LASU Celebrates Lagos Former Education Commissioner, Late Prof.Olakunle Lawal With A Memorial Lecture - EDU-BIZNEWS


Friday, January 26, 2024

LASU Celebrates Lagos Former Education Commissioner, Late Prof.Olakunle Lawal With A Memorial Lecture

The Department of History and International Studies, Faculty of Arts, Lagos State University  on Wednesday, 24th January 2024, honoured a former Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, Late Professor Olakunle Rasheed Lawal, with a 10-year memorial lecture.

The lecture was held at Aderemi Makanjuola Lecture Theatre, main campus, Ojo, Lagos.

Late Professor Olakunle Rasheed Lawal, who was also a former Head of Department, History and International Studies and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Lagos State University, passed on the 25th of December 2013. 

The Vice Chancellor, Professor ibiyemi I. Olatunji-Bello who was ably represented by the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Olufemi Lawal, in her address noted that the lecture was held to honour the memory of Professor Lawal, celebrate his achievements and extol his enduring legacies in the education sector in Lagos State.

“Today, ten years after his death, we come together to celebrate his legacy of hard work, humanity, generosity, and support for the needy. LASU is great today because of the contributions of men like Professor Lawal. He served with passion, conviction, and dedication, putting the interest of the university first everywhere he found himself. Indeed, he is an example for our academics to follow”, Professor Olatunji-Bello added.

Professor Ayo Ayodele, who represented the Dean, Faculty Arts, Professor Taiwo M. Salisu, appreciated the organisers of the programme for celebrating a national asset, that is late Professor Lawal and described him as a pace setter, a pathfinder, great historian who was a leader to his junior colleagues, a rival to his contemporaries and a humble subordinate to his superiors.

The Head of Department, History and International Studies, Professor Adewunmi J. Falode, in his address, appreciated the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibiyemi I. Olatunji-Bello, mni, NPOM, for making the event possible and noted that the fusion of history and international studies across Nigerian universities today started with the late commissioner for education. He added that Professor Lawal, alongside other foundation staff of the department, provided a lifeline for the study of history in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Occasion, Professor C.B.N. Ogbogbo, who was ably represented by the National Public Relations Officer, Historical Society of Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Ogunode, in his speech averred that the late professor, was a man who combined brilliance and humility in his way of life and also described him as a man who was a force to reckon with at the Ibadan School of History. He congratulated the department and appreciated them for holding the flag high.

The Guest Speaker, Professor Siyan Oyeweso, delivered a lecture titled *“The Debt We Owe Lagos State University and the Peoples of Lagos State: Reflections on the Life and Times of Professor Abdul Rasheed Olakunle Lawal (1959 - DEC. 25, 2013)”*. 

While delivering his lecture, he stated thus “…It is not a time to be sorrowful but a time to look at the legacies of late Professor Kunle Lawal, what he did and what he achieved in his lifetime”. 

Professor Oyeweso described the late professor as a foremost historian of Lagos State who will be remembered for the quality of life he lived, his robust documentation of the history of the peoples of Lagos State, his courage and bluntness to speak truth to power in challenging and difficult situations. “His contribution to the education sector when he served as the Honourable Commissioner for Education in Lagos State (2003-2006) was simply phenomenal”, the historian added.

At the end of his lecture, Professor Oyeweso recommended the establishment of a Centre for Marine Science, Technology and Blue Economy as well as Lagos State Centre for Historical and Cultural Research, Immortalisation of Lagos State University's past Heroes and Heroines, Rebranding of LASU Advancement Office and Publication of past Inaugural Lectures delivered at the Lagos State University into volumes.

To round up the well attended event, the Department of History and International Studies launched a book titled *Legacy of his Pen: A Compendium of Olakunle Lawal’s Selected Works* in honour of late Professor Kunle Lawal. 

Other prominent guests at the event include; the Olojo of Ojo, HRM Oba Galib Adeniyi-Rufai, Chairman, Iba LCDA, Hon. Yisa Jubril who represented Senator, Lagos West Senatorial District, Dr. Idiat Adebule, Member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Bonu Saanu, Chairman, Ojo Local Government, Hon. Rosulu Idowu, and Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University of Education, Prof. Bidemi B. Lafiaji-Okuneye.

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