THISDAY Editor Emerges Best Masters Degree Graduating Student

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ThisDay’s Assistant Editor, Omololu Philip Ogunmade, Monday emerged the University of Benin’s best graduating student in Masters in Legislative Studies for the 2015/2016 Academic Session.

Consequently, Ogunmade won the endowed award for the best graduating student in the course donated by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at a colourful convocation ceremony conducted by the University of Benin in collaboration with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

This postgraduate degree of the University of Benin is run in collaboration with NILDS, the research arm of the National Assembly.

Whereas the first set of graduating students in Masters in Legislative Studies, convoked with other graduating students of the University of Benin at its Ugbowo campus, Benin City in November, 2016, this second set of graduands had their convocation in Abuja following NILDS’ application to Uniben, pleading that the respected university allows the ceremony to be held in Nigeria’s National Assembly. The request was promptly granted.

Ogunmade emerged the best masters degree graduating student in Legislative Studies, having made distinctions in various courses of the programme including his masters’ degree thesis where he scored unprecedented and uncommon 80 per cent to the admiration and praises of the external examiner, Professor Nuhu Yakubu, a two-time vice-chancellor, who advised him to develop the research work into a book in acknowledgement of its richness and brilliance.

Ogunmade, who has practised journalism for about two decades, leveraged on the existence of media and journalism as part and parcel of the programme, to anchor his research work on “Appraisal of Media Ethics and Practice in the National Assembly, 1999-2016.”

At the combined convocation ceremony which also involved graduating students in 2016/2017 academic sessions, various degrees including Masters degree in Legislative Studies, Masters degree in Legislative Drafting and Masters degree in Parliamentary Administration were awarded.

A total of 79 students obtained different degrees at the convocation ceremony, which was conducted by the Pro-chancellor of the University of Benin, Hon. Isa Ashiru, who represented Uniben’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. F.F. Orumwense and Director General of NILDS, Prof. Ladi Hamalai.

The ceremony was graced by Saraki, House of Representatives’ Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, who delivered the first convocation lecture.

Also present at the event were the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah who represented the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; Uniben’s Registrar, Mrs. Otasowie A. Oshodin, Prof. Peter Lewis of Hopkins University in the United States, Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, the Dean of Uniben’s School of Post-graduate Studies,Prof. Felix Okieimen, who was represented by an assigned professor, among others.

Aside Ogunmade, other award winners at the convocation ceremony included: Hauwa Sadiq Pate, who emerged the best female graduating student in 2015/2016 session in Masters in Legislative Studies endowed by Mrs. Toyin Saraki, and Emmanuel Ukaego, who won the best graduating student award in Masters in Legislative Drafting in 2015/2016 session endowed by Dogara.

Other award winners were Sunday Chibuzo Okereke who emerged the best graduating student in Masters Degree in Legislative Studies 2016/2017 session; Sarah Hope Tebira who emerged the best graduating student in Masters in Legislative Drafting, and Musbau Olalere Moshood who won the best graduating student award in Masters in Parliamentary Administration endowed by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori.

In his closing remarks at the event, Saraki who is the Chairman of NILDS, praised both Uniben and NILDS for their outstanding academic works, saying, “glowing reports – from both students who have gone through the programme, benefiting institutions, including several departments of the National Assembly – show that these programmes have indeed impacted positively on the graduating students.

“In addition, they have demonstrably improved the quality of outputs of beneficiaries including: lawmakers, directors, committee clerks, legislative officers, legislative aides, administrative staff and other staff of the bureaucracy of National Assembly.”

In his own remarks, Dogara praised graduating students who distinguished themselves in their respective studies by winning various awards at the ceremony. He also praised both Uniben and NILDS for their outstanding academic outputs.

Before leaving the stage, Dogara who challenged the graduating students to ensure the application of the knowledge they had acquired through their respective studies, was swift to add that “knowledge not applied is progress stalled.”