The management of Ajayi Crowther University, a faith-based university in Oyo, Oyo State trumpeted institution as one of the best in the country.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Jacob Adeniyi, noted that the institution known for its high disciplinary records. The Deputy Vice Chancellor, who recently was in Port Harcourt on official business, spoke with Ike Wigodo on the achievements of the university.
Sir, can you give us a brief historical background of Ajayi Crowther University (ACU)?
ACU is a faith – based University, licensed in 2005, and began operations in 2006. Ajayi Crowther University is an institution of the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Accordingly, we are a Christian University. We raise Godly intellectuals, who proceed to be agents of great positive change and transformation in their immediate environment, the nation and the world as a whole. At the institution, we emphasise the fear of God, sound academic development, excellent character formation, hardwork, diligence and entrepreneurship.
What do you mean by Godly intellectuals?
At ACU, we emphasis character. There is a compulsory course on character that every student passing through this university must take and pass before graduation. When we say we raise Godly intellectuals, we teach our students here to have fear of God, we teach them to be prayerful and also to worship God. One of our core values is Spirituality.
For staff and students, spirituality is developed through daily morning devotion, weekly community worship, and other anointed services.
What are the courses being offered there, and how many of them have been accredited?
All our courses have been accredited, and we offer various programmes in the Faculties of Education, Humanities, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Law, Management Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The school has applied for resource verification for Political Science, Industrial Relations and Business Education. Also, we have applied for verification of Ph.D programmes in all our accredited courses.
Sir, what are the things that distinguish ACU from other private universities?
We focus on entrepreneurship training for our students; our tuitions are affordable, and can be paid in three instalments to enable parents and sponsors of our students to pay promptly; we run uninterrupted academic calendar; we make adequate security arrangement for our students; we make sure they learn under conducive atmosphere; and we ensure qualitative university education for them; we have zero tolerance for indiscipline on the campus. Apart from all these, out university has the best Faculty of Law in Nigeria. The Alakija Faculty of Law Complex is unarguably the best Law Faculty building in Nigeria. Equipped with many ultra-modern learning facilities and fully air- conditioned lecture rooms and auditorium
How do you ensure qualitative university education for your students?
Ajayi Crowther University has seasoned and dedicated lecturers and other categories of workers. The Vice Chancellor also encourages our students to use the library. He visits the library regularly and gives gifts to students he meets reading there. This is to encourage the use of library by our students. ACU has two (2) fully stocked libraries equipped with latest books, audio-visual learning materials, ebooks and online resources. Both libraries have eLibrary with internet and quality computers. We also expose our students to national and international academic and research competitions.
Over the years, what are the landmark achievements of ACU in terms of quality of your products, academic and research breakthroughs?
Our products are everywhere across the country and abroad doing excellently well in their chosen careers. We have had our students winning national awards. Recently, our students in the Computer Science Department entered into a national competition and came third nationally. Some of our lecturers went abroad and won prizes, just like some of our lecturers in the Micro Biology Department.
Professor Popoola from the Mass Communication Department just returned from a national assignment. We have recorded so many achievements over the years, and we are determined to keep on moving.
What international collaborative or exchange programmes do you have?
On November 28, 2017, The Vice-chancellor was one of the ten Vice-Chancellors who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Morgan State University, Baltimore USA. The MoU provides for collaboration between Ajayi Crowther University and Morgan State University for linkages, staff exchange, Doctoral degree studies, short-time research visits, conferences and student exchange programmes. The MoU takes effect immediately. There is another one, if a student is interested in obtaining a UK degree after graduating here, such a student can go there for one year and obtain a UK degree. The implication of this is that such student will have two different degrees.
Lastly, what is the future projection for the university?
The present Vice Chancellor is a very dynamic one. He always looks into the future. He does not only build infrastructure, he also builds human capacity. The Vice Chancellor ensures quality academic activities. Just last week, he was saying that each department must produce at least, two Professors, and that these Professors must not come from outside but within the university system. We are also introducing programmes that are very attractive, in the bid to increase our enrolment. Our future projection is that this university should be among the best, not only in Nigeria, but globally. We know we shall soon get there.
How disciplined are your students, and what efforts are being made to enforce discipline among them?
This university is built upon the heritage of old St. Andrew College, which was founded in 1897. It was the most disciplined Teachers Training College in Nigeria in those days.
So, the discipline here is very strong. All students are to dress corporately. We have zero tolerance for any act of indiscipline. Any student caught in any act of indiscipline will be tried by a Student Disciplinary Committee, no matter the children of whom they are. In order to sustain the high level of discipline among our students, we have stopped admitting students who were dismissed from another universities.
Apart from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, do you have programmes for students who do not have basic qualification for undergraduate programmes?
We have a foundation programme. We are registered with TOEFL, we have lecturers taking admitted students for remedial courses. Generally, we don’t admit students who do not have basic requirements for out undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. We are not too desperate to admit students here. We don’t compromise our standard.
What are the sources of funding available to the university, do you get subvention from either government or owner – church?
The University does not get subvention from anybody or agency. We run the institution based on tuition fees we collect from our students. We have no subvention at all. TETFUND has been unfair to private universities. We would have loved it if TETFUND allows us to access some of its facilities, but they hide under the claim that the laws do not allow them to extend their operations to private universities. The Federal Government has been unfair to us. At least, TETFUND should be sponsoring lecturers in private universities for Ph.D programmes and conferences, if other facilities are not extended to us.
How do you fund and run the affairs of the university?
We spend between N70 million to N80 million every month on salaries and running cost. We rely solely on tuition fees we collect from students. We don’t want to increase our tuition fees unnecessarily; we want our tuition to be affordable for parents and sponsors. That is the reason we have been appealing that TETFUND facilities should be extended to private universities. They should amend the law.
What about funds from private and corporate bodies?
We have not been receiving fund from any organisation, although we had reached out to some of them. We are still expecting their response. But we have some individuals and families who have contributed to the development of the university. We have some Anglican families that have helped us. We have the Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who gave us the Vice Chancellor’s lodge; Chief Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, who gave us the ICT Centre; General TY Danjuma, who gave us the Library; and the Alakijas, who gave us the magnificent Faculty of Law.
Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court
The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.
Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.
The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.
It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.
They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.
According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.
The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.
However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.
Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.
The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.
Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.
He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.
More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.
Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.
The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.
Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.
The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.
“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.
Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.
It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’
“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.
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