The Department of Geography, University of Ibadan (UI) says it is proud of the legacy left by it first Head of Department, the late Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje, as Africa’s foremost geographer.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mabogunje, acclaimed to be the first African professor of Geography died on Aug. 4, at the age of 90. This is contained in a statement issued by Prof. Ibidun Adelekan, Head of Department, Geography, University of Ibadan, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan.
Adelekan stated that the late Mabogunje was the first African Professor of Geography and Head of the Department of Geography at the University of Ibadan from 1972 to 1975. The HOD said during his 23 years of active academic service at the University of Ibadan, the late icon contributed to developing the Geography Department at Ibadan as one, if not the best on the African continent in the 1980s.
She said the late Prof. Mabogunje was a renowned scholar who made outstanding contributions to knowledge, policy and practice in the field of urban geography and regional planning.
“Among other services rendered at the federal and state levels, he was the Specialist Planning Consultant to the Federal Capital Development Authority in which capacity he undertook the ecological and geographical survey of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the period 1976-1984. “He was one of the earliest recipients of the Nigerian National Order of Merit in recognition of his academic scholarship and contributions to the development of the country.
“He was awarded D.
Sc. Honoris Causa of the University of Ibadan in 2018. “Internationally, Late Prof. Akin Mabogunje is acknowledged as the most distinguished African geographer to date,’’ Adelekan said.
Other achievements of the late scholar, the HOD said included serving as Vice President of the International Geographical Union (IGU) for two terms, and elected President for the period 1980-1984. According to the statement, Mabogunje was the first African scholar to be so honoured by such a distinguished organisation since its inception over 100 years ago.
“He was also the first African to be elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1999. “Prof. Akin Mabogunje was awarded the Vautrin-Lud Prize which is equivalent to the Nobel Prize in Geography in Paris in 2017,’’ Adelekan said.
She thanked God for the very impactful, meaningful and full life lived by the deceased and prayed for the repose of his gentle soul.
Also, the President, Association of Nigerian Geographers, Prof. Ovuyovwiroye Odjugo, has condoled with the family of the late Prof. Mabogunje.
Reacting to the news of the demise of the foremost geographer, Odjugo told NAN that Mabogunje was the father of geography in Nigeria.
“This is because he was the first geographer in Nigeria, the first professor of geography in Nigeria, the first president of the Association of Nigerian Geographers and he spearheaded the indigenous geography in Nigeria.
“So, all the other departments of geography you have in Nigeria, definitely he had contributions; either in terms of resources or lecturers who were students he trained.
“So, we all Nigerian geographers owe it to him as our father of geography in Nigeria,’’ the ANG president said.
NAN reports that the late Mabogunje is survived by his wife, Retired Justice Titilola Mabogunje, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in the course of the week, directed the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to produce more solar cells to boost the alternative power sources in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna made this known to State House correspondents after briefing the president on the activities of the Agency on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the president gave the directive when the Chief Executive Officer of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, updated him on the activities of the Agency on Friday in Abuja.
President Buhari is the Chairman of NASENI.
According to Haruna, the president also directed the implementation of modular irrigation project and the production of more farm implements, to boost agricultural activities.
President Buhari also received a delegation of SUN Africa LLC, USA, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Aug. 4. Speaking at the event, Buhari expressed the hope that the rapid integration of solar power into the country’s energy mix woujd lead to an increase in electricity access to underserved and unserved communities.
According to him, the Federal Government has embarked on several reforms aimed at revitalizing Nigeria’s energy sector aimed at improving energy access to communities across the country.
He commended the interest of the U.
S. developer to invest in Nigeria’s power sector.
He pledged that the Federal Government would remain committed to collaborating with the private sector in improving energy access, creating jobs and industrial development.
The president highlighted some of the reforms embarked upon by this administration to address Nigeria’s energy needs.
Earlier in the week, the president received Letters of Credence of Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. James Christoff and Ambassador of Mexico to Nigeria, Juan Oritz, on Tuesday in Abuja.
At the event, Buhari commended collective efforts of nations towards tackling security challenges across the globe, and within Nigeria, urging more collaboration to check terrorism, banditry and insurgency.
The Nigerian leader told the diplomats that successes in taming insecurity had been recorded through collaboration across borders, and more could be achieved.
President Buhari, on Aug. 3, administered the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office on three new Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Civil Service.
NAN reports that the Permanent Secretaries include Lydia Jafiya from Adamawa; Udom Okokon Ekenam from Akwa Ibom and Farouk Yabo from Sokoto State.
The president performed the ceremony shortly before the commencement of the weekly virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), at the Council Chambers of the presidential villa, Abuja.
The FEC meeting approved 2.59 billion dollars for the development of Badagry Deep Seaport in Lagos State.
The council also approved N2.6 billion for the procurement of utility vehicles and gadgets for security agencies operating in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The APC National Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu presented the newly appointed Director-General of the party’s Presidential Campaign Organisation, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau to President Buhari.
