Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti
Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Kayode Shoremekun, and former Director-General, Abuja Carnival, now Dean, School of Post Graduate Studies at FUOYE, Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare, have tasked President Mohammadu Buhari to provide more support to develop the nation’s cultural heritage for tourism marketing.
This, they believed, would boost Nigeria’s economy.
The university dons advised the president to consider exploring the tourist potentials of the nation’s rich cultural heritage in his effort to diversify the economy.
The call was made, on Wednesday, when students of the university’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts, led by Prof. Bakare, Dean of Arts Faculty, Dr. Ipoola and Head of Department, Dr. Desen Jonathan Mbachaga, were presented with the award it got at the recent African Drum Festival (ADF), in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
FUOYE had received the Third Best award at the event.
The African Drum Festival, which was directed by Nigerian literary icon Wole Soyinka, is the biggest percussionists’ contest on the continent featuring renowned and professional drummers. The FUOYE’s team was the first educational team to participate in it.
Presenting the award plaque and its cash prize of N500,000 to the Vice Chancellor at the VC’s Conference Room in FUOYE, Prof. Bakare said, “All we wanted to achieve was to expose our students and build their morale for professional service so they won’t waste time to excel when they leave schools.
“We wanted them to meet with professionals, and interact with them. But we were highly encouraged that out of 167 groups we got the third highest score.
“I was the Chief Judge of the competition but when it was the turn of FUOYE’s group to perform, I refused to take part as a panelist so I didn’t adjudicate in their performance but all the judges agreed that our students did very well and deserved the award.
“A few months, ago we hosted International Conference of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA) and I am glad to report to you that the conference remains the best of SONTA in history.
Responding, the excited Vice Chancellor said, “l am over whelmed by the superlative output of Department of Theatre and Media Arts under the able leadership of Prof. Bakare and my comrade, Dr. Mbachaga and other colleagues.
“What has been achieved today would not have been possible without the cooperation or the lecturers and our dear students.
“This is a young varsity but what is definite is that it is going places and making a mark on the world of varsities.
“The challenge is that we must make sure that in various fields of human endeavour this varsity makes it mark and this can only be possible through the efforts and exertions of those who are here.
“Let me also say that what your department has achieved is not an isolated phenomenon.
“At a recent council meeting, the Department of Mathematics had informed the management that they won a prize at a National competition in Abuja.
“In sports also, we are soaring high, As we have one of our students just been invited to the world university games in abroad.
“This means that apart from the new buildings springing up in the university premises, the people also are making a difference and if we continue like this we will go behind the sky.
“One day I am sure you will look back and be proud of your stay in this university. We will ensure that this university will continue to churn out superlative students.
“You have made us proud both the students and the staffs of the department
“I want to assure you that you have my support as humanly possible. More support will come in the context of available resources.
“But the counter dimension is that I hope that the students would pay their school fees.
“We have heard many appalling stories about this. Students who spend their school fees are eating their future,” he said.
Urging the students not to destroy their future by failing to pay up their fees, the Vice Chancellor said illiteracy could be a disaster.
He continued, “Anywhere in the world if you have education you will have problems but think of you not having education such a person’s problem will be compounded.”