“In November 1998, this eminent educationist joined the services of his alma mater, the University of Ilorin, as lecturer II. He steadily but meritoriously rose through the various cadres to the pinnacle of the academic career as a Professor in 2014.”
By Abubakar Imam
Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State is, no doubt, peopled by many oustanding individuals who are making waves in different spheres of life at local, national and international levels, particularly in science, culture and learning.
Decades back, it was inconceivable that the city, variously described as Geri Alimi or Ilorin Afonja, would have within its fold so many egg-heads, who will attain the enviable rank of Professor.
The erroneous feeling, then, was”Ilorin o kawe, kewu ni onje won”.That is Ilorin is peopled by those who do not value western education but who will rather stop at nothing in acquiring Islamic education.
However, the trend is changing as Ilorin can now boast of so many outstanding academics and professionals of different callings who have attained the ultimate pinnacle of erudition and service in their diversed fields.
Among such individuals, who are “changing the course of history” is a distinguished Professor of Guidance and Counselling, and the Director, Institute of Education, University of Ilorin, Lasiele Alabi Yahaya.
Prof. Yahaya, a thorough-bred teacher, exemplary administrator and outstanding Counsellor is one of the unsung sons of Ilorin who are leaving not stone unturned at improving the shinning image of the land of their progenitors through qualitative services here and there.
A member of the Aligere family of Isale Alore, Alore Quarters of Ilorin, Prof. Yahaya was born in the “historic city of soldiers, scholars and saints” as Ilorin is often described, in January 1,1960.
He started his early education at Alore Primary School, Ilorin, where he was a classmate to, among others, the first female Commissioner for Health in Kwara State, Hajiya Ramat Aduke Kuranga.
He was also educated at Lafiagi Teachers’ College, Lafiagi, between 1976 and 1981, where he bagged the Grade II Certificate. He further studied at the Kwara State College of Education, Oro, from 1982 to 1985 for his Nigeria Certificate in Education qualification.
Prof. Yahaya proceeded to the University of Ilorin that same year for his Bachelor of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling, which he successfully accomplished in 1988. In 1991, Prof. Yahaya earned a Master degree in Educational Guidance and Counselling from the same institution. He also obtained a Master in Public Administration (MPA) of the University of Ilorin in 1991.
This outstanding son of Ilorin eventually bagged a doctorate degree in Guidance and Counselling in 1998 from the University of Ilorin and was convocked along with several other compatriots of his including Prof. Badmas Olarewaju Yusuf, Prof. Medinat Folorunsho Salman, Dr. AbdulHameed Amunullahi Olohunoyin and the late Dr. Usman Abdulsalam Althaqafi, each of who also bagged the highest academic qualifications in their various fields, as well as the pioneer Grand Mufti of Ilorin, Shaykh Muhammad Kamaldeen Al-Adaby (1905-2005), who was honoured with a doctorate degree in literature at the epoch-making convocation ceremony held on Saturday, December 12,1998.
Prof. Yahaya followed it up with a Certificate in Data Processing and Management Information Science which he earned in 2003 from the same University of Ilorin.
This easy-going don commenced his working career at the Nigerian Army Recruitment and Resettlement Centre, Minna, Niger State, as a Member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme where he served between 1988 and 1989.
He subsequently joined the services of the Kwara State Teaching Service Commission where he worked as an Education Officer from 1991 to 1998.
In November 1998, this eminent educationist joined the services of his alma mater, the University of Ilorin, as lecturer II. He steadily but meritoriously rose through the various cadres to the pinnacle of the academic career as a Professor in 2014.
Prof. Yahaya was the initiator and Coordinator of the Alumni Counselling Centre, University of Ilorin, between 2000 and 2010. He was the Secretary, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), University of Ilorin, between 2000 and 2005. He is also a Member of the Board of the University of Ilorin Press. He was a member of both the Unilorin Resources Management Board and the Unilorin Guest House Management Board from 2005 to 2013.
Between 2008 and 2011, he served as the Chairman, Timetable and Room Usages Committee of the University. He also served as the Chairman of the Committee on Town and Gown Projects, University of Ilorin, in 2010.
Prof. Yahaya was the Ag. Director, Unilorin Counselling and Human Development Centre between 2010 and 2014 during which he initiated provision of guidance and counselling to students and staff, Guidance on Unilorin 89.3 FM and provision of free interest loan to indigent students of the University of Ilorin through Aminat Yahaya Foundation,which encouraged the University administration to establish a financial support scheme for indigent students of the University. No wonder, the Centre was rated by the National University Commission (NUC) as the best of such in North Central Zone in 2013.
He was also the Head, Department of Counsellor Education, University of Ilorin, from 2014 to 2017.
This outstanding educationist is a well published scholar with more than 50 intellectually-glittering articles, either single-handedly or jointly authored and published in reputable publications across the world. He has also attended no fewer than 40 learned conferences within and outside Nigeria as well as over 20 training programmes.
Prof.Yahaya is a member of the Association of Professional Counsellors in Nigeria (APROCON) and Teahcers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) to mention a few.
This industrious don has taught more than 20 different courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has equally supervised 4 Ph.D and 25 Master dissertations and innumerable number of undergraduate projects that are enjoying favourable consultation from students, researchers and scholars from across the world.
Prof. Yahaya is, no doubt, a well-garlanded scholar who has received so many honours and recognitions from within and without Nigeria. Among such honours are the State Chairman’s Honours Award, which he received as a Youth Corps Member in Niger State in 1989 and the Honourary Membership of the Research Board of Advisors, the American Biographical Institute. He was also the Managing Editor, the Nigerian Journal of Guidance and Counselling between 2010 and 2017.
As a mark of his high intellectual profundity, Prof. Yahaya was the presenter of the well-attended and ground-breaking 166th inaugural lecture of the University of Ilorin entitled “School Counselling: Key To Unlocking Golden Opportunities in Life” on Thursday, 6th April, 2017.
This great scholar also developed some psychological tests among which are Attitude Towards Examinations Scale (ATES), Attitude Towards School Inventory (ATSI) and Social Anxiety Scale (SAS) in collaboration with Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson of Ghana.
Despite his tight engagement in teaching, research and other scholarstic endeavours, Prof. Yahaya has also found time to serve his community in various ways. For more than 4 eventful decades, he has been a shining role-model to the youths of Ilorin Emirate, particularly those of his acenstral Alore quarters, many of whom benefited from his efficacious and free counselling services and later emulated him to their professional glories. He also facilitated a technical collaboration between the Department of Counsellor Education, University of Ilorin and the Gold Crown Hospital, Ilorin, to meet the counselling needs of students of the University who are residents of Tanke area, Ilorin.This is in addition to several key offices he held in several professional outfits and the Alumni Association of the University of Ilorin, which he served as the National Secretary between 2007 and 2015.
Prof. Yahaya was also a member of the team of professionals selected by the Kwara State Government to screen and evaluate eligible participants of the Kwara State Voluntary Teaching Service (VTS) prior to their absorption into the regular public service in 2008.
Prof. Yahaya, as a world-class scholar, has also been engaged as an External Examiner by the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2016 and 2017, respectively, among other reputable institutions of higher learning within and outside Nigeria.He has also served as a member of NUC accreditation team to various universities in Nigeria.
This unassuming scholar is married to Dr. Khadijat Adenola Yahaya, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Accounting, University of Ilorin, and they are blessed with children.
Imam is the National Publicity Secretary,Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.