Tuesday 17 January 2023

UNIILESA: Read the Full Text of a Memoradum Submitted by Ijesa Host Community to the Adhoc University of Ilesa Review Committee inaugurated by Adeleke....

The Ijesa community stakeholders have submitted a lengthy memorandum that explains the position of Ijesa people on the newly Nigeria University Commission (NUC) approved University of Ilesa.

The memorandum, dated 16th January, 2023 was addressed to Prof Taiwo Asaolu, the Chairman of the Review Committee and co-signed by Chief Akin Akinola , Prof. Dúró Oni, Prof. Rotimi Tayo, Prof. Isaac Adewole and Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi.

The content of the memorandum opened with an Ijesa historical brief and delved into the struggle of the people to the birth of the University and conclude with their prayers to Governor Ademola Adeleke through the University Review Committee.

Read full text below:

Prof Taiwo Asaolu

The Chairman,

University of Ilesa Review Committee,


16th January, 2023



The city of Ilesa (Ile ti a sa, which translates as "a homeland we chose") is the traditional, cultural, political, geographical, and economic headquarters of Ijesa Kingdom otherwise known as Ijesaland. Ilesa is the largest city in the State of Osun with a population of 400,000 people.

It was founded in 1250 by Owaluse, a grandson of Ajibogun Ajaka Owa Obokun Onida Arara, one of the foremost accomplished great-grandsons of Oduduwa, the royal progenitor of the Yoruba race of South-Western Nigeria. The city of Ilesa was once described by William Howard Clark in 1854 in the following words, "For its cleanliness, regularity in breadth and width, and the straightness of its streets, the ancient city of Ilesa far surpasses any native town in black Africa".

Today, in the absence of wars, and inter and intra-ethnic dominance, Ijesas, through self-realisation decisiveness and assertiveness discovered the way to go in the then emerging Nigeria Nation State. With the abolition of the Imo Hill North Eastern District and the merging of Ijesaland with the Oyo Province and Ekiti, our allies with the Ondo Province in January 1914- the year of Nigeria's amalgamation, marked a turning point in Ijesa history.

The "Osoomalo" sole entrepreneurial businessmen with high transactional fortune acumen spread their activities and interests like wildfire into the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and beyond. Osoomalo trade is one of the greatest contributions of Ijesas to the world of commerce, trade, industry, and banking. The Osoomalo migrants became very influential in their abode of business and seeing the prospects in education, sent their children and wards to school.

With the fortune of a greater tomorrow being sealed at the dawn of independence of Nigeria in 1960, Ijesas' early strategy paid off as they occupied various positions in the public and private sectors of the Nigeria Nation.

Going back in history, it will be recalled that among freed slaves from Brazil and Sierra Leone who settled in Lagos were some Ijesas that contributed immensely to Nigeria's commercial, professional, and academic growth. Prominent among them were Darocha, one of the richest men of his time, Calisto, a great Roman Catholic who went back home to establish the first Roman Catholic Church at Oke Padi, Ilesa, and Mr Christopher Sapara Williams- Nigeria's first lawyer.

Other professionals who contributed their quota were Dr. T. M. Aluko, the first Nigerian Chartered Engineer and Town Planner and former President of the Nigeria Society of Engineers. Dr (Mrs) Olabisi Ugbebor, the first female Doctorate Degree holder in Mathematics; Dr (Mrs) Grace Nzegwu, the first female Medical Director in Nigeria; Dr. E. A. Ifaturoti, the first Nigerian Geologist. On the religious and moral development of Nigeria, the following Ijesas have contributed to evangelism in no small way: Pastors Enoch Adeboye, W. F. Kumuyi, S.K. Abiara, Prophet T.O. Obadare, and G.O. Fakeye, to mention a few.

On the legal front, Hon. Justice Kayode Eso, Hon. Justice Yinka Ayoola both former judges of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; Hon. Justice Samuel Olatunde Ilori, Olusola Thomas, Prof Alfred B. Kasunmu, Mr Babatunde Ibironke, and Prof Michael Iyiola Jegede played key roles in Lagos State. Academics like Profs. Hezekiah Oluwasanmi, Obasanmi Olakanpo, Olajuwon Olayide, O.J. Fagbemi, Wale Omole, Oye Ibidapo-Obe, all played noble roles.

