Former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and immediate past Chairman/Pro-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), yesterday urged the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, who celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday not to avenge injustices and unfounded petitions written against his ascendancy of the position of the vice-chancellor, four years ago.
Olanipekun, who held his audience spell bound at the 60 years birthday lecture in honour of Adewole at the International Conference Centre of the institution, recalled how unnamed people tried effortlessly to sabotage the selection process of four years ago, which saw Adewole eventually emerging as the vice-chancellor.
"Let UI be UI. It is greater than any individual; UI is bigger than you and me. Don't avenge all the injustices meted to you. Don't begrudge anybody, don't be partial, don't truncate the process; don't sabotage the process. The battle is over. You are what you are by the grace of God. Support the council in choosing your successor," he said.
The legal luminary on whose tenure as Pro-Chancellor of the university Adewole was confirmed described the celebrant as a "cat not only with nine lives, but one with 18 lives, who surmounted all the travails and conspiratorial petitions hatched against him by his traducers."
"Everybody scored Adewole highest of all the candidates. He came tops in all the screenings and that was why he sailed through at last," he added.
He then advised the VC to read the book of Psalms, chapter 90, last verse, where it is written that God should teach us how to count our days…", while welcoming him to the 'camp of the real elders'.
To this end, Olanipekun tasked Adewole not to avenge what was done to him about four years ago, by attempting to truncate the selection process of his successor, which would soon begin.
Olanipekun who was the Chairman of the 60th birthday celebration of the VC, described Adewole as a very brilliant scholar and seasoned administrator par excellence, who emerged tops in all the screening exercises conducted for candidates in 2010 before he was appointed by the Council of the institution.
Olanipekun while recalling how several attempts were made by some fifth columnists who wrote petitions to truncate the selection process under his chairmanship of the Governing Council, said he stood his ground because of all the aspirants, Adewole was the best then.
Many dignitaries present at the occasion showered encomiums on Adewole, a seasoned gynaecologist. Among them were the Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; who was represented by his Commissioner for Health; Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, represented by Otunba Fatai Oluganbe; Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, represented by the Chief Medical Director of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Prof. B.A Adetiloye; Emeritus Professor Olu Akinkugbe; Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin, VC, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade represented by Oba Dr. Olusanya Dosunmu; Prof. Tekena Tamuno; Prof. Ayo Banjo; Chief Adebayo Akande of the Ibadan private radio station, Splash FM; and Prof. Oladipo Ladapo, among others.
At the ceremony, a birthday lecture titled: "Building a Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme in Zambia, using a HIV/AIDS Infrastructure and a Spirit of Abundance" was delivered by Prof. Groesbeck Parham.