Olufemi Ogunsola: Philanthropist, Academic•••
Dr. Olufemi Ayodeji Ogunsola was born on January 25, 1955 in Minna, Niger State to the family of the late Prof A. F. Ogunsola of Ile Alagbede compound, Babanloma, Kwara State and Mrs. Victoria Ayodele Ogunsola of Asalu compound, Awe Oyo State.
He started his primary education at the Holy Trinity Primary School, Kano. He then proceeded to Ilorin, where he completed his primary education at St Barnabas School. He had his secondary school education at Government Secondary School, Ilorin and later proceeded to St. Peter’s College, Kaduna where he obtained his Grade II Teachers’ Certificate. He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria between 1978 and 1982 where he obtained a B.A. in History. He later proceeded to the United States, where he obtained Master’s Degree in Education (M.Ed.) (Psychology- Guidance and Counselling) in 1991 and Ph.D. Education (Psychology – Vocational Guidance and Counseling) in 1994 at the Ohio University, Athens.
Ogunsola popularly, called Dr. Femi, started work as a primary school teacher in Zaria. He also taught at the College of Education, Ilorin, Kwara State during his National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC). He was among the pioneer staff of the Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State in 1984.
He was a lecturer, researcher, and vocational counsellor. He taught quite a number of courses and supervised several projects and theses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna.
He had over 25 articles published in both national and international journals. He also attended several national and international conferences and training workshops in Nigeria and abroad.
Having furthered his academic pursuit in the USA, he became a member of the Ohio Association for Guidance and Counselling, USA. He was a doctorial researcher and part-time lecturer at the Ohio University, Athens. He was also an active member in good standing in the International Vocational Education and Training Association (IVETA), New York, USA and participated actively at the IVETA-Africa International Conference held at Nigeria Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria from November 4-8, 2019.
Dr. Ogunsola’s wealth of experience was very relevant to the extent that his career track in the university was so unique and described as multi – track career path. As a non-academic staff, he rose to the rank of Principal Assistant Registrar before changing cadre to Lecturer 1, where he rose again to the rank of Senior Lecturer in the Department of Industrial and Technology Education before being called to glory. He published an academic textbook titled Educational Research Methods and Statistics in 2009, which is still being used in tertiary institutions. He was due for promotion as Associate Professor before his demise. Besides being a Senior Lecturer at FUT Minna, he was a distinguished Public Administrator and a politician with over 30 years’ experience of Public Service within the local, state, and Federal Government sphere of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ogunsola was a reputable educationalist, a tested administrator, and a renowned academic. You might even say like father like son. A son of a late academic giant, Prof. Albert Ogunsola, a political colossus and an erudite administrator per excellent whose political image loom larger than life in Kwara State political firmament in the Third Republic. Dr. Femi Ogunsola was first unveiled to the public politically as a Commissioner for Health under the administration of the late Gov. Admiral Mohammed Alabi Lawal between 1999 and 2001.
He later joined the Campaign Organisation (Mandate) for Dr. Bukola Saraki’s Governorship aspiration in 2003 and became the Director of Administration and General Services. On Dr. Bukola Saraki assumption of office as the governor of Kwara State, he appointed Dr. Femi Ogunsola as a Commissioner for Education and he also served in the same capacity in the Ministry of Energy and Commerce. The Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ANCP) was established by Dr. Olusola Saraki and he served also as the Director General for the ANCP. It was during this period that he became political soul-mate to Senator Oyelola Ashiru. One amazing political quality of Ogunsola was his abilities to resolve complicated political matters with ease. A man that was always after peaceful co-habitation of divergent political views. His political tolerance is hyper and you could easily notice that when you see peoples of different backgrounds and tendencies flocking around him. He was at home with everyone no matter the political lineage and tribe.
This was the political narrative of a man whose services during the two terms as Federal Commissioner representing Kwara State in the Federal Character Commission was full of positive testimonies. His common political sloganeering in politics was: “we need peace not war to accomplish our political pursuit as our peaceful disposition would always go a long way to disarm our opponents”. His last engaged political exploits were his involvement with the three Senators from Kwara State to troubleshoot on a peace move for reconciliation between various political tendencies within APC as a party in Kwara State and the government. On his official release on secondment from FUT Minna, Dr. Femi served as: Kwara State Commissioner for Health (1999-2001), Kwara State Commissioner for Education (2003-2004), Kwara State Commissioner for Rural Development (2004-2005), Kwara State Commissioner for Health (2005-2007) and Federal Character Commissioner for Kwara State (2008-2018) He was a prominent chieftain of the ruling APC (All Progressive Party) in the state and a grassroot politician. Dr. Femi returned to the FUT Minna to continue his lecturing career before he was called to glory. Dr. Femi Ogunsola has indeed served at the various spheres of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ogunsola was humble, kind, jovial, generous to a fault, and a lover of God. He served God as an active member of both Zion Baptist Church, Ilorin and Cornerstone Baptist Church, Gwarimpa, Abuja respectively. He was committed to the development of his hometown (Babanloma) and was the Odofin of Babanloma. He was a man of the people with a large heart, a philanthropist who reached out to the needy through various means. He helped everyone irrespective of their tribe or geo-political zones.
He was a father to all, especially the youths around him, he wiped tears off the eyes of the hopeless and restored dignity to broken families in the midst of lack. He believed so much in uplifting the educational status of his community. This was evident in his passionate dream of establishing the Albert and Victoria College of Health Sciences in his community (Babanloma), Kwara State. The said project is still in progress and hopefully will be completed soon.
His family and everyone enjoyed his company because of his cheerful nature. He defended and protected his children and extended family. He was a pillar of support to his family and everyone and was a selfless humanitarian
He loved to help people and was always willing to give even when he didn’t have. He could go to any length to make people happy. He empowered thousands through getting them Federal and State employment. He was always willing to give any time he was called upon to do so especially for community projects.