May, 21st, 2022 shall forever remain memorable for two academic wizards of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) and their proud parents as well as our great citadel of leaning, FUOYE. It was the historic day the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi , Ojaja II, garlanded some academically outstanding young Nigerians in recognition of their laudable performance in a recent contest which put to test their grasp of the various disciplines they have been studying as undergraduates of Nigerian and other African countries’ universities.
Two of the successful awardees, Tijani Abdulmalik Damilare and Oke Emmanuel Omotola were of the upwardly mobile Ivory Tower, FUOYE. Tijani is of the Physics Department while Oke is a final year undergraduate of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts. The duo of Tijani and Oke had won the last academic contest of the Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF) awards and were officially conferred with the garlands by the founder of the RAYLF, Oba Adeyeye at the Grand ocassion which was well attended by eminent Nigerians at the Oduduwa hall of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife (OAU).
Indeed, it was a celebration of academic royalty proudly sponsored by a royal icon himself, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye, whose handsome face brightened with a deep royal smile each time he handed over the laurels signifying the honour, to the awardees.
The three-day event began on Friday, May 20, with the arrival of eminent guests at Ife Grand Resort (IGR), which was followed by the RAYLF media interaction and photoshoot, medical outreach at the Ooni’s palace and a sumptuous dinner with the Ooni of Ife to round up the colourful welcome ceremony on the evening of Friday.
On May 21, the awards’ ceremony was preceded by the Innovation pitch competition by the RAYLF campus society. And there were hundred awardees in attendance at the ceremony. They were from Nigeria and other five African countries which are covered by the RAYLF, and by virtue of winning the awards, the two outstanding student from FUOYE, Tijani and Oke, including their colleagues from other varsities, were formally inducted into the Hall of Fame of the RAYLF which has His Excellency, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as its grand patron.
In his speech during the awards’ ceremony, Oba Adeyeye explained that a need to amplify and uplift the change that remarkable African young folks are creating, and to stand in the gap for them as their model of leadership, is the vision behind the RAYLF.
Speaking further about the inspiration for creating the platform for the awards, he said: “Over the last six years since l ascended the Throne of my forbears, Oduduwa, it has been an astounding milestone to work with our young , dedicated and passionate Nigerians and several others from Africa who are shifting and offering our continent their narratives of excellence and compellingly serving as catalysts that are inspiring possibilities. It is incredible to listen to them, work with them and understand how they are re-imagining our continent’s economic viability and its competitiveness through their inventive drive and ideas.
“Incontrovertibly, Africa needs its finest and ever-dedicated young demographic that is rich in creative culture, governance and leadership, innovation and technology, entrepreneurship and academic excellence. These are the five-folder pillars that are shaping and reconstructing the very next modernization and industrialization of Africa.
“…candidly from Lagos to Cape Town, Dakar to Accra, Kigali to Cairo, the young people of Africa are turning the tide as they remain the cardinal contemporary life-tube that accommodates the exchange of “new ideas” and “solving the world’s critical problems” through various innovative and superlative mechanisms. I believe that their strategic contribution to the future of the continent are inevitable if we are going to achieve the Vision 2063, “Africa We Want”, he assured.
Responding to the kind gesture of the RAYLF, Dr. Asogwa said: “It is very interesting that of all the universities in Nigeria that contested that two FUOYE students got the Royal African leadership Forum award. This is part of the laudable achievements of our amiable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina. He has been a very dutiful, supportive and ever inspiring leader.”
Other distinguished Nigerians who graced the August occasion included the Vice-Chancellors of the University of Ibadan, U.I, and Admiralty University, Professors Kayode Oyebode Adebowale and Paul Omojo Omayi, Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ooni of Ife Global Outreach, Dr. Ayobami Oyedare, and FUOYE’s Acting Director, Academic Planning, Associate Professor Asogwa Chika who led the FUOYE team to the event, among other Directors of academic planning from other universities, Professors and many others from the academia.
While a scintillating RAYLF live in concert which held at the Ojaja arena of the IGR had ended the award ceremony on a joyous note on Saturday evening, the historic event was brought to a close on Sunday, May 22, with another sumptuous lunch with the Ooni of Ife at the same venue of the IGR and everyone had a satisfactory moment with his imperial majesty who took his time to shower love to all in attendance.