BUILDING peace has been a key lifelong commitment for a former University of Bradford student who has made a poignant return to the city to receive a special honour.

It is more than 20 years since Professor Oshita Osang Oshita arrived at the University of Bradford as a Chevening Scholar in the Department of Peace Studies.

He graduated from Bradford with an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies (Merit) in 2004.

But tragedy also struck during his time as a student in Bradford as he and his wife Joy lost their baby son, Ochikono, 20 years ago.

Prof Oshita, from Nigeria, has now been made a Doctor of the University - ‘In recognition of their significant contribution to international peace studies and your support in developing links with the University of Bradford.’

He said: “Unfortunately, Joy and I lost our baby, Ochikono while I was studying here 20 years ago, but my spirit tells me that Ochikono is also around today waving at daddy, mummy and his siblings, certain not to miss out on these wonderful celebrations.”

Professor Oshita is the Executive Director of Ubuntu Centre for Africa Peacebuilding and Development (UCAP). His previous roles have also included Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Abuja.

He said: “I’m so excited to receive the award because Bradford has touched my life. It is part of the life-changing effect that Bradford has given to me.

“As a graduate of Bradford, my life changed positively. Since leaving Bradford in 2004, I have connected with classmates and alumni across nearly all seven continents of the world.

“Indeed, my 19 years post-graduation experience from Bradford shows that a University of Bradford graduate stands out professionally.”

His accomplishments also included him being a distinguished delegate of the Model United Nations in New York, USA, in 2003.

He was one of the African Union Commission (AUC) consultants that designed the strategy for the reconstruction, stabilisation and resilience of the terrorism-ravaged Lake Chad Basin in Africa.

Prof Oshita is a Study Group Coordinator at the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), located in the Nigerian capital Abuja. He is fellow of the Society of Peace Studies and Practice (FSPSP), the Institute for Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (FICMC), and Philosophers Association of Nigeria (FPAN). He is published and has taught in different universities, including the University of Bayreuth, Germany.