Mentees and former students of the Vice Chancellor of Ahman Pategi University, Prof. Mahfouz Adedimeji, have honoured the distinguished scholar with a book on Saturday, September 3rd in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Titled, ‘The Meteoric Rise of a Dynamic Academic’, contributors to the 144-page book included Prof. Adedimeji’s colleagues at the University of Ilorin, former students, mentees, among others.
The book chronicles the personality, achievements and feats of Adedimeji, who is the youngest Vice Chancellor in Nigeria, from the perspectives of various contributors.
The presentation held at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Press Centre, Ilorin, with a long list of personalities, mostly from the academic community in attendance.
Muslim News noted the presence of the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Abdullahi Onimisi, who is also the Chairman, Muslim Community, University of Ilorin Quarters; Vice Chancellor, Al-Hikmah University, Prof. Noah Yusuf; Former Director, Postgraduate School, UNILORIN, Prof. Badmus Yusuf; Chief Imam, UNILORIN, Prof. Nasir Abdulsalam; first Muslim Professor of Arabic Literature in Yorubaland, Prof. R.D Abubakre; uncle of the honouree, Alhaji Maruf Salawu; Dr. Biola Adimula, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), UNILORIN; Dr. Abdulrasheed Odunola, UNILORIN Health Service; Mr Kunle Akogun, Director, Corporate Affairs, UNILORIN; among others.
Proprietor and Pro-Chancellor of Ahman Pategi University, Hon. Aliyu Ahman-Pategi, was unavoidably absent and represented at the event by the Bursar, Alhaji Musibau Oladejo.
Personalities who spoke at the event took turns to pour encomiums on Prof. Adedimeji whom they described as a man of many parts and a shining role model.
Adedimeji, a Professor of Pragmatics and Applied Linguistics, also a Fulbright scholar, was appointed Vice Chancellor of APU in February 2021.
In his remark, Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Onimisi welcomed all the attendees to the book presentation, noting the calibre of personalities gathered at the event attested to the honouree’s standing.
He described him as an amiable, honest and sincere personality, saying he has made huge impacts in his role as Imam of the University Quarters’ mosque.
Bello Abdullateef, one of the editors of the book said the idea came to him about two years ago when he got the news of the elevation and appointment of Prof. Adedimeji as Vice Chancellor.
“I thought I could speak to some of my friends and colleagues with whom we have not only worked with Prof., but have also benefitted from his fountain of knowledge. I then reached out to some of my friends, the likes of Hafiz Akinde, co-editor of the book. They said why not; it’s something they would definitely want to do. We thought of presenting a book in honour of our mentor and teacher, Prof. Mahfouz Adedimeji,” he said.
“When we made the call for submissions we started seeing friends, mentees, former colleagues, students and people we don’t even know making submissions. Majority of the articles were about direct events. It made our work a lot easier. We pray that Allah would reward Prof. Mahfouz and would continue to strengthen him to do better in life.”
The book reviewer, Prof. Lukman Adeshina AbdulAzeez said the new publication is didactic, adding that he would have been more suitable as a contributor to the book than reviewer.
“You might want to ask me why. The explanation for this humble confession is that, although Professor Mahfouz Adebola Adedimeji, on whom this book dangles, is my friend, he has positively impacted and supported my journey in life as much as he has done for all the contributors that have given their magnanimous, inducing, and unpretentious testimonies in this book. Because I am perceived by many people as Professor Adedimeji’s friend, not knowing that he is indeed also my mentor, I decided to forgive the editors for not recognising me as one of them, and as a person who also has striking stories to tell about how Professor Mahfouz has genuinely held my hands as a guide in the phase of the journey of life I began when I joined the University of Ilorin in 2008.”
Prof. AbdulAzeez who is the Dean, Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, UNILORIN observed that the book could have been better titled either ‘The Merit in a Man’ or ‘The Quintessential Personage’, rather than The Meteoric Rise of a Dynamic Academic.
According to him, “This is because the book is not essentially on how Professor Mahfouz rose to the enviable height he is occupying today. Rather, the contents of the book essentially extol the virtues of a man who has impacted many lives.
He added: “In spite of all these pardonable mechanical and lexical errors, this compendium is a classic. Though the book does not have any element of suspense, readers will not want to put it down until they read the whole 42 articles. This was what happened to me while reading the book in preparation for this review. The secret behind this irresistibility is the concrete narration of stories that are compelling about how the authors experienced Professor Mahfouz.”
Sending in his goodwill message from Atlanta in the United States, a renowned communications scholar, Prof. Farooq Kperogi, congratulated Prof. Adedimeji whom he revealed had not met physically with but had heard great testimonies about, especially from former students.
“It is fitting to send this goodwill message to Prof. Mahfouz Adedimeji on this occasion that his former students have chosen to celebrate his scholarly, pedagogical and administrative achievements. I admire Prof. Adedimeji not just because of his stellar scholarship which his former students nudged me to look up, but also the passion with which they talk about him. It tells me a lot about the effectiveness of his pedagogy, depth of his humanity and excellence of his human relations. He is the most talked about professor from the University of Ilorin’s Linguistic Department by former students, admittedly from my limited perspective,” Kperogi said.
Responding, Prof. Adedimeji appreciated his mentees who have chosen to celebrate him in a beautiful way, while also thanking the distinguished personalities for their attendance to which he confessed he didn’t see coming.
The honoree was emotional when he revealed how people had to come from various parts of the country and made huge sacrifice to attend the programme.
He remarked that he’s not up to what people call him, but merely striving to make his impacts and contributions on humanity.
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