One hundred and twenty-one students will graduate with First Class as the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, holds its 12th anniversary and 10th convocation ceremonies on Friday.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde, said this on Monday while addressing newsmen ahead of the ceremonies.
Mr Olarinde said out of the 1, 673 students expected to graduate, 225 students would be awarded postgraduate degrees, and the other 1,448 bachelors degrees, in various disciplines in the institution.
The Vice Chancellor said that 666 students would be graduating in the Second Class Upper division; 489 in the Second Class Lower division; and 70 Third Class.
She said that honorary doctorate degrees would be conferred on former Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni, human rights and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, (SAN) and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garba El-kanemi, in recognition of their impacts in the society.
Mr Olarinde said that the three eminent personalities were selected in compliance with the popular 2012 Keffi Declaration after thorough, rigorous, as well as merit-based process.
She explained that Oni was selected for the honorary degree in appreciation of his role in the establishment of the institution 12 years ago.
“A lover of functional education, Engr. Segun Oni would be decorated in appreciation of the role he played in getting ABUAD to be sited in Ekiti.
“Unknown to many, but for this selfless, most patriotic role by the eminently humble Nigerian, the now flourishing ABUAD would probably not have been sited in Ekiti State.
“Following the wide publicity that Baba Afe was going to establish a university in Ibadan, Engr. Oni, who was then governor, raced to Ibadan, fervently pleading that Aare Babalola should site the university in Ekiti in order to enhance development of the state.
“As a major stakeholder in Ekiti project, Baba got persuaded and then decided to locate the university in Ado-Ekiti.
“His Royal Majesty, Alhaji El-kanemi is deserving of the award on account of his unbending commitment for functional education and his incurable pursuit of peace in a theatre of war.
“On his part, Mike Ozekhome is being honoured for his contributions to the enthronement of a conducive environment for sustenance of human rights, democracy, good governance and the rule of law”, she said.
Mr Olarinde noted that the institution had continued to be driven and guided by the vision of its founder, Chief Afe Babalola, which included moulding of a generation of new Nigerians.
The VC said that the university had carved a niche for itself by raising the bar of functional education in the country.
She said that the university, which had 10 unbroken convocations, was a practical and exemplary demonstration of how the country’s tertiary education should be run.