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NIGERIAN ACADEMY OF LETTERS (NAL) HOSTS TWENTY-SECOND AND TWENTY-THIRD COMBINED CONVOCATION AND INVESTITURE OF NEW FELLOWS, ELECTS NEW OFFICERS

NIGERIAN ACADEMY OF LETTERS (NAL) HOSTS TWENTY-SECOND AND TWENTY-THIRD COMBINED CONVOCATION AND INVESTITURE OF NEW FELLOWS, ELECTS NEW OFFICERS

Fellows and Members of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) have elected new officers who will steer the affairs of the Academy for the next two years (2021-2023). The election was held during its 22nd and 23rd Combined Convocation and Investiture of New Fellows, which took place at the J.F. Ade-Ajayi Auditorium of the University of Lagos. The event was held from August 11 to 13, 2021.

Prof. Duro Oni

A renowned Culture /Theatre Administrator, Production Designer and frontline academic, Professor Duro Oni, FNAL, was elected as the Academy’s President. Professor Duro Oni took over from Professor Francis Egbokhare, FNAL, who served as President of the Academy between August 10, 2018 and August 13, 2021. Professor Oni was, until this election, the Academy’s Vice-President.

In his acceptance speech, the new President said he was honoured to be elected as President of Nigeria’s foremost Humanities Academy. In his words:

“I consider it a privilege bestowed on me to be President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, a privilege that I accept with a great sense of responsibility to the membership and all our stakeholders.”

Other elected officers include the Vice President, Professor Sola Akinrinade, FNAL; Secretary, Professor Ayobami Kehinde (Re-Elected); Assistant Secretary, Professor Sunday Ododo (Re-Elected); Treasurer, Professor Afis Ayinde Oladosu and General Editor/Chairman Publications Committee, Professor Andrew Haruna.

Prof. Francis Egbokhare, Immediate Past President

Other members of the Executive Committee are Professor Emeritus Ayo Bamgbose, FNAL, NNOM (Foundation President); Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, FNAL, NNOM (a Past president); Professor Emeritus Dan Izevbaye, FNAL (a Past President), and Professor Francis Egbokhare, FNAL (Immediate Past President).

Also inaugurated as Officers of the Academy for 2021 to 2023 are four members representing different disciplines within the Arts: Professors Yakubu Aboki Ochefu (History); Folake Onayemi (Classics); Professor Ayotunde Isola Bewaji (Philosophy) and Professor B.A.C Obiefuna (Religious Studies). Florence O. Orabueze will serve as NAL’s Honorary Solicitor, while Professor Emmanuel S. Dandaura was elected as the Bulletin Editor.

Also, at the occasion, the investiture of 12 Regular Fellows, an Overseas Fellow and an Honorary Fellow took place:

i. Professor Abayomi O. Akinyeye (History- Regular Fellow)
ii. Professor Andrew Haruna (Linguistics- Regular Fellow)
iii. Professor Imelda Icheji Lawrence Udoh (Linguistics- Regular Fellow)
iv. Professor Olusegun Aadesina Adekoya (Literature- Regular Fellow)
v. Professor Mabel Itohanosa Erioyunvwen Evwierhoma (Theatre Arts- Regular Fellow)
vi. Professor David Roger Jowitt (English Language- Regular Fellow)
vii. Professor Ahmed Parker Yerima (Theatre Arts – Regular Fellow)
viii. Professor Adebola Babatunde Ekanola (Philosophy – Regular Fellow)
ix. Professor Frank Maduabuchi Dukor (Philosophy – Regular Fellow)
x. Professor Olayemi Durotimi Akinwumi (History – Regular Fellow)
xi. Professor Lateef Babatunde Ayeleru (French – Regular Fellow)
xii. Professor Isidore Okeawolam Diala (Literature – Regular Fellow)
xiii. Professor Tanure Ojaide (Literature – Overseas fellow)
xiv. Most Reverend, Bishop Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah (Honorary Fellow)

Twenty-six crème de la crème in the Arts and Humanities disciplines were also inducted as members of the Academy.

The Convocation lecture titled, “Descent from Humanity: Music, Literature and the Media,” was delivered by Professor Olu Obafemi, FNAL, NNOM.

The Scientific Session had three speakers:

Professor Lai Oso, School of Communication, Lagos State University (Media Reportage of Crime, Conflict and Violence: Dehumanising Humanity)

ii. Professor Jim Unah, FNAL, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos (The Oxymoronic Rhetoric of Humans Being Asked to be Human)

iii. Professor Alex Asigbo, MNAL, Department of Theatre and Film Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (Rediscovering Our Humanity in an Age of Terror and Glocalization: The Role of the Arts)

The Academy which is an organisation of academics in the Liberal Arts, Languages and Linguistics and the broad discipline of humanities was established in 1974, but officially inaugurated in Ibadan on November 14, 1991, with Professors Ayo Bamgbose, Chinua Achebe, J.F. Ade Ajayi, A.E. Afigbo, Adeboye Babalola, J.P. Clark-Bekederemo and Wole Soyinka as Foundation Fellows.

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