The Guest Lecturer and Vice-Chancellor, Augustine University Ilara-Epe, Lagos, Professor Steve Afolami has sued for peace in FUNAAB, stressing that the University will only be able to stand out amongst its equals in an atmosphere of peace, love, mutual respect and collaboration.
Chronicling the transition of the University right from inception in January 1988, Professor Afolami in his Lecture titled, “A Centre of Excellence: Its Hilltops and Valleys, Victories and Challenges and the Way Forward”, said that the Founders’ hope, as contained in the objectives for setting up the three Universities of Agriculture, was that each of them would pursue the tripodal mandate of teaching, research and extension such that agriculture in the three regions of Southwest, Southeast and the Northcentral would be propelled forward by the activities of the Universities.
He noted that FUNAAB in its 31 year of existence has had its fair share of major achievements, challenges and their attendant consequences on the human resources that have in turn affected the interactions and impacted on growth and development of the Institution, appealing to all and sundry to sheath their sword and concentrate on lifting the University to its ultimate destination of glory, fame, and distinction which it was clearly cut out for from inception.
According to him, “an institution is as good as the totality of its human resources” and “in building a system for excellence, everybody is important from the lowest paid to the Vice-Chancellor”.
Buttressing his point, the Guest Lecturer explained that “the cleanliness of the environment for example is due to the diligence of the cleaners and their supervisors however, a failure on their part will immediately reflect on the perception of visitors about the University, just as their consistent diligence keeps reverberating beyond the walls of the University”.
Professor Afolami, therefore, charged every member of the University Community to keep the dreams of the Founding Fathers alive by ensuring that “peace, unity, cooperation, conscientious work, diligence, honesty of purpose, fairness, firmness, justice and LOVE should reign so that our dear FUNAAB can continue to shine like a bright star in the firmament of the Nigerian university system”.
The Vice- Chancellor, Augustine University further appealed to all aggrieved parties to let bygones be bygones, saying that, “If our Christianity and Islam are not merely lip service, we are obliged to forgive those who trespassed against us as we beg God to forgive us our trespasses”.
He added that “As individuals in the System, let us search our minds for what is hurting us and who we associate with the pain. It is time to purge ourselves of the grudges and turn to God for healing so that with clean hearts and sincere worship in truth and love we can give full expression to our love of God in truth and in Spirit”.
Speaking on academic excellence and the way forward, Professor Afolami said a constant challenge for most public Universities in recent years has been the explosion in student population relative to the facilities and human resources available, stating that this has led to frustration on the part of the lecturers and the students.
He therefore recommended a reduction in the population to a manageable size or an increase in the number of teachers for the good of the teacher and the learner for quality assurance.
Professor Afolami thanked the Professor Kolawole Salako led Administration for granting him leave of absence to serve as a Vice-Chancellor of a University and urged all and sundry to extend the same love and affection to Professor Salako for the progress and good governance of the University.