Alaibe, Friends Equip Rivers University Library


Former Managing Director of the Niger Delta development Commission (NDDC) and Bayelsa State politician, Chief Timi Alaibe, at the weekend led his friends and associates to equip the newly unveiled Alaere Augustina Alaibe Library of the Faculty of Management Sciences of Rivers State University, Port-Harcourt.

The library, named after his late wife, Alaere, received donation of books, computers, broadband internet subscription and virtual library linkages with foreign universities.

“My family and I, as well as our friends and associates, have decided to do all that is within our resources and powers to make the Alaere Augustina Alaibe Library the best of its kind not just in Nigeria but in the West African sub-region,” Alaibe said at a brief ceremony attended by his friends; Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Blessing Didia; Dean of Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof. Donald Hamilton; and other officials and students of the faculty. 

He added: “We intend for it to be truly reckoned with as a true citadel of research and study especially in a rapidly changing world.”

He said the library would be linked to the libraries of the best universities in the world.

Alaibe said his family in collaboration with Sir Emeka Offor Foundation was expecting a shipload of books that was on its way from abroad to equip the library.

“The books were ordered after due consultation with the Dean and other faculty members; so the books that are coming will cover virtually all topics in management sciences both at graduate and post-graduate levels,” he said.

One of his associates, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, the Managing Director of Heritage Bank, said he would donate 500 pieces of internet-ready HP Desktop computers, renewable one year internet broadband, eight pieces of 2HP Trunk Air conditioners, a 200kva diesel generator and unfettered access to research findings from Heritage Bank’s training and research laboratory for students and researchers using the library.

Also pledged by some of his associates were workstations and multimedia systems and accessories.

Hamilton had in his opening remarks explained why the institution resolved to name the library after Alaere and requested for books in virtually all disciplines in the management sciences as well as computers for the new library.

“We immortalised Mrs. Alaere Alaibe, who was an alumna of the faculty, precisely the Department of Banking and Finance, as well as her contributions to education through her Family Reorientation Education and Empowerment (FREE) Programme. We decided to name our Faculty Library after her,” he said.

In his message, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, described Alaere as one of Nigeria’s best, whom he met and respected in the course of her efforts to spread literacy in rural communities through her organisation, FREE.

Soyinka, who was represented by Mr. Tony Uranta, said he was happy that the works of Alaere through FREE was being befittingly recognised by the Rivers State University by naming a library after her.

The Nobel Laurette had once confessed that he was amazed by the magnitude of Alaere’s vision in extending literary culture, empowerment and self-esteem to the forgotten.

“I am not often impressed with people, but she (Alaere Alaibe) has succeeded in impressing me with her drive, her vision and her total commitment,” Soyinka once said after visiting FREE’s headquarters and inaugurating its library named after him in Igbainwari Community in Opokuma, Bayelsa State.

The Vice Chancellor, Didia, eulogised the Alaibe family for their exemplary disposition. “It is not how long we live that matters but what we make of the time we spend on earth. Mrs. Alaibe’s time here on earth was short, but today even people who taught her in this university are not being talked about at all,” he said.

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Bura-Bari Nwilo lives in Port Harcourt, in Nigeria. He is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness – a book of stories.

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