Options for Sustainable Development, Economic Progress and Political Stability in Nigeria

Prof. Bamidele Adebayo Lasebikan (popularly known as Prof. Lash) turned 80 on March 12, 2020. A few months before this date, his children had told him that they would like to celebrate him on that day. He agreed on one condition, that there must be an academic programme focused on our existential problems in Nigeria and solutions to them on that day. He advised them to discuss this with one of his mentees who had been adopted through mutual unwritten agreement as his first son. That mentee was my humble self. ‘Tokunbo, the last born of Late Mrs. Catherine Olufunke Lasebikan, was mandated by his siblings to discuss the issue with me. ‘Demola, his first born, as well as Ayoola also engaged me in telephone discussions on the issue. For me, it was a case of ‘order from above”. My response was: consider it done.

The first task before me was to choose the topic of the intellectual discourse. Within a few days, I came up with the title of the discourse: Options for sustainable development, economic progress and political stability in Nigeria. I drew my inspiration from the passion of Professor Lasebikan which he never concealed from me during our informal discussions outside the laboratory. To confirm this, Professor Lasebikan himself wrote in the Preface to this book that:

The title of this Colloquium … is chosen because of our genuine concern and desire to see that most indices needed for a holistic national development are enduring and adopted to ensure that the factors and challenges against Nigeria being a stable and sustainable project are sincerely and painstakingly dealt with.

The second task was choosing the Panel of discussants who will address the theme from their individual perspectives. This was a herculean task but I surmounted all obstacles and got seven colleagues including myself, making eight, to accept to present papers on that day. One of them was Prof. Lasebikan’s contemporary who was also my teacher in Ife. Prof. ‘Toye Olorode, a Professor of Botany and well known activist who agreed to be the moderator of the symposium, Another was Professor Olu Odeyemi, a microbiologist and junior colleague and friend of Professor Lasebikan. The rest were my contemporaries, one of who had served as Vice-Chancellor like me.

Within a period of six months, all presentations had been submitted and edited. The papers were sent to Prof. Lash who, after reading through each presentation, wrote a well crafted Preface in which he appreciated the contributions of each scholar. One does not need to be told that the content of the presentations was satisfactory to Prof. Lasebikan. For him, it was a dream fulfilled.

Then COVID-19 struck! ‘Demola, a professional Corrosion Engineer, lives in the UK, Nike, a Chattered Accountant, the second born is based in Lagos. Ayoola, a Medical Doctor, lives in Enugu. ‘Tokunbo, a Civil Engineer could no longer shuttle between Ibadan and Lagos. The event had to be postponed until further notice.

At a time, I thought the event would take place a year after the birthday. This idea faded away as a result of the  circumstances imposed on all global citizens by Post-COVID restraints and constraints. Then came the idea of 80+2  which also became a mirage due to ASUU strike and all its attendant consequences. The family eventually decided to keep the birthday celebration in abeyance while the write-ups of the contributors are published in a Book in honour of Prof. Lasebikan.

Little did we know that this idea would never materialise as conceived. Prof. Lasebikan passed on in the early hours of Friday November 04 after a brief illness. The erudite scholar left us without seeing this book in print.

The Preface written by him has encapsulated quite a sizeable number of the endemic problems of sustainable development, economic progress and political stability in Nigeria.

How I wish I have access to a letter written by Prof. Lasebikan to the Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, sometime in the late 80s. This letter would have been published along with this book. I believe the content of the letter would not be very different from the theme of this book. Up till his demise, Prof. Lasebikan did not know whether his letter was read by the recipient. The idea of posting a letter by courier to the President reveals the type of activist Prof. Lasebikan was. He might not be the placard carrying ASUU activist, but those of us who were close to him knew the stuff he was made of. By my assessment, he was right at the centre of the continuum of the ideological line.

In conclusion, I feel proud to have been mentored by this tough academic who was very allergic to mediocrity and would not touch charlatans with a long pole. He also avoided pretenders like a plague. In spite of tough and nearly frustrating back-to-the-drawing board criticisms of my Ph.D thesis under his supervision, he thereafter told one of his colleagues that the thesis was a Bible in Soil Microarthropod Ecology in Nigeria. That is Prof. Lash for you. A foremost soil ecologist in Nigeria; a world renowned Acarologist; a Collembolan taxonomist; a great Entomologist and Ecology teacher. It is extremely painful that our proposed celebration of Professor Lasebikan turned into a tribute. As the saying goes, “Man proposes, God disposes.” Who are we to question God?

Sleep well my mentor, till we meet to part no more. Òjò pa sèkèrè ma dè. Omo Àtìbà. Omo ejò njo wèrè. Omo arίkú o másӑ. Omo arίkú olá yan. Ijó lajótà nίsàlè àká. Omo àká ilé, àká òde. Omo àká òde ò bèrù òkùnkùn. Sùnre ò.


Foreword by Prof. ‘Tola Badejo
November 30, 2022.


About the Contributors

Professor Omotoye Olorode
Omotoye Olorode retired as a professor of Botany at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 2008. He joined the University of Ife faculty in 1967. He worked closely and published with Professor Bayo Lasebikan in the Department of Biological Sciences since the early 1970s. He was also, with Professor Lasebikan, a member of the radical Ifè Dialogue Committee which published the journal of Ideas–Ifè Dialogue. The Committee was the predecessor of the famous Ifè Collective. which published the Socialist Forum. Omotoye Olorode researched, published, and taught Cytogenetics, Systematics, Biometry, and Organic Evolution. He is active in the trade union movement and he has written and published extensively in political economy and history. He now lives in Ogbomoso where he is Consulting Scientist at the Odòjé Biodiversity Center.

