The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde has immortalised the immediate past governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, by renaming the state-owned First Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan, after him (Ajimobi).
Governor Makinde announced the change of the name of the university during his speech at the 2nd Convocation Ceremony of the institution, held at the University Hall, First Technical University, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan, Oyo State.
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He also declared that his administration would put the Governing Council of the institution in place before the end of April and approved a Category 3 Primary Health Centre for the university, stating that the facility would provide continuous and comprehensive care for the students and the entire staff of the institution.
The Governor maintained that his administration had increased access to education by increasing the number of universities owned by Oyo State to three from one and a half universities in 2019, asserting that there had been a significant improvement in the ranking of Oyo State in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations since 2019.
While commending the efforts of the Management of the Tech-U, Governor Makinde urged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the university and Oyo State.
“This is another notable day in the history of the First Technical University, Ibadan, as you host the second convocation ceremony for students in the different programmes in the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences and graduate the pioneer set of engineering students from this great institution.
“Looking at the progress this university has made from its humble beginnings, today is a good day to honour my predecessor, who established the university. So, we have made the decision to rename this university the Senator Abiola Ajimobi First Technical University, Ibadan.”
The Governor, who disclosed that his government had a legacy of ensuring that the university calendar had never been disrupted in the last four years of his administration, also used the occasion to encourage the new graduates about life, reminiscing on the day he too graduated and felt a mixture of different emotions such as excitement, expectation, anticipation and fear.
He said: “Today will be a reference point for you, graduands. Let me share with you today a lesson I have learnt as the years passed. Just a little something from my life to encourage you as you leave school today, either to seek employment or to pursue another dream.
“Permit me to share this lesson based on a scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:6. The Message translation puts it this way: There is a right time to search and another to count your losses, a right time to hold on and another to let go.”
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Adesola Ajayi, stated that Governor Makinde’s presence had given a great encouragement to the entire university community and, more importantly, to the pioneer engineering graduates and those coming behind them.
He lauded the governor and the Oyo State Government for the support they had given to the institution, adding that the management had equally repaid the trust by sustaining the commitment to adopt global best practices.
Prof. Ajayi noted that out of 165 graduating students, 24 graduated with First Class, 76 with Second Class Honours Upper Division, 52 with Second Class honours Lower division, while 13 others graduated with 3rd Class.
The VC revealed that the university had been providing unique opportunities of tertiary education to less privileged students in the state, as two students, who would have been denied admission into conventional universities because of their low grades in JAMB, were admitted into the institution and had graduated with First Class degrees.
Late Ajimobi’s Background
The late Governor started his political career in 2003 when he was elected Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District where he later served as Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate.
In 2007 he contested for the Governorship of Oyo State under the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but was not successful until he won under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011.
Prior to joining politics, he was Managing Director of the National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company, a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum Nigeria.
Ajimobi, who ruled Oyo State from 2011 to 2019 died at the First Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos, from complications arising from lung surgery and COVID-19.
He was 70.