Daily Champion (Lagos)

Nigeria: Gbagi Challenges Madona Students

AMIST jubilation and nostalgic of reminiscences, the entire academic community of Madona University celebrated the official visit of the Honourable Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi to the Elele Rivers State campus of the pioneer private Catholic university.

After an evaluation of infrastructure and learning facilities within the campus, Olorogun Gbagi, who is a product of catholic university posited, "I am particularly touched when I visited the office of the Vice Chancellor and met some Philippino and Philippina. I remembered that I started my life in one of the most famous catholic university in the world, the University of Santo Tommaso."

The Minister os State who described Philippines an island of books, charged: " I pray that those of you who are young ones formed in this institution will take over from where we stopped."

The founder and Chancellor of Madona University Rev. Fr. Prof. Emmanuel M. P Edeh recalled the birth of the institution in 1993 at Okija with a license from the Anambra state government which was overtaken by a federal legislation the following year. His words:"By 1986,, parents and the generality of the public were yearning for private individuals to lend a helping hand to the ailing education system in Nigeria.

" I took the lead to that direction. And with license from Anambra State Government, Madona University was born in 1993, with the help of my benefactors. In 1994, a federal government law abrogated licensing of universities by state governments. But that never discouraged me but rather strengthened me to continue the fight.

"In 1999, seven years later, the federal government licensed Madona University and two other universities; Igbinedion and Babcock. With an already existing facility, Madona became the first private university to take off in Nigeria ."

|Impressed with the facilities and performance of their graduates including awards won by students, locally and overseas, especially in 2009 when three Madona students representing Africa emerged winners at the international science fair competition in Brazil, Gbagi declared.

"I have come as Minister of Education. I have seen things. What I have seen will form my judgment when I go back to Abuja . I am particularly happy impressed with the teaching of morals. Whatever is the difference between Madona University/Rev. Fr. Edeh and National Universities Commission (NUC). I will deal with it"

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul I. Iwe, who described the institution as a citadel of moral and academic excellence, free from intra and extra university activities such as cultism, examination malpractices, unhealthy protest among other vices expressed the institution's appreciation to the Minister of State who despite his tight schedule and on- going electioneering campaign made out time to honour the university.

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