For quite a number of ex ECU brethren, the Alumni Fellowship has come to stay and means a number of things to a number of them. But still a few others are struggling with the idea and wondering how, or if it fits into their scheme of activities and priorities. Let me attempt to do an apologetics for the Fellowship with a view to giving the doubters the raison d'Ãªtre of the Fellowship and strengthening the conviction of the converted. In so doing, I will define what an Alumni organization is and go into the history of how this particular one started.
An alumnus is a graduate or former student of a school college or university. Thus the ECU Alumni Fellowship of the University of Ife, now known as the Obafemi Awolowo University, is a grouping of all the graduates of Unife/OAU, who passed through the Evangelical Christian Union. The Constitution of the Fellowship defines more clearly the categories of and pre - requisites for membership. But basically, anybody who passed through the ECU since her inception in 1963 is considered a member of the ECU Alumni Fellowship.
This Fellowship started on two fronts in the mid '80s. Rotimi Andu and a few others started a gathering in 1986, meeting at Foursquare Gospel Church, Yaba. They then found out that Godwin Banigo, Asuquo Antai and some others were meeting in the Festac axis. Not surprisingly, (are we not one family?), the two groups converged and in 1992, Godwin was elected to run the affairs of what then became the Lagos chapter. At a meeting held in Logemo House, Ikorodu Road, Barine Gbosi was handed the baton and the responsibility for the Lagos chapter. Information which I have says that the first Reunion was held in 1987 but details thereafter are hazy for me-somebody help so that we can keep our history accurate! â€“ but from 1996, the Reunion became a regular event, holding in 1998, 2000 and 2003.
At the 1996 Reunion, Barine Gbosi emerged as the first National President of the body. Not surprisingly, we used the same method of casting lots that we had always used to elect Exco members in the Fellowship. Constitution drafting for the Fellowship started in 1997 and in 2003, the mantle of leadership fell on Rev. Rotimi Andu. In 2004, we finally got registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and are now a legal entity, recognized by the government of Nigeria.