Books are packed with knowledge, life lessons, love, fear and helpful advice. Depending on the themes the book offers, one can read about anything under the sun. Books have been with us probably from time immemorial, or least, for centuries. In the absence of books, today’s knowledge of our past ancestors, cultures and civilizations would have been rather impossible. Books communicate knowledge and wisdom of all kind. The more you read, the more exposed you are. Books can change your attitude, ideas and broaden your imagination. Nothing can add to our intellect, more than reading a book.
It is therefore, a thing of great joy that a titan in the education industry, a pace setter in the field of Geography and Regional Planning, someone whose life is knowledge personified and a global acclaimed Urban Planner whose personality, behaviour, ideas and knowledge are all built around books has donated all the books in his library to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. We are talking about Professor Akin Mabogunje, CFR, CON, first Nigerian Professor of Geography and the first African President of the International Geographical Union.
Handing over his Library to Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye at his residence in Ibadan on Tuesday, 30th June, Akin Mabogunje disclosed that “in appreciation of the honour done, in choosing me as the first and foundation Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University), Ago-Iwoye, I have great pleasure in donating all my library of books, medals, certificates and other articles of personal recognition to the Library of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.”
The OOU Pioneer Pro-Chancellor further shared his thought with the lean entourage of the University when he said he had been worried about what happened to people’s books after their demise. Afraid that he would not like the idea for his books to get into unworthy hands that would not know their value, thus, he has decided to give the collections spanning seven decades of rigorous study and research to OOU.
The 2017 Vautrin Lud Prize Winner, admitted that the books are now occupying more space than he could provide for, said this compelled him to move some volumes to his reception room and his residence in Ijebu-Ode.
Professor Akin Mabogunje, who would be celebrating his 89th birthday in October this year revealed that “the Executors of my will have been so informed of this donation, it will be for me as a matter of great satisfaction if the University can arrange to move all the books and artefacts from my residence in Ibadan and Ijebu-Ode as soon as it finds it convenient to do so in the not-too-distant future, at least, whilst I am still alive.”
Speaking on behalf of the children of the donor, his eldest child, Engr. Seun Mabogunje, thanked the University for accepting the books. He said that the children have been agonizing about what to do with the books. Seun Mabogunje who described the books as unique and priceless advised the University to make judicious use of them.
While receiving the books on behalf of the University, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde expressed gratitude to God Almighty for sparing the life of Professor Akin Mabogunje, granting him good health and endowing him with enviable knowledge. The Vice-Chancellor said that he was priviledged to lead a sizeable but formidable team to receive the donation from the pioneer Pro-Chancellor. Professor Olatunde thanked him profusely for always having the University in mind and for his robust pioneering efforts at planting the seed for the development of the University.
“The University you nurtured is now one of the best universities in the world. Of the 72 academic programmes of the University so far visited by the National Universities Commission (NUC), 70 have full accreditation status while Anatomy and Architecture programmes have interim and denied status respectively as a result of limited space.”
Professor Olatunde further disclosed that OOU has now moved from its hitherto 76% full accreditation status which his administration met on ground in 2017 to 97.2%.
The Vice-Chancellor stated that the University recently won a grant from the British Council which enabled her to collaborate with the University of Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom.
Professor Olatunde added that the University has enjoyed peace and stable academic calendar in the last six years. “Cultism is now a thing of the past, there is peace and stable academic calendar in the University. That is why your friend and our Royal Father, His Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona is happy to associate with us by assisting the University with his endowment.”
The Vice-Chancellor, thereafter, thanked Professor Akin Mabogunje for donating his whole Library collections to the University. He promised to inform the University Council, Senate, students and other stakeholders in the affairs of the University for this kind gesture coming from a pioneer Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council who had meritoriously served the University for 9 years – January 1982 to September 1990.
Also speaking at the occasion, the University Librarian, Dr. Adebambo Oduwole joined the Vice-Chancellor in thanking the donor for choosing OOU as the beneficiary of his books. Dr. Oduwole said that the donation of the books and journals were timely as the University will be receiving the NUC Accreditation Team for Geography and Regional Planning in November this Year. “Since most of your books are from this discipline, it is a big plus for the University. A special place that will be designated MABOGUNJE LIBRARY shall be created for your collections in our University Library. On behalf of the Vice-Chancellor and the University, I want to assure you, sir and your family, that the University will make the best use of these rare books.”
To round off the brief donation ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor called on Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor (Mrs.) Ebun Oduwole to pray for Professor Akin Mabogunje.
Other members of the entourage were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Deji Agboola and the Chair of Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, Professor Ayo Olukotun.