...Say, 'Our doors are wide open to welcome you anytime'
Ikole is like a second home to me-VC
From Kehinde Adewole
Not less than 15 elegantly crowned Ekiti monarchs on Thursday received the newly branded Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina on Thursday at the palace of the Elekole of Ikole-Ekiti, paramount ruler of Egbeoba kingdom, Oba Adewunmi Fasiku, Aladesekole l, during the VC and his Management team's Courtesy visit to the Ikole monarchs as part of his plans to build mutual relationships with host communities of the Ivory Tower.
Prof. Fasina had been warmly received by the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Micheal Oluwole Ademolaju and his Oloye-in-Council last Tuesday in an epoch-making event that further deepened mutual understanding and fellowship between the traditional institution and FUOYE Management.
•FUOYE VC Prof. Fasina addressing Ekiti monarchs in Ikole-Ekiti on Thursday
A statement made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Friday by the SA media to the VC, Wole Balogun, said the 15 monarchs who constitute the Egbeoba kingdom, (meaning a body of monarchs adminstering the Ikole kingdom) included Oba Joseph Adelola Fagbamila, the Olootunja of Ootunja-Ekiti; Oba (Sir) Olufemi Aribisala, the Alaaye of Oke Ayedun -Ekiti; Oba (Barr) Adebayo Ojo Jemilehin, the Onise, of Odo Oro-Ekiti, Oba S.A. Fatoba, the Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Oba Ilesanmi Ajibade, the Owa of Odo, Ayedun-Ekiti, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsakin, the E lesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba, J ,O, Adeyemi, the Obaloke of Igbona-Ekiti; Oba S, A Oluyemi the Olusin of Usin-Ekiti; Oba P. A, Adebayo Awoseyila, The Alamo of Ilamo-Ekiti; Oba Adeyeye, the Eleri of Ikunri-Ekiti; Oba Adabisi Ogunjobi, the Olorin Odo of Orin-Odo-Ekiti; Oba Alhaji Adebanjo Azeez, the Olu of Itapaji-Ekiti; Oba Ayodeji Ayodele, the Amuro of Temidire-Ekiti and Oba J. O. Falaki, the Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ekiti.
Also on ground to receive Prof. Fasina on behalf of the Elekole were High Chief Sayo, the Olotin of Ikole-Ekiti, the next in rank to Elekole, Prince Omoolayo, Faasiku, the heads of the royal family of the Elekole as well as the Secretary of Ikole Local Government Traditional Council, Prince O.J. Oniyelu.
While welcoming the VC on behalf of the community, one of the monarchs, Oba Adebayo, a legal practitioner, said: "We are willing to do more to ensure that you succeed in this administration. We also need your support, our people expect so much from us with regards to our relationship with your institution. We believe in merit and normal procedure but we urge you in your capacity as VC to consider us in recruitment. We will be so happy as this will portray us as good leaders before our people.
•From Left the Ataunoja, representing Elekole Prof. Fasina, Registrar, Bursar and Librarian of FUOYE on high table
"We shall always be ready to support you whenever you knock on our doors. Ekiti, being a catchment area to the University, we urge you to assist us in the area of admitting our children into FUOYE. Our topography is well suited for any building that you wish to erect for the University. There is no structure you want here that you will not get. We urge you to ensure lkole is always considered whenever you are expanding the University's infrastructural base.
This will make us very happy.
We have heard very good news about you and we urge you to continue in that good spirit.
We have free land that is good for staff quarters for all staff and the VC and for other structures."
Responding, Prof. Fasina said: "I am a son of the soil. I assisted the former VC in all the great works he did, and I have been very close to you in this town. We have added the faculty of Environmental sciences to the already existing faculties in our Ikole campus. The faculty boasts of six departments and they are powerful academic programmes with consultancy services that will impact greatly on the development of Ikole. We will ensure that we develop the faculties in the next few months. We appreciate your illustrious son, Hon. Kehinde Agboola for donating to us a facility for lectures.We equally appreciate Ikole for giving us a generator which we have been using for the past years. We appreciate you so much.
