It was glamour, encomiums and tributes galore as the out-gone Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, Ambassador Oladele Akadiri, OON, bowed out on Tuesday at a send-off dinner organized in his honour by the University.
The send-off dinner, which coincided with the honouree’s 87th birthday, was attended by many dignitaries, including Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Oluboyo, who represented the Governor and Visitor to AAUA, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, CON; Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Dr. Aderotimi Adelola; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Kola Ademujimi; members of the AAUA Governing Council, Principal Officers of the University and family members of the celebrant.
Addressing the gathering, Alhaji Oluboyo thanked Ambassador Akadiri for his meritorious services to not only the University Community but also Ondo State and Nigeria. He prayed that God would continue to spare the life of the octogenarian such that he could still be useful for humanity.
The Deputy Governor thanked the University Management for honouring the outgone Pro-Chancellor.
Earlier in his speech, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, had said Ambassador Akadiri was worthy of the honour, having provided purposeful leadership for the University Community for 15 months.
Prof. Ajibefun described Ambassador Akadiri as a man of integrity and probity who demonstrated leadership by example and provided effective and focused leadership to the University Governing Council.
The VC noted, “During his tenure as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, the past achievements of the University were not only sustained, the University witnessed peace, stability and development.”
He thanked the Ondo State Governor and Visitor to AAUA, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, for his foresight to have appointed Ambassador Akadiri at a time when the University needed to sustain and consolidate on the tremendous achievements made by the immediate past Governing Council.
Speaking on behalf of all members of the Governing Council, Mr. Alex Mbakwe said, “Our Chairman is just too much. All of us in Council have had a wonderful experience working with this distinguished Nigerian. In my years of being a member of Councils, I have never had a Chairman like Ambassador Oladele Akadiri. A man of very much integrity, he believes and operates with the rule of law and the extant rules. He is an anti-corruption man. Mr. Pro Chancellor, we love you and we will miss you.”
A member of the Pro Chancellor’s family, Dr. Ojo Balogun, who spoke on behalf of the family, described him as “very meticulous, highly principled, well transparent, very reliable and brilliant”, saying the family was proud of him.
Responding, Ambassador Akadiri appreciated the Dr. Mimiko for considering him worthy of the Pro-Chancellorship and for demonstrating leadership per excellence.
The out-gone Pro-Chancellor listed some of his achievements within 15 months to include emergence of new Vice Chancellor and new University Librarian, appointment of fresh team of external auditors, sustenance of peace and tranquility, evolution of major policies vis-à-vis the Staff Secondary School, the Staff Housing Scheme, and the Staff Insurance Scheme.
He thanked all members of the Council for their unalloyed support and commitment to the services of the University. He also expressed appreciation to the University Management for bidding him a befitting farewell.
Highlights of the event included presentation of gifts and cutting of the 87th Birthday Cake of the honouree.