What a Star! Professor Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede was the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, from October, 2007 and Chairman Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC) from 2011 to 2012. He was until January, 2011, the president of Association of African universities (AAU).
Like everything in life, the very eventful administration of Prof. Is-haq Oloyede came to an end on October 15, 2012. And as testified to by all stakeholders from within and outside the university, the vice-chancellor has acquitted himself sufficiently, having left his giant footprints in the sand of time. Within a space of five years that he held sway as vice-chancellor, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede has so turned around the fortunes of the University of Ilorin, and by extension those of its students and staff, that the historically ‘second generation university’ has now overtaken most of its ‘first generation’ counterparts in the country and shot to the forefront in African university rating.
I cannot begin to name all the projects that he was able to successfully implement during his tenure. However, just to mention a few, the issues of the Computer Based Training were all his ideas. The university started with the twin buildings built by a mutual agreement with e-tranzact, and the University under him went on to construct double that number. We now have six halls altogether that can sit 1,500 students in examination at the same time. Also the ICT base of the university has enlarged tremendously. We now have a Network Operating centre and the University can now do inter-conferencing with people abroad.
Prof. Is-haq Oloyede has invested so much in the future with the planting of economic trees like Moringa, Jathropa and even our tree plantation which also protect our environment. I am sure the generations to come will benefit from this. He has also developed other recreational activities; we have the dam resort centre that is now the pride of the University. People come to have functions there, we have the zoo that is now attracting thousands of people every week and new animals are brought in there. We also have the staff club and the fountain at the main roundabout of the University.
He focused on our core areas of Teaching, Research and Community service, the university radio station a.k.a UNILORIN FM, is waxing stronger. Today, we on twenty four broadcast of educating, entertaining, informing and amusing our listeners in our community because of our innovative programmes. We do not only teach, but we practice what we teach. The radio station has made the university a small environment, because information on security matters can be transmitted immediately.
He doesn’t believe anything is impossible once he has made up his mind to do it which has assisted us in our social development of this university. There used to be incessant power outage but in the last few years, he has improved on that. He has been able to solicit assistance from the Central Bank of Nigeria in upgrading our power supply. We have our dam and the funding of the operation of the dam is very expensive and he has been funding it faithfully.
The Unions, especially ASUU, are doing very well. To our critics outside, they believe that His administration has pocketed the union leadership by not joining the strike. That is far from it. Unionism all over the world today is about development and that is what people don’t realize.
He reconstituted the inter-religious council as it should be and gave them the mandate to work well that is why you have religious harmony on the campus. Needless to say that our campus has remain very safe due to strategic review of our security and always in line with the status quo.
In the history of sport development, Oloyede’s name will be written in gold. This is because of the 13th edition of the West Africa University Games (WAUG) which the University of Ilorin hosted. It has come and gone but the image of the university will keep resonating for a long time to come. We had over fifty universities from West Africa who had fun and-the game as people spoke in one voice was spectacular. That was the first time the WAUG has the highest number of universities that participated in its competition. The university recorded hitch free games and the officiating was great. Again stakeholders said it was the best game of such ever-not with the hospitality of the Kwara community and the host-the university community, people left here with good image of the university, the Kwara state community and the nation. Just like the mantra of Kwara state- it is good here.
Prof. Is-haq Oloyede served as the board of many reputable university organisations. He was the Chairman, Committee of Directors of Academic planning in Nigerian Universities – 2002 to 2004. He was until his voluntary resignation in 2011 the President, Association of African Universities (a position he relinquished to pave way for another Nigerian-the immediate vice-chancellor of NOUN)- to assume office as the CEO/Secretary General of the association. He served on the board of Association of commonwealth Universities (ACU), 2010 to 2012 and International Association of Universities (IAU), 2008 to 2012. He was the Executive Secretary and National Coordinator of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) from 2007 to 2012 and currently the Secretary General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
I am sure he would have stepped on toes over these years but I believe “the end justifies the means” and maybe some of those comments may be the price of leadership that he might have to pay. But I believe by and large, posterity will tell of his great achievements in being able to bring about the change in the last five years during which he was Vice-Chancellor.
You can reach the star on:
Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution.
Faculty of Arts, Department of Religious, University of Ilorin, P.M.B 1515, Ilorin.
This I Know a Nigerian Star artice was written and submitted by:
Lawal, Aliu Bolade native of Oyo State Nigeria and an Electrical Electronics Engineering student of University of Illorin. His hobbies are Reading, Writing and Travelling.
Address: No. 5, Balogun Street, Tanke Oke-odo, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Phone No.: 07037135181.