Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Saturday, berated some universities in the country of giving honourary awards to people of questionable character and therefore advised them to stop in order to maintain the sanctity of the ivory towers.
Oshiomhole gave this advice during the 19th convocation of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, where three prominent Nigerians; Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, a philanthropist and business mogul, Dr. Lee Ikpea and Pastor Chris Oyakkhilome of Believers Love World were honoured by the school.
“One of the problems that confront us today as a nation is that even the ivory tower seems to have given up and many are now in a hurry to award honourary degrees to people of clearly questionable character.That a man is rich doesn’t mean he is successful, what defines a successful man is the overall totality of his lifestyle and so when we see universities giving honours to those who can dole out, it becomes award for the highest bidder and of course it disturbs the values of our younger ones.
“So, when universities give honour to people just because they are rich and even when the source of the richness is so clear that it is not as a result of industry and hard work, then I think it is very sad for Nigeria” he said.
The governor, who is the Visitor to the University, said there was need for a new national policy on education that would provide equal opportunity to both the rich and poor as far as they are intellectually capable.
In his words: “We must revisit the question of appropriate national education policy so that it must be possible for the child of the poor to have quality education.No child should be denied access to the best schools. Even Oxford has had to reverse its policies notorious for providing spaces for only the children of the elite; they now have quota to ensure that a worker with requisite knowledge can go to Oxford University and the state provides subsidy to make that possible.”
He called on the people not to give up on Nigeria as he strongly believe that with focused leadership, the country would get ti right, “Every nation has its challenges, Nigeria has its own fair share, whether these are security challenges, challenges of unemployment, of poverty and all of that, but I ask that we must never give up on our country.”
Earlier in her address, Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor (Mrs) CordeliaAgbebaku, commended the state government for providing good learning environment for the students and promised that the university management would continue “to put in place, policies aimed at improving the academic profile of this University”.