Western Delta University, Oghara, Delta State held her 15th Founders’ Day ceremony recently. The Master of Ceremony, a renowned media consultant, Mr. Tony Abolo gave the opening remarks and expressed a warm welcome to all in attendance. Thereafter, he introduced the Chairman Board of Trustees, Chancellor, Members of Governing Council, Principal Officers of the University, Dignitaries, Special Guests and invited the Chairman of the event, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Governor of Delta State to present his address.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Uduaghan facilitated with Chief James Ibori for ensuring the sustenance of his vision to nurture a vibrant university. He called Western Delta University an investment in human resources. He was of the view that people’s needs vary, and that the road map is not always the same from one political leader to the other, maintaining that higher education is an asset that fosters national development. He pledged his support for the institution.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe titled his Welcome Address “Taking her place: Western Delta University on the path to greatness.” He informed the audience that Western Delta University has maintained the lead role in the development of students and Universities produce the highest number of human resources, which drives productivity and enhances the economy of any nation. In his opinion, the growth of private universities has brought vibrancy in the Nigeria University system. He highlighted the mission and vision of WDU and harped on the fact that the institution currently has six colleges, twenty-one departments and thirty-six programmes. As at 2021, WDU has produced over one thousand five hundred graduates.
Prof. Oghoator chronicled the history and development of Western Delta University. He said the institution began with just two colleges (Social and Management Sciences as well as Natural and Applied Sciences) and about one hundred and forty-nine pioneer students. Prof. Nathaniel Umukoro read the citation of the founders’ day lecturer, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Ekiti State.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi later delivered the Founders’ Day Lecture with the theme “Sub-National Governance- The Ekiti State Example.” He said governance is about finding real solutions to real problems about real people every single day, maintaining that common people in the society want to see results urgently. He observed that some politicians come to office with an agenda in mind, while others do not have an idea of what to do until their tenure starts running. He opined that good governance should include a development plan of what should be done and how to do it.
Governor Fayemi told the attendees that during his eight years tenure, he had a development plan and made arrangement for alternative budget. This approach he said allowed people to act as volunteers of change. Thus, there was hardly any community that did not witness physical execution of projects. He ensured that all political appointees were committed to their duties and used available resources to accomplish set objectives for the people. As a result, within two years of office, the internally generated revenue of the state rose to one billion naira monthly. He initiated and ran the social security scheme and publicly communicated with the people, a situation that brought to the fore the well articulated needs, desires and wishes of the people. The founders’ day lecturer completed all pending projects of his predecessors and opined that success without a successor is ultimately failure. All of the above he said reduced the poverty level of his people. He urged the Vice-Chancellor to consider incorporating Implementation studies in administration in the programmes offered by the Institution.
On his part, the Visitor to the University, Chief James Ibori thanked Dr. Fayemi for the Founders’ Day lecture and urged politicians to draw the line between partisan politics and their duties to their communities, States and Country. He said Western Delta University was founded as a way of giving back to the community. There were reminiscences by Prof. G.G Darah: Urhobo Advancement Foundation, Pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Hugbo and Pioneer student, Mrs. Oghenevbaire Ogodo. Special remarks were made by Chairman Board of Trustees, Justice Francis Tabai and a representative of Architect Obong Victor Attah. Awards were presented for distinguished contributions, meritorious service and to distinguished alumni. A new University clinic, Western Delta University Welcome post, Lawn Tennis Court and University Cafeteria were commissioned.
The event was attended by Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, Chief James Ibori, Ex-Governors, the Pro-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, former and present National and House of Assembly members, Traditional rulers, staff, students and other dignitaries too numerous to mention. Dignitaries made generous contributions to support further development of the University.