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Remembering Prof. Oyinloye: Educationist par excellence (May 29, 1939-April 5, 2010)

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Professor John Otunola Oyinloye was born on May 29, 1939 in Lagos, into the family of Michael Gbadeyan Oyinloye and Thenckla Morolake Oyinloye of Oro, Kwara State. He died on April 5, 2010.

He attended St. Paul’s Catholic School, Ebute Metta- Lagos between 1946-1949, before proceeding to St. Andrew’s Catholic School Oro, (1950-1953). Having lost his father in 1951, at the young age of 12, John was determined to weather all storms to make a mark in life. Thus in 1953, he passed his primary school leaving certificate examination with flying colours, taking the first position, and this marked the beginning of other significant firsts.

In 1954, he was admitted into St. Peter’s Teacher Training College, Akure, where he obtained his Grade Two Teachers’ Certificate in 1957. Upon qualifying as a teacher, he secured a teaching appointment with St. James Primary School, Sabo Oke Ilorin, while preparing himself to further his studies in the university.

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He later secured admission to study physics in the University College, Ibadan in 1960. He graduated with a second-class (upper) degree and in the same year, was elected as an associate member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers in the United Kingdom. From this time to 1965, he worked at the Ministry of Works Kaduna as a pupil Electrical Engineer.

In 1965, Oyinloye returned to the University of Ibadan, where he bagged a Ph.D. in physics in 1968, thus becoming the first Ph.D. (Physics) in University of Ibadan. In 1978, exactly 10 years after bagging his Ph.D., he was appointed Professor of Physics of the University of Ilorin, under the age of 40. He served as a professor in the University of Ilorin for 20 years. At various times, he was the Head of Department of Physics, Dean, Faculty of Science (1980 -1984).

He rose to the position of the Vice Chancellor (VC), University of Ilorin (1992 – 1997) and retired from the university in 1999. He was listed in the Directory of Radio Scientists from Developing Countries, URSI (1989), Who is Who in Kwara State (1991), Who is Who of Vice Chancellors, Presidents, and Rector for commonwealth Universities (1993), Who is Who in Nigeria NBC (2003).

Oyinloye served his imediate Oro community relentlessly and selflessly in different capacities. He was Member, Vice Chairman and Chairman Board of Governors of Oro Grammar School, Oro and Chairman, Oro Development Union, Ilorin Chapter.

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He also co-authored a book entitled ‘’Oro, History of a Great town’’ alongside Marcus Yemi Ojo, John Ayo Aranisola, Olateju Titiloye, Tinuoye M. Adeniran, Felicia Oyebola Titiloye, Josephine Monilola Sanusi and Raliat Tayo Olaitan.

Oyinloye was also a member, Nigerian National Advisory Committee for Geneva World Administrative Radio Conference (1971), member of Council, Science Association of Nigeria (1976-1980), member, Kwara State Productivity Committee (1979-1980), leader of the Nigerian Delegation to the 20th General Assembly of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI) in Washington DC, USA (1981), President, Nigerian Union of Planetary and Radio Science (1982-1987), Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Ilorin (1980-1984), Chairman, Advisory/Committee on Degree Awarding Status for the Kwara state College of Technology (1982-1983), Sole Administrator, Kwara State Polytechnic (February-June 1984), Chairman, Governing Council of the Kwara State polytechnic (1984-1989), Visiting Professor of Physics, university of Lagos(1985-1986), Head Department of Physics, University of Ilorin (1987-1990),Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin (1992-1997) and Visiting Professor of Physics, University of Lagos (1998-1999)

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He worked as a visiting scientist to various bodies worldwide, and held various positions of authority on the international scene. He was a visiting scientist to the Radio and Space Research Station, Slough, England. (Dec 1976- Jan 1968), visiting scientist to the Communication Research Centre, Ottawa Canada (Sept. 1972 – Sept 1973), visiting scientist to the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, High Altitude Observatory and World Data Centre (A) for Solar Terrestrial Physics, Boulder Colorado, USA (June 1973) anong others.

He has published numerous excellent scientific articles in highly reputable and top rated journals in the world. Of these, are two single authored articles which appear in three international languages (English, French and Spanish). They are on Radio Wave Propagation in both non ionized media and the ionosphere in equatorial areas and they were published in 1988 in Nos II and V volume 55 of: Telecommunication Journal’’ based in Geneva.

Oyinloye was, indeed, a staunch Catholic, a devoted Christian who served God diligently. He served the church in various capacities. Among, he was a Member of the choir of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Oro (1950-1953) and member of Ibadan Catholic Diocesan Council (1974-1978) among others..

He married Mojirola Oyinloye (nee Ojo) on September 12, 1968, and this marriage has been blessed with four sons and grand children. He was a devoted family man, a father, not only to his children, but to all that sought his assistance. Today, he is fondly remembered by his children and grand children, 10 years after his demise.

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