"As far as jobs are concerned, once there is vacancies, all communities will be represented. This is partly because indigenes know the terrain and how to solve issues that may arise and threaten peaceful co-existence between the University community and host towns. The Kabiyesi should send his requests on jobs, we will consider these requests specially.
"As for admissions, this will be without any inhibitions. We will give each of your chiefs qouta and we will take your children.
•A cross section of the Ekiti monarchs in Ikole
For other development programmes, we are working on partnership with the government on several projects that will develop lkole. I have many great men as long time friends who are indigenes of Ikole. Jide Arowosafe is one of them. I am happy now that you said there is land. He is asking for several thousands of hectares of land for a landscape agricultural cultivation which will be in collaboration with us under the name of Oodua investment firm.
"In those days when I was in the Ekiti State University (EKSU), we were growing agriculture products and were selling and even sharing freely to colleagues from time to time. There will be an lnstitute for Food Security and Commercial Agriculture in Ikole to be sited by FUOYE. The institute will be for teaching, production, research and community services. It will provide massive research, production and community services among others. We are not theorists, we are practical farmers.As an agriculturist, I know what to do. And l want to leave a legacy behind.
"Our dream is to make Ikole a hub of food for Ekiti and other states. We will soon be selling massive farm produce in Ikole. It will be at subsidised prices to the people and for their benefit. As soon as we have the institute on ground, other development will come. I have been speaking with several of my colleagues in school who have become top notch in very successful organisations. For instance, we are partnering with First Bank on Agriculture development. We have found out in our research that the best soil in Ekiti is here in Ikole. I am talking as a soil scientist, so we will invest heavily here.
" For staff quarters, Ikole is a serene and peaceful place, we can build our staff quarters here and we are aware of the benefits here. We are fast expanding and we need more housing units, shops and restaurants etc. We will go back and plan properly on the need to plan a staff quarters here. We will work together sirs and make this place a food production hub.
" We are also planning to have FUOYE bakery and table water firms here. Apart from selling such products to boost the IGR of the school, it will aide us to promote the University and bring more development to Ikole. All the issues raised, God will help us to fulfill them so we urge you to also pray for us," he said.
While giving a few closing remarks in response to the VC's address, Oba Adebayo, who begged the VC to return to Ikole, the pre-degree programmes of FUOYE, said: "We appreciate God for the wisdom and knowledge bestowed on you, as you have given us recognition as monarchs of Ikole and extended a hand of fellowship to us. We urge you to continue this attitude. You have been with us, and we assure you that we are the most peaceful community in the whole of Ekiti. As monarchs, we cooperate with our paramount ruler, the Elekole, to do development programmes. You would have leanrt a lot from your former boss, Prof. Kayode Soremekun and we are happy that you are now the VC. We love the idea of a commercial Agriculture institute and we pray that God will see you through," he said.
•Other monarchs while Iba Adebayo was speaking
FUOYE Registar, Mr. Olatubosun Odusanya, while giving a vote of thanks, said: "We thank you for hounoring us. Our VC has good intentions, and we urge you to pray for us. God is the one who assists everyone to accomplish our goals. In 2016, you promised us a landed property, we urge you not to forget this help. We sincerely appreciate you for receiving us."
Principal officers of FUOYE who joined the VC at the Ikole visit were Registrar of the school, Mr. Odusanya, Bursar, Mrs. Bolatito Roseline Akande, University Librarian, Dr. Busayo, Deputy Registrars attached to VC's office, i.e Mr. Mufutau Ibrahim and Mr. Muyiwa and the Chief Security officer, Mr. Paul Ogidi among others.
All the monarchs offered special prayers for Prof. Fasina and his Management team to conclude the meeting.
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