On Thursday 11th August 2022, families, friends, and associatesof the Nigeria Academy of Letters (NAL) from all over the world converged at the J. F Ade Ajayi Auditorium of the University of Lagos for the Academy’s 24th Annual Convocation and Investiture of new Fellows.
With the theme, Cultural Commonality in Nigeria Heterogeneity, the event provided a platform for worthy professors across the field of Humanities to be honoured as Fellows of the Academy.
Delivering the convocation lecture titled, “The Republic of Dignity: The Nigerian Common Humanity in a Culturally Heterogeneous Nigeria’’, Professor Simeon Ilesanmi of Wake Forest University, USA, highlighted the need for respect of the dignity of citizens as the foundation to solving the myriad of challenges affecting Nigeria.
According to him, “this is enshrined in the 1999 Nigerian constitution, particularly section 34(1) which asserts that every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his personand Section 24(c), which imposes on every citizen the duty tolive in unity and harmony and in the spirit of common brotherhood.
In his remarks, the President of the Academy, Professor DuroOni reminisced on his days as a young student living in Northern Nigeria. He opined that the choice of the lecture title and lecturer pointed to the Academy’s efforts at highlightingfactors that could unite and not divide Nigerians.
Professor Oni expressed gratitude to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS as well as the Management team for their support of the Academy, over the years.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Research), Professor Bolanle Oboh, who represented the Vice-Chancellor at the occasion, delivered the University’s goodwill message to the Academy.
The event also featured a scientific session with presentations by Professor Egodi Uchendu of University of Nigeria, Nsukka; as well as Professors Emmanuel S. Dandaura and Gideon Sunday Omachonu of Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
The highlight of the ceremony was the induction of 34 scholars across several disciplines as Fellows; and 11 new members as Regular, Overseas and Honorary Fellows. The new Fellows include the immediate past Dean, Faculty of Arts and present Director, Institute of African Arts, Diaspora Studies, Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye; former Presidential Aide, Akin Osuntokun, as well as Poet and Activist, Odia Ofeimun.