UI VC Calls For Liberation Of Underprivileged

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Kayode Adebowale, has stressed the need for well-to-do Nigerians to ponder on what they can do differently as a way of liberating the underprivileged in society.

He made this known in his welcome address at the 90 international conferences held on Monday, at the Trenchard hall of the institution.

The conference was held in honour of a retired professor of the institution, Bolanle Awe, with the theme, “Oral Traditions and Written Histories.”

Adebowale said, “The torch lit by our matriarch must be kept burning. The partnership behind the conference is illustrative of the kind of collaboration we respect, cherish and encourage at this university.

“Awe, the first female indigenous lecturer of the prestigious Ibadan School of History, was a trailblazer, a scholar and a mentor of the rare kind.

“This is why decades after her retirement from active academic work, her academic children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren continue to find value in her work and to, therefore, celebrate her.

He said one obvious lesson in Awe’s academic work is that research can, and in fact, should be a tool for emancipation.

A senior convener and United States of America-based professor of African History, Toyin Falola added that Awe’s efforts to enhance Afrocentric ideas in the knowledge domain were targeted at fighting different battles.

“On the intellectual front, she corrected the erroneous notions that Africans did not have recordable history, projected by a chain of European generations who even manipulated scientific evidence to substantiate their racist claim.”

In her address, the wife of the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Bisi Fayemi, noted that a society that does not know its history will find it difficult to understand its present and navigate the future.

She said, “The presence and contributions of exemplars such as Awe have shown us how important this field is and how much we need to invest in ensuring that the legacies of knowledge in this discipline and related ones continue to endure.”

Adeleye-Fayemi also described Awe as a scholar, author, teacher, development specialist, administrator, leader and mentor.

In her remarks, the celebrant, Awe, said there was no other way of preserving the past except by oral tradition as it has been the only way the history was being preserved.

She said, “Oral tradition has become a very important factor in the preservation of our history. It has also helped in promoting our culture.”


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