On the political front, we cannot forget to mention Sir Odeleye Fadahunsi, the first Governor of Western Nigeria; Chief Bola Ige, the first Executive Governor of Old Oyo State; Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, former Executive Governor of the State of Osun; Ibiyinka Olorunnibe, first Mayor of Lagos; Chief Dimeji Longe, former Hon. Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly; and Chief Adeyemi Bero, one of the earliest Civil Servants in Lagos State.

About two decades ago, not less than seven Nigerian Universities had their respective Vice Chancellors within the same period originating from Ijesaland. With this array of the best and finest Human Capital of Ijesaland's extraction in both National and Global arenas is a clear testament that Ijesas couldn't have been better endowed. This is in addition to the vast number of currently serving top-notch Ijesas virtually in all spheres of endeavours across the globe.

In Yorubaland of South-Western Nigeria, Ilesa ranks among the most prominent cities both in political and socioeconomic indices. Other contemporary cities and towns with Ilesa in this category in Yorubaland are Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Akure, Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Osogbo, Ado-Ekiti, Ile-Ife, Ede, Oyo, and Iwo.

Is it not an irony of fate, that Ilesa which was reputed to be the Headquarters of the first local government in Nigeria with her more than abundant human resources is THE ONLY CITY IN YORUBALAND AND PERHAPS IN NIGERIA WITHOUT A UNIVERSITY UNTIL the YEAR 2022?


Even with the presence of one of the oldest Colleges of Education in Nigeria, the Community had to wait the unjustified 44 years before the justified desire could be considered.

Osun State College of Education, Ilesa was established in March 1978 by the Administration of Governor David Jemibewon and ever since then, in spite of the huge infrastructural facilities available in the College, all efforts and consultations employed to let the various Administrations see the fair and justifiable need for its upgrade to a University did not yield any result, these administrations include;; Col. David Jemibewon Administration (March 1976-July 1978); Col. Paul Tarfa Administration (July 1978-Oct 1979); Chief Bola Ige Administration (Oct 1979-Oct 1983); Dr. Victor Omololu Olunloyo Administration (Oct 1983-Dec 1983); Lt. Col Oladayo Popoola Administration (Jan 1984-Sept 1985); Col. Adetunji Olurin Administration (Sept 1985-July 1988); Col. Sasaenia Oresanya Administration (July 1988-Aug 1990); Col. Abdukareem Adisa Administration (Sept 1990 till Osun State was created from Old Oyo State on 27th August 1991); Leo Segun Ajiborisha Administration (Aug 1991-Jan 1992); Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke Administration (Jan 1992-Nov 1993); Anthony Udofia Administration (Dec 1993-Aug 1996); Anthony Obi Administration ( Aug 1996-Aug 1998); Theophilus Bamigboye Administration ( Aug 1998-May 1999); Adebisi Akande Administration (May 1999-May 2003); Olagunsoye Oyinlola Administration ( May 2003-Nov 2010); and Rauf Aregbesola Administration (Nov 2010-Nov 2018).

Despite the various efforts and engagement with the administrations aforementioned by some notable Ijesa societies and compatriots, such as the late distinguished Emeritus Prof Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe and Chief Felix Fagbohungbe, SAN, it was not until the engagement with the Administration of Adegboyega Oyetola (Nov 2018-Nov 2022) that this prayer was eventually answered.

In all, Ijesaland waited for 44 years under 17 different Administrations to have a University in the Capital City of Ijesa Kingdom, Ilesa! The Ijesaland which contributes 56% of the total Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State of Osun!


To mention that the battle for the University of Ilesa under the previous administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was a fierce one would amount to an understatement! It was no doubt a battle of wits under the former Administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to get the final nod on the struggle for the upgrade of the College of Education to a University. The engagement started with the meeting with the former Governor in his office as far back as Wednesday, 10th April 2019 by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi to plead on behalf of Ijesaland for the College upgrade to a university. The request that the former Governor accepted in principle while the implementation became torturous.

Another opportunity came for Ijesa to practically stand up from their respective seats in unison to beg the former Governor for the same request during the commissioning of the Ultra-modern Palace of Owa Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland on Saturday, 26th December 2020 where His Imperial Majesty, all Traditional Rulers in Ijesaland, and all distinguished Ijesa Elders, Sons, and Daughters got up to plead on the University request. Yet it was another message of hope from the former Governor without clear commitment. Yet, Ijesas were undaunted and refused to give up!

