The academic journey through the hallowed walls of the University for the professional and personal growth which started 4-5 years ago ended as the grand total of 532 graduating students were launched into the world of works.
The Chancellor, Dr David Oyedepo in his remark did not only recapitulate the University’s mission of raising a generation of great thinkers, solution providers, adept reformers and exemplary leaders in various fields of human endeavours but also reinforced the graduands, with his ideological charge, into the world of unlimited possibilities and opportunities of breaking new grounds.
“We are backwards not because we are black. We are backwards because we are blind. We need to recover our intellectual bravery and generate indigenous solutions to our challenges… Though skin colour may be different, it doesn’t have to be white to be right. We should not allow Race to intimidate us.
Therefore, think possibility; think impact; think footprint on the sand of time; think future; think giving to others; think generations yet unborn; think of making a mark in our individual endeavours and think of using indigenous knowledge to solve our various problems.” He demystified the universality of humanity based on Biblical and scientific proofs, emphasising that all human beings have the same biological compositions regardless of skin colour.
Dr Oyedepo, therefore, urged the graduands and the congregation to connect to the Source of their lives to actualise their purpose for living, saying, “the true worth of any product can truly be known through its maker. No one knows the worth of a machine like its manufacturer. No one knows the worth of a man like his maker.”
Describing the event, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aize Obayan, said that it was “a rite of passage connecting the graduands to manifestation realms of possibilities and advancements,” while stating that the 532 graduates had been “evidently well groomed and found worthy in learning and character to manifest as the Pathfinders the world is waiting for.”
The event provided a veritable platform for the Vice-Chancellor to restate unequivocally the University’s commitment to its vision of creating visible footprints in Agriculture through educational means for national transformation and rejuvenation. Reinforcing the vision – agrarian revolution on the continent of Africa – for the remarkable achievements of the University since inception is the proprietor base, Living Faith Church Worldwide.
She, therefore, on behalf of the University Management appreciated the huge and continuous provisions and investments from the Proprietor base. She also enjoined the graduating students to endeavour to live a life demonstrative of the University’s core values whose arrowhead is Spirituality and put to practice what they have benefited from the balanced education system of the University which will help them to distinguish themselves in their mission to build the old waste, repair the wasted cities, raise the desolation of many generations, and spearhead the complete redemption of the image of Nigeria and Africa.
While delivering the keynote address on “Mainstreaming Agripreneurship and Food Security: New Frontiers for Africa’s Development Agenda” which he described as an emergent topic for global concern, Professor Placid Njoku, the founding Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, emphasised the need to accelerate and expand the agrarian revolution pursuit of the University with every sense of responsibility and urgency of purpose. He said that Agriculture is the sure bet foundational driver for Africa’s development, and it has recommended itself for full exploration and exploitation to drive the Africa’s development Agenda.
He, therefore, opined that having recognised the myriads of opportunities in agriculture, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of 2015-2030, it is expedient to transform the traditional agriculture burdened with drudgery Agribusiness with the integration of modern technology in order to make it attractive to the huge unemployed young population.
He, therefore, recaptured the event as the release of agripreneurs and challenged the graduands, whom he believed would lead the agrarian revolution in the societal context, to explore the many opportunities the University has opened for them, taking a cue from Benneth Nwosu Chukwuma, one of the graduands from Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department who as a student in the University founded Benny Fish Farm.
Interestingly, the congregation was agog over the presentation of the best graduating student of the Class of 2016, Oyeleke Oyetunji Olumuyiwa of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering having 4.90 Cumulative Grade Point Average and the other 50 graduates in the First-Class Division. These 51 exceptional graduates filed out with gusto to receive the heartfelt congratulatory handshakes from the Chancellor. However, 233 made Second-Class Upper Division, 229 made Second-Class Lower Division, and only 19 were in the Third-Class Division.
Notable personalities in attendance were the Honourable High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa to Nigeria, Ambassador Lulu Louis Mnguni, the Distinguished Guest Lecturer of the 3rd Convocation, Dr Brylyne Chitsunge – CEO, Elpasso Farms, South Africa, representative of the National Secretary, NUC, Dr Abiodun Saliu, Members of the Board of Regents, Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Deputy Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Directors of Government and Private Institutes, Traditional Rulers led by the host Royal Highness, Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Charles Ibitoye, and gentlemen of the press.
Immediately after the Convocation procession in reverse order, led by the Chancellor, the guests converged on the Hall 3 of the University Cafeteria for a sumptuous treat.
A large amount of the guests, in rendering their congratulatory and goodwill messages, lavished encomium on the University’s milestone achievements.
The prayer on the lips of all and sundry was that the Class of 2016 Pathfinders would go out indeed as marvels to their world in Jesus Mighty Name.