Fostering Friendship between Town and Gown


Senator Ayo Arise, Chief Bola Awe, Prof. Kayode Soremekun and his wife, Dr (Mrs) Rebecca Soremekun

Vanessa Obioha

The city of Lagos last weekend pooled members of the Oye Ekiti August Ten Club from different destinations for the grand hosting of the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Oye Ekiti, Prof. Kayode Soremekun.

A first of its kind for the club, the event attracted eminent indigenes of Oye Ekiti, like Chief Executive of Havilah Merchants Ltd, Mr. Lanre Adesuyi; Senator Ayo Arise; the Chief Executive of YemKem Enterprises, Chief Akintunde Ayeni and the Ekiti State Commissioner of Commerce, Mr. Ayo Oguntoye to the Westown Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
A non-political association of prominent indigenes of Oye Ekiti, the club deemed it fit to adopt the new VC as a son of the soil.

Chief Bola Awe stressed the importance of the ceremony in his welcome address where he described the reception as a ‘warm handshake’ to foster a good relationship between the university community and Oye Ekiti. He implored the new VC to ensure that the new marriage between the gown and the town is endured and sustained as well as patronising local entrepreneurs and accord priority to employing both skilled and unskilled youths of Oye Ekiti.

Awe further charged the management of FUOYE to maintain the institution’s culture of academic excellence as embodied by the feat of Dr. Enoch Opeyemi who launched FUOYE and Oye Ekiti to global reckoning by solving the 156-year old mathematical Rhema Hypothesis.

“Universities all over the world must be struggling to entice him to their ivory towers; more of him must be nurtured and kept in FUOYE for more laurels,” Awe said.
Touched by the colourful celebration held in his honour, Soremekun termed the ceremony “a certain empirical manifestation, in the sense that people believe we owe a lot of loyalty to our local groups and you can see that manifesting here today. We hope that this manifestation will be sufficiently elastic to embrace the Nigerian nation,” he said.

He commended the fervent commitment of indigenes of Oye Ekiti as well as other Ekiti communities to the success of the university.

“The job of building FUOYE may belong primarily to the Oye Ekiti community but it also belongs to other communities in Ekiti; everyone in Ekiti, therefore, has to set hands on the plough. FUOYE also belongs to all Nigerians and to the world because of resources to be tapped from the global community.”

He pointed out whilst the management of the university had noted the request for patronage of local resources, indigenes of Oye Ekiti also must consider the extent to which they could assist FUOYE, which is still a very young institution.

“Our current challenges also present opportunities for us to etch our names in an indelible way in the sands of time by shaping the university into what we want it to become,” Soremekun said, adding “By committing to a project, you would have gone a long way to demonstrate your obligation to the university.”

Also speaking at the reception, the Oloye of Oye Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Sir) Oluwole Ademolaju, Adugbole III, said the larger Oye Ekiti community would still organise a civic reception in honour of the Vice Chancellor to formally welcome him to the community.