Oyedepo, Awosika, challenge youths on right leadership


Varsity holds 13′ Release of Eagles’



Astute entrepreneur and Chairman First Bank of Nigeria Plc Mrs Ibukun Awosika, set the Covenant University Chapel on fire on Monday.

As one of the firm believers in the Nigerian project, Awosika said she sees avalanche of opportunities in Nigeria regardless of her current social and economic challenges, adding that the youths are gladiators of these opportunities.

Awosika was the keynote speaker at the 13th convocation of Covenant University Ota Ogun State, on Monday. This year’s convocation was tagged: ‘Release of Eagles 2018.

She spoke on the theme: ‘Influencing change in Africa: Roles and responsibilities of emerging leaders’

“I want to tell you that there is hope for this country, and you are that hope we are eagerly anticipating,” Awosika began.

“Despite our social and economic challenges, I still remain a positive person. Do no allow anybody to tell you we have all hope lost in this country.

“You are a shining example of the materials that would convince young men and women out there that they did not have to perish inside the Mediterranean Sea while desperately seeking greener pastures in Europe. You are the ones that will shut the mouth of that president who described our country as ‘shithole’

Using her life experience as an example, Awosika said hardly has anything changed over the last three decades that she started her business. Nonetheless, she said her determination to brave the odds, saw her to the pinnacle of her career.

“To succeed in life is all about perception. I recall one of the challenges I had when I started my business 30 years ago was power. Today, nothing has changed about power now; but I’m at the pinnacle of my career. This simply meant what I saw then was opportunities and not problems. If I had waited for power to adjust then, I wouldn’t have been where I am today.”

She encouraged them to be flexible in a knowledge-seeking world in their quest for relevance,

“In this generation, innovation becomes so fluid that whatever you acquired today becomes obsolete within two years. Therefore, you need to continually think through things, be more creative daring and enterprising to remain relevant,” she advised.

She warned them not to be worried when they see others getting rich without knowing the source of their wealth.  She also appealed to them to admit the stark reality that some of their contemporaries with whom they all graduated yesterday would strike gold early. She warned them not to show envy but celebrate them, knowing full well that by fate, Man is destined to arrive at his Canaan land at God’s appointed time.

She challenged them to snap out of their parents’ world, and carve themselves a lasting identity, saying they would be running the greatest risk if they continue to think the wealth of their privileged parents would sustain them after graduation.

In their quest for a life partner, Awosika also urged them to also seek a spouse who would identify with their dreams, share their moments of triumph and failure, and support them greatness

Chancellor Covenant University, Dr David Oyedepo said Nigeria and other institutions have a lot to learn from Covenant University in terms of prudence and right leadership.

He said: “Since 1999 that we started this university, we have never borrowed. Besides, we have never run out of power or electricity. At no time did we have any cause to adjust our calendar for convocation. This can only be achieved through right leadership and prudent use of resources.

“This is what is lacking in Nigeria today. Unfortunately, many of our leaders don’t know the definition of leadership. A leader does not make progress by staying on the same spot; he needs to constantly be on the move. Leadership is not just mere talking but, demonstrating by taking the lead. Leadership not an endowment, but a product of outstanding accomplishments.”

This, Oyedepo explained, birthed the Total Man Concept as a course meant to instill discipline and right leadership in the students.

He said CU would remain committed to its vision of raising a new generation of leaders in every area of human endeavour for Nigeria, African and the world at large.

“I implore you all to start thinking changing and start thinking solutions to challenges confronting the nation.” Oyedepo concluded.

The graduating students comprised 238 first class recipients, 746 second class upper honours, 452 second class lower, 86 in third class as well as 365 post graduate students.

Similarly, Miss Salami Toluwani, emerged the best students with Cumulative Gradient Point of Average (CGPA) of 4.99 from Industrial Chemistry, College of Sciences.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aderemi Atayero, said five of the 1,887graduands had already been conferred chartered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Atayero said CU is glad that many of their graduates are job creators, while those who sought employment are creating differences at their various duty posts as testified by their employers.

Atayero, however, attributed the success achieved to high quality teaching and research, and entrenchment of discipline.

He said “A major reason for this success is the focus Covenant University places on providing high quality teaching linked to high quality research. Our teaching is supported by leading edge research. Many of our teaching staff has received awards for their contributions to teaching and research.”

Atayero implored the graduating students to deploy all what they had been through to solve the nation’s problems.

Representative of the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission Dr Noah Salu who is in charge of commission’s accreditation, praised CU for being consistent with its convocation calendar, saying other institutions should learn a lesson from this.

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