The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation has been receiving accolades from far and wide since it officially handed over the 650-capacity auditorium to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State.
Most Nigerians have commended the act which they say has set a standard for rich and highly placed individuals to give back to society and help build this nation. This line of thought captured what Rev Chris Oyakhilome told the mammoth crowd that came to witness what the Vice Chancellor (Ag) of the University Prof (Mrs) Cordelia Agbebaku described as historic in the life of the University.
In his speech during the handover of the auditorium, Rev Chris Oyakhilome said that the gesture is first to use this as a catalyst to inspire other people who have what it take to positively impact the society to join hands in developing the country, because the government cannot do everything.
“If each one do a little, we can achieve so much” he said. He further highlighted that the problem we have in this country is not the management of our natural resources but managing the potentials locked up in the minds of our teeming youths whose education cannot be separated from their aspiration. Education is the key.
He reiterated that any government that fails to recognize the importance of education has no connection with the future. He informed the audience that he chose to intervene primarily because of what he perceives as the determination of the leadership of the university to provide for the needs of the students, adding that when a former Pro-Chancellor of the University, Ambassador Azeez Garuba had approached him for assistance with a long list of needs, he picked the most expensive on the list which is building the auditorium.
Rev. Chris Oyakhilome admonished the students not to allow their environment to limit the scope of their thinking. He warned that the fact that their university is located in a rural community should not in any way affect the quality of their scholarship, that they should imbibe excellence, think world class and aspire for greater heights.
The major reason he ensured that the facility must meet world class quality according to him is, “I felt that if we could provide a facility like this, it will help the students and also lift their thinking.
He noted that when he was there as a student, they didn’t have all they desired because the University was new and the government then was in a hurry to start up the place, so many amenities were not in place, but nonetheless, they did not allow it to hold them back..
He promised to work with Comrade Oshiomhole to see what can be done in addressing the issue of power in the campus, but in the mean time, he made a donation of a 100 KVA sound proof generator for the facility, and also promised to provide every student living in the hostel a solar powered lantern which has the ability to charge phones and tablets. He also promised to construct street lights within the campus.
A highly elated Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole thanked Rev. Chris Oyakhilome for this worthy gesture and promised to look into some of the challenges the university is facing. He however acknowledged that his administration has been up and doing in seeing that the university is a citadel of learning. The governor who said that he preferred not to make a long speech, could not hold himself as he was effused with gratitude, commending Rev. Chris for his “vision and commitment,” describing him as a global icon.
He said “Pastor Chris is not just a good ambassador of the University, but of the state and the entire country. We are here, not only to commission a building but to attest that by his conduct, he is giving to others.” He described Pastor Chris as a global icon whose work has inspired million of people in the World.