Babcock University has a history that dates back to 1959 when the Adventist College of West Africa was established. In 1999 it was granted full university status and became Babcock University. The university is named in honour of American missionary, David C. Babcock. Babcock was known for his contribution to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria in 1914. There are six faculties within the university: computing and engineering sciences, education and humanities, law and security studies, management sciences, public and allied health, and science and technology. Each faculty is divided into different departments, which offer a range of undergraduate degree programmes. The university is home to two schools, the school of nursing sciences and the Veronica Adeleke school of social sciences. There is also the Benjamin Carson College of Medicine which provides medical education to students. The College of Postgraduate Studies offers three types of programmes for students seeking to further develop their education: postgraduate diploma, master’s and doctorate degree. The university is located in Ikenne, a region in Ogun State, southwestern Nigeria. Babcock University is a prestigious private Christian university located in Ogun state south west Nigeria, Ogun state is a rapidly developing state in Nigeria and is bordered by Lagos State and Oyo State. The University is owned by the Seven day Adventist church in Nigerian which aims at grooming its students in Knowledge and character so they are useful to the society. The university programs cutting across agriculture, Medicine, engineering, law, science and technology, Arts, social and Management sciences.
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Daniel Benson is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer. He was born in 1997 in Gbagada, Lagos State but he is from Akwa Ibom. In February 2018, Buju released his first song ‘Catch a Vibe’ and later dropped his second song ‘A Day in Lagos’ which gave him recognition on Soundcloud and social media. ‘Spiritual with Zlatan Ibile is BNXN’s breakthrough into the Nigerian music industry. Burna Boy signed him in 2020 after the grammy award winning artist listened to his song ‘L’enu’ in club. BNXN drops his first EP in 2021 titled ‘Sorry I’m Late’, after which he has worked with several big names in Nigeria music Industry including Wizkid, and Timaya.
Adenike Akinsemolu is a passionate environmental educator and author of numerous studies, which have appeared in reputable publications. Her passion for the environment propelled her to study Environmental Microbiology at doctoral level. Study environmental microbiology in Babcock University. She's an environmental microbiologist by profession. She attended other schools like Federal University of Technology, Obafemi Awolowo University.
David Adedeji Adeleke (born November 21, 1992), popularly known as Davido, is an Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. Davido blends traditional African elements with global mainstream pop. The 29 years old singer gained admission into Babcock University in the year 2011 and graduated in the year 2015 studied music as a course. He's a singer , songwriter and a record producer by profession. He attended other schools like British International School,Oakwood University.
Beverly Osu was born on September 27, 1992, in Lagos State where she grew up although she is from Delta State, Nigeria. She attended Daughters of Divine Love Convent, Enugu state before gaining admission into Babcock University to study Mass Communication. Due to personal reasons, she dropped out of Babcock University and enrolled at the National Open University. The 29 years old Actress is also a Model and A vixen by profession.
Alex Usifo is a famous Nollywood actor, director, producer, investor, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. He was born on 16th April 1953 in Lagos State in the western part of Nigeria to Mr. Barnabas Usifo and Mrs. Patricia Usifo. He is currently 64 years old. His father worked with the Central Bank of Nigeria at different branches in the country and rose to a managerial level before retirement. The 69 years old Actor studied information Resources management and graduated from Babcock University in the year 2016. He attended other schools like John Bosco's Grammar School, Ubianja Ambrose Ali University, Ladoke Akintol University of Technology.
Chioma Avril Rowland (born May 1, 1995) is an excellent Nigerian chef, model, online media star, and business visionary. Chioma Avril Rowland is an undeniably gifted individual. On her social media pages, she frequently shows off her cooking abilities. The celebrity is also a model who has worked with several well-known Nigerian brands. The 27years old Celebrity studied Economics in Babcock University.
Olumide Oworu (born December 11, 1994) is a Nigerian actor, model and rapper. Olumide attended King’s College, Lagos and the University of Lagos. He recently graduated from Babcock University in June 2017. Olumide commenced his acting career at the age of six with the television series Everyday People. He is also known for his role as ‘Tari’ in the Africa Magic Series ‘The Johnsons’. He starred in other television series such as The Patriot, The Men In Her Life, Hammer, Stolen Waters and New Son. The 28 years old Actor is also a Model and Rapper by profession.
