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Western Delta University Holds it’s First Inaugural Lecture

Professor Emmanuel Okaka Delivering WDU’s Maiden Inaugural Lecture

Western Delta University held her first of the Inaugural Lecture series on Thursday 14th July, 2022. The event began with the Registrar introducing members of the Vice Chancellor’s procession to all in attendance. Thereafter, The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe presented his opening remark titled “The University, The Professor and The Inaugural lecture”. He said a university is a community of scholars and students learn under the guidance of their lecturers. The title Professor is the highest rank a lecturer can attain in recognition of his/ her research works and contribution to knowledge. An inaugural lecture announces a professor’s research outcome as well as prowess to the university community and public.

The Inaugural Lecturer, Prof. Emmanuel Okaka was called upon to deliver the lecture entitled: “Man, Work and Conflict: The Search for Solution through an Unsavory yet, Necessary Triad Relationship.” He started by saying that wherever humans exist, work is there and conflict must occur. If not resolved, such conflict can lead to breakdown of law and order. Government, management and labor unions are the actors with regards to labor relations. Workers are registered under labor unions, just as management serves as a link between workers and government. The government ought to provide an enabling environment for development to take place.

He highlighted the reasons for unresolved conflicts between trade unions and government in Nigeria to include: refusal of government and government agencies to implement agreements reached with labor unions, contempt of court orders that favor workers, selfishness of labor union leaders, just to mention a few. This is what the inaugural lecturer termed “unsavory nature of labor relations.” He chronicled the history of trade unions in pre-colonial Nigeria from 1938 to our present democratic era.

For industrial crisis to be thoroughly resolved, Prof. Okaka proposed that Government should always implement all agreements reached with trade unions, involve all parties in the process of conflict resolution, create a working environment for development, synergize with union members and management. Union leaders on their part should not be self-centered by calling for strike just to align their pockets. They should keep the interests of the workers in mind when negotiating for better working conditions and salary packages.

The event had in attendance dignitaries from all works of life, including the Pro Chancellor of the University, Emeritus Professor Andrew Onokhoraye, Principal officers of the university, lecturers, students, Head of the Nigeria Navy command, Oghara, Local Government Chairman of Ethiope West local government area, a representative of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Delta State, renowned media consultant, Mr. Tony Abolo, family members, friends and well-wishers of the inaugural lecturer. The maiden inaugural lecture was climaxed with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe decorating the Inaugural Lecturer, Prof. Emmanuel Okaka in the presence of his family members to the admiration of attendees.

Shadrach Aika, Western Delta University News

Seminar on Research Citation Using Mendeley

In line with the desire of the Vice Chancellor to improve the quality of research activities executed by students and lecturers, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Western Delta University, Oghara organized a Seminar on ‘Research Citation with Ease Using Mendeley’ on Tuesday 7th June, 2022.

In his presentation, Dr. Richard Oveh highlighted the demerits of manually keying citations during research reports to include time wasting, use of effort and susceptibility to errors. He therefore recommended an automated software system for managing research citation. Mendeley is a free citation management software that can assist in managing huge reference library. It can be downloaded online and installed on computers.

A researcher who needs certain information to be part of his or her work can simply use Mendeley. He can just click on add library on the reference manager and instantly, all the meta data i.e information about a book / journal (author, date of publication e.t.c) will be added to his work. No manual entry is required. Mendeley makes it easy to quickly search for journals, highlight required sections of the journals/books, generate index citations, share references with Co-Researchers in same group, access library, choose a reference style and check details of any document before inserting to a research work. The Software can be used alongside Microsoft office Word documents.

Emmanuel Onibere, the first Professor of Computer Science in South-South geopolitical region of Nigeria gave the closing remarks. He urged all to use Mendeley software to manage references when reporting their research, as it is easier, quicker and aids accuracy. In attendance were Students, Lecturers, Heads of Departments, Deans of Colleges and a representative of the Vice Chancellor.

14th/15th Orientation and Matriculation Ceremony

The event was held at the Main Auditorium of the institution on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th of June, 2022. In his opening speech, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe highlighted the regulations of the school, which include academic freedom that must be exercised without infringing on the rights of others. He said the vision of Western Delta University is to produce academically competent and productive young men and women who in turn will meet the labor demands of Nigeria in the future and be capable of resolving societal problems using technological solutions.