On Sunday, 18th April, 2021 a new body named UNIVERSITY PROJECT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (UPCC) was conceived by the Asiwaju of Ijesaland, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi to pool notable Ijesa personalities into the struggle for the upgrade of the College to a University. This 12-man Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Akin Akinola, the Sawe of Ilesa sprung into action with regular consultations with the government of the former Administration. The consultation culminated in a meeting of the body of Ijesa Stakeholders comprising the UPCC Members; leadership of Pan-Ijesa Societies; and Ijesa Elders with the former Governor and his cabinet in the Governor's office, Osogbo on Friday, 6th August, 2021 where a formal Proposal on the Feasibility of University of Ilesa was presented.

Even though the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola gave his personal buy-in into the University Project, he was unable to commit the State Government due to financial constraints, despite the promise of ijesas to contribute a sum of N500m (Five Hundred Million Naira) only towards the University's take-off contained in the University Feasibility Proposal presented and submitted to the State Government.

Other events later revealed the reasons behind the hesitation of the former State Government in acceding to the request for a university. One was the paucity of funds to support the proposed University. Two was the doubt of the then Administration on the capacity of Ijesa Community to financially support the proposed University as contained in the proposal presented and submitted. Three was the issue of sustainability for the proposed University.

Ijesas eventually proved themselves worthy of their capability, capacity, and potential when the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola arrived at the venue of the commissioning of the largest community-funded project in Nigeria the N1B (One Billion Naira) Ijesaland Geriatric Centre, the second in Nigeria but the biggest in West Africa on Thursday, 31st March, 2022. The former Governor marvelled at the unprecedented large-heartedness of Ijesa people in conceiving, constructing, and successfully completing this project without a dime from the State Government. Especially with the Ijesaland Geriatric Centre coming back-to-back with the stunning construction and delivery of one of the most beautiful Palaces in Nigeria by the same Ijesa people in the preceding year, became the game changer for the former Administration to believe in the capacity of Ijesaland to support the University whenever the need arises.

It was at the commissioning ceremony of this monumental Ijesaland Geriatric Centre on Thursday, 31st March, 2022 that the former State Government formally pronounced the upgrade of the College of Education to a full-fledged University.

 It is worth noting that this College upgrade to a university announcement was made well over three months before the State Governorship elections of July, 2022



In furtherance of its deep commitment to the realisation of this agelong dream of the good people of Ijesaland, the UPCC went ahead on behalf of Ijesaland to commission four Sub-Committees, namely;

1. The University Law Sub-Committee to prepare the legal framework for the proposed University which will serve as inputs to the Osun State House of Assembly in drafting its University Establishment Bill

2. The University Masterplan Development Sub-Committee

3. The University Academic Brief Development Sub-Committee

4. The University Finance Sub-Committee

UPCC was able to turn in its inputs from the four Sub-Committees above in complementing the efforts of the former State Government in generating and producing the critical documents which can be described as SOLID PILLARS UPON WHICH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILESA WAS BUILT.

Some of the documents were;

1. The University Implementation Committee Report

2. The University Establishment Law

3. The University Masterplan

4. The University Academic Brief

5. The University Governing Charter

6. The University Sustainability Plan


1. ToR Number One: Review and assess the funding requirements for both capital and recurrent expenditures for the eventual take-off of the university.

IJESA COMMUNITY’S REMARKS: We are of the opinion that identification and assessment of both capital and recurrent expenditures have been professionally carried out by the renowned global financial consulting firm, KPMG and details of such can be found in the University Sustainability Plan document already submitted to your Committee by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi on 11th January, 2023.

2. ToR Number Two: Review and assess the sources of funds for both capital and recurrent expenditure for the eventual take-off of the University.

IJESA COMMUNITY’S REMARKS: In our opinion, the documents on the University Governing Charter and Sustainability Plan adequately address these needs.

Specifically, a substantial part of the revenue is expected from the Students' Tuition Fees. To support this source are the contributions from the University community; University Endowments Foundation; TETFUND; Private Sector Philanthropists; and Statutory Contributions from the State Government of Osun.

Of particular mention in the University Sustainability Plan is that the State Government will retain her contribution to what it currently appropriates to the defunct Osun State College of Education, Ilesa which was averaged at N750m per annum

The provision above in our view has totally allayed the fears of the State Government in terms of financial pressure on her purse.