Priscilla Ajoke Ojo is popularly known as Its.Priscy on her social media accounts. Priscilla Ajoke Ojo is rated on social media as the most popular and influential celebrity kid in Nigeria today Priscilla Ojo (born 13th March, 2001) is a beautiful daughter of popular Yoruba actress and producer Iyabo Ojo. Priscilla is also an actress, entrepreneur and model.Priscilla Ojo is a young Nigerian actress making names for herself in the Nollywood movie industry. As young as she is, the beautiful actress has made huge amount of money from her acting career. The 21 years old Actress gained admission into Babcock University in the year 2017, studied Theater Arts and graduated in the year 2021. She is also a Model and an entrepreneur by profession.
Dami Aminu (Olúwadámilọ́lá Adédọlápọ̀ Amínù), who is popularly known as Mobz, is a Nigerian recording artist and producer from Lagos. He has found his comfort zone in the current Afrobeat wave but he will continue to grow. His infusion of other sounds: trap, highlife, reggae forms the foundation of an end goal of contributing to and maybe changing the African soundscape while creating as much content as possible. The 30 years old music Artist studied International Law Diplomacy in Babcock University.
Yewande Adekoya is a Nigerian actress, filmmaker known for her role in the movie Omo Elemosho, a 2012 film that featured Bimbo Oshin, Muyiwa Ademola and Yomi Fash-Lanso. She was born and raised in Lagos State, but originally hails from Ososa-Ijebu in Ogun State southwestern Nigeria. She began acting in 2002 with Alphabash Music And Theatre Group. She scripted and produced her first content in 2006 titled “Life Secret”. The 39 years old Actress studied Mass communication in Babcock University. She also studied in other schools like Bright Star Nursery and Primary school, Bright Star Comprehensive High School. You can read Yewande Adekoya’s full biography here.
Ekpa, Stanley, Ekpa a practising lawyer and Director of the Development Watch Initiative shares in this interview, his thoughts on youths, governance and leadership
NNI: Can we meet you?
Guest: My name is Ekpa, Stanley Ekpa. I am a lawyer and a Master’s in Leadership Studies student at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. I specialize in Development Law. I am currently the Editor-in-Chief, Nigerian Corruption Cases Law Report, and Nigerian Democracy and Development Report. I serve as the Executive Director, Development Watch Initiative. I have peculiar interest in Good Governance, Leadership, Development Law, Social Inclusion and Nation building.
NNI: What defines social development and impactful leadership for you?
Guest: Social development is achieved when people become the primary factor in a society or a nation’s development processes. The promotion of the inclusion of all components of the society – empowering the poor, vulnerable, minorities and giving hope and opportunities to the voiceless citizens. While impactful leadership is the ability to translate collective aspirations and priorities into significant and sustainable solutions for the development of our community, people and the world.
NNI: In building a society where the quality of things we do defines us, how responsible is leadership?
Guest: Everything revolves around leadership, from building strong and efficient institutions to building infrastructures, leadership is the undercurrent that provides the water of hope and opportunities for creating the equilibrium for the quality of things that define us both as a people and as individuals. Unfortunately, you cannot get quality leadership unless you have quality citizenship. Good citizenship that works through the entire circles of development of the nation – upholding the right value system, ensuring that the right leaders are elected, and holding the leaders accountable. This is the easiest way to prompt responsible leadership and ensure social development.
NNI: How have you managed leadership positions with other duties?
Guest: Leadership, or rather taking responsibility for my immediate communities has always been everything about me. Yes I have. Though in most cases it is very tough, but in all the cases, it gives me a unique opportunity to understand the diversities that the two tasks presents in proffering personal and social solutions from two dimensions.
NNI: It is usually said that a leader must be a follower. Is this realistic?
