In order to ensure the well-being and safety of its students, Al Hikmah University management, in collaboration with the stakeholders forum, organised Stakeholders Congress on Saturday, 4th of November, 2023 at the University auditorium.
The event brought together parents, staff members, security personnel, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and students to discuss pertinent issues and find effective solutions.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Noah Yusuf, in his speech, emphasised the importance of such events in strengthening the bond between the university and its stakeholders. He stated, “We believe that, by involving all stakeholders in decision-making process, we can collectively address challenges and create conducive environment for academic excellence.” Prof. Yusuf stated that, as part of effort to enhance successful academic activities of students, the University plans to open cafeterias on its three campuses where students can eat without the stress of cooking in the hostel before and after lectures, with a trial commencement this semester.
Prof. Noah Yusuf stated that an approval has been given by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to upgrade the Department of Nursing to Faculty of Nursing and also increase the number of enrollment of nursing students from Seventy-five to One Hundred and Fifty, noting that all programmes in the University are fully accredited.
The Vice Chancellor also emphasized the University’s stance on zero tolerance for drug abuse, fighting on campuses and other violent behaviours, and its commitment towards providing spiritual and moral support to students, as well as continuous support services that would enhance a conducive learning environment. The Vice-Chancellor added that, the presence of the NDLEA and other security officers underscores the university’s commitment to combating drug-related issues and ensuring safety of lives and properties of students.
Prof. Yusuf advised parents to shun purchasing expensive phones and gadgets for their children, noting that such act attracts burglars who trail these students to their places of residence.
In his address, the Chairman of the Stakeholders Forum, Alhaji Tijani Orisankoko, said that the present committee of the Stakeholders Forum has recorded many infrastructural and human resources development in the University, notably awarding scholarship to over fifty indigent students; completing and equipping the Computer-Based Centre (CBT) which was at about 85% completion stage at the cost of #134.600,000; building of new smart class rooms complex and offices for the cost of #161,000,000 which was at about 85% completion stage; adding that the forum faces challenges of lack of operational office space and staff, and lack of a formidable channel of communication among stakeholders.
Alhaji Tijani therefore appreciated the Founder of Al-Hikmah University, Alhaji Chief Dr Abduraheem Oladimeji OFR, the Vice Chancellor, parents, guardians and the entire University management.
The Kwara State commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Alhaji Basheer Lawal, in his address, said that the mission of the agency is to guide the youths against drug and substance abuse. He stressed that most youths who fall victim of drug abuse do not intentionally choose to do so, but as the result of peer group influence and the environment.
The commandant urged the University management, stakeholders, and parents to partner with the agency on how to formulate policies on integrity test. He stressed that the result of such test would be confidential and foster effective monitoring and counseling.
He further added that the sale of alcoholic drinks or drugs should be 30 kilometer far away from every institution in order to protect the sanity of students against drug and substance abuse.
Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Adewole division, Officer Charles Ajibade, in his address, stated that parents are the first security of their children, and, as such, they should observe and monitor them right from the home. According to him, “the University management has minor role to play in the lives of the students.
The DPO, who was represented by the deputy DPO officer Gbenga Oyedun, stated that there should be intelligent officers within the University who would be responsible for giving information to the Management regarding the activities of students. He further reiterated the command’s commitment in protecting the lives of staff and students of the University.
Officer Gbenga commended the University management for their support towards ensuring an improved security outfit in the state.
In his address the Divisional Officer of the Nigeria Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Commander Olaoti Ademola Jamiu stated that every crime starts with drugs and substance abuse. According to him, “There is the need to encourage the society to allow security personnel do their job free of any connection and lobbying to release an accused person under the watch of security personnel.
The Congress provided a platform for open dialogue and constructive engagement between Management and all stakeholders as well as a tour to the Adeta and Atere campuses for the inspection of facilities and an opportunity for parents to voice their concerns. Staff members also shared their experiences, while students also expressed their needs and aspirations.
The event concluded with a commitment from all stakeholders to work together towards the betterment of Al Hikmah University. The university administration assured parents and students that their concerns would be addressed promptly, and necessary steps would be taken to implement the suggestions and recommendations put forth during the Congress.