There was an unusual silence at the 42nd convocation of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Osun State, on Friday when the death was announced of a first class graduate, Bibilari Elebuibon.
According to The Punch, Elebuibon, a first class graduate of Yoruba Language in the Faculty of Arts, died in an accident in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, in July 2016.
It became a harvest of tears among his colleagues and some others present when his name was called by the dean of his faculty, Prof. Gbemisola Adeoti, for a prize and the school’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju, stepped forward to call for a minute silence in his honour.
Reports said the deceased, who was among the 66 first-class graduates, was a son of a popular Ifa priest in Osogbo, Chief Yemi Elebuibon.
The Chancellor of the OAU, who is also the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, the Ooni of Ife, who is also the Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented at the ceremony by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Adamu Rasheed, said his administration was working hard to ensure more Nigerian youths were productively engaged.
He said that the nation’s unemployment rate reached a high value of 17.9 percent in September 2016, as compared to 9.9 percent the previous year. He noted that although his administration is doing its best to provide jobs for the teeming population of Nigerian youths, their efforts still need to be complemented by the private sector.
“We have been bringing on board several entrepreneurship initiatives to create an enabling environment for job creators to not only thrive, but excel.
“Promotion of local products, encouragement of export markets, tapping of indigenous raw materials, etc., are some of the avenues for this to operate. As fresh graduates with invigorating ideas, you are encouraged to forward your proposals under the appropriate parastatals and agencies.”