Wednesday, August 9, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: University of Ilorin in Photos, 3.

Thanks for these Unilorin photos.

I remember being an ardent supporter of ASUU while I taught at Unilorin.   Prof.  Olu Obafemi was one of the scholar activists pushing for salary increases, and improved standards of living. Bread'n butter issues were on the agenda because none of us wanted to  have to go "with  begging bowls  in the public square"  to feed ourselves and our families.  No shame in that. 

 ASUU was also active  in  challenging the evolving dictatorship,  and  its submission to the draconian demands of the IMF of that era.   At that time the History Department was on a makeshift complex of buildings,  while the permanent site  was in construction. 

On arrival in the US,  I soon discovered, not surprisingly,  that the  academic caliber of some of the students  at Ilorin,  and also ABU, was equal to   their counterparts here.  In a few cases they were even ahead. 

  1.  The ABU/Unilorin  students had less books  at their disposal but they read what they had,  with intensity,  as compared to students with a million books, at their disposal,  some of whom read very few of these works, comparatively speaking, and took them for granted. 
  2.  The circumstances leading to large scale grade inflation were not there. I will leave it at that.
      3. Students were less distracted at that time. They were invariably  professional students, living on 
           campus, concentrating on their work. Unfortunately  this may have changed with cell phone mania 
          and cultism etc.
     4. On both sides of the Atlantic there were students who were on campus (a) to 
           please parents and relatives, (b) to get a job and improve on  social mobility(c) to
           acquire knowledge for its own sake. At Unilorin (and ABU) I  encountered quite a lot of students 
           who  were motivated by a, b & c.  as opposed to mainly  a and b.

The recent  Boko Haram  shootings at the University of Maiduguri is a wake-up call. We hope that the kind of wanton campus killings that have taken place in US universities will not be replicated in Nigerian campuses.
Map of  U.S campus killings and  school shootings

I continue to have the greatest respect for my academic colleagues in Nigerian campuses- then and now.

Professor Gloria Emeagwali
Gloria Emeagwali's Documentaries on
Africa and the African Diaspora
8608322815  Phone
8608322804 Fax

From: <> on behalf of Toyin Falola <>
Sent: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 12:04 AM
To: Toyin Falola; dialogue; Yoruba Affairs
Cc: ibrahim abdul; Rotimi Omotoye; osezuaomo2002; AbdulRasheed Na'Allah; olu obafemi; Aribidesi Usman
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: University of Ilorin in Photos, 3.
Now in its fourth decade, the History Department at the University of Ilorin is flourishing. Professor Gloria Emeagwali, once a faculty there, would be delighted. Professors Saa'd Abubakar, Emmanuel Obichere, Ade Obayemi, H. O. Danmole laid a strong foundation. It was the first to establish the journal of economic history in the 1980s, managed by Gavin. I was part of the place in the 1990s, and participated in their robust seminar series.
Today, the historians, under the able leadership of Dr. I. A. Jawondo, are doing well. The photos in the link below are the faces of the Department when we had a great conversation.  I was able to meet with all of them. I am delighted to report that I was able to acquire a book-length manuscript from there on women and Islamic scholarship that I will soon read. Those who follow Nigerian politics will remember Jawondo…he ran for the office of the Governor. Alas! His Excellency did not have enough "Ghana-Must-Go" bags full of naira and dollar. He lost, but this has become our own gain as he manages an excellent department.


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