Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Nigerian author and scholar, Wale Adebanwi, on his appointment as Rhodes Professor in Race Relations in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom; describing him as an African gem and a role model who has brought honour and respect to the continent.
The president, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said as the first black African scholar to be appointed to the endowed Chair since it was created more than 60 years ago, Adebanwi’s sharp intellect and distinguished learning was worthy of emulation by other young Nigerians. The statement said: “The president, who has maintained a keen interest in the soaring profile of the scholar right from his early years in journalism in Nigeria to a lecturer in the University of Ibadan, is delighted to see him achieve this much very early in his life.”
At just 47 years, Buhari noted that young Africans like Adebanwi were showing the wit, steadfastness, creative energy and astuteness of renowned African writers and intellectuals such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, John Pepper Clark and Abubakar Imam who put the continent on the world’s knowledge map. “He is a source of pride and inspiration to Black Africa as a whole,” the president said. Buhari wished the distinguished scholar more notable successes as he clinches laurel upon laurel on his steady rise as a scholar of international distinction.