The People Have Spoken

OA Fakinlede

And we are greatly humbled by what they have entrusted us with. Come August 1, 2012, the change in the saddle of deanship of engineering at Unilag begins a challenge to live up to the promises of this campaign. It is not going to be a picnic in the park but we shall try. We are sufficiently realistic especially considering the numerous challenges that face every effort at doing things right here in Nigeria. A campaign run on Integrity must also beware of the “banana peels” that caught a vaunted “Mr Integrity” – among Baba’s famous “400 Thieves”. We can even dare to fail. Whatever happens, it shall NOT be said of us that we did not try!

Let me begin by complimenting Professor Afolabi Kehinde. As a distinguished fellow member of the Maple-Leaf club and my senior in several ways, I want to thank you for running a dignified race. On several occasions, at the campaign trail, we met and instead of trading insults, we spent time to joke and exchange pleasantries. I am grateful for the sportsmanlike way you took the outcome of the elections. I will make a serious effort to show you that we are in this together and that the respect I have for you has even grown the more.

Professors Sadiq and Falade from Civil and Environmental Engineering are also to be praised. On Saturday, Sadiq and I travelled to Erin-Ijesha to pay our last office of friendship to our late mentor, professor CO Orangun. We argued and talked all the way about how we can make things better. We assured ourselves of cooperation for whoever won the election. Professor Falade always made sure he had a word of brotherliness to say to me every time we met on the trail. Even on the very last day, he was not found wanting. My brothers, I want to thank you for making the race, difficult as it may have been, a worthwhile thing and an example to all that competition can be in a civilized manner and that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Professor Frank Okafor, a distinguished fellow Akokite, has been my neighbor for a while. In the course of time we are even getting to know family members and other mutual friends. Our faculty will continue to need the immense contacts you have developed over the years with industry and government. I will work hard to ensure that our comradeship grows and that we shall be an example to others in the way we ensure that the larger interests of our people looms larger in all our considerations than immediate personal goals. Thanks for bringing out the best features in our election. Your participation made it more competitive and I believe our people will be better off as a result of the way we have conducted ourselves.

I congratulate the foursome for their brave act of not only respecting the people’s will but in cheerfully congratulating and wishing me well in the onerous task of rekindling the hopes of our people.

I have never seriously sought elected positions before this. I am ordinarily very insistent on whatever I think is right. An elected office is a position of collective responsibility. There are compromises to be made. Compromise! A very bad word? Not necessarily! Our people say, “Ona kan ko w’oja”. O poor poor English! There is no way to translate that without losing something. It roughly means that there are usually several ways to reach the market – Never only one way. In that sense, we shall compromise on issues of tactics while our strategies and principles of operation remain well-defined and unyielding. And we shall endeavor to learn to disagree with you without being disagreeable. We shall try to open things up especially when they are difficult and allow the “two heads better than one” rule to guide us.

To the electorate. I salute you. I salute the women; I salute the men. The women must come first because they are our mothers. They work harder than us because they are in a man’s world and are making success. To achieve this, they raise families and often do school runs. They work up to twice as hard, have fewer choices and still excel. I salute you. Some of you are great encouragers and your families are greatly blessed to have you. We will work to understand your special needs and ensure they are looked after as much as it lies with us. To my men comrades, I say it like old Buka Suka Dimka did in 1975, “We are all together!” I also salute those who worked hard for the campaign of my competitors for this honor. You worked doggedly and you were faithful to your principals till the end. Kudos! I will work hard to earn your trust and make sure your rights are protected. I want to congratulate those members who worked for me and encouraged me. Ola yin ni o! I will work hard to not disappoint you and make you look foolish. We can only have one dean at a time. Other people will have their turn as God gives us life. To my predecessor, Professor Ajibade Salau, the people’s dean, I say congratulations on your run. You have set for us a standard we will try to match, and, with God’s help, we shall endeavor to exceed. You have put your imprint on our faculty and it is our prayer that your continued work in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as well as other future opportunities will be met with the same kind of success. You are a great mobilizer and go-getter. While you were dean, you not only listened to ideas shared with you, you supported them vigorously to fruition.

From now till the end of July, we shall be planning to engineer the issues that have been lingering in the minds as dreams. The web pages we have used for the campaign will become a veritable tool for bi-directional communication amongst us. Let us share freely what we think should be done. Let us not be shy about it. We all have a stake in the future of this place where we spend most of our productive years.