Mrs. Eliano of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) gave the orientation lecture. She harped on the need for students to avoid drug abuse. She defined drugs as any chemical substance which when taken alters everything about the body system. Drug abuse involves taking drugs beyond the limits prescribed by health care professionals. According to the guest speaker, people abuse drugs due to depression, to enable them commit crimes, to aid sexual performance e.t.c. Those who abuse drugs usually wear dark glasses, spray perfumes to hide the smell of the drugs, chew gums; they are secretive, experience memory lapses and have short attention span. The Speaker listed drugs that can be abused to include alcohol, cocaine, and tramadol, just to mention a few. Drug abuse has negative effects ranging from infertility, nausea / vomiting, constipation, high blood pressure and premature death.

Matriculating students were taught how to make payments within the university. They were told to make good use of the library, get registered and borrow books as and when they need them. They were reminded to regularly exercise using the sports facilities in the institution, to drink water first thing in the day and last thing before going to bed. The role of the ICT unit was emphasized. Students got to know what they can do on the school’s website as it relates to academic activities. The Head of the sick bay was on hand to briefly talk about management of sick students and prompt referral to the Navy hospital when critical cases occur. Thereafter, the Vice-Chancellor and Management team met with the matriculating students to highlight practical ways of managing time, avoiding cultism, drug abuse and maintain security consciousness to conclude the orientation day.

The Matriculation day began with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe constituting the assembly, declaring the ceremony open and extending a warm welcome to all in attendance. The Registrar administered the matriculation oath on the matriculating students to the delight of their parents and well-wishers, after which the vice- chancellor formally admitted the new students into the Institution.

The Vice-Chancellor later presented his address. In it, he said university education is crucial to economic development. Western Delta University is building a learning environment characterized with audio/video teaching aids, high quality academic programs, improved and well equipped laboratories, distinguished lectures /research activities, provision of uninterruptible power supply, zero tolerance on cultism, innovative curriculum, well equipped library, with both hard and soft copy of books in virtually various disciplines. He urged the students to strive for excellence, which will indeed give them a competitive edge over their peers in the years to come. He encouraged them to acquire time management, ICT, digital marketing and problem solving skills. In attendance were Principal Officers of the university, staffs, students, parents, friends and well-wishers.

TAMING THE TIGER WITHOUT A BULLET: NON-KINETIC APPROACH TO CURBING BANDITRY IN NIGERIA

Western Delta University, Oghara, Nigeria recently held a webinar on the afore mentioned theme. In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Augustine Ikelegbe hinted that the event will address what banditry is, its modes of operation, how it can be tackled, non-kinetic methods used for taming the situation and whether the present security architecture can successfully conduct non- kinetic measures.

The host of the event, Professor Nathaniel Umukoro thereafter called on the discussants one at a time. While presenting his opening remarks, Dr. Nathaniel Danjibo, Head of Peace and Conflict Studies Unit, University of Ibadan who also doubles as President, Society for Peace Studies and Practice, Nigeria opined that banditry can be traced to reasons ranging from agitation for Government presence with regards to economic development to criminality perpetuated by individuals for no just cause. Nigeria has used the kinetic approach for decades with little or no positive result. He recommended that for banditry that is occasioned by justifiable reasons, Government can engage the bandits with non- kinetic approach, but effect the kinetic option for activities of bandits that have criminal undertones.

On his part, Dr. Olukayode Faleye, Head, Department of History and International Studies, Edo University, Uzairue chronicled the history of banditry, affirming that conflicts which could not be resolved by colonial government were successfully defused by locals. He therefore suggested that restructuring and devolution of powers down to the local government level is the way out of the problem.

Professor Umukoro mentioned that banditry could be caused by grievances, greed as well as deprivations and asked Dr. Danjibo to speak on it. The discussant, Dr. Danjibo assessed the issue from a geographic perspective, noting that in Northern Nigeria for instance, you can travel over a long distance without seeing the presence of security operatives, thus making the area prone to the activities of bandits. Another factor contributing to the menace, he said is that some individuals see banditry as a business. They pay Fulanis to kidnap people for them and demand ransom. He recommended that an in-depth study should be carried out to ascertain the root causes of the problem so that solution can be arrived at.

There was question and answer session which was followed by the Vice-Chancellor’s closing remarks. In his closing comments, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Augustine Ikelegbe urged participants to dig deeper into the subject matter by way of a comprehensive research with a view to unraveling the causes of banditry, the non-kinetic approaches available to arrest the situation, the challenges inherent in such approaches and a lasting solution to the ugly trend. Researchers, Lecturers, and several members of the public attended the event.