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    FUOYE VC, Fasina, friends, family, UK, US, South Africa’s associates, others celebrate ex-DVC Omotola @50

    Foluso Ogunmodede (PRO)

    Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State, Nigeria, Professor Abayomi Sunday Fasina, FUOYE family, associates and international friends rolled out the drums to celebrate one of Nigeria’s foremost Professors of Comparative African Governance and Politics and ‘quintessence of iconic,’ Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola as he clocked the GOLDEN age on May 6.
    Avalanche of tributes not only flooded virtual world but hundreds of his admirers thronged his Ekiti residence to celebrate “Intellectus Maximus, academic-achiever, teacher, mentor, smartest brother, enigma and globally-respected intellectual African scholar at 50 on May 6.


    Professors, Drs. Colleagues, senior and junior staff, friends and associates from all walks of life, students and metees from FUOYE and outside the university community gathered at his residence to honour him on his 50th anniversary.
    Specifically, the birthday scholar was garlanded with prayessor de d special accolades, sweet memories from mentees just as well-wishers sang praises to GOD for the life of Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola at 50, while asking the ALMIGHY GOD to continue to bless, keep him and help him achieve his life-ambition and the grace to continue with the new chapter of his life in perfect health.
    However, leading the pack was the university Vice-Chancellor, Professor .Abayomi Sunday Fasina, who glowingly eulogised his former Deputy Vice- Chancellor and academic icon, Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola, saying GOD would grant him his heart-desire.


    To the Vice-Chancellor, the “Birthday Boy’ who “is an asset to FUOYE” would no doubt attain the peak of his career.


    According to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fasina, his former Deputy Vice-Chancellor and ‘Birthday Boy’ deserved all the accolades being showered on him by his admirers and well-wishers, describing Professor Omotola at 50 as an academic colossus, who had not only achieved so much but beyond the sky would be his academic limit.
    Professor Omotola, he said, was a jolly good fellow and ally whose ambition would always receive his support.


    The Vice-Chancellor, who attended the event with his Principal Officers—DVC Academics, Professors Olubunmi Shittu, DVC Administration, Tajudeen Bolanle, University Registrar, Mr. Mufutau Adeshina Ibrahim, Bursar, Mrs. Adebolanle Adekemisola Adebowale-Ajagunna and the University Librarian, Dr. Isaac Busayo, described Professor Omotola as a man after his heart.


    Professor Fasina said: “Professor Omotola is a man I am well-pleased. He is an asset to FUOYE. He is a scholar of international repute. The academic luminary midwifed the hosting of the New York Centre for Social Research in FUOYE. Professor Omotola has done a lot for FUOYE especially in the area of teaching and research. FUOYE still has a lot to benefit from this iconic scholar and rare gem. I wish you the very best and you can always count on my support any day.”


    Others, who also penned down birthday wishes from both within and in Diaspora were not left out.
    They are Dr. Samuel Oyewole, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Dr. Samuel Oyewole, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Dr. Seun Bamidele, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, John Sunday Ojo, School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom and Dr. Okikiola Samson Oyelowo, University Of Stirling, United Kingdom.
    Others were Dr. David Akindoyin, Florida State University, USA, Dr. Olawale Akinrinde, Johannesburg, South Africa, Lagunwa Oluwatosin Owolabi, Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences, Pan African University, Cameroon, Dr. Chukwuma Okoli—Federal University Lafia, Revd Dr. Opeyemi Aluko, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State, Dr. Gbenga Owoye, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Dr. Micheal B. Aleyomi, FUOYE and Dr. Gbeke Adebowale Adenuga, FUOYE.
    All spoke glowingly of Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola, using different nomenclature to describe the iconic scholar.


    While others described Professor Omotola as intellectus maximus, quintessence of iconic glocal scholar, enigma, Biblical Prophet, distinguished scholar, great teacher, leading beacon among beacons of academic light and mobile scholar of repute, another simply said Professor Omotola was a master strategist, mentor and role model.
    For instance, Okoli said Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola “is the Quintessence of Iconic ‘Glocal’ Scholarship.


    He said: “I first met Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola in 2006, not in-person, but in the literature. I was scoping aspects of the existing studies on the Niger Delta crisis and was opportune to come across a piece he wrote: ‘The Next Gulf? Oil Politics, Environmental Apocalypse and the Rising Tension in the Niger Delta’’ (Accord’s Occasional Paper, No. 3, 2006).


    “Then I was an MSc student in the Department of Political Science at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The paper did not just offer me the ideas and information I was seeking; it, more importantly, gave me an insight into Omotola’s taste of scholarship. After I read a few other works of his subsequently, I was able to discern a persistent pattern of scholarly style and finesse in his works.
    “In 2009 (thereabouts), I met Professor Omotola in-person at a conference held in Ahmadu Bello University. I was privileged to be in the same syndicate session as he. I watched and admired him as he presented his paper and addressed concerns arising therefrom with characteristic scholarly enthusiasm and sagacity. I was particularly thrilled by the quality of interventions he volunteered with regard to other presentations in our session, including mine. I am sure he must have forgotten these moments.
    “In 2015, I was honoured to work with Prof Omotola on a flagship research project funded by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD, Nigeria). We met during the complimentary breakfast at the Barcelona Hotel in Abuja. During our short interaction, I commended his super scholarly feats and inquired of him to show me the way by way of mentoring. He did not hesitate to oblige me, although he reminded me that ‘a lot depends on my motivation and determination.’ I am sure he can still recollect this meeting, but I doubt if he will ever remember those significant words he said to me.
    “In 2020/ 2021, Professor Omotola was involved in two research projects that brought him to my base in Lafia, Nasarawa State. This offered me yet another golden opportunity to meet with Prof, even more closely in the comfort of his hotel room. He was full of encouragement and inspiration. I could recollect one of those moments he would counsel (not in these exact words though): be determined to be the best you can, and do not relent.


