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By: Lawal Blessing & Ajibola Habeeb

At The Polytechnic, Ibadan’s combined Convocation Lecture which was held at the Institution’s North Campus on the 13th December, 2023, the Guest Lecturer, Major General Amb. Ashimiyu Adebayo had promised best graduating students from the Department of Civil Engineering the sum of One Million Naira in the subsequent graduating years.

The programme, in commemoration of the 35th – 38th Convocation of the institution’s graduating students, commenced with the Public Relations Officer of the Institution, Alh. Soladoye Adewole, who served as the anchor of the event, introducing the Rector, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Prof. Kazeem Adebiyi, the institution’s Registrar, Mrs. Theresa Fawale, Special Guest, Senior Officers, Management Team, Directorate of Student Affairs, The Polytechnic, Ibadan and the members from the Music Technology Department of the institution.

After an opening prayer by Mrs. Taiwo Abodunwa, the Rector, Prof. Kazeem Adebiyi delivered his welcome speech. He expressed a heartfelt joy for the reality of the convocation ceremony. He also showed gratitude to everyone who has contributed to his journey as the Rector of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, thereby revealing that he would be completing his tenure in office on March 25th, 2024.

Following the Rector’s speech, Mr. Femi Ipadeola was summoned to introduce and call up the Guest Lecturer, Major General Ashimiyu Adebayo Olaniyi, for the lecture of the day. Mr. Femi Ipadeola read the Guest Lecturer’s citation to a warm reception of the audience.

Major General Ashimiyu started by commending the Rector for the establishment of The Polytechnic Ibadan Radio station — REIZ 101.9 FM. He also extended his appreciation to lecturers and administrative staff of the institution.

In his introduction of the topic; “Leadership Evolution: Empowering Change Agents for a Transformative Future”, he refered to the convocation lecture as a period of reflection and anticipation of life, stating that the aim of the lecture is to evaluate how to inspire, educate and equip the graduating students with knowledge and skills.

In the overview of leadership in Nigeria, he said; “Leadership is the base of development in Nigeria and the concept of leadership evolution, change agents and transformative future, would enable us to link to the values expected of future leaders who are expected to become the agents for positive transformation of our nation”.

He further mentioned that one of the major difficulties that confront change agents is change itself. He also highlighted the role of Change agents in fostering the culture of Innovation, as a formation tool for transformation.

In his conclusion, he urged students as change agents, to work towards aligning with national goals to impact national development. “As you leave the institution, bear in mind that true leadership transcends titles. Congratulations graduates, for you are change agents, the leaders of tomorrow and architects of a brighter new Nigeria”, he concluded.

After the lecture, the Chairperson for the Convocation Lecture Committee, Dr. O. T. Jegede expressed deep appreciation to the Guest Lecturer for the quality of the lecture delivered. Also, in appreciation, Major General Ashimiyu was presented with a scroll containing a special appreciation message, which was delivered to him by the Rector, Prof. Kazeem Adebiyi. He was also presented with an award, and a beautiful large size painting by the Art and Design Department of the Institution.

In return, Maj. Gen. Ashimiyu gave a sincere appreciation speech. He started by recalling his first encounter with the Rector and recounting how much of a blessing The Polytechnic, Ibadan has been to him from being a student from the Civil Engineering department about four decades ago till present. To end his speech, he promised to donate the sum of One Million naira to be awarded to the Best Graduating students of the Civil Engineering Department, in subsequent graduation ceremonies.

The Rector, Prof. Kazeem Adebiyi thanked Maj. Gen. Ashimiyu for his kind gesture, and announced that the monetary donation will also be extended to overall best graduating students of the Institution, and he urged all students to always strive for academic excellence.

The programme ended with a closing prayer by the Dean, Faculty of Humanitarian and Social Management Studies, Alh. Akeem Akinyemi. A sonorous musical rendition by the Musical band followed, as special guests and dignitaries proceeded to an exclusive cocktail party, for further celebration.

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