Buhari, Mahama for Unilorin's 40th Anniversary, 31st Convocation

Nigerian President and Ghanaian President would attend University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) 40th Anniversary and 31st convocation ceremonies.


…Emir of Katsina for investiture as 5th Chancellor

The University of Ilorin will set another record next week when it hosts two sitting heads of governments during its 40th Anniversary and 31st convocation ceremonies.

Announcing the programme of activities for the two joint events in separate interviews with Unilorin Bulletin last Tuesday (October 6, 2015), the Chairmen of the 40th Anniversary and Ceremonials Committees, Prof. Y. A. Quadri and Prof. J. O. Atteh respectively, said that  the Nigerian President and Visitor to the University, Muhammadu Buhari, and his Ghanaian counterpart, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), John Dramani Mahama, would attend the Convocation ceremony on the institution’s Founder’s Day (Friday, October 23, 2015).

The Ghanaian President is billed to deliver the University’s Anniversary Lecture entitled “Africa’s Agenda 2063: Ending Poverty and Ensuring Prosperity in Africa”. 

According to the two Committee Chairmen, the activities for the ceremonies would kick off this Friday (October 16, 2015) with a Special Juma’at Service at the University Central Mosque at 1.00p.m. This would be followed on Sunday, October 18, 2015 by a Special Church Service at the Chapel of Light on the Main Campus at 10.00a.m.

Other highlights of the Ceremonies include the investiture of the fifth Chancellor of the University, HRH (Dr.) Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman, who is also the Emir of Katsina, on Thursday, October 22, 2015; a Convocation Lecture entitled “Educational Reform and Nation Building in Nigeria” to be delivered by Prof. Jacob Kehinde Olupona of the Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA; Award of Prizes, First Degrees, Postgraduate Degrees and Diplomas; unveiling of the Commemorative Book, “Unilorin @ 40: The Soaring Eagle” as well as the commissioning of  about 22 new projects executed by the University administration in the last one year by the Visitor, President Buhari.

Prof. Quadri said that the University deserves kudos for bringing in an international figure in the person of the Chairman of ECOWAS, President John Mahama of Ghana to deliver the 40th Anniversary Lecture, noting that, “it shows that the University of Ilorin is not a local university but an international University by every standard; so if an international figure addresses the students, it attests to the fact that we are actually an international University.”

The 40th Anniversary Committee Chairman said, “We are preparing very hard to have a successful celebration, all hands are already on deck, and we are working hard to ensure that everything is successful.”

On his part, the Ceremonials Committee Chairman, Prof. Atteh, described the forthcoming Ceremonies as “two-celebrations-in-one,” observing that the University of Ilorin has come of age.

Prof. Atteh said, “Our contemporaries, the second-generation universities-where are they? The University of Ilorin has come out of that bunch. Not only did we leave them behind, we caught up with many of the first generation universities and we are competing and we are better than even some of the first generation universities…all the indications show that the University of Ilorin has come of age and thank God at 40, it is a wise University for which the whole of the country accepts it.”

Pointing out that the University has quite a lot of things to be proud of at 40, Prof. Atteh said, “It is not just by the fact that we are stable and peaceful, we also see that in terms of the human and structural development, we have done very well … and like the Vice-Chancellor will say, this is credit to God that consistently, we have had very good leadership in this University, and so we are happy. And at 40, I think it is time to celebrate where we are and to do more to get further ahead.”

Other events lined up for the Ceremonies include a film show titled “Alaaru (Carrier)” written by an alumnus of the University, Tayo Afolayan, at the University Auditorium by 10.00a.m on Monday, October 19, 2015. At 4.00p.m, the National Troupe of Nigeria would thrill members of the University Community with a dance drama titled “IBA” at the Multipurpose Hall, University of Ilorin.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Press Briefing has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 20, 2015 by 10.00 am at the University Auditorium. The media interactive session is expected to highlight the achievements of the University in the last one year in particular and the last 40 years in general, the challenges ahead and plans for the future. This will be immediately followed by an Exhibition to showcase the research breakthroughs and academic achievements, as well as end-products of the Apiary, Moringa, Jatropha and other ventures of the University over the last 40 years. The Exhibition continues throughout the Anniversary/Convocation Week at the Auditorium Basement. On the same day, there will be a Convocation Play titled “Tornadoes Full of Dreams”, written by Bode Sowande, at the Performing Arts Theatre at 4.00p.m and 6.00p.m.

There will be a Re-union Luncheon on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, designed to bring together and honour foundation staff and students of the University at the Multipurpose Hall by 11.00a.m and a performance, “Firestorm,” by the National Theatre of Ghana by 5.00p.m at the same venue.

Thursday, October 22, 2015 is the Convocation Ceremony Day One for the Award of Prizes, First Degrees, Postgraduate Degrees and Diplomas, which will take place at the University Auditorium, beginning with the investiture of the new Chancellor, HRH (Dr.) Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman to enable him exercise his powers of approval and award of degrees.

The Ceremonials Committee Chairman, Prof. Atteh said, “Unlike before, the 2015 Convocation Lecture will be part of the Convocation ceremony because of the activities of the 40th anniversary”.

Next is the award of First Degrees and Diplomas for the Faculties of Arts, Education, Law, Management Sciences and Social Sciences, which will be followed by the Chancellor’s Cocktail in honour of the Convocation Lecturer that will take place at the Multipurpose Hall at 2.00p.m while an Alumni Get-Together also takes place at the same venue at 6.00p.m on the same day.

Friday, October 23, 2015 is the Convocation Ceremony Day Two at the University Auditorium, at 10.00am prompt. Award of Prizes, First Degrees for graduands in the Faculties of Agriculture, Engineering and Technology,    Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Communication and Information Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Postgraduate Degrees and Diplomas.

A Special Thanksgiving Juma’at Service will take place at the University Central Mosque by 1.00p.m.

At 3.00p.m that Friday, the Visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari will commission 22 projects undertaken by the University administration in the last one year. This would be followed by the Convocation Luncheon and Merit Awards at the Multi-Purpose Hall at 4.00p.m.

And to round off the Anniversary/Convocation activities, a Special Thanksgiving Church Service will take place on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Unilorin Main Campus at 10.00a.m.

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Olusegun Fapohunda
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