The VC, Prof. Olusola Oyewole (Right) extolling the exemplary leadership style of the ex-VC, Prof. Oluwafemi Balogun (2nd Left) while the Pro-Chancellor, Chief Lawrence Ayinde Olakunle Osayemi and a retired Professor of Demography and Social Statistics at OAU, Lawrence Adeokun listen.
The new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole, last Thursday, commenced his tenure of office, dedicating his first working day in office to prayers to the Almighty, at a soul-lifting prayer session, held at the Julius Amioba Okojie Lecture Theatre Complex.
Professor Oyewole, accompanied by his wife, Bolanle; Council Members; Principal Officers; Deans and Directors; Christian and Muslim clerics from the University, led members of staff and students in thanksgiving, praises and prayers to God for an “uncommon peace, favour and progressive tenure”.
While praying for the Vice-Chancellor, Professor A. M. Aduradola charged members of the University community to pray for the new Vice-Chancellor, in order to achieve accelerated development of the institution.
He observed that an average Nigerian preferred to criticize leaders rather than praying for them. He decried the practice and called for a change of disposition, as it is obligatory for followers to always pray for their leaders.
According to him, “Between 6a.m and now, I’m quite sure an average Nigerian must have criticized their Presidents, Governors and their Local Government Chairmen. Even some wives must have criticized their husbands. One of our responsibilities is to pray for our leaders. But how many of us have done so? Instead, we criticize them.
Let’s pray for our new Vice-Chancellor; that is our responsibility”, he added.
Leading the prayers for members of staff of the University, Dr. S. O. Kareem said “God has granted our request. God has given us our own Vice-Chancellor. The appointment of Professor Oyewole was a pure handiwork of God. It is beyond human manipulation. For one, Professor Oyewole didn’t lobby for the Vice-Chancellorship, he didn’t run helter-skelter; because it was ordained by God”, he added.
In his exhortation, taken from the Book of Exodus, the immediate past Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Sam Oluwalana admonished the new Vice-Chancellor to see his appointment “as a new threshold, a new horizon … May God give you the grace to see the horizon”.
He also admonished Professor Oyewole that “there are vast and limitless possibilities in your Vice-Chancellorship …when God opens the eyes of a man he will see limitless opportunities”.
Professor Oluwalana further stated that the Vice-Chancellor should build new strength to work; “a new strength to go to the mountain and to lead the people. At 80, Moses climbed the mountain. The strength of yesterday cannot carry you today, may the Lord give you a new strength”, he prayed.
Speaking further, Professor Oluwalana averred that the Vice-Chancellor should enter into partnership with God, “to deliver the package of destiny for his people. It is not your own making, don’t put everything on yourself. The destiny of the people is at stake, you can’t toil with it”, he said.
He then reminded the Vice-chancellor of the basic fact, saying “we are limited. Moses was limited and God wanted him to recognize his limitation so as to depend on him. You must recognize your limitation, Sir; in order to depend on God”.
Professor Oluwalana concluded by reflecting that “sometimes, people will talk from the background, which they know but which you don’t know. I pray God to give you more humility to lead the people, both the weak and the strong”.
“Humility will help you to tap knowledge from the weak and the strong”, he maintained.