Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (Nigeria) Prof. Kehinde Inaugurates Board of Autonomous Republic of Ijegba (ARI) Forestage

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB),  Prof. Babatunde Kehinde has inaugurated the Board of Autonomous Republic of Ijegba (ARI) Forestage, ceded to the University by the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.

Speaking during the inauguration, Prof. Kehinde noted that managing the ARI Forestage is a challenge on FUNAAB considering the rich cultural and artistic heritage Prof. Soyinka has put together in his Ijegba home.

He added that considering the calibre of people being inaugurated into the Board, FUNAAB will not fail in managing the place as charged by Prof. Soyinka.

According to Prof. Kehinde, “Today, we are inaugurating a Board of people who are highly …. experienced in their various fields, to make sure humanity benefits from this beautiful legacy of Prof. Soyinka, which he has placed in our care”.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor prayed to God to grant Prof. Soyinka more life as he appreciated Chief Engr. Tokunbo Odebunmi who had earlier given an insight to the make-up of the ARI Forestage.

Prof. Kehinde also appreciated and commended the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako for midwifing the ARI project.

Speaking earlier, Chief (Engr.) Tokunbo Odebunmi, a former Managing Director, Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC) who is also a member of the Board described Prof. Soyinka as a special breed, who believes institutions should have perpetuity.

Chief Odebunmi said he is ready to cooperate with FUNAAB and provide all required logistics for the growth of the Forestage, saying, ” Prof. Soyinka has left it, we shall do our best to see it through”.

Chief Odebunmi charged FUNAAB to use the place judiciously for general education sector development, noting that he hopes to see the university as a partner in the ARI preservation and development.

The inaugurated members are, Prof. Kola Adebayo, (Chairman); Chief Engr. Tokunbo Odebunmi; Chief Joju Fadairo; Prof. Bosede Shotiloye; Prof. Olusola Bamgboye and Mr. Akin Jiboku, (Secretary).

Speaking on behalf of the Board, the Chairman, Prof. Kola Adebayo thanked the University Management for deeming the members fit for the job. He praised Prof. Soyinka’s vision for bequeathing his abode to FUNAAB considering his rich collections of works of arts under the natural ambience it is situated. He promised the Board cannot afford to fail.