The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has described one of his predecessors, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, as a visionary, meticulous, focused, energetic and God-fearing leader.

Prof. Abdulkareem, who made this observation last Wednesday (February 21, 2018) at the presentation of a book, “Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences”, written in honour of Prof. Oloyede, said that these attributes have played significant roles in the life and career of the Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence such that he has become a celebrated national icon.

Pointing out that Prof. Oloyede, who is currently the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), was “the secret behind the greatness of the University of Ilorin, the Vice-Chancellor, who was the Chief Host at the book presentation that took place at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja, said, “During his tenure as VC, he gave every undergraduate the chance to come close to him and advise him on how to run the University”.

Prof. Abdulkareem, who told the audience that it was Prof. Oloyede who made him the Dean of Student Affairs in 2008, said that the Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence is “catalytic” because “there is no way he would be in a place and allows things to fail”.

The Vice-Chancellor also said that Prof. Oloyede “is very smart”, noting that “he takes his time to take side on any issue but when he takes side, he remains steadfast on it”.

Saying that the JAMB Registrar is “a visionary person”, Prof. Abdulkareem disclosed that “his footprints are all over the University of Ilorin”.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, “Prof. Oloyede is very focused. No matter the amount of distractions, he is not perturbed”. 

Prof. Abdulkareem, who also said that the former Unilorin Vice-Chancellor “is a meticulous person”, pointed out that “he takes time to ensure that when things are to be done, they would be done properly”.

The Vice-Chancellor also said that Prof. Oloyede “is a very bold human being”, recalling that the JAMB Registrar once told him that 'as far as you are honest, you don't have to fear any human being'. Prof. Abdulkareem said he imbibed this characteristic from Prof. Oloyede and “that is what has been guiding me too”,

In his own remarks at the Book Presentation, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Shamsudeen Amali, recalled that "together with Prof. Luke Edungbola, Prof. Oloyede was the architect of whatever development that occurred at the University of Ilorin during my tenure”.

Prof. Amali said that Prof. Oloyede is a gifted leader and a man of vision, adding that “he believes in justice for everybody, whether you are Christian or Muslim”.

Also in his remarks, the President of MUSWEN, Prof. D. O. S. Noibi, disclosed that in the course of his relationship with Prof. Oloyede over the years, he had always got inspirations from him.

Prof. Noibi, who was Prof. Oloyede's lecturer at the University of Ibadan and a fellow indigene of Ogun State, said, “He played a very significant role in our effort to redress the marginalization of Muslims in Ogun State”.

In its desire to ensure that staff and students enjoy recreational facilities, the management of the University of Ilorin will begin the construction of a modern swimming pool at the institution's Sport Complex before the end of the year.

This was made known by the University Director of Sport, Prof. O.O. Obiyemi, while featuring on a Unilorin FM 89.3 weekly current affairs programme, 'Oro t'onlo' last Tuesday (February 20, 2018)

Speaking at the rate at which youths perpetrate various degrees of immoral acts, the scholar of Human Kinetics and Health Education appealed to parents and guardians to inculcate sufficient moral values in their children and wards, adding that teaching them how to get money is not enough to guarantee a better future for the children.

According to him, a child that lacks moral values would mess up the wealth his parents laboured for and might taint the image of the family as well.

Commenting on the opportunities available on the internet, the erudite scholar explained that there exist a lot of benefits that come with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) just as there are disadvantages.

While lamenting the rate at which youths perpetrate illegal acts via the internet, the don encouraged parents to train their children right from the home on how to use the internet to their advantaged, especially to attain the best, academically.

Prof. Obiyemi was of the opinion that a child that enjoys proper upbringing will not find it difficult to differentiate between right and wrong, adding that such child will always excel in life.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has enjoined the students on the Linguistic Immersion Programme at the University to conduct themselves with discipline, decency and determination to achieve the purpose of their coming to Nigeria. 

