Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Charles Esimone, has charged Association of Yoruba Staff of the institution to closely monitor members’ activities to ensure they were not involved in unethical activities that can tarnish the image of the association.
Esimone stated this when the group honoured some eminent Nigerians for their meritorious services to father land and the University Community, at the instance of one of them and outgoing member Governing Council of NAU, Surveyor Jacob Abiodun Aluko.
“Don’t allow any of your members who may not align with the general ideal of the association to give you a bad name. No one should be involved in exam malpractice, admission or employment racketeering.
I think you should think of one thing you want to do for the university that will be named after your association. With such project, your association will be remembered forever. I promise to support you in any way I can.”
Esimone, who was among the award recipients, hailed the sterling qualities of Aluko, saying he had distinguished himself in the service of the university.
He also appreciated the initiative of the Yoruba staff to form a formidable union.
“Surveyor Aluko is a great son of Yoruba land, a great son of Nigeria and a great son of Africa. He has made his marks in the university here as a dependable ally. We will definitely miss his service. But, he must move on.
Responding, Surveyor Aluko, expressed gratitude to the group for honouring him in such an unusual manner, just as he noted that the number of Yoruba staff has increased within the four years of his tenure.
He encouraged members to be of good behavior, pledging his readiness and availability to render assistance anytime he was called upon.
“I thank God, who has made this day possible. I am overwhelmed by this honour. I also thank the Vice Chancellor of this great university. He is a perfect gentleman, very willing to help at any time.
“I am not leaving the service to our fatherland, I have been appointed into the governing council of the University of Uyo. I promise to remain relevant to you. Please, be of good conduct as you keep the flag flying here”.
Earlier in an address of welcome, a member of the association, Professor Helen Adebola, noted that the resolution to honour Surveyor Aluko with a send-forth programme, was in appreciation of his undying support and encouragement to the association, during his tenure as board member between 2017 and 2021.
Adebola also thanked the Vice Chancellor, professor Esimone, for ensuring that the spirit of federal character is established in the university.
“One of the aims of this association is to promote mutual understanding, love and progress among members. Today, we are gathered here to celebrate and honour our father, His Excellency Surveyor Jacob Abiodun Aluko for his encouragement, undying support, guidance and counsel.
“Some years back, hardly would you see another ethnic group within the university community. But, when our Vice Chancellor came in, the atmosphere changed. We now have different ethnic groups – Yoruba, Hausa, Edo, Delta among others within the university community,” he said.
Among other distinguished award recipients are the Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Alhaji Bello Isa Modibo, and member of the Council, Dr Aminu Dukku, who appreciated the Association of Yoruba staff for keeping alive the spirit of oneness and unity, at a time national unity is under threat.