Announcing the monarch’s donation last Thursday, the Chairman of the occasion and pioneer Managing Director of GTBank, Mr Fola Adeola, said research at the postgraduate level was a necessary ingredient in any endeavour geared towards the development of any society.
While delivering the annual lecture entitled “Redefining the Role of Traditional Institutions for National Development”, Ooni Ogunwusi said it was time for traditional rulers to lead by example. He said the time had passed when traditional rulers intimidated and molested their subjects, even going as far as forcefully taking women as wives and concubines.
“I am honoured to be here to talk about an issue I’m very passionate about,” he said. “It is time to live by example. We, as traditional rulers, must show the world that we can work together and make this place a better place. It is very important for leaders to have compassionate feelings towards their people. Such a leader will never be forgotten.”
He regretted that the current Nigerian constitution does not recognise the special role played by traditional rulers.
“Kings are not made; they are born. I consider myself privileged to be chosen by the King of kings to be in this position, this exalted throne respected all over the world,” he said.
The monarch said the black race has a lot to be proud of, insisting that Africa (and Ife in particular) was the cradle of world civilisation.
“Civilisation started from the black race,” he said. “They (white people) met everything here, including democracy. They worked upon it, and improved upon it. Ifa is the custodian of every knowledge.”
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Rahamon Bello, described the monarch as a blessing to this generation.
“The School of Postgraduate Studies Annual lectures have been given by the cream de la cream in Nigeria, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar III, the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola,” the Vice Chancellor added.
He further disclosed that the fund “would be used to assist indigent postgraduate students who are desirous of carrying out their research bench work within or outside the country.”