Guest: It is a truism that has it’s realistic result in practice. A good follower is passionately committed and deeply involved, giving him the chance to develop empathy, compassion and keen interest in the common situation and need of the people, community or organization. When such follower transcends to leadership position, it becomes easy to make significant impact given his or her understanding of the need of the community and his or her imbued leadership savvy. More importantly, such leader leads sometimes from behind, by positioning and delegating responsibility to others and supervising their works, results and impact.
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NNI: Is leadership a mix of different skills? What exactly makes up complete leadership?
Guest: Leadership is a mix of infused skills and discipline for impact. Great leadership is about the creative balance between visions, strategic planning, collaboration and inclusion, performance and results, accountability, disciplined character of excellence, tolerance, and communication.
NNI: What inspired your book, Youthocracy, ''Leadershift'' for Development?
Guest: The advocacy for youth involvement in socio-political governance and cultural revolution was taking an unnecessary emphasis on age and not the capacity of the emerging leaders to proffer creative and sustainable solutions for the world’s complex challenges, particularly in Africa, hence, I felt the need to champion a new thinking in the desire to usher in a new generation of leaders.
For the past three decades, African leaders have failed to build a continent that provides the opportunities for inclusive prosperity and security. If the Africa Agenda 2063 would be actualized, it means that it is the young people whose future the agenda seeks to protect that can build it, not the generation that failed the continent for the last sixty years.
Hence, the crux of the discourse and philosophy of the book is on how to identify, build, galvanize and leverage a new generation of leaders for the development of their communities. How to get involved, win elections and do the work you elected to do right other critical issues that the book addressed.
NNI: By global trends, there is a call for youths to take leadership. How best can a youth position himself to be worthy of leadership?
Guest: First, leadership is not a tea party particularly if you are out to solve problems and make impact through leadership. But positioning yourself as a worthy option for for leadership consideration is even more challenging in developing electoral climes like Nigeria. However, to every problem there is always myriads of available solutions.
To me, building capacity either by learning or participation starts by building your personal leadership brand, building creative values of social solutions, building a strong network of like minds, being a problem solver no matter how small the solution, and working through the ladder to strategically position for great leadership.
On a more practical note, one can either position for leadership by leaning on the shoulders of great leaders through positive god-fatherism, or disrupt the political space to make a way for himself. The latter is more difficult a means, for it requires working beyond the limit line.
NNI: What is the measure of good leadership? Do you think social impact can be measured?
Guest: Good governance is measured on the scale of social impact. The aggregate dividends of your leadership as enjoyed by the people. It is easy to measure leadership impact because it is about the people and the community. The result of your leadership can be felt either negatively or positively by the people. Though social impact takes time to materialize sometimes but it is never hidden when it finally arrives.
By measuring good leadership I do not mean state sponsored billboards and media propaganda, no, I mean an impactful result that can be felt by the deaf, and seen even by the blind. I would have loved to use such economic indicators like GDP, inflation among others but in the end analysis, when the people are hungry and left behind without social security, we have failed the society.
NNI: What do you do at the Development Watch Initiative?
Guest: We are a citizen sector initiative that is committed to engaging the citizens to make inputs in the development processes of their constituencies and holding their leaders accountable. We promote citizens’ participation in monitoring the implementation of Nigeria’s developmental projects, budgets and policies from the local government level to the national level. Currently we are working on the COVID-19 REPORT, which is a comprehensive insight and report on Nigeria’s response, policies, palliatives and impact.
We have other programmes running, like our ”Enterprise Clinic” which exposes students across Nigerian academic institutions to job, entrepreneurial and leadership skills and opportunities. Our next training circle is slated for Sokoto, Oyo, Lagos, Kano, Anamabra, Rivers, Abuja and Cross River. We also have the Get Involved Challenge, Constituency Development Town Halls, among other projects.
NNI: What is your view on Global Youth Development and growth? Do you think we are making progress?
Guest: Yes, we are making progress. The United Nations has continued to create broad opportunities for the involvement of young people in actualizing the SDGs 2030. Domestically, the Not Too Young To Run Act 2018 has given much impetus and limited opportunity for young people to participate in the political space, as the huge financial requirements and commercialization of our politics continue to hinder their chances. Notwithstanding this, the 2019 general elections witnessed an increase in the number of elected young people to local governments, state assemblies and federal Parliament. Many young people have been given appointive positions both in the political and corporate sectors.
