By: Ochi Maduabuchi Nnamdi
On the 8th of February, the official opening ceremony of the newly renovated JCR took place. The event was held just outside the new JCR and started by around 11:00 am.
Present at the event were the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor K. O. Adebowale, Dean of Student, K. Abiodun, Deputy Registrar, Oluwole Dada, the University PRO, the Hall Master Prof. Ajayi, the Hall Warden, Dr. O. A. Adejumobi, the Chairman of the Alumni Association Oyo State Chapter, Tunde Olayiwole, the Branch Manager of Access Bank, Yeola Tunji, the Alumnus who sponsored the project, the UI @ 75 Ambassador, His Excellency Victor Etuokwu, the Administrator General of Independence Hall, Ogunremi Samuel and many other prominent guests.
The Hall Warden gave welcome address first. He started by recalling the Indy at 60 celebration. He went further to say that if Indy was an old person they would be a geriatric patient who would need to be maintained, in the same way, the hall needs to be maintained. He then appreciated the VC, who he noted was once a Katangite, the Hall Management, the Alumni, the Sigma club, and the University PRO. On the new JCR, he said, “There’s no structure like this in the whole of the University.”
The VC was then called up to talk on the significance of the project. When he came up, he apologised for the absence of some principal officers–such as the DVC admin, Registrar, Busar–because of a board meeting they had to be present at, and DVC Research, Innovation, and Strategic Partnership, who was away in Kenya.
He then went on to appreciate the Dean of Students, Deputy Registrar, PRO of UI, Management staff of Access, the Hall Master, Hall Warden, Supervisor and Porters, Katangites, Alumni and the Alumni Chair.
“Alumni are very, very important… z in the University,” he said.
He also said that the University was making plans to collate data of all alumni that have passed through the institution by using date of graduation and entry. He also spoke about other things that His Excellency has done, such as a NGN200 million scholarship scheme.
Then the Dean of Students, Prof. A. Abiona was called up to speak. He stated that the university had little money, so halls should depend on their alumni. “In every meeting we have, I always advise them to go back to their alumni,” he said.
When Mr. Victor Etuokwu was called up to share his speech, he said, “It’s an honour to be given an opportunity to do what I have always wanted to do.” He then gave thanks to the Hall Warden and AG.
Mr. Etuokwu commended the University’s commitment to sustainability, citing the Vice-Chancellor’s display of “the spirit of Indy” during his student days at Independence Hall.
He praised the alumni leadership, particularly Mr. Omotola Ifafore, based in the US, for encouraging his contribution to the renovation project.
Encouraging the current residents of Independence Hall to uphold proper maintenance, Mr. Etuokwu emphasized the importance of preserving facilities for future generations.
The VC was called up again to give a closing remark. He spoke on maintenance, saying that it was shameful that they now hosted parties in the main bowl of Liberty Stadium. He promised that unlike the Liberty Stadium, the new JCR of Independent Hall would be maintained.
After the VC’s speech, Prof. Ajayi was called to give a vote of thanks. Then, the VC cut the tape and the guests were given a tour of the building. By 12:29 pm everyone else was allowed into the building.