By Jùmọ̀kẹ́ Owóọla

On 4th April, 2020, Professor Olu Obafemi, fsonta, FNAL, NNOM will turn 70 and thus retire from Federal University Service. The National Committee on Olu Obafemi’s 70th Birthday and the Department of English, University of Ilorin therefore invite the general public to three events marking this momentous occasion.

The three events are a National Conference in honour of Prof. Olu Obafemi, a Birthday Lecture, and Books Presentation. The National conference convened by the Department of English, University of Ilorin, where Professor Obafemi was a foundation staff and served diligently to the retirement age of 70, shall hold from 31st March to 3rd April, 2020 at the University Auditorium, University of Ilorin. The Birthday Lecture and Books Presentation being organized by the National Committee on Olu Obafemi at 70 shall hold on the 4th April, 2020 at the University Auditorium and the Multipurpose Hall, University of Ilorin respectively.
While the Opening Ceremony of the Conference shall be under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Minister for Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, with the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, mni, OFR, and Emeritus Prof. Michael Omolewa, Former Representative, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as Keynote Speakers. The Birthday Lecture which holds on the 4th April, 2020, at 10:00am shall be delivered by the President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, Prof. Francis Egbokhare, FNAL, with the Pro-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi as Chairman.

The Books Presentation shall hold from 1:30pm with His Excellency Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Former Governor of Ondo State) and the Zana of Ilorin, Alhaji Lanre Shagaya as Chief Book Presenters.

Prof. Olufemi Obafemi in his scholastic journey rose through the ranks from the very base of the academic ladder (Graduate Assistant) where he started when he joined the University of Ilorin in 1976 to its zenith of professorship in 1990. His ascension to the Professorial Chair now spans 30 fruitful years.

He was Head, Department of Modern European Languages (1990-1993), Dean, Student Affairs (1993-1997), Member of the Governing Council of the University of Ilorin (1990-1998), Member of the Governing Board of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (2000-2008), ASUU Secretary (1982 -1983) and ASUU Chairman (1983-1986).
Prof. Obafemi has been External Examiner and a Visiting professor to many universities in Nigeria and abroad, including the University of Lagos; University of Leeds; University of Bayreuth, Germany; Tennessee Technology University, Cookeville, United States of America; Western Illinois University, Macomb, USA; and the University of Limpopo, South Africa. He had delivered Guest Lectures at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Hull, England, Tennessee Technology University.

He was Chairman Board of Directors, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (2001 - 2004); Chairman, Committee of Chairmen of Federal Culture Parastatals (2001 - 2003); Member of the Governing Board of the National Institute of Cultural Orientation (NICO) (2010 -2012) and Director of Research at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at Kuru, Jos (2010 - 2015). In 2016, he was unanimously voted unopposed as the President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL), a position he held up to 2018.

Since 2009 till date, he has been serving as the Chairman of Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG).

Professor Obafemi has also received several awards/grants and fellowships from many countries in Africa, Europe and the United States of America, which helped in his research and intellectual development drives. Professor Obafemi is a Fellow of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA); Fellow, English Scholars Association of Nigeria (ESAN); Fellow, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA); and Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (FNAL).

Olu Obafemi is an academic prodigy. His prolific writings including 18 creative works, 14 single and co-authored books, and over a hundred scholarly articles published in local and international outlets all stand him out as an unforgettable legend. This justifies why these events are drawing high net worth individuals from the academia, public and private sectors, traditional institutions and the international community to celebrate him. Expected guests include but not limited to the following: Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (tetfund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyode, Mr. Bayo Ojo (SAN), Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), Mr. Wale Olanipekun (SAN), Vice Chancellor University of Abuja, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, Vice Chancellor Federal University Gashua, Prof. Andrew Haruna, Vice Chancellor University of Ilorin, Prof. S. A. Abdulkareem, and Hon. Toba Kehinde, former Commissioner for Agriculture, Kogi State.
Duro Oni
Sunday Ododo
National Coordinators of the Events

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