Some worthy ambassadors of Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti, were honoured in Lagos last Sunday, at a grand reunion dinner organized by the alumni group known as OSUA Connection.
Among those honoured at the grand event held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) centre in Alausa, Ikeja, are the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) on Special Duties to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris, ACP Bode Ojajuni; the United States based daughter of Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu (rtd) a revered cleric and Chairman of Yoruba Unity Forum, Professor Adedayo Oyololawa Ladigbolu Abah, who teaches Media Law, Public Relations, and Global Communications at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia; Comptroller of Customs, Mr Tade Adetoye, who is also a prolific writer and playwright with four books published; and the Chairman, FDIB Limited and former consultant to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Adewole Ebimomi.
Others included Dr. Olawunmi Egbayelo-Ilawole, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, Prof. Tomola Marshal Obamuyi who bagged the prestigious award of the Best Professor of Banking and Finance in Africa for 2015, and the Otorhinolaryngology Nurse Practitioner at the University of Maryland, in the United States, Dr Yemi Olalekan.
“Since our first Convocation Ceremony in 1986, some of us have had no interaction in at least 30 years, so this event is a nostalgic reminder of our formative years. What a great reunion,” the President, OSUA Connection Legacy Foundation, Mr Adeola Fasubaa, observed as he delivered his welcome address.
It was a colourful gathering of high-profile personalities who have excelled in various fields of endeavour.
They spent the evening sharing school days recollections and life experiences, as they embraced and exchanged banters amid oceans of food and drinks to last the night.
The buffet was brimming with sumptuous meals that tempted the most jaded appetite.
In the midst of all that, the Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Prof Samuel Oye Bandele, spoke at length on the need for a concentrated unity, and Prof Hope Eghagha told the congregation why all wives should be prayer warriors, as he recalled the role that his wife played when he was kidnapped, a few years back, by gunmen and kept for 16 agonising days that strengthened his faith in God.
While reading the citations of the award recipients, ACP Ojajuni was described as an exposed officer with acknowledged leadership attributes, a master strategist, an effective communicator and a result-oriented cop who has been honoured many times within and outside Nigeria.
OSUA Connection was a diasporan drive that metamorphosed into what it is today, going by Fasubaa’s accounts. He revealed that the group is all about members “connecting with our ‘roots’, our friends, course mates, lecturers, colleagues and people we interacted with in Ado -Ekiti where we first ‘connected’”.
Fasubaa said that the group was set up on the basis of four principles that grew to six.
He listed the principles as:
1. Giving back to our Alma Mater, thereby advancing the educational needs of the present students of the Ekiti State University and the City of AdoEkiti where we all got connected.
2. Networking and Reconnecting with Old Friends.
3. Facilitating/Creating an Enabling Environment for Individual Advancement.
4. Supporting/Helping one another, thereby ensuring that our “OSUA” certificates do not go obsolete while maintaining our collective legacy.
5. Helping the less privileged.
6. Engaging in ventures that can advance our goals & objectives.
Fasubaa added, “We spent a sizeable part of our formative years together and although the university has experienced many changes in the past years our Certificates still bear the ‘OSUA’ Logo, we have to ensure that they do not become antiquated!
“Most of us come back from lWOROKO with scars that we now wear as badges of honour! We were taught resilience through our travails; we had the best of lecturers since, most of them were visiting or on Sabbatical from older universities, so our education was eminently robust contrary to what others might have thought.
“We had the likes of Professors Oladapo, Olagoke, Faiana, Olubunmo, Ogunsina, Adeiumo, Olutoye, and first~ class administrators such as ChiefJ.G.O. Adegbite, just to mention a few. These were masters in their chosen fields who admirably took some other brilliant young minds under their wings both in the academics and administration. Noteworthy are names like Kayode Olotu and Ademola Fasubaa in administration, Hope Eghagha and Lanre Adebayo in academics, people who have gone on to attain great heights in their chosen careers.
“l am proud to say, no wonder, there is hardly any country on the surface of this earth where one would not find an ”OSUAITE”, not just existing but doing great things and positively influencing the society they live in.
“I would like to reiterate and stress that there is absolutely no rivalry with the EKSU Alumni nor is this a parallel body. OSUA Connection is a group for like-minds who share ties with OSUA and Ado-Ekiti. As OSUAites, we all belong to EKSU Alumni by default and to OSUA Connection by association because membership of OSUA Connection IS not limited to OSUAites but individuals from various other avenues connected to Ado-Ekiti between I982 to I999. However, we are open to working together with the EKSU Alumni whenever the need arises.”
Among the accomplished internationally celebrated academics and Captains of Industries honoured at the event are Mr Abayomi Adeyeri, a former university don, accomplished banker, and MD, Flobal Trust Limited; Mr Steve Olufemi Akadiri, former renowned Radio broadcaster who is now the lead partner at Bowles Consulting Limited; Mr Sola Ladelegan, a member of the British Institute of Occupational Health (IOSH) and co-director of an oil and gas servicing outfit in Lagos; Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Akeem Aponmade; the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Mcpherson University, Dr Mayowa Lawrence; the General Manager, Jemmtek Resources Nigeria Ltd, Mr Olakunle Teniola; the Publisher, African Development Magazine, Mr Ayodele Ilesanmi; renowned UK-based DJ, media practitioner and producer, Mr Abass Tijani aka DJ Abass, and Mr Simbo Olorunfemi, the award-winning poet whose work was translated into Hindi by the Indian Scholar, Prof. B.P. Mistra.
Also honoured are former MD of Newswatch Newspapers, Mr Moses Jolayemi; the Divisional Head, FMDQ OTC Plc, Mrs Shola Olufosoye; Prince JSB Onyiuke, a highly-engaged lawyer who has not lost a case in 20 years; a Principal Lecturer, Rufus Giwa University in Owo, Ondo State, Dr Yemi Mahmud; the CEO, Golgotha Group, Goldfire Nigeria Ltd and Liquidfire Engineering Services Ltd, Mr Theo John-Phillips; the Vice Chairman, Oilworld Ltd, Mr Adekunle Akintola; a one-time Executive Director at Tantalizers, Mr Olumide Ale; the National President, Ekiti State University Alumni Association, Mr Adetunberu Oludotun; Prof Michael Nelson Olabanji Fashina, accomplished don and Public Affairs Analyst; Prince Soji Ehinlanwo, a Data lead/Business Analyst at Tesco Plc, the foremost retail company in UK; the founder and Director General of CRIMMD, Dr Raphael James; the CEO, AirFusion Travel Services Ltd, Mr Kehinde Olaoba, and Dr Israel Ovirih, who chairs the Board of Banklink Africa Group.