NewsExpress advert Yudala banner
Prof. Akin Oyebode’s ‘Exogural’ at 70, By Tony Iyare

By News Express on 17/12/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 905

 •The cerebral Prof Akin Oyebode
•The cerebral Prof Akin Oyebode

At one of the stormy weekly meetings of the ‘Think Tank’ at the Catholic Secretariat, Lagos, where he presided as chairperson, Prof Akin Oyebode, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Ado Ekiti, almost caused some stir when he broached the word Exogural. “What’s that, Prof?” we thundered in unison. He offered to decode the ‘bomb’ when pressed by members who had grown curious.

Relaying how one of the female professors at the University of Lagos proposed at a Senate meeting that since professors deliver “Inaugural Lectures” to herald their height of academic attainment soon after their appointment, Oyebode said it was the lady’s view that they should also render an “Exogural Lecture” at their point of exit. 

‘Exogural’? Many of the professors – including Oyebode who’s deeply immersed in rich diction – were astounded by this new addition to academic lexicography, until the female professor offered some explanation. As he bows out after 44 years of enviable scholarship and teaching, Oyebode, an erudite professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, certainly owes us his “Exogural”.

When he delivered his Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, entitled “Of Norms, Values and Attitudes: The Cogency of International Law”, laced with quotes and anecdotes from many renowned works, the hall shook. He challenged the Nigerian political elite to “jettison its obscurantism and anti-intellectual attitude” concerning “policy formulation and implementation on international matters, by encouraging informed input from academics and experts.”

But some will argue that Oyebode, who turned 70 on Saturday, December 9, 2017, had already rendered his ‘Exogural’ by his sustained incisive and brilliant interventions on raging issues in the country. From Politics, Philosophy, Economy, History, Sociology, Law and Revolution, he has emitted and radiated his radical intellection. In my “Toast to Akin Oyebode at 60” written in 2007, I narrated how he kept Oduduwa Hall alive with his prosaic quotes in September 1980, which coincided with my baptism as a jambite.

The imposing and magnificent Oduduwa Hall located in the Ife varsity’s epicentre almost shook to its foundation on that sunny day. The acidic lecture laced with epic quotes from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Ghandi, Nkrumah – and Cabral and rendered in the ‘English that filled the mouth’ – had put aglow this architectural masterpiece.

“Delivered by Akin Oyebode, then a budding scholar from the University of Lagos, it elicited thunderous applause which reverberated through the campus. The filled hall yearned for more and more. You didn’t need a mug of coffee to stay awake. Almost akin to a similar fiery lecture by Ebenezer Babatope at the old British Council Library in Yaba, in 1976, we were kept glued to our seats as we savoured this erudition.”

My path has crossed with Oyebode’s severally. Although he was many years ahead of me at the popular LA School, Ikeja, where I later had a stint in my formative years, this lecture saw my berth into the revolutionary movement at Ife, as I got enlisted into the Alliance of Progressive Students (ALPS) shortly after.

Our path crossed again as members of the “Think Tank”, created by Fr George Ehusani, then general secretary at the Catholic Secretariat to support the bishops’ conference. It was part of an idea earlier kick-started by Rev Father Matthew Hassan Kukah to generate ideas on politics, economy, development and other social issues, as a feeder to the bishops’ conference.

Oyebode who has taught many – including the vice-president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo – has an exceptional eye for details. No loose writing, including punctuations, ever missed his eagle eye. He was honed through the mill of rigorous scholarship by his PhD supervisor who ensured he re-wrote his thesis five times. When he was VC, he did not buckle under to admit even his son who did not make the 200 cut-off mark. As a man of integrity, he was not given to bending rules to pander to any interests. His views are as constant as the Northern Star.

He was at the Kyviv National Taras Shevchenk University in Russia, between 1967 and 1973; there he bagged his LLM with the highest distinction. He then proceeded to Harvard Law School from 1974-1975 for the Master of Law (LLM), International Law and Legal Studies. He capped it with a PhD in Jurisprudence, International Law and Legal Studies at the York University, Osgood Law School, Toronto, Canada, between 1981 and 1988.

Born on December 9, 1947, Oyebode became a professor in October 1988. He was the founding Dean, Faculty of Law, Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti, from February 1992 to January 1997. He was later appointed VC, of the then renamed University of Ado-Ekiti, where he served between February 2000 and January 2004.

Are we still angling for his Exogural? Just three months ago, he warned: “If drastic measures are not put in place urgently to contain it, corruption may result in the mortality of Nigeria.” This was at a roundtable organised by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), in collaboration with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

In a paper on ‘Strategies for Mobilizing Mass Action to Demand Anti-Corruption Reforms and End to Impunity for Grand Corruption in Nigeria,’ he affirmed that “mass action by the citizens is urgently needed to end impunity for grand corruption in the country.”