Prof. Abdulkareem stated this last Wednesday (February 14, 2018) during a welcome programme organised for the 524 Linguistic Immersion students from the Beninese School of Applied Economics and Management, University of Abomey-Calavi (ENEAM/UAC), Benin Republic, who came to the University of Ilorin to learn spoken English.

The Vice-Chancellor, who spoke through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Adedayo Abdulkareem, encouraged the visiting students to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations as well as standard of behaviour of the institution. 

Prof. Abdulkareem said that the University of Ilorin was known for character and learning, which reflects in the school's motto, “Probitas Doctrina”. He said, “It is deliberate that we put character before learning because without character, all learning is useless and even counter-productive. This is why we put a mechanism in place like the dress code to regulate behaviour on campus”.

Speaking on the immersion programme, the Vice-Chancellor said, “Since its establishment in 2008, the Unilorin Centre, for Linguistic Immersion has, under its successive leaderships, been living up to the objectives for which it was established. 

“These objectives include exposing the non-Anglophone students to English-language skills for communication in all English-speaking countries and in international organisations where the English language is required, making students more functionally proficient, providing sufficient foundation and impetus for further development, and making the University of Ilorin more accessible to the global world”.

He, however, said that the arrival of the 524 Beninese students was in furtherance of the mandate of the Centre, adding that during the period of their sojourn in the University, the students will undergo academic, linguistic and cultural immersion through which they would be able to relate more with the larger world. 

The Vice-Chancellor observed that we now live in a heterogeneous and multicultural world and universities are not an exception. “The need of the day is for universities to build sustainable partnerships that will accelerate development and engender cooperation across countries and institutions, as the University of Ilorin does”, he stated.

Prof. Abdulkareem said further, “This is especially important for African countries and universities because without cooperating with one another and without reaching out to one another, there is a limit to which we can build a better future. This is because if we Africans do not support or cooperate with one another as one people, who will?”

While enjoying the various Departments and Faculties to cooperate with the Centre in all the ways it requires to make the students have a pleasant and memorable stay at the University, the Vice-Chancellor pledged that his administration would do everything within its powers to ensure the studies and activities of the visiting students were successful.

Earlier in her opening remark, the Director of the Linguistic Immersion Centre, Dr. (Mrs.) Ajarat Sanni Suleiman, said that the programme engenders academic interaction beyond shores and encouraged friendship among the students to be in a lifelong friendship. 

The Director, who observed that the programme would project the University of Ilorin to the outside world and foster unity among the West African people, however, admonished every member of the University community to welcome the students, be friends with them and take them as their brothers and sisters.

On her part, the Director of the Centre for International Education, (CIE), University of Ilorin, Prof. (Mrs.) F.A.O. Olasehinde-Williams, said that the Linguistic Immersion programme is one of the activities included in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Ilorin and Abomey-Calavi University.

She explained that the programme brings students from diverse cultures together in order to exchange ideas as well as foster understanding across diverse cultures.

Prof. Olasehinde-Williams, however, urged the visiting students to use the wonderful opportunity of the immersion programme offered by the University to avail themselves of all varied social programmes that the University has to offer.

The Coordinator of the programme from the Beninese School of Applied Economics and Management, University of Abomey-Calavi, Prof. Housou Remy, said that the vision of the partnership between the two institutions was to ensure that the Beninese students are able to communicate with their colleagues in the rest of the world. 

The Coordinator said that the University of Ilorin has shown what it takes to be a leading force in the community of universities in Africa with the commitment of the institution through its Linguistic Immersion Centre. 

The don, however, described the programme as a practical aspect of the cooperation between the two universities, saying, “We expect that after the one month stay in Ilorin, the students would be able to bring back home something that would differentiate them from their contemporaries and by so doing, improving the relationship between ENEAM/UAC and University of Ilorin.

There were goodwill messages from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof O. Olademo; the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. T. Ajibade; the Director of the University Health Services, Dr. R. Odunola and the Chief Security Officer of the University, who spoke through Mr. N. Imam. 

