…completed law programme after four attempts
I wasn’t the oldest in the class. I think there were at least three persons in the Abuja Campus of the Law School who were above 70 years of age. I, however, belonged to a generation of students called “the Elders,” most of us in our 50s and 60s. I was inspired by many of the older gentlemen, especially those who had been Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Permanent Secretaries, Ambassadors, and successful professionals – Accountants, Doctors, Engineers, Actors, Journalists, etc. It was an irony that each time some of my younger classmates told me I inspired them, coming to the Law School at my age, I, in turn, took my inspiration from those above 70 and successful men who were in the same class.
My interest in Law was spurred by my interest in politics and the fact that many of the personalities that inspired my interest in politics like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Chief Bode Thomas were lawyers. My interest in Law deepened when I had opportunities to work in government (Federal and State), and from there, I concluded that knowledge of Law is a sine qua non for outstanding performance in government. As Chief of Staff to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, there were occasions when we had heated debates on issues. The governor would agree with my position but would end up accepting the counsel of the lawyers in the cabinet. His reasoning was always that if he followed my advice and there was a backlash, he would be left vulnerable. However, he could still take refuge in the fact that he followed the counsel of his lawyers, especially on matters bordering on legal issues. When the governor dissolved the cabinet in 2013, I resolved to go back to school and Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State offered me a serene, stimulating and comfortable environment to pursue my dream.
It was both challenging and fun attending classes with younger classmates. Many of them called me daddy, and I often found that amusing. Many of them were also quite helpful. I believe this new generation is smarter. They grasp issues much faster, and they are quicker to adapt. They have access to more information and can sustain discussions across many disciplines, having no boundaries between what the older generations classify as “serious” and “unserious”. For instance, they don’t regard versatility in music as a sign of unseriousness. I encountered many of the best students in the class who were nimble dancers and almost fanatical football fans, especially the English Premier League.
Midway into the session, I was astonished when they discussed issues of Law, and I began wondering whether we were in the same class! This inspired me, or more accurately, pressured me to work harder.
Many of them taught me the mathematics aspect of Law, particularly in Corporate Law and Property Law. Believe me, it is helpful when people who are younger than you teach you a subject. You feel challenged to work harder, especially when the one teaching you does not have the patience to repeat himself. One of them once told me, “Daddy, this thing is not as difficult as you make it look! I was slightly jolted, but I calmed down and jokingly told him to take it easy with daddy!
..I SUCCEEDED AFTER FOUR ATTEMPTS.
I feel fulfilled because I finally succeeded in finishing the law programme after four attempts. I had to withdraw after one year at the University of Ibadan because some of my colleagues wrote a petition that I was a full-time staff of the Nigerian Tribune, so I had no business enrolling for a full-time law programme. I would have finished in 2001. I tried a second time to run the programme in 2010 at Buckingham University in the United Kingdom, but family commitments made me abort the trip a few days to my departure. I did one year with the University of London External Degree programme in 2014 but opted out when it looked like the Council of Legal Education would not shift ground on not allowing correspondence students to attend the Nigerian Law School. I felt there was no point reading law if you would not appear as counsel in court.
Law School is tough. You work round the clock. You must achieve 75 percent class attendance. You must attend group meetings and complete the daily assignments. You must be well prepared for every class as you may be called to anwer questions in class and you will not want to disgrace yourself before more than a thousand classmates amongst who call you daddy. Failing the bar examination was no option. In truth, it crossed my mind a number of occasions that it was quite possible to flunk the final bar examination. I always shrugged it off and wished it away, but felt pressured to work harder. The only reward for hard work is more work, and I am glad it has ended in praise.
To God be the glory.
Professor Adeolu Akande is a Professor of Political Science and Public Administration.He chairs the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
‘UI may admit more students as hostels increase’- Acting VC hints
University of Ibadan Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adebola Ekanola has hinted that the institution may admit more undergraduate students than it is currently doing with the establishment of more private hostels on campus.
The Vice Chancellor, who spoke at the groundbreaking and foundations laying ceremony of a private Hostel located at Ajibode, called Jad Hostel, being established by Hyperch O. A. Limited, explained that accommodation was a primary consideration in admitting students in UI, ‘as the university believes that every fresh and final year student must be accommodated on campus’.
According to him, “ now that we have private hostels springing up in UI under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, UI may admit more undergraduate students as private hostels provide additional accommodation for our students’.
Ekanola, who disclosed that provision of accommodation on campus was one of the challenges facing UI, expressed delight that private investors were coming to play key role in this regard, stressing that ‘this is a clear manifestation of an ideal relationship between town and gown’.
While commending the Chairman of Jad hostel, who is also an alumnus of the university, Mr. Yemi Abei for his bold step, the VC noted that if the ex-student had left UI with terrible experiences, he would probably not have bothered to come back to invest in his alma mater, congratulating him on his measure of success.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Hyperch O. A. Ltd, Mr. Yemi Abei had lauded UI for implementing PPP policy which he said encouraged private investors to put their money in the education sector, pointing out that many universities in the country have yet to follow UI’s model.
“We are here to establish a 200 roomed world-class Hostel that the students will really enjoy. I finished from UI and I want to leverage my past experience to put in place a student-friendly hostel that will give value for money”, he said.
LAUTECH ownership: Oyo to pay N8 billion to Osun in 3 years as asset sharing agreement
Oyo state government has approved the payment of the sum of N8 billion to Osun State government as an asset sharing agreement, a follow-up to the earlier agreement reached between Oyo and Osun state governments on the ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
The approval, which was conveyed by the Commissioner for Education, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, would be paid in three installments spread over a period of three years.
According to a statement signed by Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, the Commissioner for Education, Olaleye disclosed this while briefing journalists shortly after the Executive Council meeting held at the Governor’s Office.
“As a follow-up to the agreement reached with the Osun State government on the issue of sole ownership of LAUTECH, the Executive Council of Oyo State approved today the payment of the sum of N8 billion to Osun State government. It will be paid over a period of three years.
“The breakdown of the payment goes as follows: one (1) billion Naira will be paid in January 2021 and another one (1) billion Naira will be paid in December 2021. Three (3) billion Naira will be paid in 2022 and the last three (3) will be paid in 2023. This was the decision of the council today”, the commissioner explained.
School Resumption Remains January 18th – FG Insists
Despite fears over the surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the federal government has insisted that the January 18th resumption date for schools in the country remains intact.
The Federal Ministry of Education, in a statement issued on Thursday by its Director, Press and Public Relations, Ben Bem Goong submitted, “After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, including State Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions and students, the consensus of opinion is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry explained that all schools and parents must ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of face masks, social distancing among others.
The ministry continued, “These measures which are to ensure safe reopening of schools for academic activities will be subject to constant review as we urge teachers, school administrators and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance”.
It will be recalled that earlier in the week, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had hinted that it would review the resumption date (January 18th, 2020) for learning institutions in the country, citing the rising COVID-19 infections in Africa’s most populous nation.
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