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Why LASU instituted award in honour of Tinubu, by VC

Why LASU instituted award in honour of Tinubu, by VC

The Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun has explained the rationale behind the award instituted in honour of the former Governor of the state and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

According to Fagbohun, the award, tagged: “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Spirit of Africa Awards,” is in recognition of his contributions to the socio-economic and political landscape of Nigeria and Africa by extension.

He added that the former governor had consistently championed the cause of progressive politics in the country since he joined partisan politics.

The vice-chancellor said the ongoing transformation in Lagos State could not be dissociated from the path charted by Tinubu during his two-term tenure as the governor of the state, noting that part of his philanthropic gestures was his readiness to single-handedly build the Faculty of Arts complex for the university.

He said the faculty complex when completed would greatly add value to the quality learning and teaching in the faculty and the university as a whole.

Fagbohun said: “Asiwaju Tinubu has long been a champion of the progressive cause in Nigeria and is a committed pan-Africanist. His advocacy for anti-poverty initiatives and for ending all forms of ethnic and religious bias is well known. It is our fervent belief that the institutionalisation of the awards will contribute to the spread of knowledge and the pursuit of excellence on the continent.”

As part of the efforts to make the annual award credible, Fagbohun hinted that a former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Walter Carrington, had been chosen to head the final selection team for awardees.

Fagbohun, who disclosed this at a news conference, said Carrington was chosen based on his grassroots acumen, untainted integrity and global acceptability of his person.

He said the former envoy, who was in Nigeria as US Ambassador between 1993 and 1997, had accepted to serve in the team.

According to him, the public would nominate deserving award recipients from across professions in Africa from whom the panelists would now choose three most worthy for the award.

He noted that each edition would feature a special lecture with leaders in government, corporate and business world, academics and other areas of endeavours from across Africa participating, giving this year’s lecture theme as “Africa: A new dawn or a newer colonialism.”

Fagbohun, who said the programme would likely hold in September, also disclosed that the university would hold two other important events this August.

The first of the two, he tagged: “An afternoon with Baroness Lynda Chalker,” while the second one is this year’s edition of the “University’s Annual Distinguished Lecture.”

According to the vice-chancellor, Chalker’s session, which is billed to hold on August 15, will feature a lecture with the topic: “Africa in a Competitive World, Development and Business.”

He noted that the choice of Chalker, a former Minister of State at the UK Foreign Office and now Chairman, African Matters Limited was informed by her experience about African politics and leadership issues on the continent.

The second event, he noted, would feature the trio of Mrs. Dan-Faparusi Anne (a pilot), Joke Jacobs and Segun Arinse (both renowned artistes), who are expected to speak on “Life Skills Education for Employment and Entrepreneurship Learning in the 21st Century.”

Fagbohun said the primary essence of these activities was to further build a synergy between the university, the private sector and the government at all levels for a knowledge-driven development.

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