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Yewa development in focus as forum plans to celebrate Rahmon Bello

Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Rahamon Bello.

Many dignitaries are expected at the reception organized to honour the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahmon Bello.

The programme, which holds February 3, at the Rotary Centre, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, is organised by the Yewa Development Forum, led by its National President, Alhaji Ayo Adeyemi.

Speaking on the essence of the event, Adeyemi said the success of Bello as UNILAG VC was worth celebrating, adding that honouring him would inspire other Yewa indigenes, especially those in leadership positions across disciplines put in their best in the service of humanity.

Adeyemi also explained that the association would use the avenue to garner support for developmental projects it had embarked upon.

On the activities of the Yewaland Development Forum, he said it was committed to values that would ensure development. Among such is the building of the Yewaland TV, encompassing Internet TV and what he calls video on demand; development of a data base for Yewa indigenes, youth and women empowerment programmes, a business directory and a production of Who-is-Who and a Hall of Fame publication. Adeyemi, said the forum is soliciting funds to this effect.

Also on the Executive of the Yewaland Development Association are Mr. Wasiu Adeniyi Fagbohun, Olusola Ibirinde, Fatogun Semiu Oladimeji, Kayode Sangoleye and Mr. Adenle Emmanuel.

Speaking with The Guardian on the programme, a professor of Applied Micro-Biology, Tope Popoola, said Bello had done well for himself as a scholar, a son of Yewaland, a Nigerian and for humanity as a whole.

He said: “Professor Bello deserves to be celebrated, based on his strides as the UNILAG VC. We don’t have many of his type coming out of our land. Although many people have also excelled in various other fields, he stands out clearly, as a role model both in terms of the educational and administrative careers and as a perfect gentleman. He had the opportunity of engaging in politics when he worked as a commissioner in Ogun State. He later went back to the university and eventually made it into the office of the VC. Yewa has not really produced many people at that level.”

According to him, it is good that the programme is coming at a time that Yewaland is trying to assert itself culturally and socio-politically. He thus calls on all stakeholders to rise above stereotypes and ensure the unity of its people.

“Yewa are a diverse people, but we are managing our diversity,” Popoola explains. “Some say Yewa and Awori are divided, but I believe this is not so. It is the anxiety of someone thinking they are being pushed into the minority that often fuels the myths. In Yewaland are the Awori, Agatu, Egun and Anago. But we all remain one. For instance, the dialects of the Yewa and Awori people are one. We intermarry and do a lot together. So, we are managing our diversity the way every other diverse people do.”

Born in Iboro in the Yewa area of Ogun State on the October 6, 1948, Bello had his secondary education at Egbado College, Ilaroin; the OND in Mechanical Engineering in the then Technical College (now the Polytechnic) Ibadan and a First Class B.Sc. Honours degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1974. He also holds the M.A.Sc. and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

While a former Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Alhaja Salmot Badru, will chair the event, Senator Kola Bajomo will deliver a lecture titled Ogun Project: Stemming Erosions Of Economic And Political Agitation Of The Underdeveloped West.

Adeyemi, however, noted that royal fathers and notable politicians, including Senator Olamilekan Adeola Yayi, and businessmen are also expected.

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