Today at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos, the Nigerian Academy of Letters (an elite organisation of the most prestigious professors in liberal arts, language, and linguistics, at the top of their field), had its Sixteenth Convocation and Investiture of New Fellows. The Convocation speech was delivered by Professor Francis Egbokhare, in a speech titled “The Second Pledge: The Ethical Dimensions of Citizenship and the Challenges of Nation Building“.
The new fellows into the organisation were Professor. Festus Agboola Adesanoye and Professor Philip Adedotun Ogundeji, as Regular Fellows; Professor Olabiyi Yai, as an Overseas Fellow; and Dr. (Mrs.) Virginia Anohu, Ambassador Oladapo Olusola Fafowora and Olori (Dr.) Olatokunbo Gbadebo as Honorary Fellows. The oration was read by Professor Olu Obafemi, while the programme was moderated by Professor Dele Layiwola, the secretary of NAL.
NAL was founded in Ibadan on 14 November, 1991, with Professors Ayo Bamgbose, Chinua Achebe, J.F. Ade-Ajayi, A.E. Afigbo, Adeboye Babalola, J.P.Clark-Bekederemo and Wole Soyinka as founding fellows. It was founded as an apex organization of Nigerian academics and scholars in the Humanities to promote, maintain and encourage excellence in all branches of humanistic studies.
Aside: Of the founding fellows, only three of them are still living. Today, a moment of silence was held in honour of a recently departed foundation fellow, Professor Emeritus J.F. Ade-Ajayi, NNOM who died on August 11, 2014.