Sunday Saanu

He is very caring and considerate, understanding and upright, nice and noble, sensitive and sensible, emphatic and sympathetic, lively and loving, respectful and resourceful, just as he is compassionate and companionable. With him, you are assured of wisecracks, profound thoughts, spiritually ennobling insights, sublime statements and words of wisdom.

Ajayi Crowther University’s (ACU), Vice Chancellor, Prof. Timothy Abiodun Adebayo whose birthday is today; is one leader you will always want to associate with, given his service to God and humanity with humility. You will always feel the ambience associated with his presence as he wazes eloquently in words. Indeed; meeting him, you will be struck by the force of a gentle soul with a mental magnitude that belies gentility.

In my writerly career, Prof. Adebayo will forever be remembered for providing a huge endorsement that gave me a major boost. We never knew each other until he called me on phone as the Vice Chancellor of ACU, urging me to come and spend one year with him on sabbatical, saying he has been reading my write-ups in many newspapers over the past 10 years. He declared that I write well and intelligently. Although I didn’t complete the sabbatical before I was recalled (a story for another day), the short time I spent with him in ACU was not only memorable but historic.

Prof. Adebayo, a picture of imperturbability, has tremendous gifts of shining a radiant light onto unrecognized paths and projects. Clearly, the incandescent spirit of his intellectual creativity has added depth and breadth to uncharted territories and terrains at the faith-based University which is raising Godly intellectuals. I will come back to highlight some instances of his achievements shortly.

Prof. Adebayo as the ACU VC is blessed with an uncommon ability to coordinate factors and means to produce results without taking anyone for granted. He was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) before he was appointed the Vice Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University in 2020. He made a success of his stint at LAUTECH which is now a major advantage for him in ACU.

Since he took over as the Chief Executive at ACU in Oyo, Prof. Adebayo who combines amazing technical brilliance with incredible strategic savvy has been able to demonstrate drive, diligence and determination in his remit, resulting in the radical transformation of the beautiful university. As a visible testament to the sagaciousness of his leadership skills, one is compelled to appreciate the rapid and unprecedented physical, spiritual and academic growth ACU has recorded under his watch.

I was invited to the 14th convocation ceremonies of the university held recently in which three state governors; including Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Nyesom Wike of Rivers were decorated with honorary degrees (Honoris Causa). The rapid development of the University, to me, is unbelievably riveting. The welcome Centre building has been completed. The foundations were laid in my presence a few months back. I read through a number of achievements in a short time and I was dazed.

Constantly seeking unbeaten path to tread and unusual course to chart, Prof. Adebayo who has made a leap into a new dimensions of possibility announced that henceforth, students at ACU, “from their first year onwards, will be exposed to both entrepreneurial education and vocational training in 17 different skills including, electrical works and wiring, auto mechanical work, metal works and welding, wood works and carpentry, masonry and block making, creative arts, music recording and sound engineering, computer hardware repair, tailoring, fashion designing, solar energy design and installation, home appliances repairs, poultry farming, cosmetology, catering and confectionery, paint production, and household consumables production. These practical skills serve as fitting complements to their academic knowledge”

As part of his vision for the university, hear him “Given the resolve of the management to continually widen the spectrum and horizon of the University, we have established the Ajayi Crowther University (ACU) Seed Company. Indisputably, Agriculture and its businesses are matters of high priority to us in this great University. This is because just as agriculture is a mainstay of the nation’s economy, it is also a major sector that ensures life’s sustenance. The importance of food to human life and living cannot be overemphasized, and many plants which gives us food through their seeds. That is why we need to pay particular attention to the production of seeds so that we can achieve steady production of foods in good quality and in the right quality”

“However, fine seeds are rare in that they are not easily accessible and not in the right or needed quantity. Farmers have been grappling with using low quality and impure seeds that portend grave dangers to crop production and food security. Although farmers could procure high quality seeds from agricultural research institutes in Nigeria, these seeds were barely enough to meet the huge needs which can lead to expected significant economic impacts. Throughout the world, the seed business is a multi-million-dollar enterprise which can enhance the economic growth of private individuals, businesses and that of a nation. It is just apt for us in Ajayi Crowther University to venture into it, given our ready affection for agriculture and its various businesses. Our efforts in this direction have yielded positively because right now, the ACU seed company has been incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission”

“The University is also in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC). As a matter of fact, the National Agricultural Seed Council has given official recognition to ACU Seed Company by registering the company, and giving it technical approval to operate in recognition of its huge potential to deliver on providing high-quality seeds to farmers. This is a hard-fought victory, and we are grateful to God for the eventual accomplishment which happened within a very short period of time. Management is very hopeful that in the near future, the company will generate huge revenue for the University.”

Prof. Abiodun is a leader with boundless energy and unbridled passion. Matter of factly speaking, he remains dutiful and dedicated to his task with uncommon zeal and zest. He is morally sound and highly hospitable. I have been a recipient of his generosity in a number of ways. With him, you will certainly feel the imprimatur of his positive vibes as well as the scent of his smiles. His signature smile is ever-sparkling!

Assisted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Olumuyiwa Popoola, Registrar, Dr. Jadesola Babatola, University Bursar, Mr. Ayodele John Olusanwo, University Librarian, Dr. Mrs Beatrice A. Fabunmi, Prof. Adebayo is indeed taking ACU to greater heights. He is a team player who is meticulous and methodical. He stands for whatever that is noble and honorable.

He has risen from a humble background, under quite limited circumstances to become highly renowned and privileged. He is such an endowed personage with an imbued power of intuition. Clearly, he is a rare embodiment of courage, charisma and credibility.

As he marks his birth anniversary today, one can only pray that God gives him greater grace for greater glories in the years ahead. A happy birthday, Sir.

Saanu (08034073427) is with the University of Ibadan. Email: sundaysaanu@gmail.com