“Change has come to the World” Speech

This was Bolu Michael-Biyi’s Valedictory Speech at Covenant University as the President of the Student Union Government

The Chancellor of Covenant University, Bishop David Oyedepo, members of the Board of Regents, all invited guests here present, the graduated set of 2009, my colleagues, members of the Student Council, all other protocols duly observed. Let me begin by appreciating the Chancellor, the management of Covenant University and our parents and guardians for their enormous investments in our lives, our debt to you is immeasurable and your care for us is unmatched. Our future is here and our destiny has begun, and it appears to us as no mirage.

Four to five years ago, we adorned in this most prestigious green gown bought a ticket to fly on the plane of change, today we take off. Today we celebrate not just the work of God in our lives but also the God of the work. John Stuart Mills once said that “One man with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests”. Now, the question is, what is our belief?, who are we?; we are an army going into the world to end the rapacious leaderships, old-fashioned and quaint systems and to correct the lies and mendacities that have long plagued our society. We have the confidence that we will do this by the help of God because we have been trained in the boot camp of Covenant University under our 7 core values, Spirituality, Integrity, Possibility Mentality, Capacity Building, Responsibility, Diligence and Sacrifice (crowd chants and claps). These are the fundamentals of our ideals.

As we leave, we bear in mind the nagging fears and trepidations that the society will pose to us, we bear in mind the fact that though our schooling may end here, education continues. We bear in mind the challenges and the opportunities that will come our way, the challenges that are meant to drill us and shape us and make us better and the opportunities that will help us to rise on the social strata. We know that for us to effect the change that we want to see, we need to stick together and not sly our army, for us to bring about this change, we have to be in range because out of range is out of change and out of change is out of range but because we have a change to make, we shall keep in range.

We want the world to know that change has come;

because of what we have been through for four to five years we say that change has come to the world!,

because of the stories of those that have gone before us and the testimonies of what God is using them to do we say that change has come to the world!

because of the expectations of the society, your expectations and the goals that we have set for ourselves, we say that change has come to the world!.

Now, this is the unavoidable conclusion that one man can turn the tide of history, one song can spark a moment, one flower can wake the dream, one fruitful tree can start a forest, one bird can herald spring, one smile can start a friendship, one star can guide a ship at sea, one word can frame the goal, one vote can change a nation and one graduate can change the world.

Thank you, God bless you and may God bless Covenant University (crowd chants and claps and Bolu Michael-Biyi bows to the board of regents).

“We Are One” Speech

This was Bolu Michael-Biyi’s Hand-Over Speech as the President of the Student Union Government of Covenant University

“Good afternoon everyone,

We want to say this afternoon that we feel grateful for the privilege given to us, mindful of the future ahead of us, humbled by the trust bestowed on us and successful for the achievements we have made. I cannot proceed in this extraordinarily gracious speech without acknowledging those who have been a source of inspiration and support to us over the past one year. To the Chancellor of Covenant University we say a big thank you, we also thank the Vice-Chancellor for being a mother indeed to us, to the Registrar, we thank you so much for being a father indeed to us, to the Dean of Student Affairs and all officials of the Student Affairs department, we thank you for your support all along, we thank every member of faculty, we thank the Chaplain of Covenant University, Pastor Ubong Ntia, we appreciate our predecessors, I want to share my love to the outgone Student Council members, thank you for your love, your loyalty and support. To all members of different committees, friends and our classmates, we say a big thank you and most especially to the most important persons on campus, our colleagues, the students. We thank you because you brought out our strengths and our weaknesses, though we may not have been able to meet all your needs, we say today that we are better leaders because of you. To the management of Covenant University, we thank you for giving us this awesome privilege and also teaching us the intricacies of management and organization and we can boldly stand up here and say that the Covenant University student council platform is an opportunity that should never be denied. If anyone is in doubt about what took place here few minutes ago, student leadership has changed hands, today represents the end of an historic moment with the beginning of another, not just because we spent exactly one year, one month and one day in office but because a time like this must always come and history can never be wiped out and even if history gets wiped out it still goes back to history that history was wiped out (crowd chants).

April 27, 2008 was a defining moment in the life of some 32 persons who sought and looked up to God for direction on exactly what to do, today we enter into the land of the greats and the world of the historic; henceforth, we shall be called ‘former’, we join the league of predecessors. Today we leave with two basic things, memories and convictions; memories of the nice times we had together in the open forum, our student forum and the prayer and evangelism conferences we had together which was like the spiritual touch the university needed, the times that the students came to us and we appear to be like the last hope, we have these memories in our minds and despite the plethora of these memories, we have one basic conviction that though we may not be where we hoped to be, we are not where we used to be. I agree we had false starts and I say to everyone that though we leave, our influence remains; we did not plan to achieve, we only planned to succeed; our labour is over and our rest has began and I believe we tried because we thrived. We have planted seeds and seeds are buried in the ground and they cannot be seen. We do not feel bad that we may not be able to reap the fruits of these seeds but our joy is that you eat the fruits because we are one body and we ask ourselves the question ‘what else can we do?’, the same way I asked myself the question, I asked God the question ‘why should I be the one to enjoy the privilege of being the number one student on campus having been a major critic; though I was not very vocal (Bolu Michael-Biyi smiles) now I have an understanding and we give God the glory.

To the new Student Council members, I want you to know that you are not just the voice, you are also the ear; you are the voice that the management wants to hear and the ear that they want to whisper to. Listen to our colleagues, listen to the Students, they want to whisper to your hear and speak back to them. All you need is determination after God, determination because it is what will take you forward. An adage says that “great men are ordinary men but with extraordinary amount of determination”, which means that what separates the mediocre from the great is determination and that is what you need. I want everyone to know as a university that the common challenges we face should bind us together rather than separate us; therefore, I want us to summon a spirit of patriotism, I want today to represent a more perfect union between the management of Covenant University and the student body, I want us to see ourselves more as a nation rather than an academic institution because we are actually bigger than many nations of the world, Vanuatu, Vatican City and even countries of the Greater Antilles. We rise and rise as one university, we don’t fall, we don’t fail, we don’t falter, we don’t flounder. That is the genius in this university.

1946 was the first time the world came together to say ‘we are one!’,

a man landed on the moon, a wall fell in Berlin and the whole world came together again to say ‘we are one!’,

so when our sky seem dark and our star seem deem, let us say as one university that, ‘we are one!’,

when the common challenges we face seem to separate us rather than bind us together, let us still say that ‘we are one!’

cos’ out of many, we are one and while we breath we hope and in the midst of cynicisms and doubts we shall say that undeniable creed that sums up the spirit of a people, ‘we are one!’.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless Covenant University (crowd chants and rises to their feet while Bolu Michael-Biyi takes a bow).