The Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) has admitted the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Professor Olayemi Akinwumi as a Fellow of the Academy. The prestigious Award was conferred on the Vice-Chancellor during the 22nd and 23rd (Combined) Convocation and Investiture of New Fellows into the Academy with the theme: “What is it to be Human?” on Thursday, 12th August, 2021 at the J. F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Similarly, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor M. S. Audu and the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Professor Gbenga Ibileye were equally decorated as Members of NAL, amongst other newly admitted Members of the Academy at the epoch-making event.
The Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) is an autonomous, scholarly and non-political body, constituted by all recognized learned societies in the Arts, with the objectives of creating a national forum that promotes scholarship at the highest levels in this area. Its 2021 Convocation Lecture which was entitled “Descent from Humanism: Music, Literature and the Media” was ably delivered by Professor Olu Obafemi, FNAL, NNOM.
While speaking at the event, the President of NAL, Professor Francis Egbokhare, FNAL noted that the programme could not hold last year due to the upsurge of COVID-19 pandemic, therefore necessitated the Investiture of two (2) sets of Fellows at this year’s Combined Convocation Ceremony. Professor Egbokhare also stated that, as a rule, NAL does not confer Fellowship Awards to more than six (6) distinguished Professors in a year, adding that the body only gives recognitions to diligent and eminent scholars for their outstanding contributions to knowledge rather than for occupying administrative positions.
Professor Akinwumi was described as an extensively published scholar with emphasis on core areas of history with over 70 publications in reputable national and international journals. According to the Academy, the Fellowship was conferred in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the humanistic scholarship and extension of the frontiers of knowledge in the areas of historiography and intergroup relations, having distinguished himself in the field of historical research and enduring strength of his schorlaship, as well as his continued productivity even after his elevation to the rank of Professor.
Also inducted as NAL Fellows at the Investiture were Professor Andrew Haruna (immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Gashua, Yobe State), Professor Abayomi O. Akinyeye, Professor Imelda Icheji Lawrence Udoh, Professor Olusegun Adesina Adekoya, Professor Justice Obi Joseph Nwachukwu-Agbada, and Professor David Roger Jowitt.
Other Regular Fellows include Professor Mabel Itohanosa Erioyunvwen Evwierhoma, Professor Ahmed Parker Yerima, Professor Adebola Babatunde Ekanola, Professor Frank Maduabuchi Dukor, Professor Lateef Babatunde Ayeleru and Professor Isidore Okeawolam Diala; while Most Reverend, Bishop Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah was conferred with an Honorary Fellow of the Academy.
FUL Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi who was highly elated, was accompanied to the colourful ceremony by his close ally, Dr. Usman Salisu Ogbo, Rector, Kogi State Polytechnic. Other notable personalities in the entourage of the Vice-Chancellor were Professor Francisca Oladipo, Director, Quality Assurance; Dr. David Lanlege, TETFund Desk Officer (Training); Mr. Benjamin Atabo, TETFund Desk Officer (Projects); and Mr. Ikpelemoh Emmanuel; amongst others.