On the Tuesday 8th January, 2019, the National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers warmly received a delegation of the Student Leaders representing the West African Student Parliament (WASUP) at the NIMechE National Secretariat, Abuja.
The delegation led by the WASUP Speaker, Mr. Saint Solomon, of the University of Ghana, Legon, and ably represented by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Austin Kossie of University D Coco Di Abidjan, and other members includes the body’s Majority Leader, Ms. Francine Etongo Totiti, of Universitie De Douala, Cameron; WASUP Country Representative to Nigeria, Mr. Ismail Oyebanjo; Director of Logistics and Mobilization, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, and the Body’s Director of Programs and Charity, Mr Musa Abdulrauf.
During his official speech, Mr Austin Kossie informed the NIMechE National Chairman, and other invited guests, that his team is at the NIMechE National Secretariat on a courtesy visit, and to also confer on the National Chairman WASUP prestigious award for his immeasurable and impactful leadership role, and in recognition of his uncommon services to humanity and country.
The WASUP leader revealed that the nomination of the National Chairman, Dr. Robinson Ejilah for this distinguished award was made by the representatives of the body, at the floor of the Students’ Parliament Chamber during the 7th African Students and Youth Summit (ASYS) held at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, Kigali, Rwanda in the month of July, 2018. The student leader further added that WASUP was indeed pleased to inform the Dr Ejilah, that he was found worthy to receive the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah (Pan-African) Exemplary Leadership Honor as an “Icon of Engineering Transformation and Societal Development in Nigeria’’ after an exhaustive and thorough review process. He warmly congratulated the NIMechE leader for this well-deserved honour, and urged him not to relent in his effort to improve the quality of lives of Africans and the entire human society.
The WASUP leader also informed the National Chairman, and guests that ASYS is an annual event that draws student delegates from 49 countries across the African continent, and driven by the Pan-African Ideology. He added that the 2018 version of it was held in Kigali Rwanda and themed “Pan-Africanism; A Paradigm Shift towards achieving the SDG’s and AU Agenda 2063, The Role of the Youth Counts”. The summit enabled African youths to interact with top government officials and deliberate on crucial issues affecting the education sector in Africa.
The WASUP leader also informed the NIMechE National Chairman that they are in Abuja for a month long, drug- free advocacy tour in tertiary institutions within the metropolis . The advocacy is in the spirit Umuganda (i.e. Community Service) of which they were encouraged to devote themselves during their stay in Rwanda.
In his response, Dr. Robinson I. Ejilah, remarked that he is stunned beyond words by this award, as he least expected it. However, he expressed his gratitude to the West African student’s organisation for the honour and recognition done to him, and also noted that the award will undoubtedly, spur him to greater commitment to professional and community service at every given opportunity. He extolled the virtues of the organisation, and urged its leaders to stay focused on their goal of building a just and egalitarian African continent– in line with the tenets of Pan-Africanism, which in his words, offers a great promise for human progress and socio-economic development of Africans and African nations. He also seized the opportunity to make laudatory remarks about NIMechE leaders- both past and present, and members for their tremendous support without which he stressed the services rendered under his leadership would have been poorer. He wished the WASUP team a successful advocacy exercise while in Abuja, and a safe and eventful trip back to their respective destinations.
The NIMechE Abuja Chapter Chairman, Engr. Peter I. Ingbiankobo who was at hand, and in company of some his Chapter officials also paid glowing tributes to the National Chairman for his commendable development strides. He thanked WASUP for recognizing his achievements -and that by so doing, the body is also bringing the impacts made by NIMechE thus far, to reckoning.
In the course of the proceeding of the meeting, other good will messages were also delivered by various guests amidst sporadic solidarity chants of ‘Our Africa! Our Soweto!’ renting the air.
WASUP is an umbrella body for students in West Africa, organised with the core objectives of encouraging cooperation and harmonious coexistence among member state students for the purpose of promoting student exchange programs to enhance good leadership in West Africa, and address challenges bedevilling democratic ethos and practices in the 21st West African sub-region, through advocacy, conferences, seminars, workshops and public enlightenment campaigns. The WASUP award is christened in honour of the leading exponent of the Pan-African ideology, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory. The 16 registered member-countries organisation have its international secretariat in the city of Accra, Ghana