Community Service: Ekiti First Lady to Teach at Afe Babalola Varsity

Community Service: Ekiti First Lady to Teach at Afe Babalola Varsity

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

The Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, has entered a partnership with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, (ABUAD) to provide community service.

The first lady would serve as a lecturer at ABUAD on part-time basis to impart knowledge on students and give them academic mentorship.

She paid a courtesy visit on ABUAD and promised to partner the university in terms of providing community service to the institution when needed as a gesture to give back to the university being an academic herself.

Speaking while being received by ABUAD Founder/Chancellor, Aare Babalola; Vice Chancellor, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde and other members of the management team, Oyebanji said that her gesture would enable her contribute to her own quota to the development of one of the fastest growing universities in Africa.

Oyebanji, who has been senior lecturer in the Department of Education Management at the University of Ibadan (UI) has over 85 publications, in reputable journals to her credit and she had produced six Ph.D graduates and several others at Master’s and undergraduate levels.

Apparently impressed with the gesture of Ekiti First Lady who is awaiting her associate professorship at UI, the authorities of ABUAD immediately approved her kind gesture noting that the gesture will go a long way to motivate the students to learn.

The first lady also used the opportunity to canvass support for her pet project, Widows and Orphans Hope (WAOH) Project, which would be officially unveiled in October during the first anniversary of her husband, Governor Biodun Oyebanji in office.

She said that Babalola is recognised as a father, a philanthropist and an important stakeholder in Ekiti State whose support would be needed and appreciated for the WAOH Project hence the need for the visit.

She stated: “It’s a new programme where we have registered over thirty thousand active and non-active widows and orphans. The WAOH project will afford us the opportunity to touch the lives of the vulnerable people in the state.

“We have just had our Back to School Programme where we gave schoolbags and other educational materials to indigent pupils, majority of who are orphans.”

Babalola, in response to the first lady’s request, made an instant but substantive personal donation to the project and promised that the university would donate more in due course.

He said that he has always respected the wife of the governor, but she now earns his respect the more for her level of achievements in academia through her contributions to knowledge in her field of Educational Management, which is being acknowledged locally and globally by the impact she makes through her numerous research publications.

The ABUAD founder said: “You are not that type of first lady that will be moving about, junketing for ceremonial activities. I have known many governors’ wives who only attend ceremonies, but you are truly a first lady.

“You are the first first lady in Nigeria that I know that will be teaching in a university (while in office). Do you know the effect it will have? Do you know the impact you will be making? This will surely have an impact on students looking at the first lady teaching them. It will motivate them to learn.”

Speaking on WAOH Project, Aare Babalola said: “You have started a pet project. I have always been interested in philanthropic activities. I am going to contribute to the pet project now personally and the university will add to it.

“Don’t think you must have billions of Naira before you can help others. No matter how little, just help people and God has ways of replenishing it; giving out means a lot.”

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Peju Babafemi, who accompanied the First Lady during the visit, also informed Aare Babalola of the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons being celebrated across the globe every October, the honourable commissioner used the opportunity to invite the elder statesman to grace the program the programme.

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