The 13th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, has pledged to run an administration that seeks service and pursues the welfare of everyone irrespective of their religion or ethnic background.
Prof. Adebowale made this pledge today at the inauguration service held at the Chapel of the Resurrection of the institution to mark his assumption of office, in a statement signed by the University Director of Public Communication, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo.
The new VC said: “What I am saying is a covenant with God. By the special grace of God, we will run an administration that is God-fearing, an administration that seeks service and pursues the welfare of everyone, not minding their ethnicity, faith, and creed. Only a fair administration, even, and just in leading people can bring glory to God’s name.”
The Professor of industrial chemistry highlighted three reasons why the occasion was not a mere ritual or a flimsy event.
According to him, “First, it is our way of saying despite all that we know; despite all our publications, human networks, experience in administration and much more that we may have, we reverence God as the Alpha – that is the Beginning – and the Omega that is the End. And if He is the Beginning, then it is apposite that tenure like mine should begin in His presence. We are nothing, I am nothing, absolutely nothing, without Him.”.
“Ours is a community of scientists where science is exalted sometimes above other things. Yet, the more science we know, the deeper our thirst for God often becomes. The late Emeritus Professor of History, Prof. Ade Ajayi once said that a good historian whose heart is truly committed to history cannot but be a Christian believer. More and more scientists – from evolutionists to chaos theorists – are beginning to see God where scientific explanations terminate.”.
“Second, it is our way of giving thanks to Him. We stand here today because He decreed it. A year or more ago, and, until the late hours of 14 October 2021, no one could have said he or she knew with any certainty that this day would come to pass. He opens the door and no one closes it; He closes the door and no one opens it. To him alone be all glory.”.
“Third, this is our opportunity to ask Him and all His people here present to please go with us. Moses told Him, “if your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” and He agreed to go with Moses into the Promised Land. I wish to appeal to Him and you all afresh for continued support in prayers and other forms. Please, go with me – to the Promised Land – in your prayers and other forms of support.”
In his exhortation themed “By His strength, no man shall be there”, the chaplain of the Chapel of the Resurrection, University of Ibadan, the Very Rev. Dr. Olufikayo Kunle Oyelade said UI needs revival and he knows the time is now.
“For all the aspirants for the post of VC, the chaplain who tied his exhortation to the scriptures said “it is not that you are not qualified, God may have another plan for you. We get the positions but God gives the blessing.”.
He told the new VC “It is not because you are the best among the candidates, but God has destined it. The road may be rough, but God who has chosen you will not forsake you.”
Rev. Oyelade appealed to all the university’s stakeholders to give peace a chance to move the university forward, stressing that “UI is our collective treasure whose glory must be sustained.”
The new vice-chancellor succeeds Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, whose tenure ended on November 30, 2020.
Present at the occasion were the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka; Immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebola Babatunde Ekanola; Registrar, Mrs. Olubunmi Faluyi; University Librarian, Dr. Helen Komolafe-Opadeji, Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun; members of the UI’s Governing Council: Prof. Olawale Ogunkola, Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose, Prof. Elsie Adewoye, Mr. Taiwo Semowo; Prof. ‘Deji Omole, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso; Prof. Olusegun Ajiboye, Registrar and Chief Executive, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN); members of the university community and other well-wishers.