Professor Shehu Jimoh (OON) (February 28, 1944- 19TH May, 2014
Professor Shehu Jimoh was undoubtedly a foremost educationist and outstanding scholar, with vast experience. He taught in Secondary Schools, Colleges of Education and Universities. He made several contributions in developing fellow humans. He was indeed a national asset!
Professor Shehu A. Jimoh obtained BA Hons (1976) from ABU Zaria; PDGE Ibadan; M.Ed and Ph.D from OAU Ife. He started his career as a teacher in Ilorin College, Ilorin (now Government High School) founded by Alh. AGF Abdulrazak, the Mutawali of Ilorin in 1967. Few months after his appointment, he became the Principal of the College in 1967. When I was in Primary Five at Oke-Pakata LGEA School, we always admire him whenever he’s going to his office especially while driving in his Peugeot 304 saloon car. He became our role model from that moment.
Between 1984-1992, Professor Shehu Jimoh served as the provost, Kwara State College of Education, Oro. At the expiration of his tenure, he returned back to University of Ilorin. He was a Professor of Education Psychology in the Faculty of Education in University of Ilorin and a member of Senate until his retirement in 2009.
At the kwara State College of Education, Oro, Professor Shehu Jimoh contributed significantly to the development of the students. In order to address the infrastructural deficit of the College, he organized fund raising activities which was largely successful. In his lecture titled “Happy Birthday Oke Roko: A letter to a provost”, the professor listed the gains of the fund raising he recognized while in the College.
As a man of pleasant surprises, he did not only come to deliver the lecture, but also donated money to the college which invited him for the 1st anniversary lecture to mark the 30th years of the college’s existence in December, 9, 2011.
It is also on record that during his leadership at the College between 1984-1992, he was able to improve the academic development of the students. He usually move from classrooms to teach students different courses and monitor the quality of the lectures on those courses through a review after teaching.
It was during his tenure that the College commenced correspondence N.C.E programme in affiliation with ABU Zaria. It was however a part-time and Sandwich Programme. In his Lecture “Happy Birthday Oke Roko: A Letter to a Provost” he stated clearly that “we were the first College of Education anywhere in the South of River Niger to mount a part-time programme.”
He had a perfect relationship with his staff and was clear without compromising his discipline.
Professor Shehu Jimoh believed in quality education as his teacher Professor Aliyu Babatunde Fafunwa. He agreed with Professor A.B Fafunwa that student have no right to fail examinations but with a caveat which is; if you appoint the right teachers that means Quality inputs and Quality process you would get quality products.
To Professor Shehu Jimoh there is no need for lecturer to sell handouts except in a very critical condition where no major course textbook in the schools.
In 2011, he declared publicly that he had never sold handouts throughout his teaching career.
He also believed that in education, there is no end to the affairs as it’s a life –long process. And even if there is an end of the affairs (which in our case is a cultured mind, an Omo’Luabi), the journey is as important as the destination . Nigerians now know that absence of cultured individuals as the bane of our society. A good teacher should strive to make his students well cultured in order to transform into good asset of the community.
The Don delivered his Inaugural Lecture at the University of Ilorin on Thursday 26th February, 2009. The lecture contained most of his research/academic works and titled “If gold rusts” . In the Lecture published by University of Ilorin he said, “I want to be remembered as a teacher, give or take an adjective”.
From all his journey in education, he was a quintessential teacher of our era.
Professor Jinoh was a good promoter of town and grown relationship. On his 70th year birthday celebration in February 2014, he published a compendium of his works titled “Education, Discipline: let’s keep talking”.
The publication consisted of 28 papers he had delivered in several places. In the preface to the book, he said he was still searching for more papers and that he planned to put them together for the second edition when he clocks 80. Unfortunately, he could not reach the age of 80 as wished.
The book was an exposition of his thoughts on various issues on national development as it covers, education, security, economy, religion, politics, governance e.t.c
Professor Jimoh had meritorious career at the University of Ilorin. He was a one time Director of Institute of Education: he was also Dean, Student Affairs. He contributed significantly to the development of the University and assisted the Vice chancellor Professor S.O Abdulraheem (OFR), and Talban of Ilorin in building a standard University that could and can boast of uninterrupted academic session in Nigeria among its peers. Professor Jimoh was a peace-loving individual that continued to support the growth and development of University of Ilorin at all level till he retired in 2009.
He also served at various education committees both at state and national levels.
He was a known ace broadcaster, at the then Radio Nigeria Ilorin, now Radio Kwara. He would be remembered for his melodious voice alongside other ace broadcasters; an elder statesman, late Alhaji Sanni A. Lawal, a former Secretary, Ilorin Emirate Council and one-time commissioner in the second republic. It was never by accident that he became the Orator of the University of Ilorin.
He was also a dramatist/Producer, after he had his BA(Hons) in ABU Zaria specializing in English Education. While at ABU, he recalled in one of his papers that he produced a Greek play with the translated title of “Aikin Mata”. According to him, he, also alongside others, produced Professor Wole Soyinka’s “Child International” which was staged in many towns in Kwara State in 1985, when he was the provost of kwara state College of Education, Oro.
As I stated earlier, Professor Jimoh was a man of pleasant surprises. When Professor A.B Fafunwa, a one time Federal Minister of Education and his mentor died in far away Lagos, in October, 2010, he organized a “Fidau” burial prayer for him in Ilorin.
The prayer was held and attended by crème de la crème in Kwara State in his residence at Adewole Estate, Ilorin.
Professor Jimoh was a disciple of Professor A.B Fafunwa. His contribution toward the publication of History and Philosophy of Education in Nigeria by Fafunwa was acknowledge by the author in the preface of the book.
Recalling the late professor’s University days, Chief C.O Adebayo, the second civilian Governor of Kwara State said, they were classmates in ABU Zaria. While he was studying English, professor Shehu studied English/Education.
As the University Orator who moderated programmes of launching event, he demonstrated forms of acquaintances with Chief C.O`Adebayo who came to the University to launch some equipments donated by Huawei Technology facilitated by him when he was the Minister of Communications. Adebayo was in company of another schoolmate from ABU Zaria Chief Wole Oke. Professor Jimoh would remain a sociable and resourceful individual.
Professor Shehu Jimoh was a multi-lingiust. Apart from his mother tongue Yoruba, he speak English, Hausa and Igbo languages fluently, no wonder he was a good mixer and was free with those that cross his way irrespective of their tribe.
Professor Jimoh was a prominent member of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Union and was a branch chairman at the University of Ilorin for many years. He was the Chairman, Committee of Muslim organizations, Kwara State under the patronship of His Royal Highness, Emir of Ilorin Alh. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari CFR, and held many positions in Pakata Area Development Association e.t.c.
He was a peac-loving, amiable, easygoing, visionary and accessible individual. He was a complete gentleman.
He received several awards from various organisations, for his numerous contributions to education and the society in general, no wonder the, Federal Government honoured him with OON.
Until his death he was the Chairman, Governing Council, Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin having been appointed by the Kwara State Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulfatah Ahmed. Thanks to the Rector of the Polytechnic, Alh. Moshood Elelu who named an ICT Center in his honour after his death. Professor Jimoh was married and has children and grandchildren. He died on 19th May, 2014. May Allah grant him Aljanat al-Firdaous.
Abdulganiyu Hanafi, Former Registrar, Kwara State College of Education, Oro and Published in the National Moon Light News Paper, Ilorin Tuesday 5th – Monday 11th 2018 Vol. 6 No 16.