I am humbled by your choice of me. I take the challenge seriously. It is a blessing, it is a honour. In my mind, the words of the old hymn resonate:
“When with blessings sated,
Or by praise elated,
Blessed Jesu, hear us!
Let Thy cross be near us! Amen!”

12 comments on “The People Have Spoken

  1. OADELEYE says:

    Congratulations once again Sir.

    May God grant you the grace to live up to expectations within your term or terms as dean of Engineering. (Amen). I have noted two (2) suggestions for you sir:

    1. For those of us doing research, what we lack is a good sense of direction. I want to suggest sir, that you compel every eligible PhD supervisor to come up with at least three (3) research topics and provide at least five (5) recently published papers to guide the research student in his/her work. This should be done within the first three (3) months that you assume office. The students should also have definite time to report his/her or make presentation to the department where he/she will be assessed and recommended for faculty presentation.

    2. The problem of electricity supply should be tackled seriously. This is a University, where research work goes on 24, 7. Power failure should not disturb that. Again, the University of First choice can begin to help the Country solve the national problem of power failure.

    • I agree in principle. However, the issue is not as easy as you think. The first problem is to close all the gaps in the undergraduate education and a low-quality Masters. The latter has few good courses that measure up to the standard of present-day graduate-level work. It is only after that has been taken care of that we can do what you are saying. The points are well noted.

  2. Remi says:

    I congratulate Unilag’s faculty of engineering for their coice. You have chosen well. The task of turning around our educational institutions is a daunting one, but mcuh can be achieved if there is a clear vision of what needs to be done. The time is now for bringing up creative, out-of-the-box ideas. I wish you all great success.

  3. James Akanmu says:

    Once again, congratulations. The Dean-elect as a matter of urgency will need to articulate the programmes that will bring to fruition his promises during campaign without compromising, the value, ethics and rules and regulations of the university. I will encourage that we quickly identify our strenght which we shall deploy for effective operations of the office. We must equally identify our weakness and work towards improving on them. I did enjoy Prof Ogunye’s speech yesterday, we may need to borrow from his approach and experience. The Dean is the Dean of Faculty of Engineering not the Dean of 38 faculty members. Together we can

  4. Segun Amao says:

    Congratulation on your choice as dean. May God’s gracious hand be upon you, guide you and enable you realize every dream He has birth in you for the faculty of engineering. May the faculty experience tremendous transformation in the period He shall grant you to serve.

  5. Mike Itegboje says:

    Dear Koli
    Congratulations. God has prepared you in word and deed for this time. He will give you wisdom as you navigate the murky waters of administering the faculty.
    I think some of your tasks should include how to secured grants for the programs run in the faculty, developing a linkage between the faculty and the industries. That make use of the students to correct the disconnect between the two. Infrastructural needs of the faculty can be met the way you did the LG project when you were head of department.
    Lastly you may have to develop student exchange programs with faculties of engineering in universities in the US and Canada respectively
    Meanwhile I wish you a very busy but very fulfilled and successful tenure.
    Congrats from your sister.
    Mike Itegboje

  6. Adeolu Odusote says:

    Dear Coli,
    We see God’s hands in this and I say “Congratulations”. Your acceptance speech directs towards an unassuming and a collaborative future. It is an opportunity to demonstrate what God’s Spirit can do in and through those who let Him. I pray you will not let Him down. I will find time to stay close to developments in my Faculty and my Alma Mater now and will give suggestions from time to time on how I think things should go. May the Lord guide and strengthen you for a time as this. Congratulations.
    Adeolu Odusote

    • Thank you Deolu. Victor Olaniyi asked after you. His email is in the header of the mail. Will try to provide you with the phone number. He comes home from his base in the US frequently.

  7. Dr Oluseyi says:

    Prof sir, we need to work on our handing over note with regard to LG Design Lab Committee. I have hinted Engr Adeleye on this. But we need your suggestion on the best date for our last committee meeting before dissolution of the committee. God bless you, sir.

  8. Adedosu Adelabu says:

    Dear Prof,
    Once again I congratulate you and pray your dreams meet with God’s purposes and people’s desires for the faculty. As you rightly noted, one of the ways of boosting the “Taught postgraduate programmes” will be to develop cross-discipline modules. This is essential in this rapidly changing world. I pray we will all be able to key into this concept.

    God bless you richly.

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