Other Principal Officers present on the occasion include the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation), Prof G.A. Olatunji; the University Librarian, Dr. A.O. Issa; the Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, Prof. U.B. Eke; and the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof. A. Agunu; among others.

A Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Ilorin, AbdulWaheed Olajide Olatinwo, has called on the Federal Government to give special consideration to the treatment of infertility under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)  in order to reduce the burden of individuals affected by the health issue. 

Prof. Olatinwo, who also is the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), made this submission last Thursday (February 15, 2018) while delivering the 178th Inaugural Lecture of the University, entitled “Help for the Helpless and Hope for the Hopeless: The Medicine of Reproductive Possibility”.   

The Inaugural Lecturer submitted that infertility should be made a public health issue given its intersection across medical and social realms particularly in a clime like Nigeria where significant emphasis is placed on childbearing which is often seen as a most important determinant of marital success and social acceptability. 

“Infertility is thus far from being a medical problem alone, it is also a social, emotional and cultural problem”, Prof. Olatinwo averred, pointing out that it is the “leading health problem where the non-medical consequences are worse than the medical implications of the disease.”

According to the renowned clinician, teacher of medicine and hospital administrator, “the socio-cultural and emotional implications of infertility have led, in many instances, to stigmatization, marital disharmony, personal dissatisfaction and feeling of inadequacy and depression, and it has led to in-laws becoming 'monsters in-law' due to untold pressure. Many times, things fall apart and the once happy conjugal union ends in divorce due to childlessness.”

Prof. Olatinwo added that “for others, the untold hardship leads to behavioural disorders including anxiety, depression, suicidal tendency, taking solace in the use of alcohol or psychoactive drugs to 'wipe away the sorrow' – all of which have been shown to increase the likelihood of developing additional sexual dysfunction thereby worsening the situation”.

The don further stated that “restoring hope for these hopeless individuals and ending their helplessness is not through a trial-by-error approach; rather, it involves intentional evidence-based scientific methods in restoring hope.”

While identifying Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) as a widely adopted and successful measure towards confronting the challenge of infertility, Prof. Olatinwo lamented the inaccessibility of this technology to large sections of the population in low-resource settings due to the exorbitant cost of fertility treatment. 

Putting forward his recommendations, the Inaugural Lecturer advocated a public financing of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), which he noted, could be achieved through integrating the investigation and treatment of infertility into the existing reproductive health services. 

He further pointed out that under his leadership as the CMD of the University's teaching hospital, the UITH ART/IVF Centre, was “conceived out of the passion to provide 'hope for the hopeless' and 'help for the helpless' through the medicine of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).”

Prof. Olatinwo called on the Federal Government to “make efforts to improve infrastructures particularly in the area of stable power supply”, adding that “government can support the private sector firms, which are currently the main providers of IVF services, by way of reducing or even waiving taxes on equipment for IVF, drugs, and consumables.”

 According to him, “this would significantly reduce the cost of treatment, thereby making IVF services more affordable”. He then canvassed for strong regulatory bodies to regulate every aspect of the ART practice in order to enhance efficiency and promote safety.

While calling for a speedy passage of the Bill on the establishment of the "Nigerian Assisted Reproduction Authority" presented by the Association of Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH-Nigeria) to the National Assembly, Prof. Olatinwo enjoined Nigerian universities with relevant postgraduate medical programmes to consider starting subspecialty training in infertility.

To achieve this, he said, “Collaboration with local IVF centres and foreign universities should be sought so that trainees can spend valuable time in such centres to improve their knowledge and skills in ART services”, adding that “to address the personnel and training needs of the region, IVF centres should seek accreditation and begin training programmes for the various categories of personnel needed in this highly specialised field of medicine.” 

The UITH CMD also called for increased educational and socio-economic empowerment of women, pointing out that these are necessary preconditions for the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality.

