Western Delta University; Oritsedere Otubu Donates Auditorium, IghoOkotete, Laboratory

…Amnesty Student is Best Overall Student

The Western Delta University (WDU), turned into a field of dreams on Saturday when at its convocation ceremony, someone who studied under the Presidential Amnesty Scholarship Programme, which benefits former Niger Delta militants, not only bagged a First Class degree in Computer Science but was the best-graduating student. Many people in the WDU main Auditorium shed tears of joy when the valedictorian, Mr. Ebiwari Shadrach, in his speech, thanked the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and his successors including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for continuing with the programme.

Thanking God for the Amnesty scholarship which he said has opened the door for him to achieve his academic and career goals, he challenged his fellow 2022/2023 graduands of WDU to “work on their weaknesses and provide solutions to societal problems as they embark on a new journey”.

He then appreciated the Presidential Amnesty Program itself because the scholarship has put him a step closer to his goal.

Eighteen graduate students from 2020/2021, 2021/2022, and 2022/2023 sessions of Western Delta University (WDU), Oghara, Delta State, have bagged First Class Honors class out of the 426 graduating students The field of dreams widened when two persons who received honorary Doctorate degrees, made consequential bequests to WDU. Mr. Oritsedere Otubu, Chairman, of Eko Disco, (Business Administration), and Mr. Igho Okotete, Chairman of Pioneer Global Resource and Integrated Energy Ltd, (International Affairs and Diplomacy) pledged to construct an auditorium and a science laboratory respectively.

Also, the Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamballi, Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika, and Ambassador Kim Young Chae were conferred with Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Public Affairs, Science, International Affairs and Diplomacy and Business Administration, respectively.

The Emir of Zaria, a recipient of an honorary Doctorate, second from left, visited the Ovie of Agbon Kingdom, first from left, yesterday.

Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) delivered the Convocation lecture titled; A People-Centered Governance Process in Nigeria: The Role of the Youth at the 11th – 13th combined convocation ceremony. She called on the graduates to make good choices that will shape their lives.

According to her, “the challenges facing Nigerian youths are multifaceted but interrelated. They include limited access to quality education, unemployment, underemployment, poverty, corruption, insecurity, a poor health system, culture, cultism, and drug abuse”,
saying that the average youth seeks refuge in drugs to weather the challenge, saying that while the Nigerian population is predominantly young, the young people have not been adequately catered for over the years.

She therefore urged the government at all levels to engage youths in socio-political activities to foster a people-centered, inclusive, accountable, and responsive system and that “over two-thirds of the population is under 30 years old. Youth involvement would ensure an appreciable degree of representation in political and policy decision-making”.

Urging the graduands to engage themselves with important things because “the onus lies with you to take the bull by the horns, she said that “the key is responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things. The choices you make are pivotal in shaping your future selves.”

The University Visitor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, appreciated the Emir of Zazzau for physically attending the convocation ceremony despite his busy schedule, noting; “your humility is worth emulating”. He then urged the graduates to improve themselves in the face of adversity and called on the management to stick to its academic and educational plan to be a model for other institutions.

During his address, the Chancellor of Western Delta University, Obong Victor Attah lauded the Visitor of the University, Ibori, for his vision and hard work in nurturing the institution. According to him, leadership is very pertinent in making a successful and this is especially true in Western Delta.

While he commended the graduates for their hard work in completing their various courses of study, he urged them to remind themselves that the future of Nigeria depends on them and that ”Nigeria needs people who can learn, adapt to change, and persuade others to do the same. We need people who can think critically and creatively to solve problems. We are confident that the education you have received here will serve you well”.

Meanwhile, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Emmanuel Eghosa Osaghae reiterated that the giant strides and accomplishments of the University would not have been achieved without  Chief James Ibori, saying that “we remain grateful for your unwavering support over the years and we pledge to never let you down”. He also
appreciated the host community, Oghara town, for making the university environment hospitable for the institution to grow since its inception.

In his address, Vice Chancellor Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe mooted that the institution is proud to be a player in the private university system which is leading the trail in quality education. He revealed that the university has significantly expanded its academic colleges
from three to six whilst expanding degree programs and expanded enrollment.

He charged the graduates to remember the mission of their alma mater to produce men and women with capability and a deep sense of responsibility for contribution to development saying that you have to prove your mettle in the real world and demonstrate the virtues, knowledge, and competence acquired in Western Delta University.

Also, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki who was represented by his Deputy, Phillip Shaibu congratulated Chief James Ibori and the management of the institution for their immense contribution to the educational sector of Nigeria. “You are adding value to the educational system and you are creating a knowledge base for the country to grow and has added depth to the education system in Nigeria”. He urged graduates to be the catalyst that will boost the economy of the country, saying that let us focus on production for local consumption. He further called on the state government to create an enabling environment for businesses to strive, saying that this is the only line of action to take.

In her remarks, the Member of the House of Representatives representing Ethiope-West Federal Constituency, Mrs Erhitake Ibori-Suenu, urged the graduates to be good products of the institution by contributing to the growth of the society.