The Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Kayode Soremekun, on Monday said the award of honorary degrees of the institution would not go to politicians and moneybags.
Mr. Soremekun spoke at a news conference in Oye-Ekiti to herald week-long activities marking the maiden convocation ceremony of the institution.
According to him, the university does not subscribe to “cash-and-carry honorary degrees” often given to politicians and moneybags across the country.
“We are de-emphasising the mercantilist and cash-and-carry mentality of giving honorary degrees to only the rich and the powerful.
“There are many people contributing to the development of this country but nobody is recognising them.
“This university has been receiving commendations here and there for ignoring the moneybags.
“Everything is not about silver and gold; we should remember the people on this side of the divide,” the professor said.
The vice-chancellor said the university’s resolve would convey the intended message that recognition could also go to patriotic Nigerians from humble backgrounds.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the university has selected four awardees for honorary doctorate degrees, with three retired principals of secondary schools and an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) expert making the list.
The retired principals are, 100-year-old Adepoju Akomolafe; 89-year-old Francis Daramola, former principal of Christ’s School which is the alma mater of the current Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, and Efunjoke Coker, while the ICT expert is Babatope Agbeyo.
Mr. Soremekun said that the Attah of Igala and Chairman of Kogi State Council of Traditional Rulers, Michael Idakwo, would be installed as the first Chancellor of the institution at the grand finale of the convocation ceremony on Saturday, April 29.
The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and Mr. Fayemi are among the dignitaries expected at the convocation.
The vice-chancellor said 504 graduands cutting across 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 academic sessions would receive first degrees while engineering graduands would get inducted into their professional bodies.
In the 2014/2015 session, eight students had First Class honours; 69 Second Class Upper; 79 Second Class Lower; eight Third Class and one Pass.
In 2015/2016 session, 10 obtained First Class; 155 Second Class Upper; 134 Second Class Lower and 40 Third Class.
Mr. Soremekun said an endowment fund would be launched as part of the activities marking the maiden convocation while the university’s postgraduate school would soon begin.