While urging the government to provide free maternal and child health care services for pregnant women and their children under the age of five years as a way of curbing avoidable deaths among women and children, Prof. Olatinwo further charged the authorities to expedite action towards “achieving universal health coverage for the citizens as a vehicle for achieving qualitative healthcare for all.”

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, has told the Nigerian media to stop the practice of wholesale labeling of particular ethnic groups in the country as criminals on accounts of infractions committed by individuals.

Alhaji Abubakar said this in Abuja last Wednesday (February 21, 2018) at the presentation of a book, “Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences”, written in honour of the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede.

The Sultan, who was the Spiritual and Royal Father at the event, said, “We should stop giving criminals ethnic labeling. There are criminals among all ethnic groups and if somebody or a group commits a crime, let's deal with them as criminals and not as Muslim criminals,       Christian criminals, Yoruba criminals, Hausa criminals, Fulani criminals or Igbo criminals”.

Alhaji Abubakar, who is also the Sarkin Musulumi and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, pointed out that “thousands of people are being killed every day for economic survival but we are fond of giving these crimes religious and ethnic colorations”, stressing that “this is wrong and we should stop this if we want stability in our country”.

The Sultan commended the brains behind the book publication, saying they have done a good job by honouring Prof. Oloyede when he is still alive rather than waiting until he is no more before celebrating him.

According to the respected royal father, “If you want to celebrate an achiever, do so when he is alive so that he could be encouraged to do more and not after his death when he would not know anything happening behind him”.

Alhaji Abubakar commended Prof. Oloyede, saying that the Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence is doing a wonderful job as the Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice S. M. A. Belgore, commended the initiators of the book project, saying, “The book is a wonderful publication”. 

Justice Belgore, who said that he had known Prof. Oloyede since his student days in the University, described the honoree as “extremely religious and very polite. He is a very kind human being with the fear of God, a good teacher and a good Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, one of the best in Africa”.

The book reviewer, Prof. Afiz Oladosu of the University of Ibadan, pointed out that “Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences” is “written for those who value knowledge”

In his remarks while presenting the book, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) described the publication as “a product of a high level of selflessness”.

Dr. Babalakin, who is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos, also poured encomiums on the honoree, Prof. Oloyede, who he said, “worked at the University of Ilorin as if his entire life and the lives of his family depended on it”.

The Book Presenter disclosed that “at the Fountain University, Osogbo, where Prof. Oloyede is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, “he brought so many developments to the university in two years than the institution has ever had since inception”.

Also in his remarks, a former Minister of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, said that himself and Prof. Oloyede had been friends since the past 40 years during their days as members of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN). 

Alhaji Shekarau pointed out that “as a fellow member of the MSS and as an outstanding friend for almost 40 years, I want to say that 90 per cent of what you see in Oloyede today is a product of the rigorous training he imbibed from the MSS”.

The book presentation was attended by a bevy of Who-is-Who across the Nigerian society. There were personalities from the academia, the traditional institution, the business community, the judiciary, the legal profession, the civil service and students.

The roll-call included the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Ilorin, Dr. Abdullah Jibril Oyekan; the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem; two of his predecessors, Prof. Shamsudeen Amali and Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali; a representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle; the Emir of Keffi, and Chief S. O. Babalola.

Also in attendance were the Principal Officers of the University of Ilorin – the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. A. Y. Abdulkareem; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RTI), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji; the Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Obafemi; and the University Librarian, Dr. Abdulwahab Issa; the National Librarian, Prof. Lenrie Aina; a former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, Prof. Y. A. Quadri; the Chief Medical Director of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital(UITH), Prof. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo; the Director, University of Ilorin School of Preliminary Studies; the Head of the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Prof. R. W. Omotoye; Prof. Olu Obafemi, and the Ag. Director of the Centre for Ilorin Studies, University of Ilorin, Dr. I. A. Jawondo.

