By: Kure Abel Sah
In keeping the tradition of observing the annual Graduation Class Week in the Institution, the Class of 2016, Mass Communication Department(MACLEV4), of the Great Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria kickstarted their week on Tuesday 2nd August with T-Shirt sign out as the main activity of the day.
However, Wednesday 3rd August 2016 will perhaps remain ever fresh in the memory of the extraordinary outgoing class (MACLEV4). The day was tagged “CORPORATE DAY” and the main event was an Interactive Session between the students(MACLEV4) and Lecturers within the Department and Faculty. it was themed; “NOW A GRADUATE, WHAT NEXT?”
The session started at about 12:00 pm, and was graced with the presence of amiable lecturers who included Mal. Hashim Muhammad Suleiman, Mal.Kabiru Danladi Lawanti , Mr. Eze Cosmos and shortly after by Mal. Hussaini of (Solg Dept) all honourably seated at the high Table. The students on the other hand were indeed “Corporately” and Gorgeously dressed and seated, chatting up one another. Subsequently, the venue was honoured with the presence of the Dean of Faculty Prof. Kayode Omojuwa, Dr. Shamsudeen Muhammad(acting HOD MassComm), Dr. Yakubu O. Suleiman.
With an ‘Opening Remark’ by Mr. Eze, the session was cheered to an endless fit of laughter with the substance of humorous sarcasm he added to the theme of the Day. He advised the Class to take stock of their relationships, especially the Ladies, to carry out a reality check and evaluate their relationships status(es) to know what it has in stock for them, as age is fast counting and will soon show on them. To the Gentlemen, he advised that they brace themselves for the journey yet ahead; ‘continually be hardworking and not despise little beginnings’ he said, citing himself, Mal. Kabiru and Hashim respectively as examples, he concluded that hardwork truly pays.
The first keynote speaker for the event was the Dean, Faculty of Social Science Prof. Kayode Omojuwa, who started by commending the efforts of the class in choosing such a vital theme, as it is indeed the next question each participant stands to answer eventually after graduation. He urged each student to conduct a self appraisal as he/she stands to face the larger society within the shortest period of time and this can be done by asking oneself the following questions;
- What is my goal in life?
- How do I achieve that goal?
- Do I have any skill or competence?
All these questions he said can only be answered by oneself. He concluded by admonishing the Class to ;
- Have an abiding faith in the Almighty
- Not to join in cutting corners and lastly
- Should be change agents for better Nigeria
The second keynote was The Examination Officer of the Department, Mal. Kabiru Danladi Lawanti, whom through a pragmatic speech, urged that in line with the recent call by the government of the present administration for people to return to farming, he noted, it will not be a bad idea after all, as “there is no more free money” to go round like it used to in the past. He called on the class to not only keep working hard and be persistent, but also to be trustworthy especially at the first stage of their career.
From Sociological perspective, a colleague of our lecturers and an invited guest from the Department of Sociology, Mal. Hussaini, stated that “the field of sociology makes clear that no society is conflict-free, as such, the Economic crisis Nigeria is current undergoing is but a normal one and would eventually pass by swiftly”. To this end, he concluded that since the Economic challenge facing our nation is but a temporary one, he is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the class of 2016 are “stepping OUT TO FAVOUR MARKET and NOT LABOUR MARKET”.
The high point of the event was perhaps the game changing, articulate, well thought-out, controversial albeit motivational and inspirational speech/address by the able Dr. Yakubu Ozohu Suleiman, who inspired and encouraged the Class to look beyond the economic hardship Nigeria is currently undergoing, as even amidst the challenges there are still lots of Job opportunities, “so when applying for jobs, aim high, NLNG, SHELL,CHEVRON,CBN and NBC should be included in your scope of job hunt”. Alternatively, he advised, for those who are good in writing and would want to venture into journalism proper, they can start by writing for politics and for politicians and “before you know it, you are already dragged along into the Hall of fame….and don’t forget to call me, when you eventually get there ”, was how he concluded.
The last, paramount and much anticipated keynote speech for the day was made by the MACLEV4’s Course Registerar, Adviser, Mentor, Scholar, Ace writer-cum-media pundit, Mal. Hashim Muhammad Suleiman, who first pointed to the class one anomaly he had noted right from 200level days, and that is the problem of Disunity. This has ravaged the class and denied it some of the benefits it would have enjoyed, if united he averred…..(Oshey! Only a father can see and feel these pains). He reassured the class that “the world outside is bigger than your individual religions, ethnicity, political affinities and social status, going out will mean having to mix up with people from all facets of life. The class should therefore start incorporating the spirit of tolerance”.
On job opportunities in the outside world, he added, “even though studies upon studies have revealed that it takes an average number of graduates with good results about five years or more to secure good job, even when the economy was good,”. To the class he prayed, taking his cue from his Sociology colleague that “What Next” will indeed be “To Favour Market, than Labour Market”. And with a heat-melting last words which almost drew the student to tears, he called for apologies and reconciliation within Class members, as well as with their lecturers as they bid farewells to one another.
The event of the day came to an end with a closing remark by Promise Okezie, who on behalf of the entire class expressed utmost gratitude to the Dean, HOD, and Lecturers who spared time out of their busy schedules to honour such an invitation for a ‘Pep-Talk’, which we all hope will be put to use and will produce positive and expected outcome in no distant time.