Professor Adeniyi Gbadegesin
Professor Adeniyi Gbadegesin attended both Oranyan Grammar School and Olivet Baptist High School in Oyo for his secondary school education. He received his University education at the University of Ibadan between 1976 and 1984. He completed his undergraduate program with a First Class degree in Geography in 1979. His doctoral program was completed in 1984 specializing in soils, natural resource analysis and management. He is currently a Professor of Geography at the University of Ibadan, having served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso. Oyo State, between 2011 and 2019. He initiated the establishment of the Disaster Risk Management Program in the Department of Geography in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency, Abuja in 2009.

Professor ‘Tunde Lawuyi
Prof Olatunde Bayo Lawuyi Bsc (lfe); MA ( University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign); M.Phil (University of Jos); and Ph. D (University of Illinois (Urbana -Champaign, USA) He has written six books and over a hundred articles and essays on culture, society, and development in local and lnternational journals. He, also, served as Professor and Head of Department, in his chosen field of Socio- Cultural Anthropology, in several universities in Nigeria and abroad. The last being at University of lbadan, lbadan, Nigeria. Professor Olajire Bamisaye. Professor Olajire Abiola Bamisaye is a long standing University teacher, Researcher and Administrator. He assumed, duty as Graduate Assistant of then University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University Ife), on January 6, 1982 and rose through the ranks to become a professor of Political Science, in 2011. He has to his credit about four Books, 5 Edited books, 10 Monographs and more than 50 published Articles both in Local and International Journals. He was Head of Department of Political Science twice at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. It was Pioneer Provost of Postgraduate Studies during approved leave at Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu. Also, Head of Department of Political Science, Redeemer University, Ede, in 2016 (during an approved leave). He is a member of Governing Council of Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, as well, Chairman, Governing Council of Ife Polytechnic, Ile-Ife. He is presently an External Examiner of various Universities in Nigeria. He is happily married with children.

Professor Stephen Akinade Adegbite
Professor Adegbite attended Howard University, USA where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in Finance, Banking and Industrial Management. He also has a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Technology Management with specialization in Technological Entrepreneurship and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Technology Management with specialization in Technology Innovation from the Faculty of Technology, Obafemi Awolowo University. He is a Master Trainer for various international programmes such as Know About Business (KAB) and Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB). Professor Adegbite is the
first Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies (IFEDS), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. His professional assignments are in the areas of Project Design and Implementation and Entrepreneurship Development and Training to mention a few.

Dr. Adetunji Ojo Ogunyemi
Dr. Adetunji Ojo Ogunyemi, a Lawyer and an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria is a Budget Historian and expert on the laws of public finance in Africa. He is Reader (Associate Professor) in Economic History at the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where he recently completed a 3-year tenure as Acting Head of the Department. Dr Ogunyemi is known for his multidisciplinary approaches to scholarship and multiple competencies in Law, History and Public Finance. He has published 60 articles in books and learned journals.

Professor ‘Tola Badejo
Prof. Mosadoluwa Adetola Badejo is a seasoned university teacher, researcher and administrator. He started his career as an academic staff in the University of Ife in 1981 and rose steadily through the ranks to become a Professor of Zoology in the same university {now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife} in 1998. A researcher and scholar of International repute, Prof. Badejo has published 3 books, 4 Edited books and many academic papers in the broad field of Soil Entomology, Acarology, Ecotoxicology of Microarthropods and Environmental Studies in Agriculture. He also has to his credit many workshop papers and technical reports. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Environtropica, a Journal of the Tropical Environment which has published 17 Volumes since inception in 2004. Prof. Badejo served as the Pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Wesley University in Ondo from 2008 to 2015, as well as from July 2020 to June 2021 in Eastern Palm University (now K.O. Mbadiwe University) in Ogboko, off Owerri.

Professor Olu. Odeyemi
Professor Olusuyi Odeyemi began his academic career in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife, and rose through the ranks to become a Professor in October 1987. He is an erudite scholar who has published extensively in learned journals and authored at least five books. Of special mention is “Two Centuries of Oil and Gas (1860-2060). His 1976 doctoral thesis on “Fungicide-resistant rhizobia for legume inoculation” received the most valuable thesis award at Cornell University. The research outcome was patented by the Government of the United States of America (US Patent No. 4094097). He is widely acclaimed as the first scientist to build a biogas generator in Nigeria. In January 1993, he was appointed as the Pioneer Rector of the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, and served meritoriously for eight years. Professor Odeyemi is a recipient of several awards, including the National Merit Award for Excellence in Science and Technology (1990) and the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.


Here are the chapters of the book:


Chapter 1: Knowledge, Truth, and the Burden of Committed Intellectuals (Prof. Olorode Omotoye)

Chapter 2: Sustainability Science and the Issue of Sustainable Development in Nigeria (Prof. Gbadegesin Adeniyi)

Chapter 3: Is The Rickety, Contrivance, Nigeria Sustainable? (Prof. Lawuyi ‘Tunde)

Chapter 4: Bad Governance, Political Instability and Unsustainable Economic Development in Nigeria (Prof. Bamisaye Olajire A.)

Chapter 5: The Role of Technology and Entrepreneurship as a Strategy for Economic Development in Nigeria (Prof. Adegbite Stephe Akinade)

Chapter 6: Budgetary Failures, (1955-2000): Reflections on the Achilles Heels of Nigeria’s Development (Dr. Ogunyemi Adetunji Ojo)

Chapter 7: Resuscitation of Organic Farming in Nigeria: an Inevitable Option for a Country that Abandoned Agriculture for Crude Oil (Prof. ‘Tola Badejo)

Chapter 8: Challenge of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Technological Development of Nigeria (Prof. Odeyemi Olu and Modupe Stella Ayilara)