“The people must be enlisted in the war against corruption. Nigerians should start anti-corruption clubs in schools, radio jingles should be put in place to fight corruption; carry placards, go outside, organise sit-ins like SERAP is doing presently, Nigerians should be mobilised against corruption, and now take their destiny in their hands. The fight should not be left alone to organisations like SERAP. When the state wants to attack organisations like SERAP, the masses should fight for them,” Oyebode said.

He also called for a concerted effort to extinguish the non-governmental (NGO) bill, now before the National Assembly. “The recent attempt by the National Assembly with the NGO bill to control, monitor and eventually sequester CSOs (civil society organisations), all because of the excuse that some CSOs are corrupt, should not be allowed. Cutting off the head is not the cure for headache, the bill is an over-kill. If they cage organisations like SERAP, who will fight for the masses? The government does not want anybody to act as impediment to their thievery activities.”

Ahead of the nation’s 57th independence anniversary on October 1, he did not mince words during an interview with Channels Television. He said that Nigeria was a creation of British imperialism.

His words: “When Lugard amalgamated various groups into what he called Nigeria, nobody asked our forefathers, our great, great, great grandparents whether or not they wanted to live under one canopy.  So Nigeria was a creation of British imperialism. And if you read Lord Lugard’s Mandate in a Tropical Dependency, which he wrote in 1918, he confessed that the British came specifically for raw materials and market for their manufactured goods.

“You cannot talk of Nigeria as you could talk of the Welsh, the Irish, the Scots or the English. So, this has been the undoing of Nigeria, bringing into existence a political system that should address the needs and interest of over 400 ethnic nationalities.”

Oyebode makes the teaching of International Law a great delight. He exudes law all around him. His wife, who he said, “shared my pan-Africanism as well as my radical socialist sentiments,” is also a lawyer. His father-in-law was a lawyer. Two of his siblings are lawyers, just as two of his three kids are also lawyers.

“I could be a very difficult person as an academic. You don’t talk to me when I am busy or studying some articles in the newspapers or watching a very fascinating programme,” he reeled. But his wife understands him perfectly.

“My wife understands me. She knows when to approach me and when to back off. She is a wonderful lady. She reads me like a book. She is the only person who can play me like a guitar. She knows that my bark is worse than my bite,” he told Vanguard

•Tony Iyare, Publisher of The Gleaner online newspaper, writes from Lagos.

Source News Express

Posted 17/12/2017 09:09:26 AM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+



Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!


You may also like...
Boko Haram, Nigeria’s greatest threat —U.S.

Buhari lacks the foundation to lead a modern...

Why we chose Mu’azu as PDP’s new Chairman...

Battle for APC not yet over as rival...

Stop going to Libya, FG warns

Obiano’s wife urges prisoners to repent

FG to create 15m jobs

Varsity student bags jail term for fraud

Today’s weather forecast, by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency...

Police shoots teenager dead at checkpoint

Gwoza people send SOS over Boko Haram invasion...

No shaking; we’ll ensure peaceful and successful 2015...


Latest News Anambra: Man runs amok, kills his 4 children, sister-in-law, then takes own life APC won’t exist in South-East beyond 2019 — PDP Abducted Dapchi schoolgirls: Air Force releases emergency numbers, deploys search for teams Group insists on plot to impeach Imo Deputy Governor Third-Force: Between Ramaphosa, Abiola and Dangote, By Yushau A. Shuaib NIA Intervention Fund: HEDA seeks investigation of FG officials over alleged attempt to divert $44m Prof. Moghalu to deliver The Bullion Lecture NiMet predicts cloudy, sunny skies for Monday UN staff serve strike notice Tinubu fingered in alleged plot to kill APC Troops nab herdsman with bullet-proof vest FG confirms 110 Dapchi schoolgirls missing, steps up rescue efforts


Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (327,185 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (319,417 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (255,922 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (209,937 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (195,284 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (188,469 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (164,138 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (147,488 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (140,878 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (130,208 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (128,906 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (123,665 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (34) Business (2,912) Business Verdict (34) Columnists (806) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (203) Entertainment (447) Features (549) Global Business Monitor (226) International (1,809) Interviews (143) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (106) News (33,125) Opinion (885) Pidgin (10) Politics (4,528) Religion (687) Sports (1,442) Stock Watch (28) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update



Football president George Weah puts Liberian army to the test


APO Group Partner



Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera