BREAKING: University Of Ibadan’s Ex-VC, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo Is Dead

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Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo, a former vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan, has died, a report by The Nation has shown.

He was aged 90.

A source in the university confirmed his demise to The Nation.

The don died early morning, Friday, May 24.

The ace academic celebrated his 90th birthday on May 2nd.

Renowned for his contributions to the development of the English Language curriculum in Nigeria and the promotion of Nigerian varieties of English, Banjo is the former Chairman of the Board of the National Universities Commission

He was Pro-Chancellor of the Universities of Port Harcourt, Ilorin, and Ajayi Crowther.

Banjo’s scholarly contributions include over 50 publications and widely used textbooks in primary and secondary education.

He was born into the family of late Pa. Reverend Samuel Ayodele Banjo, a graduate, an educationist and a teacher at St. Andrew Primary School, Oyo, a period when Professor Ayodeji Banjo was born. He is a native of Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State.

He started his education career at the St. Andrew Anglican Primary School where he did standard One (1) to three (3). On transfer of his father to Christ Cathedral Primary School in Lagos on same mission, he completed his Standard Four (4) and Five (5) at St. Aroloya and Christ Cathedral Primary Schools both in Lagos.

He attended Igbobi College, Lagos from 1947 to 1952 for his secondary education.

Following his sound academic background and excellent performance at ‘A’ Level Class at the Nigeria College of Arts Science and Technology, Ibadan, on the nomination, Professor Ayodeji Banjo was awarded the British Council Scholarship in 1959 to study Master of Arts (M. A.) in English Language at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He thereafter proceeded to do a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PG in education) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in English Studies at the University of Leeds in England and came out, with distinction.

In 1966, he was awarded a scholarship by the American State Department to study Master of Arts (M. A.) in Linguistics, at the University of California, Los Angeles, United States of America (U. S. A.). He got his Ph.D with a specialization in English Language at the University Ibadan, Ibadan in 1969. Professor Banjo’s work experience was garnered across several countries of the world.

During summer, he was consistently travelling to the Oxford University press, England, to write English Course Books and Oxford Dictionaries at primary and 4 secondary levels. This work, he did from early 70’s until he was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan in 1981.

Professor Ayodeji Banjo has to his credit, over 55 publications (books, chapters in books and articles in learned journals).

Professor Ayodeji Banjo spent ten (10) Years, consistently in the University of Ibadan, managing the affairs of the University; two (2) years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, one (1) year as Acting Vice-Chancellor and seven (7) years as Vice-Chancellor respectively. Records have shown that Professor Ayodeji Banjo is the longest-serving Vice-Chancellor in the history of the University of Ibadan, to date!

On successful completion of his term of office as Vice-Chancellor in 1991, Professor Ayodeji Banjo, humbly displayed a beauty in the academics by returning to the classroom to lecture. In 1994, Professor Ayodeji Banjo, clocked sixty (60) years of age in service and consequently retired from the service of the University.

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