GOOD NIGHT EMERITUS PROFESSOR ADETOYE FANIRAN
Ola town in Ejigbo Local Government of Osun State, Nigeria is undoubtedly famous for producing intellectuals. The reason why the town has the sobriquet as Home of Intellectuals with the highest number of professors in the Local Government. One of the high up personalities who brought that fame to Ola, is until early in the morning of June 24, 2020, was Emeritus Prof. Adetoye Faniran. He was not only the first University graduate from the Local Government, he was also the first Professor.
Emeritus Prof. Adetoye Faniran who passed on to eternity would have turned 85 years on August 1, 2020. His life was eloquently profound and simple as the way he dressed.
As a young boy in Ola after my father emigrated me and my brothers from Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1975, my late father was not only fond of Emeritus Prof. Faniran who was then known and addressed as Dr. Faniran, he was to my father Encyclopedia of Western Education as he would always mention his name as the foremost Ola son. Also, my mother, whose present abode is now in heaven would also tease and encourage me to take after Emeritus Prof. Faniran in knowledge. Then, I perceived him as a mystery because of some perceived but unfounded myths about his personality. One of the myths freely discussed among us as young boys and girls was that he was said to have had much knowledge that he didn’t believe in the existence of God. That was later dusted into the bin of memory as Emeritus Prof. Faniran was not only a Baptist Deacon, he was also a certified Baptist Pastor and a firm believer in Jesus Christ through his numerous writings in the Nigerian Baptist, official magazine of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. He later received call into the Pastorate Ministry years after his retirement from the University of Ibadan.
When I entered University of Ibadan in 1985, I had reasons to visit Prof. Faniran in his expansive office in the Department of Geography, Faculty of the Social Sciences. As a young Undergraduate, Baba Deacon Faniran was too engaged in books for my liking. That made me not to be too closed to him throughout my years of study as an Undergraduate at the University of Ibadan. This, however, changed when at a point it was Emeritus Prof. Faniran who sought for me notwithstanding the wide generational gaps between us. And that perhaps made him to request I reviewed his book, PROFESSOR ADETOYE FANIRAN @ 80: PERSPECTIVES OF OBSERVERS AND ASSOCIATES. He clearly told me then while working on the book and sought for a tribute to write anything I deemed fit about his person. This I freely did. Excerpts from the book on pages 118 to 123, are as follows, “Adetoye Faniran was definitely the most discussed son of Ola of his generation, part of which assisted me to form an opinion of the personality long before my real encounter with him in the University of Ibadan. Prof. Adetoye Faniran is the only son of Ejigbo Local Government that I know as far back as 1988 who was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in the field of Geography. I stumbled on this in the Kenneth Dike Library while studying for my Ph.D”.
It is to the memory of that academic icon, I bring this tribute. It is to the honour of the foremost Ola son, I pay homage in death. It is to the world scholar of Geomophology I show respect even in death. It is to his honorific remembrance, I put up an elegy to celebrate a frontline son of Alase family of Ola. It is also to the three-time Commissioners as follows:
1. Works and Housing (December, 1977 – December, 1978),
2. Trade, Industry and Cooperative (December -September, 1979); and
3. Health (April, 1977 – December, 1977) in old Oyo State under Gen. David Jemibewon, I celebrate a life of immense and profound services to humanity.
Emeritus Prof. Faniran who was until his demise the Mayegun of Ola and Atunluto of Ede land was also, Chairman, Water Corporation of old Oyo State. Emeritus Prof. Pastor Adetoye Faniran, former HoD, Geography (1979 – 1983) and Dean (1989 – 1991), Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan was a colosus and unrepentant believer in the progress of Ola.
May the Lord rest your soul, baba.
Good night, baba Oloye Adetoye Faniran.
WRITTEN BY PROF. OYESOJI AREMU
IMMEDIATE PAST DIRECTOR, DISTANCE LEARNING, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, OYO STATE.