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Olaniyan emerges as UMC chairman as community gets new excos

By Shakirah Adunola
26 November 2021   |   2:48 am
University of Lagos Muslim Community (UMC) has elected new executives who are expected to manage the affairs of the community for the next four years.

Unilag gate

University of Lagos Muslim Community (UMC) has elected new executives who are expected to manage the affairs of the community for the next four years.

Professor of Jurisprudence and International law, Akeem Abimbola Olaniyan, emerged as the new Chairman. He was born at Iragbiji, Osun State of Nigeria, did his Master of Laws (LLM) at the University of Lagos in 1989-1990 and was employed as lecturer II on February 14, 1991. It is from that position he rose to become a professor of Jurisprudence and International law in 2016.

Olaniyan is married with four biological children and numerous adopted children.

Members of the executives are First Vice Chairman, Prof. Wakil Ishola of Department. of Economics; Second Vice Chairman, Dean SPGS, Prof. Alabi Soneye; General Secretary, Mr. Afolabi Yusuff; Asst. General Secretary, Records/Certificate Unit, Mr. Abdulateef Yussuff.

Others are Treasurer, Department. of Economics, Prof. Olufemi Saibu; Financial Secretary, Department of Botany, Dr. Taofikat Adesalu; Public Relations Officer, Department of Estate Magt, Dr. Aliu Soyingbe; Social/Welfare Officer, – Department of Actuarial Science/Insurance, Dr. Mariam Gbajumo-Sheriff; Estate/Property Officer, Department of Estate Magt, Dr. Hikmot Koleoso.

Speaking during the presentation of the new management committee to the community after Jumah service at UNILAG Central Mosque, the elected chairman promised to continue to ensure unity and progress within the community.

“We pray to Almighty Allah to guide us to make good decisions as we hope and intend to move the community forward, just as those who handed it over to us move it forward”.

He said the management would continue to help students find their purpose in the institution.

“The community would continue to encourage students to be at the top of their academy. We will play our parental roles on them, curb the excesses and also encourage them as much as possible. We will not indulge them if in the past they have been indulging that has led to some form of confrontation or misbehaviour, we will try to maintain a type of balance that will ensure that we bring out the best in them, make them as competitive as they could be and curtail whatever will be their excesses, which is usually a product of their age.”

Olaniyan assured that the management would endeavour to resolve all students’ related problems.

“We will continue to do our best to influence whatever we could influence. That is the only way we can help when we are talking about accommodation, members who are in a position to influence assistance for students seeking accommodation, those of them that will probably need financial assistance to pay and all of that. We will do our best to help out but in the past student have become accustomed to sleeping in and around the mosque and its facilities, this was stopped by the immediate past executives but we will not return to it, we have to be firm on such things because we have witnessed consequence of such attitudes and we will not allow it to happen again. That is not to say that we will not do our best to ensure that Muslim students have a sense of belonging. Muslim Students can see the community as a port of call in the hours of need. Only that we will not indulge them. We will not allow a structure that was purposely built to serve as a mosque and a hall and offices to be converted to a hall of residence where everything goes. We are happy that those who are handing over to us have already ensured and we will continue to ensure that.”

In his remarks, the Immediate Past Chairman of Unilag Muslim Community, Prof. Lai Olurode, on behalf of the outgoing UMC’s executive and officers appreciate the support and contributions of the community in making his tenure harmonious, with minor but expected misunderstandings.

“Our Chief Imam remains a dependable ally and a friend of reforms and progress.

So are our elders, UMC executives, officers of UMC and UMC members generally. UMC is generous in its endorsement of good initiatives that add value to our image, reputation and visibility. I couldn’t recall any sustained resistance to any of our major policy interventions in the past four years. We are consistently conscious of our minority status on campus, hence we act cautiously and in defense of our diminishing gains on campus. The new executive under the able leadership of Prof. Akeem Olaniyan is welcome on board and with best wishes.”

He appealed for continued tolerance of differences so that the community can always speak with one voice in the overall protection of its collective interest as Muslims.

“We mustn’t allow pettiness and subtle rivalry but never beg for our rights as Nigerians. We must remain tactful and focused. We must speak out against subtle discrimination.

“The new executive and officers need our complete support and loyalty. Our greatest asset is in internal cohesion, doing good to all manner of people and tolerance of and sensitivity to dissenting perspectives.

“As Muslims, we should desist from only lamentations but simultaneously do something to alter the socioeconomic and political equation which is heavily loaded against us. Thank you all for your kind tolerance of my excesses over the past four years.”