Celebrating Prof. Tola Badejo, Pioneer VC Of Wesley University | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Faith, LIFE

Celebrating Prof. Tola Badejo, Pioneer VC Of Wesley University

Posted: Jul 24, 2016 at 1:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase


Christian missionary education system started from the Southern parts of Nigeria and spread into the hinterland and gradually northwards.

The aim of this Christian missionary education was to convert the heathen and win souls for Christ. The converts were to be taught to read and write in order to be able to read the bible.

One of the duties of mission schools is to build high moral standards and characters besides giving education; which is why most of the people trained by the mission schools had sound moral and capacity development training that stand them out in their various chosen careers.

All these show the church values and the role of education in the development of this country. Despite this hefty and fulfilling evangelical mission, Christian denominations such as Methodist, Anglican, Catholic and Baptist churches have all in one way or the other been part of this missionary education in Nigeria.

These churches value the role of education in nation’s development which made them establish schools starting fromthe primary and secondary while the Methodist church has been able to establish a university of technology, Wesley University of Technology Ondo (WUSTO), located in Ondo State.
The university started operation in 2007 having Professor Tola Badejo as the pioneer Vice Chancellor.
He served as the VC from 2008 to 2015, it was on this basis that the Methodist Church Nigeria, relatives friends and well wishers gathered to celebrate this man as he took his bow out of the office.
This man, to many has played significant roles in moulding the lives of young Nigerians and contributed his own quota to the development of the faith-based university of technology having taken the mantle of leadership from the scratch to where it is today.
The valedictory luncheon, which took place at the main auditorium of Igbobi College, was like a carnival as accolades pour on the valedictorian.
Chairman of the occasion, Reverend Luke Odubanjo, said he had known Professor Badejo since the 60s when he was in secondary school. He said Badejo had worked very hard to make WUSTO great and that he made Methodist great by starting WUSTO.
“He is someone who believes in punctuality, excellence and hard work and he made all these happen while in WUSTO. As far as he is concerned, there is nothing impossible for him. All those who are in the school are proud of him, you deserve this valedictory luncheon.
“You contributed a lot in producing sound and young Nigerians, who are the nation’s pride today. Because you left everything to serve the university and you did not disappoint, the Lord will also not fail you,” he added.
The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, where the university was sited, Oba Victor Kiladejo congratulated Professor Badejo, stressing that he has achieved a great feat in Ondo.
Oba Kiladejo, who was represented at the event by Chief Siji Olowoshuko, stated that the former VC brought honour and fame to Ondo through the university.
He also said the town will honour and appreciate him with a chieftaincy title soonest.
Prelate Emeritus, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr. Sunday Mbang in his message said Prof Tola Badejo, was God’s gift to the young university.
“Prof Tola Badejo, a son of our very reverend minister of blessed memory was God’s gift to this young university. To the best of his ability, he had over the years nurtured that university to an enviable and respectable standard, recognised and testified to, by many of his colleagues and even his foes.
“By the date the university honoured me with an honorary doctorate degree, all who were participants and observers of this important event including the former Prelate Methodist Church Nigeria His Eminence Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde heard the commendatory comments of the representatives of the National University Commission (NUC) on the Vice Chancellor and the tone of the university.
“In that person’s words, he would have wished both old and new universities in Nigeria took a queue on Tola’s management style especially his moral teaching lessons with the students.
Dr. Mbang further stated that he decided to feel the purse of the students of the university, that according to the students, the Vice Chancellor and the visiting Professors and others who were there only for the love they had for the university and also by their love and respect for the Vice Chancellor, these scholars selflessly carried on their teaching assignment satisfactorily not minding the many months of salary owed them.
“As I have said before, you are a rare gift to that young university.  In spite of all the inconveniences you experienced including all unusual molestation and insult let this young university remain your loving, caring, and important bab till death do you part,” he said.
Responding, to all the accolades, Badejo said one of the reasons he took up the job of the Vice Chancellor in the university was because of the moral regeneration mandate.
“One can go on listing different types of indecent behaviours arising from moral decadence that I on my own had little tolerance for. Before reporting in WUSTO, I had a covenant with God that I will excel in ensuring moral regeneration in the students.”
He said since inception of the university, 39 students have been expelled for various offences ranging from physical assault, breaking bounds, theft, compromising indecent exposure of body parts, examination malpractices to secret cult tendencies, adding that no student was expelled in the first session.
“All offenders were admonished and warned before we started applying the big stick according to the rules in February 2010. There was sanity in WUSTO up till the time I disengaged because of my administration’s strict adherence to principles when it comes to punishments.
“This is not to say that our punishments didn’t put on human face when the situation called for it. Unfortunately, few people don’t remember hundreds of students that we have pardoned for various punishable offences and many that were given mild punishments in cushioning the law of cause and effect.”
Speaking further he said he was happy to declare that he met only two buildings in WUSTO and he left 28 behind after seven years of meritorious and dedicated service.
Eminent Nigerians from all walks of life graced the occasion.