Following the series of unsubstantiated publications against the leadership of the University of Ilorin, a coalition of civil society organisations, Transparency Advocacy for Development of Nigeria, has thrown its weight behind the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, asking him to continue with his transformational programmes that are geared towards taking the University to even greater heights.
Members of the group, who were in the University came to the conclusion after hours of interactions with the Vice-Chancellor and his management team. They also undertook a project inspection tour of the campus to authenticate the management’s claim on the number of projects executed since the inception of Prof. Ambali’s administration.
Speaking after the tour of campus, the leader of the team, Comrade Yomi David, said that the visit afforded them the opportunity to see what they have not heard or seen before. He said, “We have gone round and we have seen. We have seen what we have not seen before. Because, what were portrayed in the allegations being circulated in the regular media and cyber space were different from what we saw here in University of Ilorin”.
Comrade David told the Vice-Chancellor, “In our total conclusion, you have done well. We observed that you have executed more than 52 projects and there are some that are not registered in the list given to us. We even found out that most of the projects were funded from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the University.
According to him, “Prof. Ambali is indeed a digital Vice-Chancellor because he has really done well. So, if somebody has made this landmark achievement in four and half years, what of if they give such person another five years to operate? As we go back, we pray to God to continue to strengthen you to be able to make more impacts on the society as a whole”
On his part, the Convener of the group, Comrade Adodo Solomon, said that the group was convinced that the felt needs are being met at the University of Ilorin courtesy of the dedicated and committed people at the helm of affairs of the institution.
According to him, “For most of us in the civil society we are known more for criticisms rather than commendations. We scarcely commend individuals because we believe that leadership should be on its toes addressing the felt needs of the society. We want to say that in this academic society, the felt needs are being met. We might not be at that destination but with what we have seen, we can say a journey to a good and glorious destination is certain”.
Comrade Adodo said, “When we went round the structures and facilities, I reasoned and asked myself that most of the schools that fellow citizens rushed abroad to attend, how did they start and why are they where they are today. These institutions are centuries old and it is as a result of what has been done over the years that they are where they are today”.
He then told Prof. Ambali, “We want to say that with what you have done within a short period as the Vice-Chancellor; Nigeria is proud of your efforts and if our institutions will be measuring shoulder to shoulder with the best globally, this is what we want to see. Going round give me a different perspective. If development wants to be initiated underdevelopment will be pulling it and pushing it backward. The forces of inertia will be fighting the forces of development. If a man has done well and has refused to blow his trumpet, so long as he does not blow his trumpet some naysayers, people with sinister motives that don’t mean well for society, will paint that individual with tar. That is what we have just observed because you are not just assuming office. You have served for more than four years and at the evening of your tenure people are bringing in baseless allegations and accusations.
“We want to applaud you and appreciate you. We want to tell you not to rest on your oars but to ensure that you preserve the tempo till the last minute of your tenure. By God’s grace we want to see you rising to greater heights of national service”.
In his own remarks, another member of the group, who is the Director of the Initiative for Probity and Accountability, Muhammed Basah, said he joined the civil society because he always asks questions that bother on how to improve our society “We have seen what our fathers have bequeathed to us, what are we going to bequeath to the next generation?. Today we have come to the University of Ilorin, the school is not just better by far in words but it is better by far indeed. To me, that question that pushed me into advocacy is being answered at the University of Ilorin because from the environment that we have seen I cannot harbour any feeling that a product of this university will tear Nigeria into pieces. I am very sure that people that are going to lead this country to the next level will come from within the four walls of this institution”.
Comrade Basah told the Vice-Chancellor, “Continue doing your good work sir. If you look at some of the reports being peddled around, you may feel discouraged and for the kind of work that you are doing, there are going to be those lonely days and nights when you will feel like giving up. But please sir; there are young men like us who are watching you. There are those who are within this University community that are benefitting from the visionary strides that you are making. It takes someone who is selfless to achieve that stride here. No amount of thank you can reward you for that, no amount of accolades or awards can quantify what you have achieved but continue in this like. Nigeria needs you, we the young ones need more of you to serve as leading light to show us that this country can be moved forward, this country can take its rightful place in the committee of nations.
Other members of the team, including the Executive Secretary of Independent Publication Service, Balarabe Muhammed; the Media Officer of the team, Funsho Babayemi, and the Director of Strategy, Olubayo Fisayo, all took turns to commend the Vice-Chancellor and his team for living above expectations.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ambali, took his time to explain the mode of operations of the University ranging from appointment of staff, promotion of staff members, and prerequisites for promotion, grantsmanship, and financial digest of the institution to the guests.
Prof. Ambali, however, reaffirmed that he is ready to work with any individual, group or association who share the same philosophy with the University and who will not jeopardize the efforts of the founding fathers of the institution.
The Vice-Chancellor said that his doors are always open for advice and recommendations that could be helpful in taking the Ivory Tower to same level with the world’s best universities.
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