Dr Ganiyu Adetunji Adeniran is one of the University of Ibadan’s most versatile veterinary medical scientists. Today, he turns 65!
Most people celebrate their 10th, 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th, and 100th birthdays by bringing out drums, tambourines and cymbals.
Dr Adeniran, on the other hand, is not “most people”!
An average Ibadan man is a royal celebrity of some kind where he hails from in this area of the country. In every sense, he is a star who deserves to wear the toga of the prominent, distinguished, and intellectual person from this category. This family or class defies tradition. Nobody should begrudge anyone for celebrating his birthday whenever and however he likes. It doesn’t matter what his age is; it’s his age!
Dr Adeniran is 65 years old.
Dr Adeniran is not that young at 65, despite his illustrious achievements in scholarship, administration, community service, and humanity.He is not that young to command the respect and loyalty of the young and old whose lives he has positively influenced.
He is also not young in comparison to his peers all over the world.This birthday is to formally mark his retirement from the prestigious University of Ibadan as a Veterinary Pathologist. It is also to thank God for the good health, abundant strength, exceptional wisdom, and other divine endowments bestowed upon him over the past 65 years.
Meantime, Dr Adeniran is set to retire in grand style after working at the University of Ibadan for over 30 years.
Dr Gani Adeniran’s Book Launch titled “My Footprints on Sands of Time: Ganiyu Adetunji Adeniran @ 65”, his 65th birthday celebration, and his retirement ceremony are all part of the last , Saturday, 16 July, 2022.
Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR, SAN, FCIArb, former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, University of Ibadan, Chairman, Body of Benchers, and Asiwaju of Ikere Ekiti, will deliver a lecture titled “A man and his worth: The imperatives of a lasting legacy” on the occasion.
The cream of society is expected to attend this event at the legendary Trenchard Hall, the University of Ibadan, which will see the colossus takes a glorious bow from the academic space.
Dr Adeniran, affectionately known as Gani Eto, is admired by both friends and foes for his strategic understanding of the University of Ibadan and Nigeria’s political landscape.
Part of the comprehension is that he understands how to position his candidates for leadership positions at the University of Ibadan and elsewhere. He truly understands the system and how it works, and he employs it deftly.
He positioned himself for elective positions at UI early in his academic career and won.One could not but admire his brinkmanship and courage in subsuming his ambition for the greater good when the occasions demanded, which many people may not be willing to do. This ability to look at the larger picture and willingness to sacrifice his ambition must be seen as a bonus in evaluating “Gani Eto”.
His words: “Sometimes in 1994, I indicated my desire to contest the vacant position of the Congregation Representative in the Council, and Late Professor Alex Gboyega of the Department of Political Science, Faculty of the Social Sciences supported me in principle. He and I were the only candidates qualified to contest the position, having met the attendance requirements of at least two meetings. Soon, after he assured me of his support, some people prevailed on him to run for the same seat, ostensibly in preparation for the 1995 Vice-Chancellorship race! Because I had issues with the ASUU leadership of the time, I was angry, and I determined to go ahead pursuing my legitimate ambition.
Professor Gboyega met me in Oyo at the burial of a ranking Professor; he fixed an appointment with me for the following Monday. He did not only come to plead with me to step down for him, but he also insisted that I should sign his nomination form, which I gladly did out of respect for him and his humility. He was returned unopposed.”This particular action earned Dr Adeniran, the admiration of many political observers. Later, he ran for and was elected to the Governing Council of the University of Ibadan, joining others in facing the challenges of the time. He was so bright that he quickly rose to prominence on the Council.Some university watchers believe he had a hand in the appointment of some Vice-Chancellors at the University of Ibadan.
Dr Adeniran, an Ibadan native, was born on July 16, 1957, and attended the prestigious Ilesa Grammar School in Osun State, Nigeria, from 1971 to 1976.
Between 1976 and 1977, the promising Ganiyu worked as a Tax Clerk at the Internal Revenue Tax Office, Onireke, Ibadan, Oyo State, after which he attended Obafemi Awolowo University (I A R & T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, from 1977 to 1979 where he earned his Ordinary Diploma in Animal Health and Husbandry (with distinction).
The determined Ganiyu was admitted to the prestigious University of Ibadan in 1979 to study Veterinary Medicine. Ganiyu later enrolled in a graduate programme at the same university and received an M.V. Sc.
Energetic Ganiyu had the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps programme at the Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto where he taught Veterinary Pharmacology to DVM students in 1987.
Indeed, distinguished himself during the service year of 1986/1987.
In 1988, this rising star joined the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ibadan, rising to the rank of Senior Lecturer.
He belongs to several scholarly and professional organizations, including the Veterinary Medical Association and the Society for International Development.
Dr Adeniran has made significant contributions to the field of veterinary pathology by publishing in numerous national and international journals. He is also a well-known figure at conference proceedings.
While at the University of Ibadan and elsewhere, this generalissimo was showered with an avalanche of appointments.
