The Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), in the Edo State of Nigeria, has conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree, a Doctor of Letters, on former President John Dramani Mahama.

The conferment ceremony took place during the 16thConvocation of the University, Nigeria’s first private university founded by Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion of Okada and Esama of Benin.

Established in 1999, the Igbinedion University now has a total of seven colleges and certified to award twenty-nine different degrees and certificates.

It has all relevant regulatory and professional accreditations from various bodies including the National Universities Commission (NUC), Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Council of Legal Education (CLE), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Council for the Regulation of  Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

In a citation, the University recognised President John Dramani Mahama’s statesmanship and his commitment to the West African Sub-region and African Continent. It recognised Mr. Mahama’s influential role in the ECOWAS sub-region, the Africa Union and the United Nations noting especially his role during the deadly Ebola Virus attack in the sub-region.

“When the deadly EBOLA virus ravaged some parts of West Africa, and threatened global health, not only did you open Ghana’s borders, but you also galvanized prompt regional, continental and global support to arrest the contagion”.

The IOU also noted the implementation of people-centred policies which, along with strengthening of democratic institutions, were fundamental anchors that drove Mr. Mahama’s vision of socio-economic transformation of Ghana.

Off course, for many, the massive infrastructural drive across Ghana during his tenure is evidenced by the numerous world class hospitals, schools, roads, and visible modernisation in all sectors of the economy, including aviation.

Addressing the congregation, former President Mahama repeated his call for greater economic collaboration between Ghana and Nigeria as drivers of the sub-region.

Ghana and Nigeria being the two biggest economies in West Africa, he noted, places a responsibility on them to become the engine room that will propel the sub-region to greater prosperity and dignity for its people.

‎While congratulating the Founder, Council, Management and Faculty of the Igbinedion University for the successes chalked and its enviable feat as the premier private university in Nigeria, Mr. Mahama emphasised that “institutions of higher learning have a significant role to play in the transformation of our countries. First, by producing the required human resources with the requisite skills to transform our societies for the benefit of our people. We need our universities to also research on the major issues confronting today’s world, such as climate change, the like of populism in our politics, migration, financial recession, depressed commodity price etc.”

This is the latest of many such awards received by Mr. Mahama. The Ekiti University, also in Nigeria, and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, have also conferred Honorary Doctorate Degrees on him in the past.

Watch a video from the ceremony here: