Tuesday, September 6, 2016 9:37 am
By Adebayo Lamikanra
Last week Adebayo Adeneye-Adejuwon posted a story (on social media) written by a gentleman from Ile-Ife claiming that the University of Ife was sited in Ife because the Owa of all Ijesas had been blind enough to have refused Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s offer of building the university in Ilesa.
According to to the narrator of this unlikely story, the Ooni who this story was regaled with, promptly exploited unexpected initiative which led to the establishment of the university at Ife. I dismissed this story as fiction and was surprised that some people came on the thread to support this ridiculous story.
Professor Banji Akintoye, in writing the history of the first 10 years of the university in 1972, took great pains to describe how Ife was chosen to host the University. The decision was taken by a high powered committee, headed by Chief Awolowo. Others were Drs Onabamiro, Emovon Oluwasanmi and Sabiru Biobaku, S.G. Ikoku and Lady Jibowu, none of whom came from Ife or its environs.
The committee drew up a set of criteria which determined their totally apolitical decision. The icing on the cake here was the historical importance of Ife to all Yoruba people. That silly story about Awolowo awarding the university to Ife is an insult to the integrity and intelligence of a group of people who took their job very seriously indeed.
It is the height of irresponsibility for apparently mature and venerable gentlemen to spread stories which do violence to a pepper soup joint crowd on social media. It is ridiculous stories that give this medium that give this medium a bad name.
Culled from the FB wall of Adebayo Lamikanra, Professor of Pharmacy, OAU, Ife