PAP Beneficiary Emerges Best Graduating Student at Western Niger Delta  Varsity

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

A beneficiary of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Ebiwari Shedrack, over the weekend emerged the best graduating student of Western Niger Delta University, Oghara, Delta State.

The auditorium of the university became agog when the same student’s name featured as being amongst the eighteen young people that bagged First Class from 2020/2021; 2021/2022 and 2022/23 sessions of the institution owned by former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori.

Ebiwari who bagged a first class in Computer Science and best graduating student shed tears of joy as he shook hands with dignitaries, including the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Phillip Shaibu, who represented Governor Godwin Obaseki; the University Visitor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori amongst others, when he was called to the rostrum for recognition.

In his valedictory speech, Ebiwari thanked the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and his successors including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for continuing with the programme noting that the amnesty scholarship has opened the door for him to achieve his academic and career goals.

He challenged his fellow 2022/2023 graduands of WDU to “work on their weaknesses and provide solutions to societal problems as they embark on a new journey”.

Eighteen students from the 2020/2021, 2021/2022, 2022/2023 session of Western Delta University (WDU) bagged First Class Honours out of the 426 graduating students.

Chairman, Eko Disco, (Business Administration), Mr. Oritsedere Otubu, and Chairman of Pioneer Global Resource and Integrated Energy Ltd, (International Affairs and Diplomacy), Mr. Igho Okotete who bagged honorary degrees from the institution pledged to construct an auditorium and a science laboratory, respectively.

Also, the Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamballi, Dr. Ajoritsedere Awosika and Ambassador Kim Young Chae were conferred with Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Public Affairs, Science, International Affairs and Diplomacy and Business Administration, respectively.

Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, who delivered the Convocation lecture titled; “A People-Centred Governance Process in Nigeria: The Role of the Youth,” at the 11th-13th combined convocations,  called on the graduands to make good choices that will shape their lives.

According to her, “the challenges facing Nigerian youths are multifaceted but interrelated. They include limited access to quality education, unemployment, underemployment, poverty, corruption, insecurity, a poor health system, culture, cultism, and drug abuse.”

She stated that the average youth seek refuge in drugs to weather the challenge, saying that while the Nigerian population is predominantly young, the young people have not been adequately catered for over the years.

She therefore urged the government at all levels to engage youths in socio-political activities to foster a people-centered, inclusive, accountable, and responsive system and that “over two-thirds of the population is under 30 years old. Youth involvement would ensure an appreciable degree of representation in political and policy decision- making”.

The University Visitor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori,  expressed appreciation to the Emir of Zazzau for physically attending the convocation ceremony despite his busy schedule noting “your humility is worth emulating”.

He urged the graduates to improve themselves in the face of adversity and called on the management to stick to its academic and educational plan to be a model for other institutions.

Chancellor of Western Delta University, Obong Victor Attah lauded the Visitor of the University, Ibori, for his vision and hard work in nurturing the institution. According to him, leadership is very pertinent in making a successful institution and this is especially true in Western Delta.

Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Emmanuel Eghosa Osaghae, reiterated that the giant strides and accomplishments of the University would not have been achieved without Chief James Ibori, saying that “we remain grateful for your unwavering support over the years and we pledge to never let you down”.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe said the institution is proud to be a player in the private university system which is leading the trail in quality education and disclosed  that the university has significantly expanded its academic colleges from three to six whilst expanding degree programs and expanded enrollment.

He charged the graduates to remember the mission of their alma mater to produce men and women with capability and a deep sense of responsibility for contribution to development saying that “you have to prove your mettle in the real world and demonstrate the virtues, knowledge, and competence acquired in Western Delta University”.

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