17th October, 2021
President Muhammudu Buhari has joined the academia in celebrating with renowned geographer, Prof Akinlawon Ladipo Mabogunje, on his 90th birthday, coming up on Monday, 18 October 2021. Buhari extoled the scholar, administrator and consultant for the historic roles he played in structuring, growth and demography of the country.
The President noted, with commendation, contributions of the scholar in economic development of the country. Mabogunje served as member of the Western Nigerian Economic Advisory Council in 1967; member, Federal Public Service Review Commission, 1972; Chairman, Nigerian Council for Management Development, 1976 and Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Ogun State University.
President Buhari added that the geographer made great impacts with the publication of “Urbanization in Nigeria’’ in 1968. The work, according to Buhari, has remained relevant in predicting some of the social, economic and structural challenges facing the country. Moreover, the publication, as Buhari put it, insightfully projected solutions from his research, later guiding the National Census Board and Federal Capital Development Authority.
The President congratulated the nonagenarian on the many firsts he scored over many years, which brought glory to the country, including African President of the International Geographical Union, Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and receiving the Vautrin Lud Prize in 2017.
The President prayed for the wellbeing of Prof. Mabogunje, wishing him more strength and courage to keep inspiring.
Mabogunje, an Ijebu man, was born on 18 October 1931 in Kano. He lived in Sabongari during his primary school years. He then attended Mapo Central School for one year before passing the entrance examination for Ibadan Grammar School. According to his biographers, he won the Egbe Omo Oduduwa scholarship to study at the University College, Ibadan, now University of Ibadan, where he later worked as a lecturer. His daughter is Folasade Ogunsola, a Nigerian professor of medical microbiology. She specializes in disease control, particularly HIV/AIDS. Ogunsola was provost of College of Medicine, University of Lagos and is reputed as being the first woman to occupy the position. She was also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development Services) of the institution between 2017 and 2021.