By Adekoya Adegbite (in Accra)
The Publisher of The Boss Newspapers and Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Bashorun Dele Momodu, on Saturday July 30, 2016 bagged an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) from the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA).
The event, graced by His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, took place at the university’s campus in Accra. The occasion also marked the commemoration of the institution’s 8th Congregation.
The university management said it selected Momodu in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the world of business, politics, literature and the media industry as well as his dogged commitment towards projecting the best of Africa to the world.
Delivering a speech after he was decorated by the University’s Pro-Chancellor, HRM Drolor Bosso Adamtey I, Momodu who was the sole honoree for the year 2016 and the first non-Ghanaian, thanked the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joshua Alabi and the Governing Council of UPSA for singling him out for such a great honour. He recalled with nostalgia, his first contact with Ghana exactly twenty-one years ago when he fled Nigeria under the brutal dictatorship of the late General Sani Abacha for exile in the United Kingdom.
“I succeeded in crossing through a smugglers’ route into Cotonou, Benin Republic. I was too scared to stay too long in Cotonou and so decided to meander my way to Lome, Togo. Since I couldn’t speak any smattering of French, my best and ultimate destination was Ghana. I crossed the border at Aflao and waltzed my way to Accra that evening… I departed Ghana on the night of July 28, 1995, and landed at London Gatwick on July 29. Ghana remained permanently etched in my mind. I dreamt of a day I would be able to return to the tranquility of Accra.”
In his speech at the event, President Mahama cited three reasons for deciding to attend the 8th Congregation Ceremony of UPSA. The first was to salute the good work done by the University, the second was to commend Professor Joshua Alabi, the Vice Chancellor who was rounding off his stint at the University after eight fantastic years, and “My third reason for being here this morning is to honour a great journalist and a respected African personality in the person of Chief Dele Momodu. I do this for his outstanding contribution to both national and international discourse, his strong personality, his vision, his perseverance and his strength in the face of adversity.” the President noted.
The University of Professional Studies (formerly known as Institute of Professional Studies) was founded in 1965 as a private professional business education tuition provider. The university was the first and is still the only public institution with the mandate to offer both academic degrees and provide training for higher professional education in Ghana.
Later that evening, Professor Alabi and his wonderful wife, Prof. (Mrs.) Goski Alabi hosted a wonderful dinner party at their Accra, Ghana home to round off what was a most glorious occasion.