As part of activities to live up to its aim of promoting lifelong relations and to act as a forum for the exchange of information among its members, some staff of the Unilag Alumni Secretariat comprising of Mrs. Yetunde Abatan (Executive Secretary), Mr. Seun Badejo (Alumni Relations Manager) and Jeremiah Olatinwo (Digital Media Officer) were on Tuesday led by the energetic and tireless 1st National Vice President, Chief Dr. Fassy Yusuf on pay a courtesy visit to two prominent members of the Association.
They are Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, legal luminary, foremost lawyer and former NBA President and Mr. Patrick Obianwu, Managing Partner, Pat Obianwu & Co, a foremost real estate development firm in Nigeria.
The first port of call was the office of Mr. Pat Obianwu & Co, a graduate of the Department of Estate Management and former Director of Socials, Unilag Students’ Union (ULSU). Mr. Obianwu welcomed the team heartily and relived many of his fond memories as a student in the University of Lagos. He recalled how his lecturer, Dr. Modupe Omirin (now Professor) went out of her way to guide, mentor and help in cutting his teeth and many of his colleagues in the estate management profession.
During the conversation, the spirit of UNILAG was palpable in the room under a very cozy atmosphere and fraternal as though the team was part of his stay while in UNILAG.
After the congenialities, the team moved the train to Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN’s, who equally received the team warmly and cheerfully in his iconic and palatial office. It was indeed presidential!
The Executive Secretary introduced the august visitors while the 1st National Vice President in his speech, hailed the legal luminary for his sterling and quality service as a former National President, Nigerian Bar Association and Chairman, Governing council to many tertiary institutions including the University of Ibadan and Ajayi Crowther University.
Chief Fassy also showered encomiums on him for his role in the thwarting the plans on renaming of UNILAG in 2012 by leading 20 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to compel the court to reverse the name change.
In response, Chief Olanipekun thanked the team for the visit and also gave more insight into the MAULAG crisis of 2012.
He revealed that it happened during his time as Pro-chancellor at the University of Ibadan, noting that he had it on good authority that after the name change in UNILAG, the next school would have been the University of Ibadan, U.I and the proposed name was ‘Lamidi Adedibu University (LAU)’.
This as well as various calls from eminent personalities including the then President, Unilag Alumni Association, Professor Olayide Abass and other Akokites sparked the move by Akokite Silks to take the then Federal government to court.
Chief Olanipekun also shared other life lessons with the team and shared the story of his personal encounter with former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, who while serving as General Secretary of the students union, led a protest to Dodan Barracks. He noted that he received prayers and admonition from the ex-leader and it sparked a personal relationship with him (Gowon) afterwards.
The climax of the visit was a tour round the 6-storey chambers building with a stop at the Upper Library on the 5th floor which had an exact semblance of the University of Lagos Library!
As customary in every Secretariat visit, the 1st Vice President decorated the two men with the alumni badge and also presented a special gift to Chief Wole Olanipekun to commemorate his 70th Birthday.
It’s worthy to note that Chief Fassy Yusuf made a ‘Macedonian call’ to the two Akokites to ‘give back’ to their Alma mater and also support the alumni association which both men respectively made a pledge to be active and committed to the cause.
As a testament to their readiness, they made a payment of their annual dues.
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