By Osa Amadi

Professor Adigun Agbaje, renowned Professor of Political Science and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, will deliver the keynote address at the 5th Idowu Sobowale Conference scheduled to hold at the School of Communication, Lagos State University, Ojo, on 30th (tomorrow) and 31st March 2021.

The theme of the address is “Media, Public Opinion and Governance in Africa”. The conference, which draws participants from academia and professionals in media and communications, is organised by the LASU School of Communication, in conjunction with the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota.

The first edition of the International Conference was organised in 2009   to create the forum for regular dialogue on different aspects of intellectual and professional interventions of Professor Idowu Sobowale in media, journalism, and public communication.

Notable themes addressed at past conferences include: “Media, Governance and Development”, hosted by the Department of Mass Communication, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, in 2009; “150 Years of Journalism: telling the Nigerian Story”, held at Caleb University, Imota, in 2011; “Globalization, Media Entertainment and National Development”, which took place at Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria, in 2015; and  “Media, Integration, Peace-building and Intercultural Dialogue in Africa” held at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leon, in October 2017.

According to a press release issued by the School of Communication, Lagos State University and signed by Professor Rotimi Olatunji, Chairman, Idowu Sobowale Conference Committee, the 2021 conference provides unique opportunities for scholars, media professionals, veterans, contemporaries and academic disciples of Professor Idowu Sobowale to also celebrate the legend as he marks his 80th birthday anniversary (29th March 2021) and have his autobiography, “Unexpected Turns”, unveiled during the opening ceremony of the conference on March 30.

The statement also released the ZOOM ID (83939168852) and the password (IDOWU) for the thanksgiving service of the 80th birthday anniversary scheduled for today, Monday, March 29.

The choice of the venue, the statement said, is equally spectacular because Professor Idowu Sobowale served both as one of the founding fathers, as well as the pioneer Dean of the Lagos State University School of Communication.

The opening ceremony of the conference will be chaired by  Professor Abisogun Leigh, a Fellow of Royal Statistical Society and former Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, with a Special Guests of Honour, Professor Umaru A. Pate, the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State who is also the President of Association of Communication Scholars & Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN); Professor Nosa Owens-Ibie, Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University, Imota, Lagos who is also the Secretary-general, ACSPN.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, Professor Oyedamola Oke, PhD, will be the Chief Host of the event, while the new Dean of the LASU School of Communication, Professor Yinka Alawode, will be the Host.

Professor Idowu Sobowale, PhD, OON, two-term Special Adviser (Education) in Lagos State, first to pioneer Executive Governor of Lagos State, the late Alahji Lateef Jakande, and later during the first term of His Excellency, Ahmed Tinubu’s as Executive Governor of the State.

Professor Sobowale ended up as Honourable Commissioner of Education during the same period. He was among the technical team that recommended the establishment of the LASU School of Communication, where he later served as the pioneer Dean.

During the Conference, Professor Idowu Sobowale will on 31st March 2021 also reminisce on his odyssey in journalism, public service, government, politics, academia, and private life, which event presents unique opportunities for budding media professionals and scholars to learn at the feet of the academic and media grandmaster.

The session on “Reminiscences by Professor Idowu Sobowale” will be chaired by Prof. Ralph A. Akinfeleye, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication.

In a pre-event chart, Professor Sobowale has pledged to utilise the proceeds of his autobiography to institute a professorial Chair in an aspect of media and Communications Studies, as well as offer scholarships to budding communication scholars to attend local and international conferences.

Already, in recognition of the phenomenal contributions of Professor Sobowale to scholarship and media profession, Caleb University, Imota Lagos State has long named its Faculty of Communication and Media Studies in honour of the icon, Professor Idowu Sobowale.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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