By Adesina Tosin Nathaniel
In January 2012 I started a journey that spanned about four years in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. As a newly admitted student I was joyous and basking in the euphoria of my long searched admission – and that euphoria was nearly cut short. On a Tuesday morning I on my way for my medical screening and registration, I joined a group of friends on the journey from Akungba to Ikare where the university’s health centre was located. In the course of our movement the bike carrying my colleagues had an accident and they escaped death by the whiskers. That was the state of AAUA then. The University health centre was located outside off campus with limited equipment, and we spent almost four days on medicals back then in 2012. However, in the AAUA of today, the same screening can be concluded in two days on campus, all thanks to the intervention of the Mimiko led administration. As an individual I’m not a fan of Mimiko but his achievements as Governor of Ondo state, particularly in Adekunle Ajasin University can’t be washed away as they are not written in the sands, but engraved on the marbles of time.
AAUA under the outgoing Ondo state Governor moved from a glorified secondary school to a 21st century university properly called. Once upon a time the school had just three lecture halls – the popular Law Lecture Theatre and the two winged lecture theatre A & B. Students had to wait under the tree for one lecture to end before they could go in for theirs. Today it has become a thing of the past as the University now boasts multiple lecture theatres in all faculties.
More so, The AAUA library was an eyesore before the intervention of the Mimiko Administration, the space was inadequate, the books were old and insufficient for the student population. Today, the school possesses a state-of-the-art library, complete with an E-library facilities which enable access to over twenty thousand online journals.
As if that was not enough, all the internal roads on the University campus which bathed AAUITES in free “Mary kay” due to their dusty nature were tarred to ease movement. After the roads were constructed tricycles were provided for internal transportation of students; an action which has drastically reduced the alarming rate of road accidents occasioned by the use of motorcycles. With the support of the Mimiko led Administration the first university based work study scheme was introduced in AAUA. Under the work study scheme, students worked in various departments of the university for 3 hours daily and were paid stipends at the end of the month. Prior to the administration of Dr Mimiko, the administrative structure of the university was undefined as AAUA had no Senate Building. The building that was designated as Senate building was the size of a secondary school principal’s office but today we have a standard senate building that has been described as one of the best in Nigeria by various visitors to the edifice.
The menace of erratic power supply was also tackled with the construction of a modern solar power generation station in the University that supplies energy from 7 O’clock in the evening to 7am the next day before the school generator comes on. With this, students can read overnight without worrying about lantern or rechargeable lamp all due to Mimiko’s Intervention.
The sport unit of the university was not left out as the Administration constructed a well equipped Olympic standard Gymnasium for the use of the University for indoor games and the university sports Pavilion was expanded from its initial size. A structure that improved the landscape of the University and has hosted lots of matches including Pre-NUGA Qualifiers.
The economic status of the University also received a boost under the Administration as over forty lock up and open shops were constructed with electricity, water and convenience. The shop is today known as Aluta market, occupied by students who are in business and outsiders.
The Academic standard of the University was at its maximum under the Mimiko Administration. Students of AAUA have topped the law school exams for about four years now, AAUA students have also done well in both internal and external competitions. More lecturers were employed for the University, grants were made available for lecturers on local and overseas Masters and PhD Programmes and other trainings. A centre for entrepreneurship was also established in the University, where students were trained to be self reliant in a bid to reduce joblessness among AAUA graduates.
Under the Mimiko Administration the university’s faculty of agriculture was established with a befitting Faculty building offering NUC accredited courses. Today, the Faculty boasts of over seven hundred students learning in a conducive environment.
The school fees of AAUA are the cheapest in Nigeria as of today with a session fee of twenty eight thousand naira, a sharp contrast with what was obtainable in other state universities. Despite the state of the Nigerian economy the Mimiko Administration made the school fees affordable for both indigenes and non-indigenes of Ondo State. The University Fire Services was also established to combat any fire outbreak that might happen in the university environment and the host community.
Unionism among the students was strong and virile throughout his tenure as the Students Union and Faculty Associations were given the necessary support from the Government as a means of preparing them for future leadership roles. Unions were not gagged as is the case in other universities rather unionism was promoted and supported by the Mimiko led administration.
The newly inaugurated Governor of Ondo, state Barrister Rotimi Akeredolu himself testified to the giant strides of Dr Mimiko when he declared that his achievements were too numerous and not too easy to wash away.
Governance is a process that can’t be completed by an individual but we can say of Mimiko that he took Adekunle Ajasin University from a glorified secondary school to a 21st century University Properly called!
Adesina Tosin Nathaniel is a forward looking Nigerian Youth. For more of his writings visit www.donteewrites.blogspot.com. He tweets @Donteewrites, Facebook Page-@Donteewrites, Instagram- @Donteewrites
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