So, to me I think we are making progress, it is now within our arms as young people to get strategic and position ourselves through creative common council of like minds, support ourselves and collectively make our societies work for the next generation.
NNI: How did you achieve the fusion of your personal brand name ''Ekpa Stanley, Ekpa'' into your love for promising leadership and sustainable development?
Guest: I realized early in life that there is an inseparable relationship between law, leadership and sustainable development. This prompted my interest to study law even when I didn’t understand the proper places of these concepts and factors in social development. It was however my late mother that taught me the value of a man’s name. Ever since, I have tried my best to approach everyday of my life with sincere commitment to how my work (law, community organizing and leadership) would significantly impact my community, country and humanity.
I cherish my brand “Ekpa, Stanley Ekpa” so much that I work everyday to grow, improve and leverage it as a reliable source and Centre for national inclusivity, development solutions, cultural revolution and an ideological stand point for Nigeria’s future generations.
NNI: What is your advice to fellow young individuals?
Guest: My advice is very simple – young people must have the sense of ownership of their communities, be creative, resilient, and resolved to succeed against all odds and challenges. It is a tough and difficult world, but if you remain on your lane and timeline without comparing yourself to other people’s standards for success, your chances are high that you will become even more the person you aspire to be.
NNI: What should we expect from you in the near future? Any intention to go into full time politics? Any bigger plans?
Guest: (Laughs) Well, I am a very intentional person. I know that the only way to build the kind of country we aspire for is to get involved politically, and I know for certain that I will go into politics. And if by full time you mean committing and applying myself to my constituency and humanity without compromise, then I can assure you that I will do that full time without regret.
I believe this is my time to prepare myself for competence, leadership savvy and excellence in statecraft. I am confident our generation will turn things around but we must be prepared for the great task, for we must not fail Nigeria and the next generation of Nigerians. We are called to fix and provide hope, opportunities and direction for the new Nigeria.
What is a nation without her history? What is the present without the past? The action of time does not allow for such gaps. Nigeria, as we know it now is not what it used to be centuries ago. The country has undergone massive changes in all spheres of life. The rate of population growth has increased exponentially alongside the rate of crime. The world of technology is gaining more recognition even as some brains are responding positively to the law of diminishing returns. It seems as if there’s a negative reaction for every positive action but it is all a matter of the state of one’s mind.
Nevertheless, the world stood still on that day, October 1st, 1960, when Nigeria gained her independence and waved her flag of freedom proudly with a wink to the British government. Finally, we’d have our own indigenous rulers. We would have the chance to tell our story in our own words and our language. Of course, freedom is good but what good is freedom when slavery still roams the streets? Are we still slaves? No, we’re not- to the British government. Still, slavery thrives in a free land. You want proof? Then, you are not far from the truth, citizen. Read on.
Bandits abduct students, kill villagers- ring any bells? It should. This is one of the stories in the news you won’t miss each week. How did bandits gain so much control? When did they become such notorious celebrities? This is bad news for the country whose anthem’s line goes thus: “Help our youth the truth to know”. I suppose you’ll be making youth like machines or importing them like AK-47 after all of them have been abducted. I wonder where you’ll get a supply of future leaders. Even if there are youth in the affected parts, they will be half baked because no parent would want to send their child(ren) to school with their hearts in their mouths as to whether they would return home safely. These people are forced to live in fear and these children have little or no education. Education, they say, is enlightenment. If they are not educated, they will have to submit to slavery, especially slavery of the mind.
Thunder strikes but some unions strike better. Nigerian students, you’ve not been forgotten. I believe every citizen has the right to education-I don’t think this line works around here anymore. Every year, we always have one or two strike actions in the education sector to add a finishing touch to the year. If negotiations can be made with armed robbers or kidnappers in a matter of minutes or days, then I’m sure the government can negotiate peacefully and quickly with unions to avoid unnecessary delay in the academic journeys of students. It doesn’t speak too well on our integrities for us to lie when we fill forms asking us for the year of our graduation. I think it will be quite nice to have a definite picture of yourself as a Nigerian student in some years without thinking of extra school years, thanks to strike actions.
