It would not be out of sync to say that the University of Ibadan is expecting an Inaugural Lecture with a difference August 22nd, 2019 when Prof Eghosa Osaghae takes the podium to deliver the 464th in the series. It has been titled “What Man Has Joined Together: Ethnicity, Federalism and State Politics”
Almost nobody can guess what he is likely to say but he is a product of cross-cutting spheres: a member of the topmost echelon of political scientists in the country, a member of the UI Class of 1978, a recent Vice-Chancellor, a product of a Department of Political Science in Nigeria that has pedigree in these matters and has, in spite of its own share of the crisis of university education in Nigeria, kept its head above the waters. He is not only highly published but has also remained true to the spirit of the scholar as a global player.
The totality of his scholarly investment on Federalism is such that his Inaugural Lecture is highly awaited. It may be unfair but the expectation is a bombshell of a clarification as he tells the story of his engagement with the dynamics of ethnicity, federalism and state politics. It brings to mind what Prof Adele Jinadu who delivered the Keynote Address at a recent conference on the February 2019 Elections in Nigeria in the university said of Osaghae as a source of “ceaseless and thoughtful analysis of federalism”, adding how he had been overwhelmed by not just the volume but the consistency and high quality of the Professor’s works.
In a way, this might not just be a Prof Osaghae show but a powerful flashback to the UI Political Science establishment that Prof Adele Jinadu was celebrating in his preliminary remarks at the said conference: Billy Dudley; Peter Ekeh; Bolaji Akinyemi; Oye Oyediran; Omo Omoruyi; Bayo Adekanye; Tunde Adeniran and many other such big names associated with the experiment with Political Science at Ibadan.
The Inaugural Lecture would be Prof Osaghae’s third major academic outing of recent. He has been the Keynote speaker at both this year’s Southwest Conference of the Nigerian Political Science Association, (NPSA) as well as the Keynote Address giver at the just ended National session of the association in Calabar in the South-southern part of Nigeria