It was a lovely sight to behold yesterday, 3rd of August 2016, at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, during the Distinguished Alumni/Personality Lecture organised by the Executive Cabinet of Kenneth Mellanby Hall in honour of Emeritus Professor Adelola Adeloye. The theme of the event, one which has turned an annual ritual, was ‘History: a Pathway to Solving National Issues’.
Various dignitaries, illustrious academics and personages were in attendance at the programme to honour the honouree who is a world renowned Professor of Neurosurgery and whose 150-page Curriculum Vitae many admitted is intimidating. In attendance were His Royal Majesty Oba Samuel Oladapo Oyebade, the Ologotun of Ogotun-Ekiti and his wife; Chief Tunde Oshobi; Emeritus Professor Michael Omolewa, Professor O.A. Agbede, Professor Sokunbi, Dr T.O. Omobowale and many others.
The Chairman of the occasion, Emeritus Professor Michael Omolewa, has notably remarked amidst applause that he is delighted to be associated with Mellanby hall due to its history of excellence. In his words, ‘it is great pride to be associated with Mellanby Hall. Anything it does is always the first and the best. It has produced the likes of Bola Ige… as a matter of fact, anybody that is important in the country has passed through the hall’.
Dr Victor Edo, the Guest Lecturer from the university’s department of history, while examining the theme, took his time to draw attention to the importance of history in nation-building and integration. He lamented that Nigeria has abandoned teaching history in its schools in contrast to the methods of developed countries of the world. While discussing the utilities of the subject, he said history ensures that public officials are conscious of the fact of later accountability, it serves as a form of political education, it develops radical thinking, promoted inter-tribal understanding and also serves as a critical medium for the transmission of culture.
He further said in his closing remark that ‘a clear understanding of the past can throw more light on the present and prepare a people for the tasks ahead in the future’.
The honouree, Emeritus Professor Adelola Adeloye, was decorated and presented with an award by the Hall Master, Professor A.O. Agbede. But he was not alone, the Royal Father, Oba Samuel Oladapo; the Guest Lecturer, Dr Victor Edo; the Father of the Day, Chief Tunde Oshobi; the Hall Master, Professor A.O. Agbede and the Hall Warden, Dr T.O. Omobowale; also had their share of commendation.
After the programme, all moved to the hall, just adjacent to the venue, to unveil the hall’s Roll of Honour which now includes the name of the honouree and to commission the refurbished reading room which is now named in his honour.