the Governor of Ekiti State and Visitor to our University remains unbeatable in terms of support for the institutional infrastructural development.
It was on records that the Dr. John Kayode Fayemi administration made remarkable contributions to the growth of the University through infrastructural and human capital gains.
In the recent time, the University had faced with myriads of challenges that could only be addressed by focused, competent and dynamic academic leadership with capacity to understand and manage the academic institution.
The topmost of the challenges facing the University is the need to ensure that the current Six hundred (600) Level Medical Students in the EKSU College of Medicine scale through their final accreditation stage. As an Association, we have acknowledged the various efforts of the Provost and other stakeholders in the EKSU College of Medicine, particularly the parents for their selflessness in the development of the medical school.
It may interest you all to note that the medical school accreditation is in five stages and we are currently at the final stage. In actual fact, our Association has carved a niche for itself through its immeasurable contributions and supports to the College in one way or the other.
As a matter of fact the efforts of the present Vice – Chancellor, Prof. Sam Oye Bandele in the growth and development of our College of Medicine deserves commendation On this note the Alumni Association is appreciative of his achievements in this regard.
It is worthy of note that all the Thirty-Eight (38) courses presented by the University for accreditation in the last exercise scaled through the National Universities Commission (NUC) hurdles.
This is an unprecedented achievement ever recorded in the University unlike many others in Nigeria. The implication is that for the next five years, the University will focus more on maintaining standards rather than struggling to obtain accreditation in those courses in order to reduce the financial burden of the University.
This among many other reasons made us to constantly commend the role of University Management under the leadership of Professor Oye Bandele for the feat achieved so far. However, we also note that unless there is the political will and support of Government, the University Management would continue to struggle to make the University stand amidst the successes recorded so far.
Without help coming from Government, the future may be difficult unless the University can raise tuition cost which is already very high or it downsizes its workforce. None of these options are beneficial to our dear State and its citizens. The best option is to fall back on the good people and Government of Ekiti State.
As we celebrate our achievements, we also highlight our challenges and needs. For instance, the University community as an academic centre of excellence and a place of advanced research ought to be well funded and developed to be able to sustain its academic objectives and goals.
However, a major challenge facing the University in the area of infrastructures is the lack of the supply and provision of electricity to the building facilities, offices and laboratories. This has hampered the growth and development of the University in providing prompt services at work, convening decisions, increasing its research potentials and creating conducive environment for work and leisure.
This is a very painful and unfortunate aspect of the University life that has made both staff and research students to suffer because they often find it difficult to carry out their work and academic research.
I wish to place it on record that the Alumni Association made effort to approach Federal Lawmakers from Ekiti up till recent times to appeal to them to consider Ekiti State University as part of their constituency projects so that they can bring some benefits to the University one way or the other.
However, the appeal has not yielded positive and desirable responses. What is appalling is that a lesser number of policy makers are concerned with the University development though it is assumed that about Fifty Percent (50%) of educated electorates in Ekiti State hold the certificates of the University.
This by extension would naturally make them members of the University community who should naturally listen to our plea and join us to bring progressive development to the University as the need arises.
Equally, permit me to use this opportunity to intimate His Excellency, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi with the poor state of government subvention to the University. The funding from the State Government is inadequate and insufficient for the sustainability of the University.
As a matter of urgent appeal, I pray that the State government should review upward, the subvention for the University. This will not only save the University from becoming completely insolvent but will help to rescue it from total collapse.
We need to remain head high in the comity of frontline higher institutions in Nigeria. We can also do more, if the University can spread its tentacles by employing experts and well to do scholars to help in developing newly introduced academic departments and courses in the University so as to give credence to the academic competence, stability and steady growth of the University. The Management, through such initiatives made the University, a pride of place for academic excellence.
I wish to recall here that the name of the University was changed during the first tenure of Dr. Kayode Fayemi, with the consolidation of two other universities with the existing one, making it the third time the name of the University was altered since its existence in March, 1982.
The Alumni Association made concerted efforts at the time to resist the change of name but a vital point raised to justify the new name was that: “every segment of Ekiti must have the sense of ownership.” On this premise, we back peddler on our resolve though majority of our old members got distraught.
Today, our belief and appeal is that the Government should take steps to advocate and enact a law to compel all Local Government Councils in the State to give a certain percentage of their statutory allocations from federation account to the funding of EKSU College of Medicine. This is no sacrifice too much to bear if we are hopeful of the best now and in future.
In looking at the sustainability of University Education in Nigeria and Ekiti State, EKSU Alumni Association is always advocating for a smooth and efficient delivery of the objectives of the National Policy on Education in order to sustain the objectives of the University as a whole.
During the early stages of the administration of Chief Peter Ayodele Fayose, some political elements attempted to end the tenure of the former Vice Chancellor, Professor Patrick Oladipo Aina because he was perceived to be an appointee of your Government.
They claimed that he was a resident of the government house and used the University resources to fund election. They wrote petitions to malign his reputation but the Alumni Association quickly approached the Governor to discountenance all their dirty trade chores and allow the Vice Chancellor to complete his tenure.
The Governor was magnanimous and he conceded to us and even attempted to offer another term to the Vice Chancellor at the end of his tenure, having observed his good performances within the short space of time of their working relationship.
We believe that you will use the same yardstick to approach issues affecting our University now and in future in order to sustain our academic credibility and stability rather than allow people to play politics with the life and objectives of this University.
It is not a gainsaying that the second coming of His Excellency, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi is not an accident of history but a divine arrangement by God.
As an Alumni body, we are not involved in partisan politics though we are interested majorly in educational development, university development and academic stability, and we engage in politics of development to try and influence policy and management issues that can bring good to our people and our state and the University at large.
This is why we behave like lobbyists and pressure groups to influence the governing status and direction of our University and by so doing related effectively and regularly with the Visitor to the University who is the Grand Patron of our Association for the development of our alma mater.
To this end, our Association is desirous of moving the University forward to the next level with an assurance to His Excellency that we are partners in progress with his administration towards making our University rank the best.
I stand on behalf of the entire membership of the EKSU Alumni Association worldwide to pledge our unalloyed support and loyalty to Government of the day – our dear own Dr. John Kayode Fayemi.
Your Excellency, you have made a bold statement with your recent appointment of two of our alumni as members of your distinguished cabinet. The first being, our dear own Hon. Abiodun Oyebanji who graduated with the 1989 Set of the University from the Department of Political Science and later worked in the University as an academic staff before he ventured into politics to make a name for himself as one of the pioneers of the creation of Ekiti State.
Another highly placed individual was a former Newspaper Editor who served as your Chief Press Secretary in the past eight years or more and is a renowned journalist and graduate of our University – Mr. Olayinka Oyebode .
This in fact indicates that we have also produced some of the best and acceptable human resources that could be deplored to the good fortunes of the State with the recognition given to their loyalty and competence by you.
The EKSU Alumni Association as a whole thank you for this and plead for more of such opportunities for our teeming members who are your ardent supporters and party men and women.
Your Excellency, we thank you once again on behalf of the entire members of our Alumni Association for the honour done our University and we also formally congratulate you and wish you a successful tenure as the Executive Governor of Ekiti State.
Long Live Ekiti State University Alumni Association!
Long Live Ekiti State of Nigeria!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Asiwaju Oludotun Adetunberu ,