UI’s Most Exemplary And Distinguished Alumnus, Chief Bayo Oyero Turns 80!!!

By Olatunji Oladejo

Chief Mustafa Adebayo Oyero is a full-bred and recognised Ibadanland indigene. He is a strong personality in Oyo State, Nigeria, a good example in public administration, a former President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCI), a respected dignity of the Oyo State Muslim community, a credible family man, a worthy and most exemplary alumnus of the University of Ibadan, a public administrator per excellence, impacting Ibadanland, Oyo State, and Nigeria as a whole with diligence, commitment, and sincerity of purpose during his service as an administrator in the old Western State and old Oyo State Civil Service. He served as the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Taraba and Niger State and later as a National Electoral Commissioner, as one of the umpires in the June 12, 1993, Presidential Election.

Chief Oyero must have assumed for many years that no one was paying attention to him. But I was, just by watching how he goes about his business. He has always been an inspiration to me. This is an example.
I succeeded Chief Oyero as the National Secretary (Acting) of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), from 2003 to 2005 and later I served the same body as the National Public Relations Officer from 2005 to 2007.

During these times, I gained a deep understanding of this tremendous asset to Nigeria’s mind. Chief Oyero taught me how to write clearly and concisely using facts and figures. We used my Room 100 in the Establishments Building at the University of Ibadan to make numerous submissions to the Nigerian government and other key stakeholders about the need for the establishment of Ibadan State. Chief Oyero can write and speak out on any issue concerning Ibadanland, public administration, the electoral process and administration, peace and conflict resolution, and university governance and structure in Nigeria on the spur of the moment. He is, without a doubt, an offline mind of great intellect and a first-rate public administrator.

In the foreword to Chief Oyero’s autobiography “Grace Unbounded: My Life, My Service,” Prof. Tunde Adeniran, KJW, OFR, FCPA, former Nigerian Minister of Education and former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, wrote rather forcefully that he is a great man; “greatness definable not in terms of the length of years he has lived, the number of wives and children he could lay claim to, or the number of houses and other material possessions he had acquired. No. He is great as a man of distinction and a transparent man of integrity in a country where such virtue is regarded as self-defeating by many of his countrymen and women. His greatness has been reinforced by a positive orientation to the core values of the Yorubas, being skilful and professional with a national outlook in public service, tactful in the management of diverse crises and the resolution of complex issues, mentoring with amazing generosity and not minding the relative and absolute costs of personal sacrifices and, above all, proficient and exceptionally humane in the handling of personal interactions.”

Chief Mustafa Adebayo Oyero, a full-blooded Ibadan Indigene, was born on May 18, 1942. In 1949, he began his primary education at St David’s Anglican Primary School in Odi Odeyale. In 1959, he enrolled in St John’s Catholic Secondary Modern School in Eleta, Ibadan, and graduated in 1961 with a secondary modern school leaving certificate.

Between 1965 and 1966, he advanced his post-primary education by earning both GCE(O/L) and GCE(A/L). He began his higher education at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, where he earned a Bachelor of Economics degree in 1970. In his pursuit of knowledge, he pursued diploma and certificate courses in Public Administration, Cost Management Accounting, Regional Industrial Development, and Total Quality Management, laying the groundwork for solid public service engagements. In 1966, he completed his studies with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA).

Chief Oyero’s three-decade public service career exposed him to a variety of work experiences in ministries and parastatals in Oyo State and at the federal level. He worked as a Clerk in the Ministry of Finance in Ibadan between March 1964 and May 1967, Assistant Immigration Officer in the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs in Lagos between May and October 1957, Education Officer in the Ministry of Education in Ibadan between July and December 1970, Administrative Officer in the Western State Civil Service and later in Oyo State between December 1970 and January 1989, Director in the Oyo State Civil Service between January 1989 and July 1990, and Director General in the Oyo State Civil Service between January 1989 and July 1990, Director General (Permanent Secretary), Oyo State Civil Service between July 1990 and August 1991. During his tenure as a Director in the Oyo State Civil Service, he served as the Director of Local Government Affairs, Department of Local Government, Office of the Military Governor, Ibadan and also as Secretary, Oyo State Local Government Transition Committee. Furthermore, in his capacity as a Director-General/Permanent Secretary, Chief Oyero served as Sole Administrator and later Chairman, Ibadan Municipal Government, Ibadan which was the biggest Local Government in the country. He also served as the Director-General, Department of Local Government Office of the Governor, Oyo State, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Chief Oyero was appointed by the Federal Government in the following positions: Resident Electoral Commissioner, Taraba and Niger State; National Electoral Commissioner, Supervising Oyo, Osun, Ogun, and Lagos State until June 28, 1993; and Director of Administration Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF), 1995-1999.

