Wednesday, April 12, 2017 4:15 pm
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday congratulated the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi on his 70th birthday, which comes up on Thursday.
A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina in Abuja, said Buhari joined the academic, media world, professional colleagues, friends and family members in congratulating the septuagenarian.
According to him, Ogunbiyi has left his footprints in dramatic arts, literature, journalism, publishing and the academia, both in Nigeria and other countries.
The President noted that Ogunbiyi had been playing a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s media industry, which had gained a global reputation for its vibrancy, tenacity and fearlessness.
He affirmed that the appointment of Ogunbiyi as the present Chairman of the Governing Council of OAU was based on his “eruditeness, foresight and exceptional managerial skills in starting and building both public and private institutions into success stories’’.
In an interview with TheNEWS, Ogunbiyi said one of the things he and council want to do is in the area of Student Work Programme. In his words: “What we want to do in Ife is simple. Students will be allowed to earn to work programme, indigent students who cannot afford to pay their way through the university, will apply for a job on campus, we will then say to them you have a choice. If a student has lectures by 4pm and wants to work in the farm Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, he goes in, clocks himself in, he works in a farm… It will keep them very busy and keep them away from trouble, so all these cultism and all these things will die and they will earn money. If a philosophy student ends up working in a farm and knows a lot about poultry, when he leaves with his degree in philosophy he will start a little poultry farm.”
“ Will the students want to work in the library, will they want to work as library hands, there will those who want to work in the library in the conference centre, there are desk officers, receptionists, they are all students, they are paid in the U.S, everybody working in the campus including those in the kitchen, the chef, those who drive the vehicles they are all students, so nothing stops us from starting, we will start small and see this work out, if it works out well, it gonna be a big winner, precisely for everybody, for the university, for the students. So that is what we gonna try in Ife and I am hoping that it works, there is no reason why it should not work, we have a new president of the students union who is a very young man, and very quite level headed, we can talk to him and explain things, so that is what the scheme is all about.”
The President prayed that the almighty God would grant the scholar and administrator more wisdom, strength and longer life to serve his country and humanity.
Ogunbiyi served as the Managing Director of Daily Times as well as an Executive Director of The Guardian newspapers.