By Bankole Adewale
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria will attain greater heights if many Nigerians emulate the outstanding qualities of Prof. Isaac Ayegboyin, a professor of Church History who has clocked 70 years.
Obasanjo spoke on Monday at the 70th birthday and retirement programme for Ayegboyin organised by the Department of Religious Studies, University of Ibadan.
The former president, whose dissertation for his doctorate degree was co-supervised by the celebrator, joined other family members, friends, colleagues and associate to celebrate the retiring don.
“I am saying with all seriousness because for all that has been said about the celebrant being humble, selfless, committed to a cause, a scholar, an academia, a family man, pastor, teacher and mentor to so many as well as a good supervisor, Nigeria would be different if there are many who share these attributes.
“I was very happy to hear that the department is celebrating a living legend who has been steady, consistent and reliable and will remain so till he breathes his last.
“I am happy to celebrate you as an icon while wishing you many years in service to humanity,” Obasanjo said.
Prof. Matthews Ojo, a former Vice-Chancellor of Bowen University, in a lecture entitled, “Yoruba Diaspora Experience in Ghana and the Making of Deji Ayegboyin,’’ said the celebrator’s experience while growing up shaped his personality.
“Really religion is embedded in the overall survival and success of individuals and the community.
“It provided redemptive strategies of survival and became the means of understanding the present and sustaining the memory of ancestral homeland.
“Deji Ayegboyin has been able to overcome the vicissitudes of life, he has confronted the temporariness of the Diaspora life and has achieved an upward social mobility as a second generation migrant,” Ojo said.
Others who eulogised the celebrator included Prof. Idowu Olayinka, Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan represented by Prof. Kayode Adebowale, Prof. Dapo Asaaju, Vice Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University, Mr P. S. O. Taiwo, a former General Manager of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State and Rev. Nathaniel Aremu.
Ayegboyin, in his response, thanked the Department of Religious Studies and all who had made his birthday and retirement celebration worthwhile.