L-R; Chief (Mrs.) Opral-Benson; Prof. Essien; The VC, Prof. Oluwafemi O. Balogun; Ambassador Colley and Dr. Solomon Oladiti
at the Valedictory Graduation Ceremony for FUFASS Scholars.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun has been conferred with the title of “Great Man of Africa” by the graduates of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Foreign African Scholarship Scheme (FUFASS).
The ‘chieftaincy’ title, was conferred on the Vice-Chancellor by the second set of beneficiaries of FUFASS, in recognition of his service to humanity and contributions to the socio-economic development of Africa.
Conferring the titles on him, at a Valedictory Luncheon held in honour of the FUFASS beneficiaries, the scholars from Liberia, Sierra-Leone and The Gambia chanted in their various local languages, “Jambarr, Tamba, and Obai”, which all translate to “Great Man of Africa”.
The Gambian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Mrs. Angela B. Colley, on behalf of the benefiting countries commended the Vice-Chancellor for his efforts in human development.
Beneficiaries of the programme, Paul Bangura described FUFASS as, “A Road Map to African Agriculture” while Christopher Daylue recited a specially composed poem in honour of the Vice-Chancellor titled, “FUFASS Pacesetter, We Appreciate You”.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director, Centre for Internationalization and Partnerships (CENIP), Dr. Olukayode Akinyemi lauded the Vice-Chancellor’s sterling qualities and presented him with a giant card, designed with his surname, “BALOGUN”, as acronym but rechristened as: B – Builder, A – Administrator, L –Legendary, O – Organizer of Men and Materials, G – Giant in Talks and Action, U – Unrepentant Optimist and N – Natural Giver.
Responding, the Vice-Chancellor said he was humbled by the goodwill and show of love by the FUFASS beneficiaries, as he dedicated his achievements to God, saying, “Unless the Almighty builds, those who struggle do so in vain”.
Professor Balogun also appreciated the Governing Council, members of the University Community and the neighbouring African countries for believing in FUNAAB.
Expressing his gratitude for the ‘chieftaincy’ title, Prof. Balogun disclosed that it was the first he would be receiving as he had always declined earlier offers. However, he said he was now prepared to accept others, so as not to be seen as being discriminatory between the Town and Gown.
He said he will forever treasure the clothing material and poem presented to him, promising to sow and wear the materials, when next he would be visiting the President of The Gambia.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Felix Salako, while moving the vote of thanks said the Vice-Chancellor had achieved a lot, especially, in engendering African unity.