The presentation was made at the State House Abuja on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the chairman also introduced the party’s presidential campaign spokesperson, Mr Festus Keyamo to the president.
Adamu was accompanied by the presidential candidate of the APC, Sen. Bola Tinubu, alongside the vice presidential candidate of the party, Sen. Kashim Shettima.
The president also congratulated two of his aides, Sarki Abba and Amb. Lawal Kazaure, on being conferred with the highest civilian national honours of Niger Republic.
Abba is the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Household and Domestic Matters while Kazaure is the State Chief of Protocol.
Also during the week under review, President Buhari joined the entertainment industry, particularly artistes and musicians, in commiserating with ace instrumentalist, singer and song writer, Bongos Ikwue, who lost his wife, Josephine Ifeyinwa, 73. He also joined family, friends and associates in mourning the death of former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mustapha Balogun.
President Buhari had sent condolences to family, friends and associates of Prof. Akin Mabogunje, who passed on at 90. Buhari declared that Mabogunje’s “departure will be greatly felt by the nation, especially the academia”.
President Buhari also condoled with former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, over the demise of his elder sister, Mrs Maryamu Dimka, who died on Wednesday.
Maryamu was the wife of Late Commissioner of Police, Mr S.
K. Dimka, and survived by children including Mrs Elizabeth Rimdans, one time Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra and Bauchi State.
The University of Ibadan (UI) community on Saturday, said it received the death of Prof. Akin Mabogunje with shock but also with gratitude to God that he lived a good life.
The university also said the late professor left his footprints in the sands of time.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Adejoke Akinpelu, Principal Assistant Registrar and Public Relations Officer, Directorate of Public Communication, UI in Ibadan on Saturday.
According to the her, to commiserate with the bereaved family, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, the UI Vice-Chancellor noted that the erudite professor was an alumnus of the university as well as a foremost professor of Geography.
“He retired from the UI in 1981 after many years of meritorious service.
“Prof. Mabogunje attained national and international repute in the field of Geography.
He died on Thursday, Aug.4, and was 90 years old.
“The vice-chancellor stated that the professor will be sorely missed and prayed that God will grant his family the fortitude to bear his death.
Two former Vice-Chancellors, University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka and Prof. Isaac Adewole, have extolled the virtues and contributions of the late Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje, the first Nigerian Professor of Geography.
Olayinka and Adewole along with others spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Saturday.
NAN reports that Mabogunje was born on Oct.18, 1931 in Kano and died on Aug. 4. Mabogunje was African President of the International Geographical Union.
In 1999, he was the first African to be elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences, among other achievements during his lifetime.
Olayinka said: “We mourn the demise of Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje.
Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to his entire family, associates and friends.
“He matriculated at the then University College, Ibadan in 1949 and earned a First Degree in Geography in 1953. This was followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in the same discipline.
“He was elevated to the grade of Professor in 1965, thus becoming the first Nigerian Professor of Geography.
“Baba was widely acclaimed as the foremost Social Scientist ever produced by Africa.
He had earlier, in his illustrious career, served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ibadan from 1968 till 1970. “He provided a leadership role in the preparation of the Master Plan for the Abuja Federal Capital Territory.
” According to Olayinka, as one of the earliest students of the University College, Ibadan, Mabogunje received the Degree of Doctor of Science _honoris causa_ from the University of Ibadan in 2018. “He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him as a distinguished and highly respected UIte, who was very passionate, about his Alma Mater.
“He served meritoriously as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye,” he said.
Olayinka said that it was high time the government took the advice of the late professor on university ownership to ensure sustainability.
“It is generally accepted that the fortunes of the Nigerian University System cannot improve until a sustainable funding model is guaranteed.
“In this respect, about a decade ago, Prof. Akin Mabogunje suggested that the Federal Government of Nigeria should hand over the University of Ibadan to the Alumni to manage.
“It is perhaps high time this proposal is interrogated for the overall benefit of the country, otherwise, if we are to learn from history the current national strike by ASUU may painfully not be the last.
“We pray for the repose of the soul of the Colossus and eminent global citizen, Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje.
He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew this humble and soft spoken academic giant,” the former VC said.
Also, Adewole, another former Vice-Chancellor, extolled the virtues of the deceased and his contributions to the development of Nigeria, especially the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
“We have lost an ‘Iroko’.
He was truly the last of the ‘Mohicans’.
An academic noble, he dined and wined with the Kings and Queens.
“He was another ‘Mr Fix’, a soft spoken man, who influenced policies without being a politician.
“Abuja was his hand and foot print.
A city that could be named after him.
A unique and successful family man, he remained largely visible but quiet.
His work and legacy are immortal.
“May his gentle soul Rest In Peace,” Adewole, a former Minister of Health, said.
In his comments, retired Prof. Olabode Lucas of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, said that the late Prof. Mabogunje was indeed an academic giant and intellectual Colossus.
“He was in the same league as Ibadan Academic giants like Dike, Lambo, Ajayi Lucas, Odeku, Akinkugbe, Aboyade, Irvine, Durley, Olayide Oyenuga and Bassir.
