UNILAG Alumni Awards 2015 – Why I became a teacher – VP OsinbajoOlabode Eyiaro
A choice in life is sometimes made consequent upon life’s encounter. It takes one moment of decision to carve a niche and clear a path for one’s future endeavours. For the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, his passion for teaching is as a result of an encounter he had with an erudite scholar, Dr. Akin Oyebode, now a professor.
Speaking at the home coming reception and recognition award held in his honour, along side Governors Akin Ambode of Lagos, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe, Chief Willie Obiano of Anambra, Mr. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, the Deputy Governor of Abia State, the Vice President said the University of Lagos has defined his life in so many ways and that influenced his decision to become a varsity teacher.
Osinbajo said “the importance of good teaching can never be overemphasized as that was what made me become a teacher. I remember one evening of 1977 when I walked into a jurisprudence class and that was my first time of meeting Dr. Akin Oyebode, now a professor.
He was teaching on the sociological school and did so without any prepared notes, though he later told me he had cue cards which I don’t remember seeing.
“Dr. Oyebode taught the class for over one and a half hours on the sociological school of jurisprudence, and by the time he was through, I made up my mind that I would teach law and that is the inspiration that led me to teaching four years later.” The VP added “the University of Lagos has defined my life in so many ways and that is why I decided to become a teacher. Even today, the first thing that is known about me is that I am a university teacher.
“This is the great inspiration that should be drawn from varsities which must continue to be places of ideas as the future of communities and the nation depends on the thinking of those in universities. “For this to be achieved, we have to make these varsities comfortable enough for the great minds to continue to grow and come up with great ideas that would benefit the economy.”
Welcoming the gathering, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Rahamon Bello, said the awards would serve to motivate students to show them that hard work, diligence and dedication to work pays.
Bello said “Unilag is 53 years and has produced great individuals who have proven their worth wherever they find themselves. The varsity continues to excel in its academic pursuit and all round development of its students. On the 1st of November 1962, the first lecture was held here with a student population of 131. Now the student enrollment stands at 52,779.
“In the face of gradual reduction in government funding of education, occasioned by the decline in oil price, we need to look inwards as the varsity has nobody to turn to but its alumni and friends of the varsity.” Speaking on behalf of the Governing Council, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Prof. Jerry Gana, said the gathering is to celebrate the alumni who have achieved a lot in their fields of endeavours.
He said “On behalf of the Council, we welcome and salute the awardees. We are proud to say that they all drank from Nigeria’s foremost citadel of learning – UNILAG.” Anambra State governor, Mr. Willie Obiano, advised the students to take advantage of the great brains that are in this varsity.
The Deputy Governor, Abia State, Ude Oko Chukwu, pointed out that Ivory Towers have critical and strategic roles to play in the growth and development of any nation and Unilag has remained a veritable vehicle to drive and grow the development initiatives of the Nigerian nation for the optimum benefits of the people.
Present at the awards were the Vice Chancellor; the Deputy Vice Chancellors; management staff, members of the Governing Council, including the General Manager/Editor in Chief, Vanguard Media, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye; President of the Alumni, Dr. Sonny Kuku; among other dignitaries.