It is well known in Nigeria that the people of Ekiti love to read. In fact, it is rare to find an Ekiti person that isn’t interested in academics. And this has culminated in the state currently having the highest number of professors in the country.
From philosophy to medicine, Ekiti State has professors representing diverse disciplines and these professors are well known in universities in the country and beyond.
For instance, Niyi Osundare is a prolific poet and literary critic. He has degrees from the University of Ibadan, University of Leeds and York University.
Professor Osundare became a Professor of English in 1997 at the University of New Orleans in the United States of America. In 2014, he was awarded the Nigerian National Merit Award for academic excellence.
But before we look further into other prominent professors from Ekiti state, let’s take a quick look at the origin of the state.
The state was established on the 1st October 1996 and was made up of the former 12 local government areas that made up the Ekiti Zone of the old Ondo State. The state was announced by the former military president of the country, General Sani Abacha.
Prior to the British coming to Nigeria in the 19th century, Ekiti was an independent state. The origin of the state can be traced to Ile Ife. According to Yoruba mythology, some of Oduduwa sons were in search of new land to develop and they found their way to present day Ekiti.
Currently, Ekiti state has 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs). Okemesi a popular town in Ekiti is reputed to have over 30 professors. The town has over 30,000 residents.
Overall, some of the notable Nigerian professors from Ekiti include:
- Adegoke Olubummo: He was one of the first Nigerian professors in the field of mathematics.
- Ekundayo Adeyinka Adeyemi: He was one of the first Professor of Architecture in not only Nigeria but in the whole Africa.
- Jacob Ade Ajayi: He is a Professor of African History
- Niyi Osundare: He is an English Professor from Ikerre-Ekiti and he’s currently a Professor at the University of New Orleans.
- Benjamin Kayode Osuntokun: He is a professor of Medicine from Okemesi
- Olanipekun Esan: He is from Ikoro Ekiti. Olanipekun is a Yoruba Professor
- Sam Aluko: He was a professor of Economics from Ode-Ekiti
- Peter Bodunrin: He is a professor of African Philosophy from Osi Ekiti
One of the most prominent private universities in the country, Afe Babalola University, Ado–Ekiti (ABUAD) is located in Ekiti. It was established by the popular lawyer and philanthropist, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN.
Apart from the professors from Ekiti, some other notable indigenes from this state include:
- Segun Oni, politician and former state governor
- Ayo Fayose, state governor
- Bolaji Aluko, professor
- Gbenga Aluko, senator
- Akinjide Osuntokun, a historian and brother to Benjamin Kayode Osuntokun)
- Kayode Fayemi: He is the current minister of Solid Minerals Development.