Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe; Professor of mathematics, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos from September 2000 to April 2007. As Vice-Chancelor he had to deal with student unrest, staff grievances, financial problems and other academic-related predicaments but garnered several accolades for his exploits in his career and his service to his community as a Chairman of the committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities. Ibidapo-Obe was twice awarded the prize for Best Vice-Chancellor, in 2004 and 2005, for the Nigerian University System, NUS. Prior his appointment as Vice-chancellor, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at University of Lagos, between 1995-99, and was pioneer Managing Director of the University of Lagos Consultancy Services, Unilag Consult 1984-1989. When President Jonathan attempted the renaming of Unilag to Moshood Abiola University in his Democracy Day speech of 2012, Ibidapo-Obe, who said he almost died when the new name was announced, criticized the President for not consulting stakeholders before he made the “totally unacceptable” decision[i]. Ibidapo-Obe went ahead to chair the launch of previous president, Obasanjo’s book in which he was critical of his former ally, Jonathan[ii].
Ibidapo-Obe was born on 5 July 1949- Bred in Ilesha, he had both his primary and secondary education in Ilesa; he attended Ilesa Grammar School, and Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos State[iii] before proceeding to the University of Lagos where he bagged a B.Sc Hons in Mathematics in 1971. Subsequently in 1973, he earned a Masters in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science, then a Ph.D in Civil Engineering with specialization in Applied Systems in 1976, both from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Childhood memory was of a good, simple life where everything was fine. His Ilesa town was a commercial centre of the Western Region where Obafemi Awolowo’s free education scheme was in practice.
In 1988, Ibidapo-Obe was appointed Chairman, Presidential Committee on Brain Drain. He also worked as Group Coordinator, International Labour Organisation, ILO, on strategies and opportunities for self employment. He was pioneer National Coodinator of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDB in 1992-93, and was also a member in the Presidential Task Force on National Economic Recovery Programme in 2008. He was conferred with the national honour as Officer of the Federal Republic, OFR, in 2004[iv].
[i] Punch May 23, 2015
[ii] Punch, December 10, 2014
[iii] Insider July 7, 2003
[iv] TheNews, November 23, 2009