January 26, 2023

Late Prof Aje, was a strong pillar behind establishment of Achievers University, says Akeredolu

—- A gem that can never be forgotten —Pro Chancellor

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, of Ondo state, has described the late vice-chancellor of Achievers University, Owo, Prof Olabanji Aje, as a strong pillar behind the establishment of the institution.

Akeredolu, in his reaction to the news of the passing of the late Vice Chancellor, recalled that ” on several occasions, he had cause to hold series of meetings with late Professor during the formative stage of Achievers University when they both served, alongside other eminent personalities, as members of the Board of Trustee of the institution.

“Professor Aje played principal roles in the establishment of the institution. His contributions to the birth of the University are immeasurable.

” We held a series of meeting together while seeking a license for the establishment of the school from the National Universities Commission”

The Governor concluded his remarks by saying this of the late University Don:

“He was a strong pillar behind the establishment of Achievers University. We will continue to remember him for his immeasurable service and uprightness even in the face of daunting challenges

Also, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr Bode Ayorinde, has described the late Vice-Chancellor as a rare Gem that can never be forgotten by Achievers University.

Ayorinde said this when he received a delegation of Christian ministers from the United States of America who paid him a condolence visit at the start of the obsequies for the late vice chancellor

The Pro-Chancellor remarked that the University community, though in deep mourning over the loss of the late Vice-Chancellor and former member of the university’s governing council nevertheless has every course to thank God for the highly impactful life of the late don and the laudable contributions he made to the intellectual community and humanity at large.

Members of the contingent from the United States include Pastor Adewale Ajimatanrareje who is the Founder/Lead pastor of Royal Seed Church International in Laurel Maryland U.S.A

Others who lauded the astute leadership of the late Vice-Chancellor include the newly appointed Acting Vice Chancellor to the University, Professor Omolola Irinoye.

She said, “I count myself highly opportune to have met and worked with him (Prof Aje) for the short time.

“His intellectual commitment, his outstanding leadership qualities, his administrative prowess, his friendly disposition to all, his commitment to Achievers agenda/family as well as his commitment to servicing humanity are outstanding.”

Professor Samuel Olabanji Aje had his primary education at the Holy Trinity Primary School, Idoani, Ondo State between 1954 and 1960.

He immediately secured admission to Imade College, Owo, where he completed his secondary education in 1966 with flying colours.

He later proceeded to France for further studies – first at Université de Caen, Normandy and then at the Université de Paris, where he obtained his PhD in the French Language in 1979.

On completion of his studies in 1979, Aje returned to Nigeria and picked up an appointment as Lecturer II with the University of Jos. In 1981, he has promoted to Lecturer I and by 1983, he was elevated to the position of Senior Lecturer.

In recognition of his diligence and unalloyed commitment to his job, he was appointed Acting Head of the Department of Languages and Linguistics that same year; and later promoted to Reader and Professor of French and Applied Linguistics in 1988 and 1992 respectively.

He was Dean, the Faculty of Arts between 1998 and 2000.

Prof. Aje is reputed to be the brain behind the commencement of the Language Immersion Programme (LIP) in Nigeria which grew to become the Nigeria French Language Village (NFLV).

In recognition of his contribution to the birth of NFLV, the Federal Government of Nigeria appointed the visionary and initiator of the LIP as its Director-General (DG) in 2003.

The Professor of French and Applied Linguistics, retired from the University of Jos after 40 years of meritorious service to the institution to join Achievers University as its third Vice-Chancellor.

He has been, at various times, Chairman, of National Universities Commission accreditation committees between 2000 and 2015.

In 1986, Prof. Aje was decorated with the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques (Knight of the Order of Academic Excellence) by the government of France.

He is one of the first set of Nigerians to ever receive the prestigious award.