Address by Prof Nosa Owens-Ibie, Acting Vice-Chancellor, at the Founder’s Day/12th Matriculation of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State, Monday, January 21, 2019
To God be the glory for the great things He has done.
On behalf of the Proprietor, Dr (Prince) Oladega Adebogun, Board of Trustees, Governing Council, and entire Caleb University community, I welcome you to this significant and symbolic Founder’s Day/Matriculation. It is epochal as the 12th edition.
This brand has evolved since those days of small beginnings. Since May 17, 2007, when the University was granted its provisional operational license, commenced academic activities on January 21, 2008, and moved to its permanent site in November 2009, it has been steady progress. Enrolment has moved from 153 in 2009/2010, 175 in 2010/2011, 204 in in 2011/2012, 279 in 2012/2013, 489 in 2013/2014, 319 in 2014/2015, 572 in 2015/2016, 1,661 in 2016/2017, 2167 in 2017/2018 to the currently 2,634 in 2018/2019. As at today, we have 850 new undergraduates, and 211 new postgraduate students (16 in PhD Architecture), 195 for MSc and PGD) compared to 787 undergraduate and 151 new postgraduate students in 2017/2018 for .Twelve years later, this University is emerging and consolidating as the place to be – the destination for those desirous to invest in character and academic excellence.
We congratulate you for being part of the possibility generation, not bound by statistics, or the logics of the human development index. From the logics of Numbers 13: 30, for anyone to be a Calebite, is to have the mind-set of faith, conviction, godliness, focus, direction, hope, and not to be led by the crowd. Caleb was one of the 12 sent by Moses to spy the land of promise. Only he and Joshua opted not to be part of the majority who walk by sight.
We have the 12 tribes of Israel, and Jesus Christ, chose 12 disciples, in different circumstances, with clear expectations. The disciples therefore had a choice from the outset. As Joshua said in Joshua 24: 15, each of them had to make the choice of whom they will serve” with each thereafter charting a path of excellence, faith, passion, dishonesty, denial and betrayal.
When Jesus chose the 12 disciples, also called apostles, from Luke 6: 13, he selected them in the day. That was significant. Jesus told us in John 9: 4, that daytime is the time to work, to store up for the night “when no man can work”. Life is basically about a daytime of preparation for relevance or irrelevance. Night time offers scenarios for rest or regret.
Matriculation is a time of joy, as parents and guardians watch that baby who at birth kept them awake at night and slept a lot during the day, now wearing a gown, and standing among other potential solution providers, in a Nigeria and world where there is profound restlessness in all spheres, and where the optimism at election rallies have often transited to frustration across the nations of the earth That is why, leaders who hit the zenith pre-election, become prayer points or subject of hashtags, thereafter.
In choosing the 12 therefore, Jesus started them on the same pedestal, at the beginning of a mission. Of these, Peter, James and John, became closer to the Master by faith and works. Thomas is best remembered as the one whose conviction was driven by what he could see, and Judas Iscariot, trusted enough to be in charge of finance, and grew a reputation for dishonesty, greed and betrayal.
There were two James’s and two Simons’, just like some of you have the same first name and surname. What you do with the opportunities you are now being offered, would determine whether you will be the choice. At that point, it would not matter if your father’s name is mentioned in the Bible. As Ezekiel 14: 20 puts it, Noah, Daniel and Job were the ones in a position to save themselves by their righteousness, not their sons or daughters, not anyone who may want to ride on connection with them, to breakthrough or enjoy privileges guaranteed for those who understand that no one can go to heaven on your behalf.
Judas Iscariot had it all worked out. He got a juicy office from the Alpha and Omega, but he did not understand that when such opportunities come, that is the time to, as Galatians 2: 20 states, to be “crucified with Christ” and to note that the life you live has to be lived “by faith in the Son of God” who loves you. Hear what Hear how The Message Bible presents Proverbs 4: 7-10:
Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of
your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her — believe me,
you won’t regret it; never let her go — she’ll make your life glorious. She’ll
garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty. Dear
friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life.
On this auspicious 12th matriculation of this beautiful citadel of purposeful learning, I enjoin each student to resolve today to be the difference, and our prized parents and guardians to continue to support, as we march forward and onward.
God bless our students, parents and guardians, God bless Caleb University, and God bless Nigeria