Prince & Prof!

Professor Albert Adeoye Ilemobade

A Brief Profile: Professor Albert Adeoye Ilemobade

On Sunday 12th April 1936, Professor Albert Adeoye Ilemobade was born into the Christian family of Prince David Ilemobade Adenodi, a member of the Leyo ruling house and grandson of Oba Osungbedelola, the 30th Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, and Madam Comfort Bodunwa Ilemobade, of the Jomu lineage in Ondo, Ondo State of Nigeria.

Professor Ilemobade was raised at Ebute-Irele, a trading post in the waterside of the present Irele Local Government, where his father was a palm-oil, palm kernel and timber magnate. He attended St. Matthew's C.M.S School, Ebute-Irele and was later transferred to St. Andrew's Primary School, Idimoge, Ondo where he finished his standard six primary school education.

After a stint as a clerk at the Ondo Boys' High School, he proceeded to Imade College, Owo, for his secondary school education, graduating first division at the Cambridge School Certificate Examination in 1960. He worked briefly for Barclays Bank, D.C.O. at Obun Eko, Lagos from where he proceeded to the Federal Emergency Science School (later Federal School of Science) for his GCE 'A' level course which he passed and was admitted to the University of Ibadan and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He obtained the joint DVM degree from both universities in 1969 and was one the first of Nigerians to be employed as lecturers in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was subsequently awarded the USAID fellowship to pursue programs in the USA, obtaining a Masters degree at the Oklahoma State University and then completing the work for his PhD programme at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul, a degree that was conferred by the Ahmadu Bello University in 1976.

Professor Ilemobade was employed as Lecturer in July 1969 and passed through the ranks, becoming a Professor of Parasitology and Entomology at Ahmadu Bello University on October 1 1980. He served in different academic and administrative capacities at the Ahmadu Bello University, including headship of the Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology before his translation in 1983 to the newly established Federal University of Technology, Akure, first as Head of Department of Animal Production and Health, and subsequently as Dean of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology. He was to become the first Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1987 and in November 1988, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor, a position he held until January 1996, after serving two terms. He disengaged from the University in December 2000.

In his academic career, apart from teaching undergraduate students and guiding graduate students, Professor Ilemobade carried out extensive research activities which earned him travel grants and fellowships to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland; Animal Parasitology Institute, Beltville, Maryland; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; University of Edinburgh, Scotland; University of Copenhagen, Denmark; University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was recognised as a Scholar both nationally and internationally and as Expert Consultant in blood parasitic diseases of livestock by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations from 1977 till date, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and a specialised body of the African Union (AU-IBAR). He was the President of the International Scientific Council of Trypanosomiasis Research and Control. He served as the Chairman of the consortium of FAO, IAEA, WHO, and AU-IBAR on African sleeping sickness disease in humans and animals and related development, and was a member of the Policy and Mobilization Committee of the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Campaign (PATTEC) of the African Union.

Professor Ilemobade held membership of many professional associations and bodies, one of which is the New York Academy of Sciences. An erudite academic, Professor Ilemobade travelled to every continent in the world in the course of his profession.

Until his death recently, Professor Ilemobade was the President and Chief Executive of Upline Resources Foundation, a non-profit, registered NGO based in Akure involved in promoting a healthy society through a number of approaches including Education, Advocacy of Environmental issues in a sustainable manner, public deliberation as a means of increasing citizens’ participation in democracy and Research on Education, Public Policy and Environmental issues. Professor Ilemobade served on the Governing Councils of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko; Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti; Nigerian Institute of Trypanosomiasis Research, Kaduna. He was a member of the Agricultural Projects Governing Board, Ondo State; Planning and Implementation Committee of Crowther University, Oyo; Adekunle Ajasin Foundation and Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State.

On the social and religious front, Professor Ilemobade was a member of the Ondo Development Committee, a premier organization in Ondo Kingdom; a past President of Imade College Old Students’ Association (IMACOSA); pioneer Chairman of the Council of the Chapel of Faith, Federal University of Technology, Akure; Chairman Board of Trustees, Youth For Christ, Nigeria; Grand Patron, Children Evangelism Ministry, Ondo State and a Senior Friend of the Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES). He served on the Council of the Chapel of the Annunciation, Archbishop Vining College of Theology for over fifteen years during which time he served variously as Chairman and member of several councils and committees. He was also a member of the Parish Church Council of All Saints’ Church, Ogbonkowo, Ondo (one of the oldest Churches in Nigeria, having been founded in 1902) which in 2003, honored him by the conferment of the title of Balogun.

Professor Ilemobade was a committed Christian who loved to study the Bible and be transformed by it. Like Paul, his mantra was “I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him…” (Philippians 3:10 NIV). With regards to the question of eternity, Prof believed that this life is a prelude to life eternal and that his Friend and Saviour, Jesus Christ, holds the key. He believed that his greatest asset in life (and in death) is the new life he received through faith in Jesus Christ. Prof believed that Christianity should not be restricted to a mental knowledge but an active living faith in Jesus Christ.

Professor Ilemobade is the recipient of many honours and awards, among them: Justice of the Peace, Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar, Foundation Fellow of the College of Veterinary Surgeons of Nigeria and Meritorious Service Award by the Osemawe in Council. He was also conferred with the Pfizer Animal Health award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of the knowledge in Veterinary Medicine, the award of the most outstanding service to the community by the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology of the Federal University of Technology, Akure. In 1990, he received Presidential recognition as the best Vice-Chancellor in the management and judicious use of human and financial resources.

Professor Ilemobade enjoyed good health and family life, being happily married to a wonderful woman, Christiana Olakitan (nee Akinrodoye), and together, they are blessed with 4 biological children: Mrs. Ayokanmi Ayuba, Professor Adesola Ilemobade, Mr. Adeseni Ilemobade, Mrs. Tolulade Ozigbo, grand-children and numerous non-biological children.