Falola bags FUL honorary doctoral degree award
Professor Falola being conferred with the degree on Saturday at the Federal University Lokoja

Reputed professor of African history and Diaspora studies, Toyin Falola has bagged the Federal University of Lokoja’s (FUL) doctoral degree award.

The renowned professor was conferred the Ph.D. degree as part of the programme to mark the fifth convocation of the university where 14 students bagged first-class degrees, 188 students bagged second class upper degrees, 441 bagged second class lower, and 95 students bagged third class degrees.

The event which was held on Saturday at the university’s campus, November 13, 2021, had both the academic community and the general public in attendance.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi thanked Professor Falola for his contributions to the growth of the university.

“Let me use this golden opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to our Convocation Lecturer, Professor Toyin Falola, Professor of Africa History at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA, for his scintillating, topical Convocation Lecture entitled: “Africa in the Throes of Double Pandemic: COVID-19, Terrorism and the Future of Education in the New Normal” The lecture was very interesting, stimulating and highly educative. Before this day, the Department of History and International Studies had organized a One Day Conference in his Honour Tagged: Insurgency, Armed Banditry and Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Nigeria. This conference was attended by Academics within and outside the shores of Nigeria. We thank Prof. Toyin Falola profusely for sponsoring the conference and providing logistics and accommodation for the conferees,” he said.

In his reaction, Professor Falola thanked the university for the honour, just as he rejoiced with the graduates and their parents, praying that the university would grow from strength to strength. He equally admonished the vice-chancellor not to relent in his efforts to uplift the institution to greater heights.

While delivering Falola’s citation, the university’s orator stated: “Described as Igi Iwe (the tree of knowledge), Professor Toyin Falola, preferably called TF by his admirers and friends has become a beacon of hope to generations of young scholars in a society that is highly polarized by the ethnic and religious sentiments.

“TF is a great Nigerian patriot and nation builder who moves from Calabar to Maiduguri, from Sokoto to Ibadan, from Kaduna to Ile-Ife, from Lagos to Jos and from Enugu to Abuja, sharing his wealth of knowledge, wisdom and human nature to generation of academics. TF academic broad-mindedness traverses the African continent. – from Cairo to Cape Town and from Dakar to Djibouti with his prolific writing and academic wisdom for African human growth and resources enhancement.

“TF has through his styles of writing and conferences invigorate academic scholarship. His character and intellectual contributions to scholarship have earned him epithets such as Irumole Iwe (the deity of knowledge).

“TF’s sojourn into the academia began in 1976 after he obtained his B.A. (Honours) in History from the University of Ife. In 1977, he was offered teaching appointment as a Junior Faculty and in 1982, his appointment became tenured. Between 1981 and 1985, he was promoted from Lecturer II to I and a Senior Lecturer in 1985. For his contribution to scholarship and his publication in scholarly journals, the Department recommended him for full professorship in 1988.

“It is worthy to note that prior to this time, TF had started his teaching career as an Elementary Teacher at U.A.M.C. Primary School, Ilaro between 1970 and ‘71. He was also a High School Teacher at Oke-Ibadan High School (1973) and Government College, Makurdi (1976 – 1977).

“TF has severally delivered lectures and keynote address across the globe. Innumerable conferences, seminars, workshops, papers and comments delivered to communities and organizations. Over fifty conferences organised/convened locally and internationally. Over a hundred authored, co-authored, edited books published. Over two hundred publications in Chapter of Books.

“Over hundreds of journal articles published. Over hundred and thirty reviewed articles written over hundreds of forward to books and blurbs. Over 25 entries in Encyclopedia. Over five memoirs including Counting the Tiger’s Teeth: An African Teenager’s Story (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, August 2014), pp. 328. Paper edition, 2016. A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir (Ibadan, Nigeria: Bookcraft, 2013), pp. 458.

“For his stubbing and overwhelming contribution to scholarship in Africa and services across the globe, TF has been conferred with several academic titles and won several awards. Among them are over 14 Honorary Doctorate titles within and outside the continent, over 30-lifetime career awards, several teaching awards in the United States; over 15 Festschriften and Bio-Critical Studies written about him; over 10 conferences and workshops organised in his honour; over 10 honours and fellowship conferred on him; He has rendered several professional services to international organizations; President and Member of Several Notable Associations TF has been President, Vice-President and Secretary to academic associations including African Studies Association, Nigerian Studies Association and Historical Society of Nigeria; He has been co-chair and member of several Book Prize Committees; Editor and member to over 15 series of Monographs and Encyclopedia and over 50 journals around the world; He is External Examiner to over 30 universities across the globe.

“TF belongs to several professional organization such Historical Society of Nigeria, African Studies Association, American Historical Association Lusophone Society Association, Canadian African Studies ssociation.TF is a great African ambassador to the world in academic output and mentorship knowledge production and dissemination. TF is African in all ramification – dressing, African art and food patronage, lives in an Africanized home in diaspora and continuously repositioning the African viewpoint in the world order of knowledge. His sense of humour and uncommon generosity, spontaneity, dedication and commitment to serve and motivate others regardless of race, ethnicity, and fondly called TF. His latest Toyin Falola Interview Series is another avenue he developed to interact with great African leaders on possible ways to proffer solutions to numerous challenges that have confronted the continent. For his eloquence and conviviality, he became ‘a mouth sweeter than salt in literature and to his teeming admirers. Falola’s friends declare him as the most ubiquitous person they have journeyed with – the bridge to many channels.”

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