Others in attendance included the representative of the Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Titilayo Daibu; the Mudhiru of Markaz Islamic Centre, Agege, Lagos, Sheikh Habibullah Adam El-Ilory; the President of MUSWEN, Prof. D. O. S. Noibi; the Director of the Central Research Laboratories, University of Ilorin, Prof. Oladiji and Prof. (Mrs.) Bakare-Odunola of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, among others.

The occasion also attracted a heavy presence of Directors and top staff of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The Vice-Chancellor of Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State, Prof. Sola Fajana, has said that the reason unemployment, inequality and corruption have become the order of the day in Nigeria is because the nation has become a country of impunity and a jungle where anything goes.

Speaking on the topic "Employability in Nigeria: Challenges and Solutions" last Thursday (February 15, 2018), at the first Student Conference organised by the Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, University of Ilorin, Prof. Fajana said that corruption has grossly hampered the growth and development in the country, thereby giving birth to many social problems including unemployment.

He said so many jobs are potentially killing in every sector of the economy due to the ineptitude of those at the corridor of powers to diversify the economy and lead the country to the Promised Land.

The JABU boss expressed dissatisfaction over the issue of teeming unemployed youth in the country, pointing out that if Nigerian leaders retrace their steps and get it right, the issue of the high rate of unemployment and other related menace would become things of the past.

Prof. Fajana gave assurance that conscious efforts with objective mindset on diversification will not only boost the country's economy but also open more job opportunities for the vast majority of its youths. 

He pointed out that the rising wave of graduate unemployment in Nigeria is attributable to lack of political will on the part of government, tertiary institutions' misplacement of priority and some graduates' myopic thinking on white collar jobs.

Prof. Fajana said that Nigeria has a compounded graduate employment and employability situation, saying that all hands must be on deck to address the menace for the progress and development of the country.

He warned that if the menace of unemployment is not nipped in the bud, it could degenerate into a crime that would snowball into a serious threat to the peace and social cohesion of the country.

The Guest Speaker, therefore, called for higher education institutions and Public-Private Partnership as a way of giving window of opportunity for entrepreneurial skills for students of tertiary institutions.

He advised Nigerian graduates to develop the right attitude that will make them to be employable, saying that out of every 1,000 graduate applicants, hardly can we find one that has the appropriate skills to be employed in industry.

Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, who was represented on the occasion by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya, described the conference as very apt and focused especially at this time when the white collar job is not easy to come by.

In his welcome address, the Ag. Head of the Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Dr I. B. Kadiri, said that the essence of the conference was to educate and enlighten his students on the need to become self sufficient rather than job seekers after their graduation.

All is now set for the launch of a book this Wednesday (February 21, 2018) in honour of the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede.

The 579-page book, entitled “Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences”, was edited by three lecturers of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Y. O. Imam, Dr. R. I. Adebayo and Dr. A. I. Ali-Agan, all former students of the Professor of Islamic Studies.

The book launch, scheduled to take place at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja, by 10am, will be chaired by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Salihu Modibo Belgore. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, will be the Chief Host.

Other dignitaries expected at the event are the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar; Prof. Afiz Oladosu of the University of Ibadan, who is the Book Reviewer and the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), who is the Book Presenter. 

One of the editors of the book, Prof. Imam, said the book was written as “a show of appreciation for Prof. Oloyede's mentorship and tutelage and also to celebrate his numerous achievements in leadership positions, especially his tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin from 2007 to 2012.”

According to Prof. Imam, Prof. Oloyede “actually turned round that University. He is a pacesetter for all other Vice-Chancellors in terms of what administration should be”.

The Professor of Islamic Studies added that “ever since he became JAMB Registrar, Prof. Oloyede has broken records. He has been able to recover N7 billion in a year. In a country where most people are known for fraudulent behaviour, 419 and all that, he has stood out. Someone like him should be celebrated”.

The former Unilorin Vice-Chancellor was President of the Association of African Universities (AAU). He was also on the Boards of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the International Association of Universities (IAU).

He was appointed JAMB Registrar in August 2016.