“Reflections on The Ambali Years” By Olusegun Adeniyi

By dint of hard work, Professor Ambali, who started his career as an assistant lecturer in the department of veterinary medicine, University of Maiduguri rose to become a two-time dean of the same faculty, before transferring his services to the University of Ilorin where he subsequently became the vice chancellor.

However, given the position Akogun holds as the image maker of this University, it is no surprise that the account is more a narration than a reflection and that also implies that this effort can easily be dismissed as a public relations work. Yet that still does not take away the more important national conversation on higher education in Nigeria that the effort could trigger, in the context of the peculiar politics of the University of Ilorin.

This is the only federal university that has for almost two decades not been in the good books of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). But the paradox is that it is essentially for that same reason that the institution has been able to protect its students from the hazards of incessant closure of campuses. And that has given University of Ilorin a competitive edge over other public-owned institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.

In his introduction, Akogun states that the idea for the book arose as a result of non-availability of any useful reference materials on the past administrators of the institution. Incidentally, that is not peculiar to the University of Ilorin or for that matter,the academic environment in our country as it is a general problem.