Former Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister and Assistant Secretary, United Nations (UN); Professor Agboola Gambari has called on the Federal Government to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) free hand to conduct elections come 2019.
Gambari who is currently the Chancellor of the Kwara State University, Malete, was speaking at the 6th Convocation ceremony of the institution on Saturday where a total number of 1,126 students’ first degree graduated.
The top diplomat said Nigeria’s current democracy needs nothing less than a free, fair and peaceful conduct of elections for it to thrive and last.
He pleaded that government should ensure the exercise is devoid of thuggery and violence saying, there could only be a true democracy when it’s process is free and fair.
On the university, he lamented that KWASU, because of inadequate funding, is forced to execute developmental projects through an internally generated revenue system and public participation. He called on government to take the school funding more seriously.
He listed the problems confronting the university as the poor road connecting Malete with Ilorin, the State capital and poor water supply, pointing out that the entire university lives on a borehole and water tankers for its needs.
Gambari pleaded that government should expedite work on the Malete Dam project meant to serve the town and the university.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah said the University was graduating a total number of 1,126 students on the occasion, out of which 30 bagged First Class degrees, 522 bagged Second Class Upper, 508 Second Class Lower, and 60 Third Class.
He said that the institution, in addition to having steady accreditation of its programmes, was introducing new ones that were not common in other universities.
Among such programmes he said were the newly established Institute of Advanced Military Studies (IAMS) which will admit topnotch military personnel and civilians all across Africa.
KWASU, he said, also has commenced offering degree programmes in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.
Meanwhile, the university produced the first set of nine Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) graduates alongside 120 others who had Masters Degrees at the convocation ceremony.