It was a positive payback time of sorts on Saturday May 13 for Professor Peter Adebayo Aborisade who formally retires from the service of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA at age of 70. On that day which marked his 70th birthday and formal retirement, colleagues, friends, mentors, family members and admirers from far and near converge at the T.I Idibiye Auditorium, FUTA in what could best be described as a captivating send off for a man who spent the better part of his life in the academia.
Professor Adebisi Balogun, former Vice Chancellor of FUTA, who chaired the occasion, set the pace for the effusive encomiums that were to follow. He described Aborisade as a first class academic and dogged fighter for a better deal for the University and the polity. He said the contributions of the man fondly called, Oloriebi, to the development of FUTA would be indelible in the sand of time.
Elder Statesman, Basorun Seinde Arogbofa, who also spoke at the ceremony, said Professor Aborisade was a selfless contributor to the growth of the arts and the Association of Nigerian Authors. He said he was always available to lend a helping hand whenever his services was required and his dogged fight for a better deal for the University system would not be forgotten.
One of the highlights of the gathering was a Special Lecture delivered by a renowned retired Professor of Plant Science at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye and human rights activist, Olorode Omotoye. He described the celebrant as a forthright personality and one who has immensely contributed to the academia. He advised that as celebration is ongoing it must also be “reechoed in our hearts that democracy must be practiced revolutionarily in every aspect of life.” He said every responsible member of the society must have the courage of his responsibility, hide nothing from the people and live an exemplary life style.”
Joining a host of dignitaries and egg heads at the occasion to pay tribute, a former Registrar Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and MD, Haven Lift Global Consults Ltd, Akure Mr. Ayorinde Ogunruku said it was a great delight to facilitate w Professor Peter Aborisade at 70. He said getting to this age and yet seeing the nation in such a parlous state could be painful for a man who was a dogged fighter for a better society and who paid a steep price including sleeping in detention cells. He said the realization that the celebrant has played his part to make the situation better is however soul lifting. He prayed that the celebrant would live to see the God’s goodness in Nigeria and Nigeria of our dreams.
Leading human rights activist, Comrade Femi Aborisade, who is also a brother to the celebrant, said Professor Peter Aborisade whom he fondly referred to as boda mi, said Professor Aborisade “is not just the olori ebi of the family by virtue of being the eldest child of Orotunde and Wuraola Aborisade,boda Bayo has always played the leadership role in holding the family together at critical points.”
Two of his colleagues in the Department of General Studies Department, Professor Olufunmi Olabode-Sawe and Titi Fola- Adebayo for mentoring many of those who now hold forth in the department. They said Professor Aborisade deserves to be celebrated for making a mighty army out of the people sent his way.
Professor Olayinka Awopetu, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, FUTA Branch thanked the celebrant for being an inspiration and ray of light when situations seem so dark. He said not only will FUTA miss him,” ASUUFUTA will indeed miss him dearly.”
Before the Saturday event, the National Association of Teachers and Researchers in English as a Second Language (NATRSEL) celebrated Aborisade via a Training Workshop and Annual Lecture on the 11th and 12th of May 2023. Key note speaker at a pre-retirement conference held to commemorate the 3-day event and Professor of Communication and General Studies, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale affirmed that students can and will learn better with the application of technology as an aid in the learning process.
She said the use of Technology in teaching and learning has made a huge positive impact on the field of EAP, to the effect that it has created a variety of new opportunities for educators and students to interact with the Language in original and productive ways. Professor Akeredolu-Ale described Artificial Intelligence as the broad term for machines that can carry out tasks that would ordinarily require human intelligence. She said AI uses cutting edge Technology referred to as intelligent agents. She said a good example of AI is a Chatbot which is one of the most widely used AI tools for enhancing teaching and learning activities. According to her, Chatbot is one of the most crucial methods for promoting and improving a more personalized learning experience.
At the event, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Taiwo Amos welcomed everyone to the conference and held in honor of Professor Peter Adebayo Aborisade. She noted that it’s a privilege to celebrate an erudite and an internationally acclaimed academic, mentor of mentors and one whose contributions to research in the Blended Learning, innovative learning spaces and technology supported learning remain remarkable.
She said the theme of the conference was carefully crafted to capture the areas of research that have been the major areas of concern of Professor Aborisade research interest. She noted that apart from celebrating Professor Aborisade, the conference is equally a scholarly engagement which is expected to provide a platform for conferees to present their cutting-edge research in the aforementioned areas of academic engagement. Professor Oladiji said advancement in technology has made the world a global village and unless technology is side by side incorporated with the learning process a lot may be lost.
Professor Aborisade joined the services of the Federal University of Technology, Akure in 1983 as an Assistant Lecturer and rose through the ranks to become a full Professor of English and Head of Department, General Studies in 2018. Aside from being an erudite scholar and a highly technologically savvy don, he is a well-known human right activist who fought for the emancipation of the less privilege in his heydays.