The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has appealed to Nigerian youths not to lose hope in Nigeria, saying the current challenges confronting the nation will be surmounted, and the country will rise stronger and better.
Oba Ogunwusi advised the youths to be creative, focused and deploy their God-given talents to develop the country, and take it beyond the current abysmal position.
Also, the founder of Afe Babalola University, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), urged the youths to work assiduously and halt the drift in the education standard in the country, saying no nation progresses beyond the qualities of its productive population.
The prominent monarch spoke at ABUAD, on Friday, during the 10th Convocation ceremonies of the private university held at the Ado Ekiti campus of the institution.
At the ceremonies, no fewer than 1,673 graduates bagged different degrees, with 121 of them decorated with first class honours.
In the same fashion, former Governor of Ekiti State, Engr Segun Oni, the Sheu of Borno, Alhaji Garba El-kanemi and a legal Icon, Chief Mike Ozekhome(SAN), were garlanded with Honourary Doctorate Degrees of the prestigious citadel of learning.
In his admonition to the graduands, Ooni said: “I want you to go out there and apply the positive knowledge you have garnered here to better your lives and this our nation. There is no other place we can run to.
“Don’t lose hope in our country, be courageous and use your brains and energy to help our governments to develop wherever you find yourselves.
“You are very lucky to have attended ABUAD, a university that combined learning with character. You have also learnt one skill or vocation here that you can apply to be employers of labour, rather than job seekers. So, I congratulate all of you and your parents”.
The ABUAD’s founder, Chief Babalola stated that the fact that the university was ranked first in Nigeria and 321 globally by Times Higher Education Impact Ranking , signposted that something good and meritorious can still happen in Nigeria.
He warned the federal and state governments against proliferation of universities, when the existing ones were underfunded, and lacked the requisite facilities to offer quality education.
Babalola said: “The future of this country is certainly in private universities. By the time ABUAD was founded in 2009, there were only 33 private universities in Nigeria.
“But between 2009 and now, we have 77 private universities. The strict conditions like conducive learning environment, provision of teaching facilities, structures ,laboratories , libraries and qualified personnel with which ABUAD was subjected to were no longer there anymore.
“What we have mainly today seem to be constituency projects to satisfy the yearnings of some governors and legislators.
“It is inconceivable that a newly established private university is allowed to run Medicine , Engineering and Law in the first year. We should not allow undue proliferation of private universities to destroy the quality and functional education”.
Babalola said the university had expended a total of N1,149,500,000 billion to power scholarships for students and staff, describing these as needed to motivate them to give their best in their services to the nation.
The Legal Luminary disclosed that the university had offered training to about 1,000 students in Nigeria and Republic of Benin in agric-based vocations and 894 of them had been provided with start-off facilities to checkmate unemployment and the attendant crimes.