Adams Otuoze Umoru Onuka: Encomia as a progressive priest steps aside | Idowu Olayinka
You are a true Ambassador of Christ and we will always remember the salutary and stabilising force you represented as a member of this academic community when it mattered the most. God bless you abundantly, my Lord Spiritual ( Prof. Idowu Olayinka)
Born on 7th May 1952, Professor Adams Otuoze Onuka turns 70 today and by so doing will be retiring formally from the services of the University of Ibadan where he has held an academic position for the past two decades.
I ran into him about a week ago at the University of Ibadan/Orita UI Branch of Guaranty Trust Bank and he looked much younger than his biological age. We wish him many more years ahead in good health, peace of mind and prosperity. You shall never lack.
The Venerable Professor Adams Otuoze Onuka is an ordained Priest of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). In the course of his pastoral assignment he served meritoriously for two terms as the Chaplain of the Chapel of the Resurrection, University of Ibadan, an interdenominational worship centre on the Campus of Nigeria’s pre-eminent and premier University.
He earned his first degree from the famous University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos while his Master and Doctoral degrees were at the University of Ibadan. He joined the Faculty at Ibadan 20 years ago and through a dint of hard work and perseverance as well as seminal research publications he attained the ultimate accolade of a Professorial Chair in Educational Evaluation at the Institute of Education in 2013.
Our honoree presented the 495th in the University of Ibadan Inaugural Lecture Series on 1st July 2021 with the title ‘Evaluate, Learn, Share and Innovate (ELSI)’, on behalf of the Institute of Education. The printed version of the lecture published by the Ibadan University Press is a hefty 121 page document.
As part of his community service he was Chairman of the Campus Anti-Cultism Campaign Committee and subsequently served as the pioneer Director of the Centre for Social Orientation (CENSO).
As a Senior Research Fellow he was an elected member of the University Senate representing the Congregation up until a became a statutory member after his promotion to the grade of full Professor.
There was an orchestrated Vice-Chancellorship succession crisis at the University of Ibadan during 2020/2021, and this brought out the best in Professor Onuka in terms of his outspokenness, fortrightness, impeccable character and transparency during meetings of Senate and many other Committees of both Senate and Council on which he served.
There were many dramatis personae but for any objective observer the star-studded Senate and Council of the University were the ultimate heroes for admirably protecting the autonomy of the institution.
The Venerable Professor Adams Otuoze Onuka was a member of the three persons select team despatched by the University Senate to deliver the resolutions of Senate to the Federal Ministry of Education Abuja through the National Universities Commission (NUC) during the first week of November 2020 in order to convey the position of the Senate as the highest academic body in any university worth it’s salt.
The other members of the Team comprised the Provost of the Postgraduate College, Professor Bamiji Babalola and the Dean of Law, Prof Simisola Akintola.
At the end of the day, while the noisy minority had their say, the silent majority had their way. It is gratifying that Prof Adams Otuoze Onuka wore his religious garment as usual by speaking and acting the truth.
You are a true Ambassador of Christ and we will always remember the salutary and stabilising force you represented as a member of this academic community when it mattered the most. God bless you abundantly, my Lord Spiritual.
The Venerable Professor Adams Onuka hails from Kogi State but he has lived most of his adult life here in Ibadan. He has come a very long way from when he joined the Nigerian Army in 1969 and trained at the defunct Training Depot, Igueben, now in Edo State and posted to Onitsha, now in Delta State the following year.
Without any hesitation he qualifies to claim to be an indigene or native of the University of Ibadan. We congratulate your wife, children, grandchildren and the entire Onuka family for this landmark.
We who are Anglicans from birth are doubly very proud of you, Sir.
Idowu Olayinka, Department of Geology, University of Ibadan
Abel Idowu Olayinka obtained a BSc (Geology) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; MSc (Geophysics) from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London and PhD (Geophysics) from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He had postdoctoral experience in Germany first at Technical University Braunschweig as a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Visiting Scholar and at Technical University Berlin as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow.
He has been a member of the Faculty at the University of Ibadan for the past 34 years, the last 23 years as a full Professor. He has successfully supervised 16 Ph.D theses, in various areas of Applied Geophysics. He has substantial publications in many peer-reviewed outlets. He has served as Visiting Professor, External Examiner and External Assessor for professorial candidates in many universities.
He has received significant accolades in his professional career. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science; Fellow, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE); Fellow of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Fellow Nigerian Association of Hydrogeologists, Fellow Nigerian Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment, and Fellow and Chartered Geologist of the Geological Society of London. He was awarded the NMGS/Rt. Hon Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe Gold Medal and Plaque ‘for consistently promoting and supporting the study of Earth Science subjects’. He won the Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) ‘for dedication to teaching and research in Geology and Geophysics, and mentoring’.
He served as the Editor-in-Chief of NAPE (2008-2010). He convened the First International Conference in Research and Innovation Management in West Africa in November 2006 and subsequently served as the Foundation President of the West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA), 2006-2015. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and a member of the Council of Association of Commonwealth Universities, London.
A scholar-administrator with creative and innovative ideas, he has served the University diligently and dutifully in various capacities, including but not limited to twice as Head, Department of Geology, two-terms as Dean (Postgraduate School), two terms as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and was the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan (2015 - 2020).