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UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN HAS BEEN, AND REMAINS NO. 1 IN NIGERIA - GENERAL ABDULSALAM ABUBAKAR

2018-10-18
The University of Ibadan has been described as the number one University in Nigeria. This view was expressed by a Former President of Nigeria, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, GCFR, CSG, during a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Prof. A.I. Olayinka, FAS. The courtesy visit was made prior to the maiden edition of the General Abdulsalam Abubakar Foundation Peace Lecture, of which, General Abubakar was the Lecturer. The Peace Lecture, which incidentally, held on World Peace Day, is the brainchild of the Executive Committee of the Abdulsalam A. Abubakar Postgraduate Hall of the University of Ibadan, which was donated by General Abubakar while he was visitor to the University of Ibadan. Defining Peace as “Absence of Violence, but presence of Justice”, Gen. Abubakar stated during the lecture, that no nation can have sustainable development without peace. Though he admitted that disagreements will always arise, he advocated the adoption of dialogue and other peaceful means of solving problems rather than resorting to violence. General Abubakar decried the use and manipulation of Nigerian youths by politicians to perpetrate electoral violence and enjoined them not to allow themselves to be used for selfish reasons, even in the face of prevailing poverty, ignorance and ethnic and religious diversity which politicians capitalize on. He advised politicians to be conciliatory in seeking positions while also stating that the responsibility of maintaining peace in the nation falls, not only on the government but on everyone, with such efforts coming from the hearts and minds. Gen. Abubakar also advocated the need for collaboration amongst professionals and other people of goodwill to build peace in our nation. While acknowledging the excellent role that the academic community played in the last electoral dispensation, he warned against it being drawn into fostering malpractices and violence in the upcoming elections. The Guest lecturer advocated a change of attitude among Nigerians stating that our emphasis and focus should be on the things that unite us, rather than the things that divide us. Gen. Abubakar congratulated the University on the commemoration of its 70th Anniversary, stating that UI has made significant and sterling contributions to the economic development of the Nation. Relieving his first visit to the University in spite of security warnings, as a visitor in 1998 Gen. Abubakar recalled with nostalgia, how he was warmly received by students and other members of the UI community. He noted that the deplorable condition in which the University’s students’ hostels were at the time prompted him to donate a new hall to the University, which was later renamed after him. In his remark, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. A.I. Olayinka FAS, described as exemplary, the role of Gen. Abubakar in Peace building noting that his sterling contribution to humanity has earned him great renown both locally and internationally. Prof. Olayinka stated that all these coupled with being an honorary Doctor if Law recipient of the University of Ibadan, more than qualify him as the guest lecturer on Peace building in Nigeria. The Vice Chancellor expressed joy and satisfaction at how Gen. Abubakar’s relationship with the University has evolved and blossomed over time, first as a Visitor, then an honorary Awardee, and later, the Chairman of the University Advancement Centre, University of Ibadan. He expressed optimism that the relationship will endure, while also charging others to emulate him by meeting identified needs in the University. Present at the lecture were Governor Isiaq Ajimobi of Oyo State and his Deputy, Chief Alake Adeyemo, The Chairman of the occasion and former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Suleman Bagoro, former Governor of Kaduna State, Alh. Abba Rimi, Former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Oladayo Popoola as well as Principal Officers of the University among others.