November 11, 2020. Today, I rejoice and celebrate my teacher, brother, esteemed friend and benefactor, Prof Rotimi Ayodele Oderinde, FAS, as he turns 70 and retires from the services of the University of Ibadan.
He was first employed in the Department of Chemistry as Lecturer II on September 16 1976, therefore serving the University for 44 years, 1 month and 26 days. As Professor of 31 years, he has contributed immensely to the development of Industrial Chemistry programme in the Department of Chemistry.
Although he taught my preliminary class in 1980, I never placed special interest in his superb mentoring until a cousin of mine was his student in Industrial Chemistry and he encouraged me to collect references from him. In those days, reference letters had to be typed on the manual typewriter and sent out by postage. At one particular time, he didn’t seal the envelope and just hurriedly gave me the letter. I read through the contents and started to dance: that if all I needed to get a job was a reference letter, then it was a done deal! Of course, my cousin got the job at the Nigeria Brewery PLC! Prof Oderinde is a thoroughbred mentor; he is detailed in his assessment of people and has no time for laziness and favoritism. He is highly contented, humane and always wishes everyone the best in their career path. I had close contact with him when he was Dean of the Faculty of Science. I was on the Board of Zoological Gardens which he chaired and directed very well. His knacks for details, transparency and accountability struck me even as a young lecturer then. Prof Oderinde can easily be put off or angered when financial matters are not well laid out before him. Yet EFCC or ICPC were not in existence then. am not sure though! A straight forward and honest man to the core, he has no time for intrigues or favouritism. Years later, he was to teach my two children who were admitted to the university. When he realized that both were in the same 100 level class, he asked me jokingly if they were twins! I said no, just that one was faster than the other! Prof Oderinde has a unique and special way of ministering to my needs without making noise and also using his contacts to make life easy for me. On the occasion of your retirement and birthday, may the good Lord satisfy you with long life and continued prosperity. Judging by the thousands of students that have passed through Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry and your salutary good work, I am confident that you will not lack anything in retirement. Ire o
Dr. Gani Adeniran
Department of Veterinary Pathology
University of Ibadan