I have one last proof to show you that the behind-the-scenes of the pre-independence time are coming back with more sass and jazz. 20-10-20: Do you remember? Were you there? Was your brother hurt? Was your sister murdered? For me, it’s a yes. My brothers and sisters were hurt and murdered. They were injured while fighting for freedom. I see the fights and the struggles of our fathers coming back like part two of Black Panther. The #EndSars protest rocked the country in ways we could never have imagined. Our eyes were opened to see the silent sufferings of Nigerians. Why should we live in fear of those who are supposed to protect us? Sounds to me like slavery, alright. To think that our lives are at the mercy of some armed men and women- that is unacceptable. We didn’t gain independence to wake up to another hello from slavery.
Do you remember those brave men and women who fought for our independence- standing firm like the ìrókò tree rooted deep in the Nigerian soil? They knew what they were trying to chase away; they understood that the umbrella of slavery was an illusion- it was not the real deal. So, they laboured with hopes that it wouldn’t be in vain, according to the national anthem. It is quite a pity that slavery was only abolished on paper. These are my thoughts and this is my country.
Solar energy, radiation from the Sun capable of producing heat, causing chemical reactions, or generating electricity. The total amount of solar energy incident on Earth is vastly in excess of the world’s current and anticipated energy requirements. In the 21st century solar energy is expected to become increasingly attractive as a renewable energy source because of its inexhaustible supply and its nonpolluting character, in stark contrast to the finite fossil fuels coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
The history of hydropower dates back thousands of years. For example, the Greeks used water wheels to grind wheat into flour more than 2,000 years ago. The evolution of the modern hydropower turbine began in the mid-1700s when a French hydraulic and military engineer, Bernard Forest de Bélidor, wrote Architecture Hydraulique. Many key developments in hydropower technology occurred during the first half of the 19th century, and more recently, the past century has seen a number of hydroelectric advancements.Hydropower technologies generate power by using the elevation difference, created by a dam or diversion structure, of water flowing in on one side and out, far below, on the other.
The benefits of hydropower have been recognized and harnessed for thousands of years. In addition to being a clean and cost-effective form of energy, hydropower plants can provide power to the grid immediately, serving as a flexible and reliable form of backup power during major electricity outages or disruptions. Hydropower also produces a number of benefits outside of electricity generation, such as flood control, irrigation support, and water supply.
At a time when the drive for better inclusion of a marginalized section of society (Persons with Disabilities) is gaining speed the world over, it is sad to witness religious institutions (by their very nature and calling supposed to be shining examples in this just cause) acting with apparent indifference.
Whether this is happening unintentionally or otherwise, I do not know. One thing I know: the situation calls for urgent redress.
In June last year, I was at the headquarter church of one the country’s leading Pentecostal denominations for Sunday worship service. It was my first time. Among the features that caught my attention on that first visit was the sheer size of the location, the state of the art equipment in use, the warm welcome of public relations staff, the fine show of opulence (children of the King are not supposed to be poor), and the generally conducive ambience. With these and more on ground, i was eager to settle down to quality time in Divine fellowship.
Alas, that wasn’t to be.
Fustration began when I made it clear to attendants that as a deaf person, I required sign language interpretation to easily assimilate spoken communication. In other words, without it, I couldn’t really benefit from the sermon and other parts of the service.
Ordinarily, one would expect the headquarter church of a denomination of such status to have ready arrangements to cater to the language needs of all kind of attendees at any given time. Also, it is a “no-brainer” that this mammoth religious organization has the capacity for that – and more. So, I was both surprised and disappointed to discover that in that audience numbering into hundred of thousands, there couldn’t be found interpreting services for the deaf and hard of hearing. I will never forget the rollercoaster of emotions of embarrassment, indignation, and disappointment I experienced that day.
The matter got more ridiculous when it became clear that even the ushers were not sure whether or not there was provision for such special need. I still recall an usher walking me almost the circumference of that expansive auditorium asking for, I will say, a nonexistent section for the Deaf.
