Glamour as UNILAG honours Osinbajo, five govs

Last Saturday was different at the University

of Lagos (UNILAG). The array of exotic cars,

presence of heavy security operatives and the

buzz around the Multipurpose Halls, were

signs that high-level dignitaries were on


It was the institution’s Alumni Homecoming

programme, which the Vice Chancellor, Prof

Rahamon Bello, described as “historic”.

Bello was glad that at his request, the Vice

President, Yemi Osinbajo, Governors,

Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Ibrahim

Dankwambo (Gombe), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa-

Ibom) and Willie Obiano (Anambra) as well as

the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Sir Ude

Chukwu, all alumni of the institution, came

together under one roof to mingle as alumni


It was a night of reminisce, which left

nostalgic feelings in the minds of the

dignitaries, who were decorated with the

distinguished alumni award of the university.

In the words of the Vice President, “Of

course it is only the University of Lagos that

can bring us all together as we are today,

from different political ideas and platforms.”

Speaking in the red and gold themed hall,

Osinbajo, said UNILAG moulded him into his

current status.

He said: “There is nothing nobler; nothing

that gives one greater joy than the

recognition of one’s colleagues, friends and

associates and I think that this particular

recognition is one that is very dear to my

heart. The University of Lagos has been a

place, which has in so many ways defined my

life. I started to teach here in November

1981. And from that time, till 2013, practically

every step of the way, the university has

influenced my life in one way or the other;

and I dare say that even today, the first

thing that is known about me is that I am,

not was, a University teacher.”

The Vice President also expressed his value for

tertiary institutions as a place of great

inspiration and ideas that build the nation.

“It (being a teacher) is a place of great pride

for me because I very well believe that the

university is a multimedia place of ideas and

inspiration and whatever it is that we can

contribute to making that the case, we must

do it. In the years when I was here as a

lecturer in the 1980s, those were the years

when there was great inspiration and ideas.

Of course they were the years of the

dialectical tension between the Materialist

School and the Ajere School and the great

thinking and the great debate that went on in

political philosophical terms. You had to be

defined one way or the other in those days.

You could not be neutral. You had to belong to

one side or the other of the argument. If you

were a law teacher and you presented a

paper, the socialist school, the materialists

would attack the paper, not just on its merits

or by way of argument but the philosophical

foundation would be questioned; its whole

thinking would be questioned and by the time

many of them would be through with you, you

would rethink several of your ideas.

“The University must continue to be a place of

ideas. The future of the nation depends on

the thinking of those in the university. It

depends on the great ideas that emanate from

a place like this… and the importance of

great teachers. I remember an evening in

1977 when I walked in to a jurisprudence class

and this was the first time I was coming

across the gentleman called, at the time, Dr

Akin Oyebode, now Prof Akin Oyebode. There

he was teaching on the sociological school and

as I recall the occasion, he did not have any

prepared notes, though he reminds me that he

had cue cards which I do not remember seeing.

But he spoke for about an hour and half on

the sociological school of jurisprudence. By

the time he was through, I made up my mind

that I would teach law and that for me was

the inspiration that led to my coming to the

University to teach law four years after,” He


Also, representatives of the UNILAG Students’

Union chanted solidarity songs to usher his


Speaking after his own decoration, Ambode

recalled values he learnt while studying

Accounting at Unilag.

“My commitment is such that every day of my

life is dedicated to the service of Lagos State

based on what I have learnt in UNILAG,” said


Obiano on his part promised to help their alma


He said: “Of all the awards I have received in

my life, this is the best and I promise this will

spur me to do more. I also promise to assist

the university in any way I can when I am

approached… I also appeal to all of us that let

the word that opens all doors be ‘UNILAG.’

From today, anytime you want to see me and

you say UNILAG, the door would be opened to