3. ToR Number Three: Generally review the implementation guidelines proposed by the implementation Committee.

IJESA COMMUNITY’S REMARKS: We believe that the National statutory body responsible for regulating the operations of Universities in Nigeria, the National Universities Commission (NUC) having satisfactorily reviewed the University Implementation Plan, University Sustainability Plan, and the University Academic Brief submitted to it by the State Government upon which the University of Ilesa License was granted, would amount to reinventing the wheel if such a well experienced National body has considered the University of Ilesa Implementation plan to be adequate.

Specifically, we wish to reiterate that the Faculties and Courses to be run in the University are sufficiently spaced along the 10-year financial plans clearly contained in the documents already submitted to your Committee AND THAT ALL THE FACULTIES AND COURSES ARE NOT PROGRAMMED TO START TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME.

4. ToR Number Four: Engage all relevant stakeholders including the host community, trade unions, alumni association of the college, the student body, etc with a view to harmonising the position for the way forward.

IJESA COMMUNITY’S REMARKS: We as a host community are not averse to stakeholders’ engagement rather, we strongly believe in it provided it is carried out with utmost sincerity of intent and purpose. For instance, in the case of the Trade Unions, our informal interactions with them show the pending issues to be that of their members’ career integration into the University of Ilesa system and arrangements for the settlement of all financial indebtedness to both academic and non-academic staff members.

One, we were aware that the former University Implementation Committee had initiated discussions along this line of career integration of members. The UPCC is of the opinion that engagement is not an ad hoc exercise but rather continuous engagement, which the University Governing Council, which is a legal representation of the State Government, should be allowed to handle on behalf of the State Government.

Two, on the issue of outstanding salaries and allowances being owed to staff members. We are aware in the course of our intervention that many of these outstanding dated back beyond the Administration of the immediate past State Government which means that they are not necessarily new. Our position is that since it is the same State Government which owns the defunct College of Education that also fully owns the new University of Ilesa, we do not see any difficulty in the State Government through the University Governing Council to engage on a permanent basis with the Trade Unions on its plans to settle the Staff statutory rights, but the government would need to lay all the cards on the table for all stakeholders to see. One of the ways to assist the State Government is for the government to plead with the Trade Unions to key into the University’s Sustainability Plan where it is projected that the University shall start to make savings from year four. Consequently, whatever is outstanding that the State Government had not defrayed by year four, the University Governing Council could enter into an agreement to pay the balance from the University's surplus earnings from year four.

Furthermore, regarding Staff job security, the University Implementation Committee has clearly reported that no non-academic staff shall lose his or her job within the State Government Establishment. And for the Academic Staff that may not have the requisite qualifications within the new University system, we are aware that provision has been to encourage such academic staff to develop himself/herself. The University Governing Council could further engage the staff for more improvements as the University progresses.

Finally, we are aware that all the existing students have been provided with the plan to complete their NCE programme unhindered within the same University campus. We are similarly aware that those students with requisite qualifications that desire to migrate to degree programmes shall also be encouraged. All of these can be found in the University Implementation Committee Report already with your committee.

5. ToR Number Five: Identify the gaps within the UNILESA Establishment Law and make appropriate recommendations towards its amendment to ensure adequate coverage of relevant interests for the eventual take-off of the University.

IJESA COMMUNITY’S REMARKS: We are of the view that there's no perfect Law anywhere, not even our Federal Constitution, otherwise there won't be any business for the National Assembly or House of Assembly to implement. Our take on this is that whatever flaws or defects observed in the current University Establishment Law could be swiftly addressed and passed to the State House of Assembly for amendments. We are very confident that the University of Ilesa, a popular concept favourably disposed to by the large majority of constituents in Osun State will enjoy speedy passage provided the sought amendments are fair and in the best interest of the University and its stakeholders.

It is our considered opinion that the Executive arm of government must have identified a few or some perceived gaps in the University Establishment Law before listing it as one of the ToR for the Review Committee, hence, could turn in such gaps into Executive Bill through the office of its Attorney General for immediate onward transmission to the House of Assembly without necessarily delaying the immediate take-off of the University.

6. ToR Number Six: Propose modalities for phased implementation of the University such that faculties and courses of study are matched with funding requirements of each phase of the implementation.

IJESA COMMUNITY’S REMARKS: Our understanding is that the objectives of ToR Number three and ToR Number six are the same, hence, our remarks as provided in ToR Number three are more than sufficient to address the task provided for in ToR Number six. Suffice to mention that the contents of University Implementation Committee Report, University Academic Brief, University Sustainability Plan, and the University Governing Charter have adequately addressed the issues.

