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University of Offa Holds Second Matriculation Ceremony

• It’s a rare opportunity to have university education – Founder

In a momentous event marked by grandeur and scholarly aspirations, The University of Offa, Kwara State, celebrated its Second Matriculation Ceremony, Thursday, April 4, 2024.

The ceremony, held on the university premises, welcomed a new cohort of students into the academic fraternity amidst heartfelt speeches, commendations, and exhortations for academic excellence and moral uprightness.

Addressing the gathering, Professor Mukaila Alimi, the esteemed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Offa, extended warm felicitations to the matriculating students and emphasized the university’s commitment to academic excellence and moral values.

He underscored the institution’s zero-tolerance policy towards unethical practices, urging the students to uphold the highest standards of conduct. Professor Alimi also highlighted the diverse array of programs offered by the University.

He also disclosed that the school will unveil BSc programmes in Nursing and Library and Information Science next semester.

“I have the honour and privilege on behalf of the founder, the governing council, the senate, management, staff, and students of this institution to welcome you to this epoch-making occasion that has been put in place to formally admit the newly-admitted students.

“Distinguished personalities, I congratulate all the matriculating students. Let me also implore and enjoin you all to emulate your exemplary parents, great people of Offa, Nigeria, and Africa as a whole. Note that we have zero tolerance for cultism, hooliganism, vandalism, rascalism, indolence, indiscipline, truancy, stealing, indecency, and other unethical practices. We hope that you are chips of the old blocs and you all behave well.

“Anywhere you are, be proud of this university because you are the future of this university. We hope you keep the flag flying.

“Be studious and be committed to your academics. To our parents: we appreciate your efforts on our students and we pray you eat the fruit of your labours.

“Permit me to update this august gathering, this university runs mouth-watering and juicy programmes which include Accounting, Business Administration, Political Science, Mass Communication, Economics, Physics With Electronics, Microbiology, Cyber Security, and Software Engineering. It may interest this gathering that we are ready for Nursing and Library and Information Science (LIS). The two programmes will take off next session.

“Thank you all for gracing this occasion.”

Dr. Rasaq Oyewale, the visionary founder of the University of Offa, expressed gratitude to all attendees and reminisced about his own university days, emphasizing the privilege of higher education. He urged the students to prioritize their studies and make the most of this rare opportunity provided by their parents’ sacrifices.

He narrated, “Thank you all for gracing this occasion. I want to let you know that you are among those who have a rare opportunity to have a university education. I remember when the VC of Lagos was addressing us like this when I was there in 1973. It was a special thing to be a student of a university in those days.

“In those days, there were only three of us who were university students. Each time we attended any occasion in Offa, they looked at us as if we were special. The story is not the same now. You students, we appeal to you to face your studies squarely. Your parents pay for your students to excel in your studies. University education is a serious business.

“We are very grateful to our invited guests who honoured us with their presence.”

Representatives from various esteemed institutions also graced the occasion with their words of encouragement and support.

Dr. (Mrs) Mulikat Bola Aliyu, representing the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Engr. Dr. Kadiri Kamoru Oluwatoyin FNSE commended the university’s dedication to transformation and congratulated the matriculating students.

“I congratulate you on the occasion of your second matriculation ceremony on behalf Dr. Engr. Kadiri Kamoru Oluwatoyin.

“I’m delighted to express profound congratulations on this occasion. I felicitate with your good office, the governing council and the management team for your commitment to transform the university. I also congratulate the matriculating students.”

Honourable Seun Ogunniyi Adato, a distinguished member of the Kwara State House of Assembly, urged the students to remain focused amidst distractions, drawing inspiration from Dr. Oyewale’s journey.

He said, “It gives me great privilege and honour to be here. I warmly congratulate this institution for another milestone. This is the second one in the existence of this institution.

“To the celebrants of today, perhaps I congratulate you, but your days of celebration are ahead of you. Perhaps not today.

“You live in a distracting time; so many things will distract you. I really want to implore you to remain focused.

“The story of Dr. Oyewale demonstrates that fifty years ago he was right in your shoes. I know your lives will be positively influenced. But I really want you to make a personal commitment not to be distracted. A lot of things will distract you.

“Do not let the time you spend on gadgets distract you. Life is about sessions and time; the time you have now is to be focused on having a university education. Make good use of it. You shall be great. Once again, I really want to congratulate Baba. I bring you the greetings of the Right Honourable Speaker of the 10th Kwara State House of Assembly. We are really proud of you.”

The Vice-Chancellor of Summit University, Prof. Abiodun Musa Aibinu, ably represented by the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Atoyebi Bashir, lauded Dr. Oyewale’s visionary leadership and highlighted the monumental impact of the University of Offa on educational development in the region.

“Let me start by congratulating you, the founder. Let me start this goodwill message by congratulating Dr. Rasaq Oyewale for realizing this dream that started years ago.

“This dream started about 20 years ago, if I’m not mistaken. When proclamations on Offa University were being made, we were all glad because as at that time there was no university in Offa. So you can imagine the furors that greeted the coming of the university. We thank Almighty Allah. The University of Offa has come to stay.

“The proprietor is an educationist par excellence, having established education institutions, from nursery, primary, secondary schools, to College of education, to polytechnic and university. When the history of education is to be written in Offa, Kwara State, and Nigeria, posterity will be kind to Dr (Chief) Rasaq Oyewale.”

Furthermore, representatives from the law enforcement and naval sectors graced the occasion.

ASP Idowu Aderemi, Officer in Charge (OC) of Owode Police Station, stood tall representing the esteemed Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Offa.

With a firm stance on security and vigilance, Aderemi’s presence underscored the collaborative efforts between the university and local law enforcement authorities to maintain safety and uphold the rule of law within the community.

His words echoed the importance of cooperation and integrity in fostering a secure environment conducive to academic pursuits.

Joining the occasion with equal enthusiasm were Lieutenant (Naval Nurse) DC Akapagu and Sub-Lieutenant (SLT) A. Abdulhameed, representing the Commandant of The Nigerian Navy College of Health Sciences (NNCHS) in Offa. As guardians of naval discipline and healthcare expertise, their presence signified the university’s commitment to holistic education and the promotion of health and wellness among its student body. Their message emphasized the values of discipline, service, and excellence, resonating with the university’s ethos of academic and moral development.

The Second Matriculation Ceremony of The University of Offa was not only a celebration of academic achievement but also a testament to the strong partnerships forged between educational institutions and key stakeholders in the community. With law enforcement and naval representatives standing in solidarity, the event highlighted the collective responsibility towards nurturing the next generation of leaders and scholars.

As the newly-matriculated students embark on their academic journey, they do so with the assurance of support and collaboration from diverse sectors of society, paving the way for a future defined by knowledge, integrity, and service to humanity.

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