Akeusola – Academically Endowed, Not Lacking In Intelligence

By Oyeniran Apata –Lagos


Professor Olu Akeusola is the Provost of the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija-Epe, Lagos State. Within two years of assumption of office at the college, which was established in 2011, his unprecedented managerial skills transformed the institution, originally classified as a glorified secondary school, into a standardized higher institution of learning.

The first provost of MOCPED to complete his four year tenure in office and secure a second term, Akeusola, a professor of Comparative Grammar of French and Yoruba Languages, is an astute and academically endowed indigene of Epe, Lagos State.

Speaking of his mission to MOCPED, he said: “I came to MOCPED with the sole ambition of turning the place around, and if my achievements speak for me, it would lead me into national assignments.”

In recognition of his unrivalled achievements at the college, the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, recently approved his re-appointment as Provost for another four-year-tenure, effective from 2nd August, 2015. His first appointment as Provost took place on August 1, 2011.

Beyond MOCPED, Akeusola is also a Professor of Comparative Grammar of French and Yoruba at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).


 Academic Background

Akeusola started his academic career on a sour note, as he failed the first school leaving certificate examination in 1973, has to  repeat form three twice in 1976/1977 and 1977/1978 at Epe Grammar School, Epe, withdrew from the secondary school to enroll at a radio/television workshop where he started learning the art of repairing electronics/electrical appliances and was later miraculously recalled to the secondary school in October 1978. He was not able to pass until November 1982.

Born in Epe, Lagos State on March 21st , 1962, he attended Epe Grammar School, Epe between 1974 and 1982; proceeded to the then Lagos State College of Education, now Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Otto/Ijanikin between October 1983 and August 1986.

In his words, “I failed school certificate about three times. But, I was rascally. I was dependant on the wealth of my father; I was dependent on the fame of my father and got carried away thinking I could not make anything out of life without education.

“The same year I gained admission into AOCOED in October, I also lost my father in the month of December. His fame and wealth also ended with him.

“Then I realised I had some innate intelligence that had not been explored. Something in me told me that would be the way to my success. I just had to rediscover myself and that was why I am who I am today.”

Passing out from AOCOED, he proceeded to the University of Lagos, where he obtained his first degree in 1990; Masters in 1994; and between 1999 and 2003, he obtained his PhD.

He was the University of Lagos Best Scholar of the year 1988/89 session; the Dean of Faculty of Arts award winner for the Best Performance in French, 1989/90 session; won the Vice Chancellor’s award for the Best Performance at the degree level for the 1989/90 session and the Best Masters graduating student, (M.A French and Comparative Grammar), University of Lagos in 1995.  His exceptional performances, exempted him from the M.Phil programme to proceed directly to do his Ph.D.

He was awarded the 1997 French Government Scholarship at the ‘Université de Toulouse, Le Mirail, in France: The year 2000 French Government Scholarship at the ‘Centre Audio-Visuel de Langues Modernes (CAVILAM), Vichy, in France; and also 2010 French Government Scholarship at the ‘ BELC 2010, Université de Nantes, in France.

Akeusola, who started his teaching career at AOCOED, has excelled in the translation, lecturing and linguistic criticism of theories and syntactic structures. He has published over 15 text books; over 60 articles in national and international learned journals; three completed research works; presented over 20 seminar papers and has edited several academic publications/textbooks.

He is a member of over 10 professional bodies and has served at various capacities including: being a member, AOCOED, Governing Council, 2001 to 2006; Director of many Centres (CILA, CILAMAS and Centre for Evening National Certificate of Education (NCE) Studies (CENCES)-AOCOED, 1999 to 2006; National Chief Examiner, French Language for  National Examinations Council (NECO, 2000 to 2003).

He  was AOCOED representative at the Lagos State  West African Examinations Council (W.A.E.C.) committee (1999 to 2008); visiting Professor of French and Comparative Grammar to Europa University, Frankfurt-Oder, Germany and University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; External  Moderator to the following higher institutions: Babcock University, Ilishan, Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu and Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu Ode; Acting  Dean, School of Arts and Social Sciences, NOUN, Lagos,  April 2010 to March 2011;  National Secretary General, Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education in Nigeria.  Akeusola was appointed the Chairman, Governing Council of Art, Kingdom Cultural Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa in 2012.

On assumption of office in 2011, he exploited opportunities offered by the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund), National Communication Commission (NCC), and other external government offices that were instrumental to the development of MOCPED.

His words: “It was not as if I never had my challenges. But my theory was very simple. Do I destroy what I had been able to build? I happened to be one of the grandfathers of COEASU. Then, do I want to make myself a rebel of yester-years, and becoming a conservative today?  Do I want my colleagues with whom we struggled together to criticise me on what we once criticised our past leaders?

Akeusola has attributed his success at the college to his being a graduate of education and an administrative officer in the college of education.

“I had been a lecturer in a college of education for about 19 years. I was a union leader and I happened to be the secretary for COEASU constitution Drafting Committee.

“So, automatically I know the system. It was after all that time that I decided to go into the university system.  When the appointment was announced, it was like a home coming and happy reunion.”

Acknowledging that there were challenges along the line, Professor Akeusola said he had no option but to make a success of the opportunity in order not to destroy the system.

“I happened to be one of the grandfathers of COEASU. And what is that thing we call academic liberty and genuine criticism?  Can we all reason and think same way? How do I demonstrate to them that I was handling issues with objectivity? The secret of my first tenure was that I was ready to tolerate criticism, ensure objectivity; none of my rules were vindictive. My disciple or punishment is constructive and not to witching or destroy. Let me place it on record that in my first tenure in MOCPED, I never sacked anybody out of vengeance or vendetta.”

Responding as to whether he made mistakes during his first tenure, he said, “If I committed some mistakes at all I would commit same mistakes again.

He also added, “In order not to hurt my colleagues and staff, I kept on hurting myself and hurting the system, but I enjoyed it. There were lots of people I tolerated even though I was told not to have tolerated them.  I did not listen in order to ensure peace and harmony of the system.”

Source : Independent

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.