7. ToR Number Seven: Evaluate and draw appropriate policy recommendations towards the execution of the existing obligations, assets and liabilities of the College of Education Ilesa with a view to removing all impediments for the eventual take-off of the University.

IJESA COMMUNITY’S REMARKS: We are of the opinion that with the incumbent State Government laying its hands upon all the relevant documents in respect of the University of Ilesa that were hitherto claimed not to be having coupled with the existence of the same set of civil service system for both the previous administration and the current administration, it should not be difficult for our Ijesa loving Administration of Governor Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke to expedite action within ONE WEEK to formulate appropriate policies required for immediate take-off of the University of Ilesa.



The University host community in Ijesaland believes that the time frame of six weeks given to the University of Ilesa Review Committee is too long. One of the primary reasons advanced in the government circle for inaugurating the Ad hoc University Review Committee was the lack of access to relevant documentation supporting the establishment of the University of Ilesa.

We are glad that these relevant documents are now in possession of the University Review Committee. It is moreover gladdening that the bulk of the documentation packages such as the University Sustainability Plan; University Governing Charter are products of a globally recognised financial consulting brand, KPMG which I believe both the State Government and the University Review Committee can always invite to provide clarification on the documents if required.

So rather than starting from scratch, the State Government through the University Review Committee is advised to rely on these comprehensively packaged documents to reduce the duration of the Ad hoc Review Committee to a maximum of two weeks with effect from its inaugural date of Tuesday, 10th January, 2023.


*The University of Ilesa was officially announced to the whole world on Thursday, 31st March, 2022. That's 108 days before the State Governorship elections of 17th July, 2022.

*The Osun State House of Assembly formally passed the University of Ilesa Establishment Bill on Monday, 8th August, 2022.

*The University of Ilesa Implementation Committee was inaugurated on Wednesday, 24th August, 2022.

*The former Governor successfully signed the University Bill into Law on Tuesday, 27th September, 2022.

*The National Universities Commission (NUC) granted License to the University of Ilesa to immediately commence operation on Thursday, 10th November, 2022.

*The Principal Officers of the University were unveiled on Monday, 14th November, 2022.

*The University Governing Council was inaugurated on Monday, 21st November, 2022.

*The Administration of His Excellency, Governor Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke was inaugurated on Sunday, 27th November, 2022.

*It is exactly 50 Days today Monday, 16th January, 2023 into the life of Administration of our revered Excellency, Governor Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke.

*It is exactly 292 Days today Monday, 16th January, 2023 since the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola formally pronounced the University at Ilesa.

*It is exactly 161 Days today Monday, 16th January, 2023 that the Osun State House of Assembly formally passed the University of Ilesa Establishment Bill.

*It is exactly 95 Days today Monday, 16th January, 2023 that the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola formally signed the University Bill into Law

*It is exactly 67 Days today Monday, 16th January, 2023 that the National Universities Commission (NUC) granted License to the University of Ilesa to immediately commence operation.

Our Very Dear Excellency and Committed Friend of Ijesas who Ijesaland massively supported his Governorship elections with a landslide victory in four out of the 6 Local Governments in Ijesaland, it is high time to hearken to the prayer of your own dear people in Ijesaland by kindly shortening down on all bureaucratic process and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ALLOW THE UNIVERSITY OF ILESA TO TAKE-OFF NOW!

As a democrat of note, we are trusting that you will yield to the popular demand of your good people in Ijesaland!


On Saturday, 14th January, 2023, JAMB commenced the process of UTME registration for prospective students applying to Nigerian Universities. This window shall close on Tuesday, 14th January, 2023. If this 6-week duration given to the University Review Committee is allowed to stand, it will then mean by implications that the University of Ilesa shall miss a whole academic year and shall not be able to enrol students on its campus come September 2023.

 This is the crux of the matter.

All the good people and lovers of Ijesaland cannot afford to fathom this development hence, our plea to the State Governor Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke through this University Review Committee is NEVER to allow this to be the portion of Ijesaland in this new year 2023.

Where there's a will, there will always be a way!

We wish your committee a successful and speedy completion of its task within the period we have justifiably recommended!. 

Signed : 

Chief Akin Akinola 

Sawe of llesa

Prof. Dúró Oni

Former Deputy VC 

University of Lagos, Lagos 

Prof. Rotimi Tayo 

Former VC

Caleb University Lagos 

Prof. Isaac Adewole 

Former Health Minister 

Federal Republic of Nigeria 

Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi 

Asiwaju of ljesaland.

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