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Prof. Ambali made this revelation while delivering his address, entitled “Immortal Values”, at the Graduation Ceremony of the Nigerian Army Education Corps (NAEC) Officers' Executive Management Course penultimate Friday (June 24, 2016) at the Nigerian Army School of Education (NASE), Sobi Cantonment, Ilorin.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, who was represented on the occasion by the Director of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, Dr Mahfouz Adedimeji, the values of the better by far University are what attract students and parents to the University.
Prof. Ambali, who congratulated the participants and the Nigerian Army at large, noted that some of the immortal values that the University treasures could be coded with ABCDE with each representing Activeness, Belief, Character, Discipline and Excellence respectively.
The Vice-Chancellor said the University is active throughout the year as it does not hesitate to take decision on crucial matters. He also explained that believing in oneself is crucial to self-actualisation, noting that belief is also about dreaming.
Prof. Ambali then highlighted character as “a core and central immortal value of the University of Ilorin as reflected in our motto, “Character and Learning”, noting that the essence of learning is to produce men and women of impeccable character. He also emphasised the significance of discipline as a value that links all others while stressing the commitment of the University to excellence in all it does being a key component of the University's mission statement, which is “to be an international Centre of Excellence in learning, research, probity and service to humanity”.
While enjoining the graduands to cherish values and hold them tenacious, saying that “values are always the defining features of our civilization”, Prof. Ambali narrated the story he said he read about the Great Wall of China. He said the wall was built by the Chinese to fend off enemies since no one could climb it, noting that the Chinese were invaded thrice within the first 100 years of building the wall without the enemies climbing it but by bribing the guards and coming in through the gates.
“The Chinese built the wall but forgot the character-building of the wall guards. Thus, the building of the human character comes before the building of anything else”, he said, adding that the three ways through which the civilisation of a nation can be destroyed are by destroying the family structure, destroying education and lowering the role model.
The Vice-Chancellor then enjoined the graduands to “continue to champion the values that have defined the Nigerian Military as a noble institution and our University as a foremost citadel of higher learning in Africa.”
Earlier in his address, the Commandant of NASE, Brig. Gen. J. A. Fayehun, congratulated the participants on the successful completion of their training. He also appreciated the support and partnership of the University of Ilorin in making the course a huge success, noting that the University has often been rendering assistance.
The high point of the occasion, which was attended by the representatives of various security agencies, as well as the representatives of the Kwara State University Vice-Chancellor and College of Education, Ilorin, was the presentation of the Vice-Chancellor's cash prize to the best researcher, Maj. TA Udom, among other prize winners, and presentation of certificates to other categories of graduands.