Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Dr. David Oyedepo, has challenged academicians to ‘stop being merely bookish and start grooming thinkers’.
Oyedepo, who delivered the keynote address at the 54th meeting of the Committee of Deans of Post Graduate Schools in Nigerian Universities at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, also declared that the greatest challenge facing the black man is not intellectual bankruptcy, but laziness and inability to task his thinking faculty towards realising assets that will benefit his immediate environment.
The Chancellor of Covenant University said his experiences with those in the academia shows that many of them are simply so proud of having become an authority in their chosen fields.
He, however, noted that that is not enough as they need to go a step further by indoctrinating in young scholars the art of thinking out ideas which would address some of the challenges plaguing the black continent.
The four-day event which began on Monday would end today, The Nation reports. Oyedepo said global solution providers such as Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and The Wright Brothers among others, once had a brainwave in their time which led to great revolutions in their respective fields.
He warned Nigerians that repeated complaints would not work; but that they should battle their challenges headlong.
He said, “Everywhere I go in Nigeria today, everybody continues to complain that things are not working; but who will start how things will work and when? That person is you and that time is now, and postgraduate education should serve as a platform for inciting our students into thinking solutions. Today, it is thinkers that rule the world and we should be development-oriented in things we do.”
To make that difference, Oyedepo challenged the deans to start thinking out of the box, saying that is what would propel them to imbibe the same culture into their students.
“Leadership is not being in the driver seat, but adding values. As a dean, you must start thinking what difference you are going to make in that position; what contributions in terms of innovations and feat. You have no business being in that position if you cannot make that difference that will be a reference point to your successors years after you have left.”
Further, Oyedepo suggested the ‘read thinking’; a concept which according to him, combines research alongside critical thinking of solutions. Man’s biological configuration remains the same regardless of colour or height, Oyedepo argued.
He said Africa has a lot to tap from Covenant University which was birthed through indigenous thinking and currently ranks as the second-best university in Nigeria just within 15 years of existence.
Earlier, Chairman of the association, Professor Bamidele Sanni, said the theme of the event: ‘Repositioning postgraduate education for sustainable national development: the leadership dimension’ threw a challenge in their path as academic leaders who must groom better successors.
“As deans of post-graduate schools, our colleagues often refer to us as ‘deans of deans’. We are leaders in our capacity who are also training tomorrow’s leaders. We, therefore, have a responsibility to lead others aright before handing over so they can sustain standard.
“Those who groomed and made us who we are today are proud of us; so we also want to be proud of others by saying ‘that man or lady graduated from this university and I supervised his research.”