PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has berated many universities in the country for placing priority on money in the conferment of honourary awards on Nigerians.
Buhari said the ugly development is coming at a time the country is battling to entrench the culture of good character to help the rebranding efforts of the federal government.
The president made this disclosure on Saturday at Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) during the 2nd combined convocation ceremony held at the institution’s Hall.
The visitor to the university commended the institution for conferring awards on Nigerians with impeccable characters without compromising standard, saying he was particularly elated by the quality of people being conferred with honours.
Those who were honoured with honourary degrees included the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Reverend Felix Femi Ajakaye, the cleric who saved 262 Christians from being killed by insurgents in Barkin Ladi in Plateau State, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi and Chief Guy Garguilo, a British national, who had mentored many Nigerians and rendered a lot of humanitarian services to the nation.
Buhari, represented by a Director at Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Dr. John Ojo Olusola said: “As a government, we take pride in our popular appeal to integrity and excellence.
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That is why we are glad by the exemplary personalities and outstanding pedigrees of the distinguished Nigerians that the university had awarded.
You can never be wrong in the choice of these worthy Nigerians, who have been absolutely selfless and altruistic in their commitments to the Nigerian projects.
The university’s decision, in this respect , I must admit, says a lot not only about the integrity of the selection process , also the quality of university’s management, especially the Vice Chancellor, Prof Kayode Soremekun.
“That this is coming at a time when most other Nigerian universities have completely bastardised and instrumentalised such awards, offering it to the highest bidders, makes it more commendable. But FUOYE chose to follow the path of honour.
I congratulate you for this lofty height and call on Nigerian universities to emulate this inspiring story”, he advised. The Chairman and the Pro- Chancellor of the university, Prof Tunde Samuel, warned that it would be a great disservice to the country for rumour peddlers and militant unionists to de-market the University for primordial gains. This, he said, may hamper the glowing future FUOYE has as an institution.