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A BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF PROFESSOR SANYA ONABAMIRO

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Professor Sanya Onabamiro would have been 107 years old were he to still be alive. His daughter, Banke Onabamiro, posted the following story about him on FB’s Nigerian Nostalgia (1960-1980) Project:

Happy posthumous birthday Prof!

A BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF PROFESSOR SANYA ONABAMIRO 

     Olorunsanya Adedojo was born in Ile-Otena, Idode Quarter, Ago-Iwoye, in the Bobadega Age-Group in Ago-Iwoye.

      His birth proved difficult. His mother told him years later that she was in labour for thirteen days. She did not impart this information with any noticeable bitterness.

     The brothers and sisters born before Adedojo and those born after him all died in infancy; he alone survived to adulthood out of the nine children born by the late Madam Matilda Oduyemi Ajibola.

Professor Onabamiro


The name Adedojo was given him by his father, the late Pa Jeremiah Onabamiro Bisuga and the name Olorunsanya was given him by his late mother.

      Adedojo’s childhood was very turbulent because he was most unorthodox and unconventional. At  the age of seven years, he elected to be a Muslim. His father was a man who let his children do as they pleased, so he agreed to the attachment of Adedojo to Alfa Olowoporoku of Idode Mosque and it was under Olowoporoku that the boy took some Koranic lessons. His mother, a staunch Christian, almost fanatical in her Christian belief, strongly disapproved of Adedojo’s incursion into the Muslim faith. The attachment was terminated by his mother removing the boy from Ago-Iwoye to Ibadan to stay first with her sister, Esther Adeola and later with her brother, Chief John O. Ajibola.

     The period 1922 and 1928 were very turbulent in Adedojo’s life. For four years during this period, he read only Standards Two and Three and these in seven schools: Elekuro Methodist, Agodi Methodist, Agbeni Methodist in Ibadan; Shagamu Methodist, Shagamu Bethel, Ikorodu Methodist and Ikorodu Bethel Schools. 

     But wherever he went, his mother Matilda Oduyemi always arranged for him to be taken back to ibadan to continue his schooling under the guardianship of members of the Ajibola family.

     Adedojo began to acquire emotional stability only on entering Wesley College, Ibadan, in January 1929 for a four year teacher training course. 

      On leaving Wesley College, he was posted to the Methodist School, Oshogbo as a Teacher.

       After only three months at Oshogbo, a series of transfers brought about his re-posting to the Methodist School, Ogere, Ijebu Remo: the Headmaster of a school in Ilesha Circuit got drowned in a river; the Headmaster of Ogere Methodist was transferred to take the place of the drowned man; the Assistant Headmaster at Ogere was promoted Headmaster and Mr Onabamiro was transferred from Oshogbo to be Assistant Headmaster at Ogere. Three years later the Headmaster was transferred and Mr Onabamiro was promoted Headmaster.

      In January 1936 he was transferred to the Yaba Methodist School, Lagos Olowogbowo Circuit, and there he met an old friend, Stephen Oluwole Awokoya, who was in his third and final year at the Yaba Higher College.

      One evening, on accompanying Mr Awokoya back to his College, Mr Onabamiro was amazed to see Students immaculately dressed in white, being served at the table by uniformed stewards and the student’s dinner tables loaded with all nice things a man could wish to eat. Also, while strolling around the college grounds, Mr Awokoya showed Mr Onabamiro some buildings which he told him were called Science Laboratories.

       On getting back home that night, in late January 1936, Mr Onabamiro resolved to put aside playful things and embark on serious studies to be able to enter that Yaba Higher College.

      Stephen Oluwole Awokoya himself undertook to teach him Mathematics and another Yaba student, Mr U.B. Ugot, for a small fee of five shillings a month came to teach him Biology on Saturdays in his rented room at No 42 Wakeman street, Yaba. 

      In December 1936, he took the Cambridge School Certificate Examination the result of which came in February 1937. He passed with exemption from London Matriculation with Credit in all the subjects taken including Biology, not having yet set foot inside a Science Laboratory in his life.

      The Board of Governors of Methodist Boys’ High School, Lagos, got to know through the late Rev. M.O. Dada, the Superintendent of the Olowogbowo Circuit of Mr Onabamiro’s performance at the Cambridge School Certificate Examination, and sent him to the Yaba Higher College to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics, to become later an Assistant Science Master at the Methodist Boys High School, Lagos. Mr Onabamiro entered the Yaba Higher College on 1st April 1937.

