The attention of the Authorities of Federal University Lokoja has been drawn to an online publication regarding her 5th Convocation ceremony on the 14th of November, 2021, where the University awarded Bachelor Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Honorary Doctorate Degrees to her students and deserving individuals who have contributed greatly to the advancement of humanity and societal development within and outside the Academia.
It is important to make this rejoinder to set the records straight as this misleading publication which surfaced on 27th November, 2021 in an online channel https://leaders.ng/group-accuses-ful-vc-prof-olayemiakinwunmii-of-corruption-awards-of-honorary-doctorate-degrees-for-financial-donations/ may get a wide read without the audience knowing the truth. Part of the publication reads: “Group operating under the aegis of Transparency Movement team has faulted the conferment of honorary doctorates degrees by the Federal University Lokoja (FUL) to five prominent Nigerians during the 5th Convocation Ceremony of the Institution. It alleges that they were done for financial donations and contravening policies against the award of Honorary degrees to serving government officials, amongst other reasons advanced.”
It is apparent that the ignorance of the group is in bounty. The award of any degree or diploma in the University is approved by the Senate after a thorough assessment of the profile of the recipient and council will be communicated for ratification. This due process was followed in the award of the honorary degrees. The recipients are individuals who have contributed significantly to the cultural, scientific and social development of the nation and the world at large. The national and international impact of some of our awardees is groundbreaking. The sterling leadership qualities of Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi have lifted the school from a lower level to a higher level of academic excellence as evident in our Webometrics Ranking of Universities in the World. Those whose penchant for lies and devilish intent to discredit anything good that is coming from elsewhere other than their initiative are indeed out to rubbish the giant strides of Prof. Akinwumi within a short period in office. The Vice-Chancellor since assumption of office in February, 2021, has left no stone unturned in ensuring to put the Federal University Lokoja on a global academic scholarship and today, the FULokoja is more visible to the world than ever before.
The University in the last ten months under Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi as Vice-Chancellor has witnessed positive developments and expansion of the University programmes and facilities. These detractors in their bid to undermine these achievements will not crosscheck the facts but peddle falsehood. For the records; the University did not award Doctor of Letters to anybody. Doctor of Letters is an academic degree that is worked for and earned. Honoris Causa was the Degree that the University awarded and in the relevant areas. The said Cosmas Timothy and Ali Bawa Musa, who signed the statement released to journalists in Lokoja, should have helped their ignorance about University traditions by coming to ask for clarification with the University authorities before going to the press.
The University Senate and Management under the leadership of Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi has not done anything contravening any Law in the award of Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) and our Honourees are distinguished Nigerians, Community leaders, nation builders, International Scholars, human capacity builders and businessmen. None of our recipients of the Award is a staff or member of the Governing Council of the Federal University Lokoja. Our Honourees are noble Nigerians and the University is proud to be associated with them.
The members of the public are by this rejoinder informed to disregard the publication by these unscrupulous elements that are out to discredit the many achievements of our indefatigable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi in the last ten months of assumption of office. The publication is baseless and unfounded.
University Public Relations Officer
Federal University Lokoja