The Alabata Road, Permanent site of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) hosted dignitaries from all walks of life at the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU-UNAAB) Merit Award and formal commissioning of the new Secretariat Complex.

Notable personalities at the occasion included the FUNAAB’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun; Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Suraj Adekunbi; SSANU National President, Comrade Samson Ugwoke; his Vice, Mr. Alfred Jimoh, as well as other labour leaders and members of Campaign for Democracy.

Others were the Awardees, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Labour, Comrade Biyi Arogundade; the National Coordinator of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; and former SSANU’s National President and the Nigeria Labour Congress, Deputy President, Comrade Promise Adewusi.

Commissioning SSANU-FUNAAB Secretariat Complex, named Promise Adewusi-SSANU Complex, the Vice-Chancellor described the Comrade Abdulsobbur Olayiwola Salaam-led executive as ‘visionary and exemplary’.

The Vice-Chancellor donated two units of split Air-Conditioner and four standing fans to the complex, stating humorously that SSANU-UNAAB Branch “is cool-headed and that with this (air-conditioners), they will continue to be”.

Also speaking, the President of SSANU, Comrade Ugwoke, described UNAAB-SSANU as highly enterprising, focused and enviable.

Comrade Ugwoke reiterated the commitment of the national executive council to the advancement of members of SSANU, nationwide.

Also speaking at the commissioning, the immediate Past SSANU’ National President, Comrade Adewusi thanked SSANU-FUNAAB for naming its Secretariat complex after him, promising that he will not betray the confidence reposed in him.

Comrade Adewusi commended the Vice-Chancellor for his support for SSANU saying “we would have been crushed in 2009 until Prof. Balogun intervened and his intervention made the big difference”.

In his address, SSANU-FUNAAB Chairman thanked his predecessor, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole, for conceiving the idea of the complex, as well as the Vice-Chancellor, “for pushing to Council, the allocation of a parcel of land to the Union, following a request, in 2008”.

Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, SSANU Investment Scheme, Dr. Olusola Akinwande, said the purpose of the scheme was to encourage saving, easy access to loan and ability to fall-back on the savings after retirement.

After the commissioning, the SSANU-FUNAAB Merit Award was presented to the Awardees.

The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, bagged the Icon of Democracy; Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Amazon of Democracy; Comrade Promise Adewusi, SSANU Icon and Rock City 101.9 FM, Media of Democracy.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman, SSANU-FUNAAB, Comrade Salaam decried the continued disrespect by the nation’s leaders, in honouring the 2009 agreement, adding that “these people have stood up to these leaders, spoken the truth to them and they have displayed rare courage and gallantry in the face of persecution and torture. They are indeed worthy recipients of this SSANU Merit Award.

“They may never be awarded GCFR, GCON, CFR, CON or any of those hypocritical titles our elites have arrogated to themselves, but this is our own little way of showing that we love the true fighters of the people”, he said.

According to the Branch Chairman, the event was more symbolic as it coincided with the commissioning of the Secretariat Complex, named after Comrade Promise disclosing that he had promised not to hold any award ceremony until the Secretariat was completed.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the occasion and Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, promised to undertake the palliative reconstruction of the bad spots on the Abeokuta/Ibadan Highway adjoining the Camp junction, clarifying that the maintenance of the highway falls within the purview of the Federal Government as it is a Trunk A road.

Earlier in his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun congratulated the leadership and members of SSANU-FUNAAB for the creativity and ingenuity in invested in organizing the awards ceremony and having the foresight to build a secretariat and shopping complex, which he noted will benefit members of the Union and the University community, at large.

The Vice-Chancellor, whose speech was later presented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Develpopment, Prof. Kolawole Salako then promised on behalf of the Management continued collaboration with the Union in encouraging its leadership to create better working conditions for its members.