A sampling of which include:1. Departmental Examination Coordinator, 1988 -2004;2. Sub-Dean (Undergraduate), 1993 – 1994;3. Chairman, University of Ibadan Ceremonials Committee, 2001 – 2005;4. Member, UI Governing Council (Congregation Representative), 2007 – 2011;5. Chairman, Council Committee on Security, 2007-2011;6. Member, Board of Directors, UI Ventures Limited; 2007 – 2011;7. Financial Secretary, University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA), 1988 – 1982;8. 2nd National Assistant Secretary, UIAA, 1991 – 1993;9. Hall Warden, Sultan Bello Hall, 1995 -2001;10 Chairman, Presidential Visitation Panel to the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, 1999;11. Member, Governing Council, Federal College of Education, Kotangura, 12. Hon. Commissioner, Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), 2004 – 2007;13. Member, UI’s 50th Anniversary Planning Committee – 1998;14. Member, UI @60 Planning Committee, August 2007 – 2008;15. Director, Centre for Social Orientation (CenSO), 2017- 2020, among another preferment.
Dr Adeniran’s career at UI reveals an intriguing phenomenon that cannot be overlooked. It is as if God has orchestrated a plan to prepare him for the role he will play in the affairs of the University of Ibadan.
In his illustrious academic career, he accomplished many commendable feats, and in all the places where he served, he was lauded.
Dr Adeniran, without a doubt, has a strong faith in God, as evidenced by the strength of his determination and tacit confidence in his abilities.
Dr Adeniran’s role in the governance of the University of Ibadan was so pervasive and effective that many people believed he had a hand in every policy, decision, and planning at UI, which was sometimes unjustifiably so.
The story is told in the nickname “Gani Eto.” More importantly, and not widely known, “Gani Eto” influenced the appointments of various categories of University staff.
Another excellent virtue of Dr Adeniran is that he is a veteran employee with institutional memory. He is always at home in pointing us in the right direction with his attention to details, fragments, elements, circumstances, facts, and features. He is a staff who carries a wealth of experience and know-how.
He is in the pantheon of such institutional memories as the late Prof. Michael Aken’Ova, of the Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture and the late Mr Victor Adebomi Adegoroye, former Acting Registrar, University of Ibadan, who had a huge amount of know-how in the University system, especially the University of Ibadan.
This disposition distinguishes him. We consider ourselves fortunate to have him among us. There are scarcely any more fields for him to conquer in the University.
The acquired knowledge, demonstrable ability, proven competence and sense of commitment made “Ganirity” as Dr Adeniran is affectionately addressed by Prof Isaac Folorunso Adewole, 11th Vice-Chancellor, the University of Ibadan and immediate past Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria, a colossus in UI and Nigeria’s politics. Perhaps, he should contemplate partisan politics and run for any elective office as he is eminently qualified to do so. I am not aware of any other University of Ibadan staff member, living or dead, who has received as many commendation and appreciation letters as Dr Adeniran.
All of these accolades attest to the high quality of his work.This is a sample. On 9 January 1999, Late Prof. Tekena Tamuno, the first alumnus of the University of Ibadan to become its Vice-Chancellor and the youngest ever VC of the University in an appreciation note to Dr Adeniran described him as a “Pace-setting Warden of a Great Hall (Sultan Bello Hall), eminent scholar, amiable friend, model for young academics with demonstrable leadership qualities.”Another Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Omoniyi Adeoye in recommending Dr Adeniran for the National Productivity Merit Award in 1998 in a letter of 19 August 1998 to the Secretary of the Award Committee wrote inter alia “Dr Adeniran, by his position as Hall Warden, Sultan Bello Hall, has displayed exemplary qualities of leadership. He initiated the Lecture Series, the first of its kind. More than any other Hall Warden in the history of the University he has raised a substantial amount of almost a million naira towards the physical improvement of the Hall.
He has an inimitable way of relating to students. He easily mobilizes them for collective action in cleaning the Hall from time to time inculcating in them a sense of service to the community.
It is no coincidence that Sultan Bello Hall has remained peaceful under his leadership as Hall Warden.
As a man of ideas, Dr Adeniran is a positive influence on the Committee of Hall Wardens; many of his useful ideas he has preferred to various aspects of running student affairs. I am proud of his achievements as a shining example of a dedicated public servant.”
And in a commendation letter of 11 October 2011, the then Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, FAS, wrote to acknowledge receipt of the report of Dr Adeniran’s visit to India to attend the FIRE INDIA 2011 EXHIBITION CONFERENCE from 16 to 22 September 2011 commended him “for your timely clearance of the Cash/Touring Advance given to you for the journey. Your refund of one-day estacode of $425 (about N75,000.00) is highly commendable. We are indeed very proud of this act of honesty. I wish to place on record your resilience and commitment to the overall development of the University.”
Behind this distinguished Nigerian’s successes is his ever-caring and supportive wife, Dr Ganiyat Adeniran, a worthy scholar in her own right. Mentioning the celebrant’s name is like playing a well-balanced musical instrument of love in his heart. Their marriage has produced adorable children.
Despite his demanding and almost intimidating academic and social commitments, Dr. Adeniran still finds time to render service to various social and cultural organizations, most notably the Sigma Club, University of Ibadan, of which he has been a member since his undergraduate days at UI.
Today, I honour this achiever, courageous, finest in human creativity, co-builder of UI’s academic empire, the epitome of leadership by example, the enlightened mind of his team, and a man held in high regard by professional colleagues, friends, and associates, as well as a resourceful and progressive pragmatist who has made the most of his opportunities.
Today, I celebrate this exceptional performer, remarkable worker of unrivalled qualities, motivator of men, and visionary leader.
May your years ahead be fulfilled.
Happy retirement! Happy 65th birthday!
Olatunji Oladejo, JP, MNIPR Director, Ibadan University Press (Publishing House)16 July, 2022.