Sunday, November 29, 2015 2:25 am
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Saturday that he accepted the honorary award from Tai Solarin University of Education,TASUED,Ijagun because of his respect for late educationist,Tai Solarin and his love for late Chief Mrs HID Awolowo.
Obasanjo stated this today after he was conferred with an honorary doctorate of Education in Political Science by the institution.
The institution,which is the first University of Education in Nigeria simultaneously celebrated its 10th anniversary and 6th & 7th Convocation on Saturday.
The late matriarch of the Awolowo family, Hannah Idowu Dideolu and business mogul,Alhaji Aliko Dangote, were also honoured with doctorates.
Obasanjo maintained that he never wanted any award, adding that he declined an award from Bell Universities of Technology,Ota.
“I don’t involve in honorary award,not even,one from Bells University of Technology. There are many cases why this is important to me.
“First,the person and personality this great institution was named after was a great man this state has ever produced. During his lifetime,I have a lot of time to relate with him when he was alive,his memory was something one can never fault.
“Secondly,wherever the name,Mama Awolowo is mentioned or she is to be honoured like this,we must all join hands to be part of the celebration,she is our mother and wife of our Baba Awolowo.
“Thirdly, a decade in one’s life is not a joke,so I believe,coming here to rejoice with those of you here in the institution, is an exercise of honour and lastly,this is the first University of Education in Nigeria, and if we take education seriously,any agency or institution that takes education seriously,we must support them. These are the reasons that made us to be here today,”Obasanjo said.
The former President however charged every individual to see education as a development,which according to him,”is a meal ticket and means of breaking poverty cycle”,he posited.
He challenged government at all levels to see that importance is being given to education,which in turn must be able to provide jobs and opportunity to contribute to the society.
“If University is for development,then education is also for development. Anywhere in the world that we have university education,it should be for development in all aspects of life. We should not disregard the University of education,it is a meal ticket and a means of breaking poverty cycle. If after education,you cannot provide for yourself,then you don’t have education.
” I challenge people at the government level,the federal,state,local, community, even,at the family levels,how do we ensure that with our children’s education, we can have employment,they can be seen as contributing meaningfully to the society. If we can’t do this successfully,we are deceiving ourselves”, Obasanjo declared.
He expressed satisfaction with the level the institution has attained,as he went memory lane on how the idea was mooted about 12 years ago when he was the President.
“The idea came up 12 years ago when I was at the helm of affairs. I thought that if we could have University specially designed for Agriculture, Technology,while not for Education.
“So,at the federal executive council meeting,we decided that four Colleges of Education should be upgraded. They are; Adeyemi College of Education,Ondo, Alvan Ikoku,Federal College of Education,Zaria and one school in Kano and has fate would have it,Ogun state took the opportunity and TASUED was established in 2005”, he narrated.
Both the Pro Chancellor,Prof. Olufemi Bamiro and the Vice Chancellor,Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade hinted about the challenges facing the institution, which they attributed to finance and unionism.
About 5,970 students got first degree today in the institution.
Full time students had 4,552 graduates while the part time graduands were 1,418.
In all,12 students graduated with first class degree with Sholanke Oyindamola Atinuke emerging as the best overall graduating student in the University.