      In July 1940 he sat privately for the Inter B.Sc Examination of the University of London in Zoology, Botany, Chemistry and Physics. In early December 1940 he sat for the Diploma Examination of the Yaba Higher College in Biology and Chemistry. He left the Higher College in December 1940, having studied under Mr C.R. Butler O. B. E. the Principal of the College. On the 23rd of December, it was announced that Mr Onabamiro passed his Yaba Higher College Diploma Examination and two months later a cablegram from London arrived to inform him that he passed the London Inter B.Sc. Examination. 

      He taught Biology and Chemistry at the M.B.H.S. Lagos from January 1941 to August 1944, when he left Nigeria on a Nigerian Government Scholarship to read Zoology at the University of Manchester, England.

        In July 1947, Mr Onabamiro graduated B.Sc. Second Class, Upper Division in the University of Manchester. In October 1947 he went to the University of Oxford where he studied for one academic session in the Department of Education. In September 1948, Mr Onabamiro returned to Nigeria.

      On 1st January 1949, Mr Onabamiro took up appointment at the then University College, Ibadan as Research Assistant under Kenneth Mellamby, who was Principal of the College.

        He registered for the Ph.D degree in Parasitology by research on “The causes and geographical distribution of DRACONTIASIS, the Guinea-worm disease in South-West Nigeria.” He was awarded the Ph.D degree by the University of London in November 1951. 

         Dr Onabamiro spent 1951 to 1960 conducting further research on the Guinea-worm and teaching Parasitology to Under-graduate students in the Faculties of Science and Agriculture at Ibadan. In the course of this work, a small water flea related to the intermediate hosts of the Guinea-worn was discovered in one of the Nigerian rivers and this was called TROPOCYCLOPS ONABAMIROI in scientific journals.

       The years 1960 to 1967 were spent on political activities and the aftermath of the political troubles in the old Western Region of Nigeria.

         Dr Onabamiro went back to the University of Manchester in May 1968 to read his Zoology up-to-date and get back into the academic stream. He subsequently got appointed as Associate Professor of Zoology at the Njala University College, University of Sierra Leone in August 1969 and was promoted full Professor of Zoology the following year and appointed Dean of the Faculty of Basic Science.

      He resigned his post and returned to Nigeria in August 1973 after four academic sessions and was absorbed into the Federal Public Service of Nigeria through his appointment as Principal of the Federal School of Arts and Science, Ogoja. He was also on the  Board of Governors of W.A.E.C and the J.A.MB and as at the time of his death was the Chairman Implementation Committee, National Policy on Education, spearheading the Nigerian Educational Curriculum. He served as the Minister for Education and later Minister for Agriculture in the 1960s and he was conferred with the National Honour of Commander Order of the Niger CON. He was also the Fuwagboye of Ago-Iwoye.

Credit: The News

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Plateau Govt Confirms 22 Dead, 132 hospitalised In Jos School Building Collapse

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The Plateau State Government has confirmed 22 dead and 132 persons injured in the Jos collapsed school building.

Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information, said six of the injured were in critical condition.

Ashoms said that those injured were receiving treatment in various tertiary health facilities in the state, while the bodies of the deceased had been deposited in the mortuaries.

NAN reports that a two-storey building of Saints Academy, a secondary and primary school located in Busa-Buji community of Jos North Local Area, had collapsed, trapping students, teachers and others.

The incident occurred at about 8:30 am on Friday when the students were writing their third term examination.

Meanwhile, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has described the incident as a tragic and monumental loss to the state.

Mutfwang stated this in a statement issued by Mr Gyang Bere, his Director of Press and Public Affairs, on Friday in Jos.

The governor, who sympathised with the families of the affected victims, further described the incident as heartbreaking and unfortunate.

“This is tragic, unfortunate, heart-wrenching and a gloomy situation. We appreciate the timely intervention of the search-and-rescue team, as well as members of the public, who rushed to the school premises to assist in evacuating some of the surviving students and staff,” he said.

 

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Tinubu Renames National Theatre After Wole Soyinka

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President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Theatre in Lagos after Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

JomogNews reports that President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka.

This online news platform learnt that Tinubu announced this in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka in commemoration of his 90th birthday.

The tribute dated “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” was personally signed by the President and made available to journalists on Friday.

Tinubu expressed his delight to join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka, adding that July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.

Tinubu wrote, “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth. Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

“When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

“Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” he averred.

According to the President, Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world, explaining that since his youth, he has been a vocal critic of oppression and injustice wherever it exists, from apartheid in South Africa to racism in the United States.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

 

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FG Reaches New Agreement With IOCs On Crude Supply To Dangote, Local Refineries

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JomogNews Nigeria reports that the Federal Government and crude oil producers in Nigeria have committed to working towards a sustainable supply of crude oil to local refineries under a market-determined pricing system.