“He was the greatest Geographer in Africa, who won the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Geography.
“As a student at Ibadan, he was the Secretary of the Action Group on the campus together with people like Bola Ige and Olutoye.
“In this capacity, he was a member of the Action Group Executive Council presided over by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“After retirement, he founded the DPC with Prof. Aboyade.
For many years, he was the Chancellor of Ogun State University.
“He came, he saw and conquered.
May his soul rest in perfect peace,” Lucas said.
Also, Mr David Afolayan, the Chief Executive Officer, GIS Konsult, said that the late Prof. Mabogunje contributed to learning of Geography and passed it down to the next generation.
Afolayan described the deceased as a professor of professors and a great mentor.
“He contributed immensely to teaching of GIS in public and private secondary schools in Nigeria since 2015 and in equipping the next generation on having a better understanding of how the world works.
“And, he also empowered young people to proffer solutions to problems in the society through the connections he provided on the project I was inspired to take on,” Afolayan said.
The President, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has described the death of Prof. Akin Mabogunje as a great loss to Nigeria and the world at large.
Adesina in a condolence message on Friday, said Mabogunje was a great intellectual giant and one whose name was synonymous with Geography.
He said the deceased, who was globally respected in the field of Geography, was a man of many firsts with an indelible legacy and would be greatly missed.
Adesina said that Mabogunje was exceptional and extremely brilliant, adding that he became a full professor at the University of Ibadan at the age of 34. “He was the first Nigerian professor in geography and the first African to be elected to the globally prestigious United States National Academy of Sciences as a foreign associate.
“He was also a prodigious writer, whose work and contributions got him elected as first African to be president, International Geographical Union.
“Mabogunje was also awarded the Vaudrin Lud Prize, the highest global distinction in geography, widely considered as the ‘Nobel Prize in Geography’’ “He contributed immensely to the knowledge and understanding of urbanisation, spatial economic development, and role of rural infrastructure development in reducing rural-urban migration,” he said.
Adesina said in spite that the deceased was an intellectual giant, he was incredibly humble.
He said Mabogunje related with him as contemporaries, adding that he treasured sharing the same name ‘Akin’ with him, as he was fondly called ‘Namesake’.
He said, “I will greatly miss the precious moments we spoke as he always encouraged me to keep on being an ‘Akin’, a warrior and conqueror.
“Namesake Professor, you were truly an ‘Akin’ as you used your very sharp brain to fight wars on underdevelopment and you conquered many knowledge territories globally.
” Adesina said the deceased, who was known as ‘Father of Geography in Nigeria’ advised state, regional, as well as the Federal Government to support models that considered environment and people’s wellbeing.
He said that Mabogunje was passionate about Gography with spiritual fervency, seeing it as an opportunity to serve God and people.
“Prof. Mabogunje said when he was awarded the Vaudrin Lud Prize that the totality of the environment was what geography meant to him.
“A passionate promoter of the need for a balance between development and the environment, Prof. Mabogunje said nature is now showing that man cannot go beyond certain boundaries.
“Our pollution has shown us the limits to which we can go and the environment is now more important than it was before,” he said.
Adesina further listed late Mabogunje’s contributions to Africa’s development.
He said the deceased was the Vice-President, Governing Council for Pan African Institute for Development between 1972 and 1978).
Adesina said he was Chairman, International Committee for Overcoming Hunger between 1988 and 1994 as well as Visiting Research Fellow, World Bank in 1990. He was also member, Executive Committee, Senior African Leadership Forum from 1992 till his demise as well as Adviser to Secretary-General, United Nations Second Conference on Human Settlements, 1994 to 1999. “He helped to chart a path for national recognition of professional academic excellence in Nigeria and was a Member of the National Merit Award Endowment Fund 1983 to 1989. “He was also Chairman of the Fund between 1989 and 1994. “With your passing, Nigeria has lost a great mind, a jewel, an intellectual colossus, an exemplary human being, a great role model, and a patriot,” he said.
He prayed God to accept his soul and console his family.
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent condolences to family, friends and associates of Prof. Akin Mabogunje, who passed on at 90. Buhari declared that Mabogunje’s “departure will be greatly felt by the nation, especially the academia”.
The president’s condolence message is contained in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Thursday in Abuja.
He commiserated with Mabogunje’s network of professional associates and experts, at home and abroad, who have shared in his vision of nation building, with cerebral works in urbanisation, human and regional development, geographic perspectives and shelter provision.
Buhari noted the depth, reach and extensive research of the first African President of the International Geographical Union.
Mabogunje was the first African to be elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1999, and in 2017, was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the Vautrin Lud Prize.
According to the president, Mabogunje’s contribution to education in Nigeria, and in many parts of the world, remains indelible, especially the leadership positions he held, which include Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Ogun State University.
He was also Chairman of Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy; Member, Board of Trustees, Nigerian National Merit Award Endowment Fund; and later Chairman of the Fund. Buhari prayed that the almighty God would grant the renowned geographer a peaceful rest and comfort his family.