PROFESSOR MOJISOLA ESEYIN, DEAN OF LAW-ELECT, UNIVERSITY OF UYO, NIGERIA
Esteemed and learned colleagues. I do not see this as politicking or merely participating in an election, neither do I seek this for the purpose of enriching my personal profile. Rather, I see this as seeking to pass through a necessary door in order to access the golden opportunity to plough back into the system, what the system has endowed in me for about 30 years.
Over 30 years ago, sometime in June 1991 while I was rounding up my youth service in this state, I paid a visit to this faculty and met the then Dean of Law – a father and more – Professor P. U. Umoh of blessed memory. I told him I wanted to lecture in this faculty.
He said to me, “Mbopo, you are too young to lecture,” to which I responded, “Sir, just take me. The system will build me.”
He went out of his way to ensure that I was employed. Esteemed colleagues, today, that ‘Mbopo’ stands before you with about 30 years of capacity-building and cognate experience.
While longevity may not necessarily be the yardstick for quality in most things, it is unassailable , as in my case, that when opportunity meets preparation, skill, capacity and experience cultured by longevity, then success becomes inevitable.
I have served in various capacities in this faculty and in the University. I have been, each for two tenures, Vice Dean and HOD. I have worked with two indefatigable Professors as Vice Dean, during which tenure we earned accreditation from NUC and Council of Legal Education, respectively.
Permit me, then, to title this manifesto, ‘The Manifesto of Mbopoism.’ ‘Mbopoism’ is metaphoric of what I stand for: it is my agenda.
Number 1: ‘Mbopoism’ will be a potpourri of the successes of the erstwhile Deans of this faculty and more. I, therefore, seize this opportunity to pay homage to the lineage of Deans in this faculty, though not listed in any particular order.
We will adopt the agility of Professor David Aihe, the premiere Dean of the faculty of Law.
We will assimilate the integrity of Professor Chukwura.
The tenacity of Prof. P. U. Umoh and the resoluteness of Professor Osita Eze. The finesse of Professor Enefiok Essien, the resilience of Professor Nsongurua Udombana and the intentionality of Professor Aniedi Ikpang will be very useful. We cannot forget the former Acting Deans who also contributed immensely: Dr. E. J. Uko of blessed memory and Professor Imo Udofa of a more contemporary genre.
Number 2: ‘Mbopoism’ stands for excellence, class, style, diligence and efficiency.
Number 3: ‘Mbopoism´ stands for intentional leadership. We will not leave any stone unturned. Every little detail matters. We will not allow the faculty to run on auto-pilot. We will carve a niche for this great faculty.
Number 4: ‘Mbopoism’ hungers for the digitilisation of the faculty of law. It is my passion to, in conjunction with my colleagues, place the faculty on the global page. A faculty where every lecturer is visible and digital. We will help ourselves to be on all academic digital platforms.
By God’s grace, I am on ORCID, LinkedIn, Research Gate, Google scholar and so on. I have a YouTube channel where I place contents on the course I teach: Jurisprudence. It is from that YouTube channel that the Dean of a European University acknowledged and engaged me as an External Examiner to two of her Ph.D students. This, we carried out through Webex and Zoom: right in the confines of my office.
In the wake of NUC’s current passion and advocacy for blended learning moves, (a mixture of virtual and physical lectures) ICT-laden curriculum review, and push for online global presence, I desire and I possess the capacity and ability to help the faculty in that regard.
By God’s grace, I teach my Family Law students virtually via Zoom, and physically in class. This, I desire to be the norm in this faculty in line with current NUC and global standards. We will train ourselves. We will help ourselves. No one will be left behind.
Number 5: It stands for aesthetics and beauty of organisation. All and sundry will have a shoulder to cry on. Student discipline will be our priority.
Number 6: Periodic public lectures, quality learning and research, round-tables, training and seminars will be our target.
Number 7: Staff and student’s all-round welfare will be our priority.
Number 8: While moving to the permanent site will be one of our priorities, the beautification of this edifice will be our concern.
Number 9: Networking with other faculties and Universities.
We hope to be off and running as soon as I have your mandate to be your servant leader.
Lastly, ‘Mbopoism’ is also godliness. After all, a woman saw Jesus first at resurrection.
“Mbok, eyak ntang ke ikor ukang nnyin.”
*Please, allow me to speak in our native dialect.
‘Mkpo urua ana, urua ana”
The article of marketing is available, the market is available.”*