This Nigeria news platform understands that both parties said the commitment aimed to ensure that while the operators (crude oil producers) do business optimally, the refineries are not starved of feedstock.

Accordingly, the industry regulator, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has directed oil refiners in the country to provide monthly price quote on crude supply.

This came as the $20bn Dangote Petroleum Refinery is reportedly ramping up the importation of crude from the United States, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, Nigeria’s upstream regulator stated that oil producers under the umbrella of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at a meeting called by NUPRC, agreed to concede to a framework that would be mutually beneficial with the aim of ensuring that local refineries are not strangulated due to off-the-curve prices.

“The focus of the meeting held at the instance of the Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, was on the status review of the Framework for Seamless Operationalisation of Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Template.

“It was part of efforts to effectively implement key sections of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, especially the issue of pricing and crude supply to the domestic refineries,” the commission stated.

In the statement, Komolafe said President Bola Tinubu is fully committed to providing a level playing ground for producers and refiners to do business in the industry.

He expressed the need for a rule of engagement to ensure that the pricing model from the oil producers does not hinder the domestic refineries.

He directed producers and refiners to provide the NUPRC with cargo price quotes on crude supply and delivery for effective monitoring and regulation of transactions among parties. “We need to have the price quotes monthly,” he directed.

The NUPRC boss pointed out a convergence between the Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation and the nation’s energy security, indicating that his team is re-engineering its regulatory processes to address the challenges.

“We allow all our processes to be transparent. While the Federal Government targets the implementation of the regulation, all parties must submit to the rules of engagement as a guide for operation,” Komolafe stated.

He said NUPRC is committed to driving the willing buyer/willing seller provision.

“We have to discuss pricing, especially as parties have committed to respecting their domestic crude oil obligation. As the regulator, we don’t want the upstream sector to be operated sub-optimally through cost under-recovery.

“So, the regulator is very alive to that. In crude pricing we will never allow price strangulation to disincentivise our domestic refining capacity optimisation. The regulator does not support cost under-recovery in the upstream sector, and we will continue to work to ensure that crude supply profiteering as a negative factor that can strangulate our domestic refining capacity optimisation is disallowed,” Komolafe declared.

Dangote raises alarm

Last month, the Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, had accused International Oil Companies in Nigeria of plans to frustrate the survival of the new Dangote Petroleum Refinery.

Edwin had said the IOCs were deliberately and willfully frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by hiking the cost above the market price, thereby forcing the refinery to import crude from countries as far as the United States, with its attendant high costs.

“Recall that the NUPRC recently met with crude oil producers as well as refineries’ owners in Nigeria, in a bid to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations as enunciated under section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act. It seems that the IOCs’ objective is to ensure that our petroleum refinery fails. It is either they are deliberately asking for a ridiculous/humongous premium or they simply state that crude is not available.

“At some point, we paid $6 over and above the market price. This has forced us to reduce our output as well as import crude from countries as far as the US, increasing our cost of production. It appears that the objective of the IOCs is to ensure that Nigeria remains a country which exports crude oil and imports refined petroleum products.

“They (IOCs) are keen on exporting the raw materials to their home countries, creating employment and wealth for their countries, adding to their Gross Domestic Product, and dumping the expensive refined products into Nigeria – thus making us to be dependent on imported products. It is the same strategy the multinationals have been adopting in every commodity, making Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to be facing unemployment and poverty, while they create wealth for themselves at our expense,” Edwin had stated.

But on Thursday NUPRC emphasised the imperative for appropriate pricing to drive willing buyer willing seller referencing guided Fiscal Oil Price published by the commission in line with the provisions of the PIA.

“NUPRC is committed to attracting the needed investments to boost upstream development and optimisation of our hydrocarbon resources just as we want sustainability of domestic energy supply in the midstream and downstream sector.”

Crude importation

Also on Thursday Bloomberg reported that Nigeria’s Dangote mega-refinery was ramping up the importation of crude oil from the United States, stating that the Lagos-based refinery had created a new flow of long-haul crude from the US, as inflows of American feedstock could be about to rise further.

The report stated that the Dangote mega-refinery was lapping up ever more US crude, bringing the barrels thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

It stated that Dangote bought more than 16 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude oil so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In August and September, the proportion it will take from the US — as opposed to Nigerian barrels — may be set to rise, based on tenders for new supply seen by Bloomberg.

 

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