The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Professor Olayemi Akinwumi has raised over fifteen million Naira (N15M) for the church building project ongoing at the University's Permanent Site, Felele at a thanksgiving service organized to mark his 60th birthday anniversary. Professor Akinwumi disclosed at the auspicious event that he had mobilized his friends and associates to assist him raise the sum of fifty million Naira (N50M) for the project, as he celebrates his diamond jubilee, in appreciation to God for sparing his life.
It is worthy of note to mention that since the relocation of the University to its Permanent Site at Felele, the Vice-Chancellor has expressed the desire to have befitting places of worship for both the Christian and Muslim Communities erected at the main campus as provided at the take-off site, Adankolo.
Professor Akinwumi's earnest desires, which he pursued with all sense of commitment and responsibility, got answered early last year when the wife of late Squadron Leader Alhaji Abdullahi Habib, Dr. Maimuna Abdullahi, donated a magnificent mosque to the University in memory of her beloved husband.
The masjid was commissioned recently by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III, CFR, mni, ably represented by the Emir of Keffi, HRH Alhaji Dr. Shehu Chindo-Yamusa III.
Speaking before a large gathering of worshippers and dignitaries on Sunday at the Chapel of Grace Auditorium, College of Health Sciences, Adankolo, the Vice-Chancellor, filled with immense joy, recalled with gratitude God's miraculous intervention over his life in 2016 and the pledge he made during the trying moment. He added that he had reached out to his friends and informed them not to bring personal gifts but to support him in meeting his target of N50M for his 60th birthday.
The erudite scholar and historian announced that as of the time of the thanksgiving service, over N15M had already been contributed to continue the church building project. He assured that additional donations were being expected as more of his friends and good-spirited individuals have continued to express interest in the cause.
The epoch-making event attracted the presence of revered Bishop Emmanuel Musa Jatau who gave the sermon, while goodwill messages were delivered by eminent personalities who paid glowing tributes to the amiable personality of the VC. Some of those who spoke during the thanksgiving service described Professor Akinwumi as visionary and an embodiment of humility, saying he is a progressive-minded and transformative leader who has brought significant development and raised the fortunes of the thirteen-year-old University within the past three (3) years of his stewardship.
Some of the special guests equally made generous donations and pledges during the service, in addition to the cutting of birthday cake, singing of hymns, and Bible reading among other highlights which characterized the colourful ceremony.
In January 2023, recall that Professor Akinwumi, during his 59th birthday thanksgiving service, also raised the sum of ten million Naira (N10M) to support the Chapel of Grace building project which had commenced at the Permanent Site, Felele.
Earlier, there was a public presentation and unveiling of a Festschrift in honour of the Vice-Chancellor which was organized on Saturday (his birthday) at the College of Health Sciences Auditorium, Adankolo, under the distinguished Chairmanship of the Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, Associate Professor Usman Ogbo.
The voluminous book, entitled "Intergroup Relations, Strategic and Security Studies: the Future of Higher Education in Africa" and reviewed by Professor Adam Okene Ahmed, Provost, Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, National Defense College, Abuja, ably represented by Dr Kabiru Kaka, was edited by Professor M.S. Audu, Professor Harrison Adeniyi, Professor Gbenga Ibileye, and Dr Tosin Olagunju.
The 569-paged book featured notable contributions from Dr Godknows Igali, Professor Olu Obafemi, Professor Adams Bodomo, Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari, Professor Yakubu A. Ochefu, Professor Francisca O. Oladipo, Professor Okpeh O. Okpeh, Professor S.D. Musa, Professor Yusufu M. Abdullahi, and PhD students from the Institute of Governance and Development Studies, Federal University Lokoja, among several other renowned scholars out of the 44 contributors.
Interestingly, the best part of the birthday celebration, according to the Vice-Chancellor as his custom is, was his visit to an orphanage, STAGI CORNERSTONE ORPHANAGE, located at the Adankolo (host community) in Lokoja, where he presented some gifts and interacted with the children who in turn prayed for him. He was accompanied by the Chief Medical Director, Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), Lokoja, Dr Olatunde Alabi, among staff, friends, and family members.
In a note of appreciation, the Vice-Chancellor has expressed his profound gratitude to Senate, members of Management, Staff, Students, Families, and Well-wishers who used the auspicious occasion of his 60th birthday to express their love and commendation about his administration's giant strides in Federal University Lokoja, assuring of his redoubled commitment and quality leadership direction that would take the Institution to a higher level. See more pictures here
Watch the livestreamed video of the thanksgiving service here
Watch the festschrift presentation (livestreamed) here
Watch the visit to the orphanage here
Prof. Akinwumi Raises 10M Naira as Personal Support Towards Church Building Project at Birthday Thanksgiving Service