Kafas Events Hall in Lokoja, Kogi State, was a haven of praises, appreciations, commendations and prayers on Wednesday 26th October, 2022 when top government functionaries, academic gurus, friends, relatives, staff and students gathered to celebrate the Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Dr. Salisu Ogbo Usman on the occasion of his 50th birthday..
The birthday celebration included presentation of two books in honour of Dr. Usman and also a Special Lecture titled Federal Government-Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU Imbroglio: Interrogating the Issues and the Way Forward.
The chairman of the occasion who is also the Vice Chancellor, Confluence University of Science and Technology, (CUSTECH), Osara, Professor Salawu Sadiku said Dr. Usman deserved to be celebrated for the great things he is doing as the Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic and for humanity.
While appreciating everyone for gracing the occasion, Professor Sadiku prayed the celebrant live long to celebrate more years in sound health and to give more to the society.
The Executive Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello who was the Special Guest of Honor at the event called on academic experts and lecturers to make discipline a part of core programs in higher institutions in a bid to revolutionize and improve standard of education in Nigeria as well as producing the best in students graduating from higher institutions of learning.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Pharmacist Muhammed Jamiu Abdulkarim Asuku, the Governor advised students and youths to shun cultism, thuggery, drug abuse and other social vices that would deny them being good ambassadors of the country.
Governor Bello who congratulated the celebrant on his 50th birthday celebration described Dr. Usman as an administrator who has distinguished himself as a leader per excellence worthy of emulation.
He also thanked Dr. Usman for living up to expectations of his appointment, charging others to emulate his administrative style in their position of responsibilities.
While charging the gathering to jettison religious, ethnic and class sentiments in decision making in order to have a strong and united country, Governor Yahaya Bello promised to always encourage commitment and diligence to duty and support to humanity.
The Guest Speaker at the occasion, Prof. M. S. Audu who delivered a lecture titled ‘Federal Government-ASUU Imbroglio: Interrogating the Issues and the Way Forward’ called on the academic union to inject some dynamism and new ideas in her approaches to issues concerning state of the university education and their welfare.
Prof. Audu who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Federal University, Lokoja (FUL), opined that, for the ASUU strike action to become a thing of the past, there is need for the Union to change the tactics it has been using for over 40 years without much tangible results.
He disclosed that in the past 23 years, ASUU has embarked on strike action 16 times which is safe to say that since the return to democracy in 1999, public universities have been shut down for four years.
The guest speaker however advised the Federal Government to always honour and respect agreement with ASUU, noting that the last strike by the union was as a result of government’s failure to honour the agreement it signed with the union in 2009, on how to improve funding of public universities in the country.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of Edo State University Uzairue, Edo State, Professor S. M. Omodia and the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Professor Shola Omotola who reviewed the books (The Construct and Reality of Managing Tertiary Institutions in Multicultural Setting in a Digital Age’ and ‘Democracy Ethnicity and Nigeria’s Development’, respectively) in honor of the celebrant said the books are highly beneficial to students and for the development of humanity.
In their separate remarks at the occasion, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward David Onoja represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Honorable Sunday Faleke, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Folashade Arike Ayoade , Honorable Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Prince Mathew Kolawole described Dr. Usman as a strong and unbiased leader who always stands by the truth and one who has raised the standard of Kogi State Polytechnic to an admirable height that has met the New Direction blueprint in Education of the Governor Bello administration.
They said Dr. Usman has proved himself beyond reasonable doubt as Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic where he has sustained academic excellence and curbed insecurity that has now ranked the institution as one the highly rated in the country.
The celebrant, Dr. Salisu Ogbo Usman in his speech thanked Almighty God for sparing his life to celebrate 50 years just as he appreciated his parents and teachers at various stages of his life for molding him to become who he is.
Dr. Usman who appreciated His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello for not considering tribe or class while appointing him as Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic said transparency and accountability would always remain his cardinal objectives.
The Rector also thanked his friends, family and well wishers for taking out time to honor him with such gathering as he promised to always live by the truth, repose the confidence they have in him and make them proud.
The event was attended by top echelon in academic across Nigeria, top government functionaries, representative of security agencies, traditional rulers, youths and students organizations, among others.
Head, Public Relations and Protocol Unit.
Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja.