Author Topic: Great Ife At 50!  (Read 658 times)


Great Ife At 50!
« on: Nov 21, 2012, 05:56 AM »
[float=left][/float] Our gratitude goes to Prof. Ayo Olukotun for his nostalgic reflection on the idyllic past of the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. We had great dreams as Femi observed, we were the best of the very best and so we wished for our Great Ife; alas as with all things in our suffering country, the dream turned into despair but we refuse to lose hope.

Great Ife lives on in all of us, all of us carry that seed even now to be passed on to the next generation torchbearers.

Long live Great Ife!

Prof. Banji Oyeyinka,

Director, United Nations, Nairobi, Kenya.

I commend Prof. Ayo Olukotun for the great write-up on Great Ife. I really enjoyed reading it. The essay evoked one’s deep memories of our great institution. Thank you for reflecting on names of those who actually participated in the making of Great Ife – an institution that played no small role in the invocation of the modern day renaissance in African academia of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.  I also recall how the student union was so powerful and respected that it brought great names in politics to the campus for guest lectures and debates. In my own time (1976 to 1980), names such as the late Gen. Joseph Garba, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, Jaja Nwachukwu, and that of Dr. Bolaji Akinyemi, to mention just a few, come to mind. Also, in addition to “Odu,” I think “Second Order” was another great journal that sprang out of the Ife Renaissance. The presence of great literary icons such as Oyin Ogunba, Yemi Ogunbiyi, J. F. Odunjo, Bayo Faleti, Akin Isola, Amos Tutuola, Ola Rotimi, Pierre Verger, and a host of others once graced the great campus of Ife. The same could be said in the sciences, medicine, and agric engineering. Dr. Femi Soyinka (medicine), the Grillo brothers (medicine and pharmacy), Odeyemi (microbiology), among others were all on campus at the same time. And among its famous products in the business world is Dele Momodu, publisher of “Ovation,” and Sulaiman Bola-Babs, a great publisher in Lagos. Again, thank for this reflective essay! God bless!

Prof. Michael Afolayan,

Southern Illinois University, USA.

Thanks, Prof. Olukotun, for your brilliant article on “Ife at 50”. You summarily captured the events over the decades.

Permit me to remind you of one of your own exploits as President of the Students Union in the 70s. There was a time we were making some demands from the Federal Government. You threatened to lead the entire students of Unife on a trek to Lagos to drive home our case. I think it was under Gowon. Journalists accosted you and demanded to know how you were going to do it in view of the heavy police presence stationed at the university gates. Your response was, “Our plans are part of our operational strategy and should not be disclosed”! Both the government and university authorities became jittery. That same night, the university was shut down and we were sent packing from the campus the following morning!

Aluta Continua!

Thank you Prof. once again for these beautiful reminiscences.

Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora,

Magodo, Lagos State.