Adesina Lukuman Azeez becomes the first Professor of mass communication at the University of Ilorin 24 years after he bagged a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in mass communications at the University of Lagos in 1997.
In this exclusive interview with Legit.ng's regional reporter, Adeoye Adewunmi, Prof. Azeez said he never knew the feat would come easily because he did not work for it, adding that his intention was to be an academic at the University of Lagos despite being given an offer at Leeds University in the United Kingdom.
Can you tell us about your academic journey?
My academic journey to the University of Ilorin was facilitated by my colleague, Dr. Kayode Mustapha, who insisted I must contribute to the building of the department that was just established and the approval was expressly granted by the former vice-chancellor, Professor Ishaq Oloyede.
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I agreed with him after a lot of persuasions not knowing that he was just being used to fulfil a destiny. By the time I got to Unilorin with the express approval of the vice-chancellor then, Professor Oloyede, I was the only faculty member with a Ph.D.
With this, the responsibility automatically fell on me to provide leadership. Fortunately or unfortunately, the pioneer head then, the veteran journalist, Doyin Mahmud, died some months after I joined.
I later became the head with a lot of responsibility. My other colleagues were motivated by my leadership and I think I opened doors for them. All of us except one or two are now Ph.D. holders.
So, being the first to have a Ph.D. in the department, I was then providing leadership and with the favour of Almighty Allah, I became the first professor in the department.
What is your advice for your colleagues?
My advice to all is that we should be focused, dedicated and committed. We all need money, but it should not be our primary motivation. My knack for capacity building and the need to contribute to the overall growth of the nation propelled me to come back to Nigeria after his Ph.D. in the United Kingdom.
I came back after my Ph.D. in the UK because I felt I could contribute to build people just like my lecturers built me, and contribute to the overall growth of my nation.
Some of the prizes and awards I bagged when I graduated from the University of Lagos in 1997 were the overall best student in mass communication, vice-chancellor prize, the best student in reporting - Saka Fagbo prize; and best student in advertising - APCON prize.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that barely one week after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called off its 10-month-old strike, the management of the University of Ilorin declared that the institution would resume a full academic session on January 11, 2021.
It was reported that the announcement was contained in a statement signed by the director, corporate affairs of the institution, Kunle Akogun, on Thursday, December 31.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.