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Acceptance speech by Mo Abudu, on the occasion of award of Honorary Doctorate Degree In Human Letters (Honoris Causa)

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY MO ABUDU

 EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND CEO, EBONYLIFE TV,

AFRICA’S FIRST GLOBAL BLACK ENTERTAINMENT

AND LIFESTYLE NETWORK

ON THE OCCASION OF AWARD OF

HONORARY DOCTORATE DEGREE IN HUMAN LETTERS (HONORIS CAUSA)

BY THE ADMINISTRATION OF BABCOCK UNIVERSITY,

ILISHAN-REMO, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA

 

ON SUNDAY, JUNE 01, 2014

The Chancellor

The Pro Chancellor

The President and Vice Chancellor

Members of the University Council

Members of the Senate and Administration

Parents and guardians

Graduands and Students

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am extremely happy to be associated with this prestigious institution, especially on the momentous occasion of its 12th Convocation Ceremony as Nigeria’s first faith-based private co-educational University.

Let me immediately thank the University Council, Senate, Staff and Students of Babcock University for conferring on me this Honorary Doctorate which automatically enlists me into the exclusive circle of Babcock Men and Women of Honour.

I am very touched by this gesture, it truly is an honour for me to receive this award.

It all started a few months ago with a text message and an e-mail from Mr. Kunle Iyanda, the Vice President, Development and Strategy at Babcock University, who said he wanted me to visit the University. I agreed to come, not even really knowing what it was about.

On arrival here, we were received by Professor Makinde, the President and Vice Chancellor; Mr. Iyanda and other members of the team. We were taken on a tour, we met the students from the Mass Communication department and we had lunch, a banquet fit for a king; and during lunch Professor Makinde presented me with a letter of intent that explained the honorary doctorate degree in Human Letters I was to receive. I was speechless and most humbled that they found me worthy of this recognition. It gives me faith in Nigeria and the utmost faith in Babcock University.

There are so many men and women deserving of this award today, thank you for finding me worthy.

Today marks another very important milestone in the exciting journey of this institution. It is a moment of pride and glory for the school as much as it is for all graduands, parents, family members, friends, our nation and the continent at large.

At this juncture however, I would like you to pause and remember that not everyone who desires academic tutelage has been as fortunate in their quest for knowledge and education as you have been today.

Let us therefore spare a thought for the abducted Chibok Girls and many others who became victims of the quest for education as a means to contributing their own quota to the development of our nation. May God be with them and cause them to return safely to their loved ones.

Today, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has strongly underlined insecurity as a burden on our educational system and national development in general, threatening our position as continental and global champions.

The good news however is that this Convocation Ceremony itself represents our common resolve that insecurity bred by intolerance for one another will not triumph over our collective pursuit of knowledge, civilization and economic advancement.

This Convocation is evidence that, in spite of our nation’s troubles, our society will ultimately not be confined to a state of lawlessness, fear and under-development.

This event demonstrates that we will not allow, especially our womenfolk, to be denied learning and their significant contribution to society.

Fellow graduands, having come this far, I must congratulate you and charge you not to rest on your laurels because the journey continues.

It is time for many of you here today to move on to the next chapters in your lives; no doubt many questions come to mind as you graduate today.

But despite the questions that come to mind, despite the next steps you take, amongst many of you are some big ideas and I want to say to those of you today, that have those big ideas, do not be afraid to think big or dream big.

Dream beyond your wildest imagination, dream so hard, that it almost seems impossible for it to be ever become reality, then you know you are on to something big!

Because I assure you, that it is only a matter of time before it happens.

But remember, as you are thinking it, so are many others …. The difference between you and them is your ability to make it happen.

I want you all to believe and know that we have seen the impossible become the possible.

I see Nigeria and see opportunity, despite the challenges we face as a nation today.

Our inaction maybe what cripples us and stops us from becoming all we can be.

The time has come to act and the time to act is now.

We must determine to use the knowledge gained at this great University to help transform our nation into the global economic powerhouse that it is surely destined to be.

We are a nation and continent of great and brimming opportunities and possibilities; we are blessed with limitless material and human resources which are clearly evident by the many industrious and illustrious minds graduating today.

We must realize that it is Africa’s time to shine and we must rise above every distraction. We must overcome every limitation. It’s time to unlock Africa’s potential and you can be the change that you want to see.

As I always say, if you can think it, you can do it. Let’s believe in our dreams and fight for them. We have the power to create the Africa that we deserve.

We must stop talking and take action. We must focus on our vision and have faith. With our belief, ambition, determination and the fear of God, we can make it and we will make it.

The sky is surely our limit. And in the words of the song of American rapper, singer and songwriter, Will.i.am, You can be the greatest; You can be the best; You can be the King Kong banging on your chest; You can move mountain; you can break rocks; you can be a master … and you can be standing in the hall of fame.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate fellow graduands for attaining their degrees and Certificates. I charge you to be worthy ambassadors of Babcock University wherever you go in life.

May I also commend all parents and guardians here for the sacrifices undertaken to support the education of these brilliant young men and women.

I also commend the University Administration for the hard work, dedication and sacrifice put into yet again another very successful and landmark graduation ceremony.

And last but not least, I dedicate this honorary degree bestowed upon me today, to those that have believed in me over the years, those whom without I would not be here today receiving the award. I continue to give God all the glory for his Grace, favour and love.

I thank my beautiful mother for her relentless prayers and support. I thank my amazing children, Temidayo and Adekoyejo for their love, patience and understanding. I thank my friends who continually encourage and support me, I thank the various teams I have worked with over the years and those I continue to work with, because ultimately without them, the vision would never be realized.

Congratulations again, graduands and may God Almighty continue to bless and keep us all. AMEN

 

Mo Abudu,

June 01, 2014.

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