At the end of the stress and embarrassment, all I got were some pacifying words.
Although it’s almost a year since that encounter, I am still trying to grasp why one couldn’t find a deaf person in that huge crowd of worshippers. Even if there was, there was no sure way to tell. Furthermore, the various responses and reactions clearly showed that these people are not used to having deaf brethren in their worship meetings. One may therefore understand why they appeared clueless in such situation.
Years earlier, I had a similar experience at a branch of same church where I again happened to be the lone deaf person. After much frustration, I somehow took the matter to the head pastor. Unfortunately, nothing concrete came out of it.
At this point, some pressing questions arise. Why, for example, was there no single deaf person in those congregations? Could it be that no deaf person is interested in worshipping there? I don’t think so. Again, could it be that the church inadvertently threw them out through non-chalant attitudes – no provision for their language needs, for example? As if to validate this reasoning, among the three or so top church names in the country, this is the only one of which I have heard practically nothing about a deaf section/ deaf persons. Oddly enough, a friend once said that this particular church has a policy of not accommodating deaf worshippers – insisting on the power of God to heal all infirmities. Well, I choose not to believe such outrageous claim until it is proven beyond doubt. My position is that in the mix of things is a lack of vital information, proper enlightenment and correct orientation that could have made a world of difference.
By beaming a searchlight on possible reasons for the marked absence of deaf brethren in that congregation of believers, we will understand that this kind of thing don’t just happen. It follows the law of cause and effect – some of which we may not know. From the known, I offer a fact: “It is unreasonable to expect a people whose unique communication needs have not been provided for to happy in, or want to be in any type of gathering – not the least, religious ones. I write from experience.
Let’s be clear about it, this unsavory non-inclusion of a disadvantaged minority in our worship places isn’t limited to one big name church. It cuts across churches, mosques, etc.
Nor is the case being made only for deaf persons and sign language interpreting services. No! It covers just about every cluster of People with Disabilities (PWDs) whose rights and human dignity are being denied/trampled on one way or the other. Consequently, there’s a steady build up of a disgruntled set of worshippers who feel ignored disrespected and insulted. This is a dangerous trend that needs to be checked.
What’s more, if we will see it for what it is, this subtle injustice stands in stark contrast to the spirit and letters of the holy writs of all the religions.
CHARTING THE WAY FORWARD
In recommending the way out of the present quagmire, we need to be fair.
“He that comes to the table of equity must come with clean hands”.
We need to acknowledge that this subject of inclusion is a knotty one – complex and complicated. It should be mentioned too, that either side could be at fault in this matter. Most often than not, the conflicts, dissatisfactions, blame trading and grudge bearing driving the “Inclusion narrative” have their root in a lack of enlightenment on the subject of disability, ignorance, ‘far off the mark' assumptions and speculations, differences in perspectives, poor awareness level, prejudice and other indices of human failings and limitations.
Personally, I hold the belief that people are basically good (more so, from the context of places of worship where godliness and piety is the norm) and wouldn’t just go about hurting feelings and infringing on rights of PWDs. You see, when good humans derail and offend in this matter, it’s often because they don’t know how to navigate this rather tricky terrain, so rife with sensitive egos, stereotypes and fragile emotions. Notwithstanding, in law, as they say, ignorance is not an excuse. So, here’s the home truth: “our places of worship need to invest on getting educated and enlightened on the subject of Disability and PWDs. Both leaders and laity need it.
Expert knowledge and advice should be sought from Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and other reliable sources.
Recommendations should be implemented with efficiency.
Special trainings and seminars should be held.
There should be brainstorming sessions where experts in various fields of human endeavors bounce off ideas on the way forward.
An important caveat though: the people in the eye of the storm, namely, PWDs, should be carried along every step of the way.
Despite being a minority, the case of these marginalized persons is worth all due attention. And I’m convinced our religious stakeholders are fair-minded enough to grasp the substance of the parable of the shepherd with a hundred sheep leaving the ninety and nine to seek the one that went astray.
Enough of this subtle non-inclusion.