Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, has lauded the existing peace and hospitality in the Akokoland, the host community of the state-owned university.
The Vice-Chancellor gave the commendation during the inauguration of Akoko Consultative Forum (ACF), which took place on the premises the Victory College, Ikare-Akoko.
He, however, sought more support of the socio-cultural groups and other well-meaning individuals in the communities for the university in order to ensure lasting peace and stability, which he said are requisite ingredients for development.
Ajibefun, who was represented by the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Dr. F.A. Gbore, commended members of the Forum for their sterling virtues and contributions to peace and hospitality.
He said: “I want to sincerely thank the Akoko people for the unique virtues they are made of, which have sustained peace and hospitality in the area. Our university has really enjoyed peace and good hospitality, which is partly due to the Forum’s efforts.”
According to the vice-chancellor, the ACF is to serve as a tool for achieving cooperation in the Akokoland, as well as actualising development and goodwill for the communities and to defending the interest of the settlers.
“ACF has been a tool to champion the call for development and initiative in Akoko land,” he said.
While stressing the significance of agriculture to the economy of the area, the President of the Forum, Prince F. O. Obaude, in his remarks, said: “Agriculture has the potential for tackling the problem of unemployment among the youths, which is very paramount to the growth and development of every community.
“We, therefore, implored the university to help in advancing agriculture in Akokoland with relevant skills and facilities.”
Thus, in his reaction, the vice-chancellor, who also noted that agriculture would be a major respite for unemployment among the youths, however, pledged the readiness of the university to do whatever in its capacity to enhance the farming capacities of the farmers.
“Our university is well positioned to provide all forms of consultancy services and assistance to our people in the area of agriculture development,” Ajibefun noted.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor had earlier in a letter to the Forum had expressly stated that whatever the socio-cultural group wanted the university to do for it should be made known and that the ivory tower would not hesitate to do such accordingly.
Therefore, the Vice-Chancellor implored the Forum and other eminent citizens of Akokoland to contribute towards infrastructural development of the institution, even as he reiterated that not less than 30 per cent of the university students are staying off campus due to inadequate hostel facilities.
He appealed to ACF to look into the situation by providing a suitable accommodation for the students.
“I want to appeal to ACF to come the rescue of the university by endowing hostel accommodation for the students,” he added.
The high points of the event were fund raising, inauguration of sub-committees and conferment of awards on some eminent sons and daughters of the state.
At the event were representatives from the Ondo State Government, the Council of Obas in Akokoland, religious leaders, and notable Akoko men including Chief Sehinde Arogbofa and Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, among others.