The Executive Gorvernor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi has appealed to well spirited Nigerian especially those who know the value of knowledge, to contribute their quota to the overall development of education.
Fayemi stated this during the commissioning of Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi Centre for Gender and Social policies studies, donated by His wife to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
According to him “if all of us here want our educational system to of higher standard like what is obtainable in the advanced world, the we must be ready to be financially and materially involved in the running of our education, from the primary level to the University level”
He thereafter applauded the administrative style of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bamitale Omole, stating that he has been a good ambassador of Ekiti State.
In her own remarks, the donor Erelu Bisi Adeleye Fayemi appealed the alumni of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State to come back home and support their alma mater in whatever capacity they could, either through various alumni or directly.
She made the appeal while commissioning a Building for the Gender and Social Policy Studies with over 600 books from her library which she donated to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Erelu Bisi Adeleye Fayemi as an extremely proud product of OAU, she deliberately built and donated the centre based on her International exposure and her lifelong commitment to political, economic, emotional and intellectual empowerment of women.
She said “I have always held the firm conviction that Africans has the most generous communities in the world, and our culture of local philanthropy is very strong. It is not what we acquire as a result of influences from elsewhere. The very rich tradition of indigenous philanthropy therefore should be nurtured to enable us create lasting Institutions and structure for the sustainable growth and development of our communities”.
The wife of Ekiti state governor said she felt privileged to have been given the opportunity to give birth to a place that gave so much to her. In her words, she said: “I learnt not only the critical importance of an acquiring and analytical mind, but also the need the develop skills that will be useful throughout all the phases of my life”. She explained that OAU was one of the first institutions among others in Nigeria to establish a gender studies centre, and opined that with the scholers both male and female, will be able to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to compete effectively in the fields of scholarship, business and public services.
Erelu Bisi Adeleye – Fayemi acknowledged and appreciated some women who has been associated with and worked in various capacities over the years with the center. These included her teachers, mentors, peers, and friends including professor (Mrs Simi Afonja: Bisi Aina; Funmi Soetan, the immediate past director of the center; the vice chancellor of Taye Solarin University of Education, Prof. (Mrs) Yemisi Obilade; Dr. Toyin Mejuini; and the current director, Professor Simi Odeyinka.
Earlier in his address, the vice chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole, appreciated the donor, for her disposition towards gender policy within and outside the country. He also eulogised her for her exceptional and exemplary demonstration of feminist philanthropic gesture to ensure the eradication of the systemic problems of inequality in national policies, which had been designed in response to global treaties and conventions on gender equality.
Professor Bamitale Omole unfolded to the gathering that OAU, Ile Ife was one of the Nigerian Universities to start a programme in women studies with senate approval in 1996. This had evolved to the current centre for gender and social policy studies which was established in 1996 by the University to consolidate and expand its interest in National development, particularly as related to women and children.
He pointed out that the centre’s vision is to be an international centre of excellence for advancing gender and development issues and its mission is to provide a high standard in teaching, research and policy advocacy in gender and development thereby contributing to an enhanced quality of life for women and men for sustainable development.
Professor Bamitale Omole said several strategies have been designed to close the identified gender gap at OAU, Ile Ife and this includes the implementation of gender equality policy, the anti-sexual harassment policy and HIV/AIDs policy.
Present at the occasion were the governor of Ekiti state, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi and some of his executive members, all principal officers of the University, Provost, Deans and other Dignitaries.