He served as a Nominee Director in the following companies and parastatals: Leyland Nigeria Limited, Ibadan, Oyo State; Igbeti Marble Company Ltd, Igbeti, Oyo State; Nigerian National Paper Manufacturing Company Limited, Iwopin Ogun State: Cocoa Products Industry Ltd., Ede, Oyo State (now Osun State); Oranmiyan Clay Products Industry, Ipetumodu, Oyo State (now Osun State);
Vegetable Oils Nigeria (VON) Limited, Ojota, Lagos, a subsidiary of Odu’a Group of Companies; Nigeria Kraft Bag Oregun, Lagos and Oyo State Paper Mill, Ibadan.

Chief Oyero was appointed to the following positions due to his extensive experience in the public sector: Oyo State Health Endowment Committee, 2017-2019; Chairman, Board of Trustees of the proposed West Midland Open University, Ibadan, 2017-2019; Chairman, Governing Board, Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State; Patron, Ibadan Descendants’ Union, USA, 2016-2019; Member, Board of Trustees, Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN), and Chairman, Board of Directors, Child Development and Concern Foundation, a non-governmental organization.

The University of Ibadan, his alma mater, is not left out of the list of beneficiaries of Chief Overo’s wealth of experience, as he served and continues to serve the University in various capacities. Between 1980 and 1991, he was the Secretary of the Oyo State Chapter of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA); 3rd National Vice-President of the UIAA, 2000-2004; President, Ul Class of 67, Ibadan Branch, 1994-2004; Member, Governing Council, University of Ibadan, 2000-2004, Member, Board of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), University of Ibadan, 2012 to date, and Member, Court of Governors, College of Medicine till date, among other strong preferments and appointments.

Chief Oyero has received numerous honours and awards, the most prestigious of which was the conferment of the honorary traditional title of Aare Mayegun of Ibadanland by the Olubadan of Ibadanland in December 1990; Merit Award by the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes in 2004, Most Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Ibadan Alumni Association in 2006; Recognition Award by the National Council of Muslim Youth Organization, NACOMYO; and Award of Excellence by the Federation of Oyo State Students Union (FOSSU), Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.

Chief Oyero was unanimously elected for four (4) years as the President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCI), the apex umbrella organization for all socio-cultural clubs established by Ibadan sons and daughters all over the world, based on his meritorious service. This umbrella organization had over 100 clubs, societies, and unions at the time. In recognition of his credible service to the CCII, nay Ibadanland, a secretarial apartment is named after Chief Oyero at the Ibadan House, Oke Aremo, Ibadan, the Secretariat of the CCII.

He has visited many countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, India, Belgium, South Africa, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia.
Chief Oyero, a devout Muslim, was a student President of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), West Area, which includes the states of Oyo, Ogun, and Osun. He is currently the Chairman of the Ibadan Muslim Community, a Trustee of the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN), and a member of the Elders Council of the Muslim Ummah of Western Nigeria (MUSWEN). He is a Justice of the Peace in Oyo State. He is listed in Who is Who in UI Alumni (Volume1).

His hobbies include table tennis, reading, and listening to traditional Yoruba music.

Chief Oyero is a happily married man with four adorable children.

Without a doubt, Mustafa Adebayo Oyero’s life exemplifies the virtues of diligence, leadership by example, dedication to duty, unwavering commitment, serious-mindedness, and focus on one’s goal, level-headedness, and the dignity of labour.

An admirable aspect of Chief Oyero’s nature is that in all his achievements, he has remained noiseless, simple and humble. This is an example. He did not want me to read his bio-data at the public presentation of his autobiography on November 23, 2021, in Ibadan. As a co-anchor and member of the Book Launching Committee, I did.

Later, he informed me that Chief Onikepo Akande, CON, two-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Ekerin Iyalode of Ibadanland, was impressed and told him: “My brother, I did not know you had served this country so much and so well.”

Through his career, he has become an inspiration to others, and he offers hope to all those who struggle and strive to follow in his footsteps and achieve their goals.

Dear Chief Oyero, the second stanza of the University of Ibadan Anthem, “the Fount” composed by late Prof. Isidore Okpewho (an alumnus), says it all:
Unibadan, first and best; Raise true minds for a noble cause; Guide our people this to know; Wisdom best to service turned; Help enshrine the right to learn; For a mind that knows; Is a mind that’s truly free!

Truly sir, you are an embodiment of one of the best UI has produced. In all you do, you have demonstrated excellence.

Congratulations on your eight decades of life. May your years ahead be filled with happiness.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIR!

Olatunji Muhammed Oladejo
Director, Ibadan University Press (Publishing House).
18 May, 2022.

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