The 2nd Eminent Lecture series of the University of Benin titled “Culture At Risk” was delivered by Prof. Wole Soyinka at the Akin Deko Auditorium on the 1st September 2016.
Dignitaries present at the event where Director National Orientation Agency,representing Hon minister of Information,former Vice Chancellor University of Benin, Prof A. Anao, former Vice Chancellor university of benin Prof E.C Nwanze, former Member House of Representatives and President of University of Benin Alumni Association and a Member of the Governing Council, Hon. Sir Ifaluyi Isibor, former Chief Press Secretary to Edo State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Egharevba, Director CEO National Institute for Education and Planning and Administration,Prof. Lilian I. Salami, Director Edo State Polytechnic Usen represented by Mr. Omorogbe John, President National alumina ABU Dr, Ahmed Mora , Vice Chancellor University of Abuja represented by Mr Uduagbon, Professor Emeritus R.O Ofuegbu, Professor Emeritus T.O.K Audu ,representative of Benson Idahosa University, Prof. Andrew Oronsaye, ,immediate past Vice-chancellor of the university of Benin prof. O.G Oshodin, Sir Professor Emeritus Osa Ayanwu, Brigadier General Aneneh representing S & T Commandant, Mr. Okafor representing the Regional Manager, South East and South South,Leadway Pensions, Dr. Kenneth Okaku representing Managing Director, LAPO, Dr. Mike Okonofua, the immediate past president of UniBen Alumni Association,Vice Chancellor University of Benin Prof. F.F.O Orumwense ,DVC (administration) Prof. L.I Ezemonye ,Prof. Abiodun Falodun DVC (academics), Prof .S.E.O. Aduwa-Ogiegbaen Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Ekenwan Campus) ,Registrar,Mrs. O.A Oshodin, Bursar, Dr. Baba Bila, Librarian, Dr. Mrs. Evelyn Idiodi, All Members of Governing Council of the University Of Benin, All visiting Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Deans and Directors.
Thereafter, the PRO University of Benin invited the Vice Chancellor Prof. F.F.O Orumwense to give his opening remarks. He expressed his joy in welcoming the living legend, Prof. Wole Soyinka to UniBen to deliver his lecture which is the 2nd in the lecture series and encourages all present at the occasion to savor the moment .
He stressed that the series is a great one because of the dignity of the lecturer, and he believes that there is no better person in the country to deliver this lecture than Prof Soyinka. He recalled that he won the laureate award in 1986 and he was the first African to do so. He urges all present to sit back and listen attentively to his rich lecture.
Prof. John Ogheneh of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin illustrated the importance of images and Arts in our world today even though they are usually relegated to the background.
Prof. Wole Soyinka subsequently declared the Art Exhibition open as he was shown around the building to site different sculptures, portraits, images and textiles, which represented diverse culture of our people.He was also shown different portraits of our past rulers and fine Paintings made of colored sand on Canvas. The guest Lecturer also viewed fine beads and Bronze Works and Casting to the delight of the eminent Lecturer.
Subsequently, the Department of Theatre Arts thrilled the audience with their performance. In a similar fashion, Sunday Chukwu & Alade Isaac also presented Songs and illustrations which caught the eyes of many and the Nobel Laureate.
The University Orator, Prof. Eddy Eraigbe gives a brief citation of Prof. Wole Soyinka. He expresses his joy and privilege in introducing the eminent lecturer of today as a nationalist that stood tall in the fight for the poor. He recognised that he is the first African Winner of the Nobel laureate, who is also the UNESCO Ambassador,a chieftaincy title of the Akalato of Egbaland. He also gave a brief biography of the lecturer after which he invited the distinguished Speaker to present his lecture.
Prof. Wole Soyinka presented his Lecture titled “Culture at Risk”.
The Guest Speaker talked extensively about the culture of our people and the risks that are associated. The professor stressed that when as our culture becomes at risk, we the people of the geographical space entity called Nigeria are equally at risk. He further elaborated that whatever remains as bi-products of this risk shall forever resurface in our art forms which will become testimonies or scars of the injuries sustained in the course of the psychological, social and economic battles in the course of our sojourn towards self-awareness and discovery.
Soon after,Representative of the minister of Education gave a goodwill message. She reiterated the ministry’s drive to renewing our culture and heritage.
Similarly, the representative of the Minister of Information expressed thanks to members of the Governing Council of the University. He said he is pleased with the choice of the speaker who he believes is the best choice to discuss this topic.
Thereafter, the Host and Chairman of the occasion Prof. FFO Orumwense presented gifts to the Guest Speaker and Vote of thanks was given by the Dean of Students Affairs,Professor Osadolor and the ceremony came to an end.