70 Garlands for Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Professor Abayomi Oloruntoba

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By Ralph Agbana.

Friends, colleagues and proteges of Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Professor Abayomi Oloruntoba will, today, Saturday, May 6th, 2023, gather in Ibadan Oyo State capital, for his induction into the club of septuagenarians.

As he turns 70 and ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebration, there has been an overflow of tributes from friends, associates and mentees.

In the roll call, is highbrow Lagos Management Consultant, Otunba Funsho Owoyemi, who who wrote as follows:

“Top of the day and lofty best wishes to you and the entire family. Thanks for availing me indeed all the compatriots the opportunity to share with you your rear gift, subtle candour and very grounded intellectual capacity. It has been profoundly beneficial to us all and the community at large. I join every one here and the diaspora to maintain our prayers for you in this quest to touch mankind positively. Surely you shall live long . The benevolence of God that endures forever shall not in a hurry leave your home IJMN. Please relay all these sentiments/ prayers to your darling wife of several decades. Certainly, she stands as a solid backbone in your daily struggles. May she be equally blessed in Jesus Christ mighty name.

“Please be focused on your desires  and tolerance as your best in all these is yet to come to the benefit of mankind . Shallom!

“Congratulations on starting a new chapter in life. Wishing you a very happy Platinum Jubilee, Professor.

In his tribute, Professor Abubakar M. Kundiri, Vice-Chancellor, Al-Ansar University and former Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, has the following words to say about the erudite Professor Oloruntoba Snr: “it is a great pleasure to join the wide world in celebrating Professor Abayomi Oloruntoba as he attains the Golden age of 70!

“Over the years, he has been a friend, mentor and guide in academic and personal affairs. I deeply appreciate your support in my academic and professional growth including my emergence as the second Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Dutse in 2015.

“Over the years, you have also taken under your wings, young people from diverse backgrounds and groomed them in line with your commitment to excellence. Their current positions and achievements are testaments to your dedication to building for the future. As you start another phase in your life, we thank the Almighty God for your life. I sincerely wish you good health and strength and the ability to continue to play significant roles in the Academic, Agricultural and Social Sectors for the benefit of mankind”.

Prof Oloruntoba’s 70th birthday is celebrated by the people of Okunland, Yagbaland and Odo-Eri in particular. His many years of sustainable spirit of galvanizing community self-help projects to bring development to his immediate community is unrivaled, supported by eminent sons and daughters of Odo-,Eri through the instrumentality of the umbrella platform, Eri Progressive Union (EPU), ably led by Professor Isaiah Awogun, and supported by Ambassador Kayode Sinkaiye. Prof Oloruntoba has to his credit oversights as controller of community projects undertaken by EPU ranging from security, water and electrification to internal disputes.

Eminent personalities in the service of Odo-Eri community development who joined in the celebration of the 70th birthday of their kinsman, Prof Abayomi Oloruntoba include, and not limited to, His Royal Highness, Oba Tajudeen Fashedu, the  Eleri of Eriland and the Council of Chiefs, Professor Isaiah Awogun, Ambassador Kayode Sinkaiye, Otunba Funsho Owoyemi, Chief Sam Owa, Hon Samuel Bamidele Aro,  Chief D.B Titus, among others. The community leaders variously described Prof Oloruntoba as an illustrious son of Odo-Eri community, Yagba and Okunland who has utilized his experience gained over the years as a rural development practitioner for community development projects and one who is passionate about making a positive impact and creating meaningful change.

The Man, Abayomi Oloruntoba

Professor Abayomi Oloruntoba is of Yagba, Okun/Yoruba extraction in Kogi State, located in the West Senatorial District of the state. He was born in Odo-Eri, Yagba West  Local Government Area, Kogi State 70 years ago. After his elementary and secondary schools, he was admitted to the School of Basic Studies at the then Kwara State College of Technology, Ilorin in 1974, passed the Cambridge University Advanced Level Certificate in flying colours and gained direct entry admission into Nigeria’s premier university; University of Ibadan, Ibadan (UI) for his B.sc degree in Agriculture (Forest Resources Management) as a Kwara State government scholar. He proceeded to Berkeley, USA in August 1983 under World Bank-IBRD Assisted Fellowship Programme to study at the prestigious University of California for his Master’s in Resource Science (Economics and Policy) and was in the graduating class of December 1984.

His quest for enhanced academic laurel, after 15 years of working experiences, he went back to his alma mater (UI) and registered for his PhD in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development in May, 1991, which he satisfactorily completed and defended in April 2000.

Professor Abayomi Oloruntoba had professional preparation and capacity building in leading centres of excellent around the world.

He is a member of several professional bodies, including: South African Society of Agricultural Extension; Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education, USA; Life member, Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria;  Nigeria Institute for Training and Development; Farm Management Association of Nigeria; Society of American Foresters and Wood Science Society, London, among others.

Prof Abayomi Oloruntoba joined Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta as Grade One Lecturer in May 2000, upon completion of his PhD at the UI and rose through the ranks to hold  the rank of full Professor for 11 years, post professorial, and 19 years meritorious teaching experience in the university system, with an interesting mix in professional and academic backgrounds of a consultant, scholar, researcher and university administrator per excellence.

He is happily married and the union is blessed with God fearing children.

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