*As Prof. Agbaje delivers Keynote Address at 5thIdowuSobowale Conference
By Elizabeth Osayande
Lagos State University School of Communication has lined up activities to celebrate its pioneer Dean, Prof. Idowu Sobowale who turned 80 on Monday, March 29.
On the activities to celebrate Professor Sobowale, considered by many as one of the forerunners of Mass Communication in Nigeria, Chairman, Idowu Sobowale Conference Committee, and former Dean LASU School of Communication, Prof. Rotimi Olatunji, explained that the school is set to host the 5th Idowu Sobowale Conference tagged: ”Media, Public Opinion and Governance in Africa”, organised in partnership with Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, on March 30/31.
He added that the Acting Vice-Chancellor, LASU Prof. Oyedamola Oke, is the chief host of the event, while the new Dean of the LASU School of Communication, Prof. Yinka Alawode, is the host.
Prof. Rotimi Olatunji, Department of Public Relations & Advertising, in a statement, noted that: “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 (March 29) and have his autobiography (“Unexpected Turns”) unveiled during the opening ceremony of the Conference on March 30.
“The choice of the venue 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 (LASUSOC).
“And the ZOOM ID for the Thanksgiving service for the 80th birthday anniversary on March 29 is 83939168852, with the password as IDOWU.“
The chairman of the Idowu Sobowale committed added that: “During the conference, Prof. Sobowale will on March 31 reminiscence on his odyssey in journalism, public service, government, politics, the 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 Prof. Idowu Sobowale will be chaired by another legend, Prof. Ralph A. Akinfeleye, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Council Member, World Journalism Education Congress.
“In a pre-event chart, the celebrant has pledged to utilise the proceeds of the autobiography (Unexpected Turns) 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 phenomena contributions of Professor Sobowale to scholarship and media professor, Caleb University, Imota Lagos State, has long named its Faculty of Communication and Media Studies in honour of the Icon, Professor Idowu Sobowale.”
Prof. Olatunji explained that “while renowned Professor of Political Science and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the University of Ibadan, Professor Adigun Agbaje, will deliver the keynote address, the opening ceremony of the conference will be chaired by the former VC, LASU, and Fellow Royal Statistical Society, Professor Abisogun Leigh, Fellow, Royal Statistical Society.
“The President, Association of Communication Scholars & Professionals of Nigeria, ACSPN, and current VC, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, Professor Umaru A. Pat as special guest and Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University, Imota, Professor Nosa Owens-Ibie, who is also the Secretary-general, ACSPN, serves as Guest of Honour.”
Professor IdowuSobowale, two-term Special Adviser (Education) in Lagos State, first to pioneer Governor of Lagos State, now late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, and later during the first term of Ahmed Tinubu’s as Governor of the State.
Professor Sobowale became Commissioner for 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.