    “Indeed, Professor Omotola is one of the big influences on my aspirations towards scholarship. Besides being a mentor to many, Prof Omotola stands out as a typical Nigerian indigenous scholar, who is both globally competitive and locally relevant. What is particularly interesting about Prof’s scholarship is that he obtained all his degrees in Nigeria. Yet he has not, in any way, been limited or diminished by our local circumstances in his march to academic excellence and achievement.


    “By many credible metrics, Professor Omotola has been a frontline academic-achiever. The Google Scholar as well as AD Scientific Index list him among the first Quartile of the most-cited Nigeria-based political scientist. Indeed, Omotola’s scholarship is worth more than any form of metrical indexing. He has equally contributed significantly to national development in terms of policy-research and consultancy, having consulted for numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations.


    “Professor Omotola’s rising as a technocrat in the academia has been unprecedentedly rapid and grand. Within a short period of 6 years (thereabouts), he had been a Head of Department, Director, Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in a Federal University. In spite of these challenging responsibilities, he has remained committed to his prime calling to teaching, research and academic resourcing. In 2020, he won the prestigious Collaborative Working Group research grant of the Social Science Research Council, New York. In 2023, he was unveiled as the hallowed Claude Ake Visiting Chair at the Nordic Africa Institute at Uppsala University in Sweden.


    “Apart from his lofty deeds of exploits, Professor Omotola is known for impact-making, especially in terms of nurturing academic mentees. He has raised a generation of under-students who look up to him as a quintessential role model and an intellectual influence. I am pleased to identify as one of this extended fold.


    “What needs to be celebrated about this exceptionally talented and resourceful scholar is that he represents, and truly so, a typical Nigerian but globally competitive brand of scholarship that is worthy of emulation. Although I do not wish to be like him – for that is not possible – I would like to learn his ways to hard work, diligence and excellence.


    “Dr. Aleyomi of FUOYE said “Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola @ 50 – A Tribute to my Brother, Teacher and Mentor, true leadership prioritizes caring for others and great mentorship wants mentees to succeed. Prof. Shola Omotola put other people’s needs first, establishes a high bar by unremittingly exhibiting the value of a leader and a great mentor. I have a lot to say about this quintessential personality, great teacher, strategist and a real kind and generous brother. Due to space and time, I will give a brief testimonial today.
    “I was fortunate and honoured to have known Prof. Omotola as an undergraduate at the University of Ilorin. He was always there, offering his guidance, encouragement, and sometimes pushing hard for me to keep up the ‘good fight.’ Reminiscing about my undergraduate days at Unilorin, there is a wave of nostalgia from time filled with both academic and non-academic memories that I hold dear. Remarkably, in my final year, Prof. Omotola entered our class and simply introduced himself thus: “I’m Shola Omotola, an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and I will be teaching you POS427 – Comparative Foreign Policy.” The entire class dimply gazed at him and we whispered to ourselves ‘what is he doing here?’ Then, it was apparently an aberration for anyone below the rank of lecturer 1 to teach the final year students at Unilorin, let alone teaching foreign policy where we have Prof. H.A. Saliu and others. But just a few minutes into his class, we were all astonished at his delivery and his intellectual sagacity. We subsequently enjoyed class discussions and debates, where we passionately exchanged ideas and engaged in intellectual conversations, sharpening our minds and broadening our perspectives.
    “One of the greatest gifts Prof. Omotola has bestowed upon me is his unwavering belief in my abilities. He has a natural ability to identify students’ potential and help them realize it. Prior to my Youth Service, he enquired: “Mike, after NYSC what next?” I replied him ‘I love teaching and will obtain MPA (Masters in Public Administration) form.” He then counselled me on the difference between MSc and MPA, and advised me to opt for MSc in Political Science and emphasized my great potential in academics. I also recall when I shared the news of my appointment as an assistant lecturer at Landmark University with him, he happily said welcome onboard. He explained further: “to excel in this career, you must be hardworking, research and publish good works, and above all keep your integrity intact.’ Your advice and encouragement are priceless. I really appreciate the mentorship.


    “Professor Omotola has made a lasting impact on my career. I am humbled by the countless ways you have helped shape me. When I shared my first article with him, he reviewed and replied with words of encouragement, “this is a very good work and inspiring insights” even when the correction he highlighted required me to rewrite the article. Although this was very tasking, he encouraged me and the corrected version of the paper was published and now one of my most cited publications. No matter the case, he always offers encouragement, critical and substantive interventions to support my research and development. This is a big departure from those that discourage promising and struggling talents. When a senior colleague ridiculed and mucked my first attempted academic paper, which eventually paved the way for my first international trip to attend an all-expenses paid conference, Prof Omotola’s intervention and encouragement were critical to my resilience. You are the best mentor I could have asked for. I am forever grateful for your support and guidance.
    “What else can I say? Prof. Omotola also taught me that every setback in life is a chance for personal development. With his strong recommendation to Professor Shoremekun, the former Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), my appointment was a success, when academic persecutions had eroded my interest in this career path.


    “Despite taking over from Prof. Omotola as the HoD, he allows me to function freely without any pressure. He takes permission whenever he would not be at the departmental meeting, even when he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. He often replies my objection to his respectful and humble requests jovially, “HoD, I have to take permission because I don’t want to receive query from you.” His level of humility, loyalty and respect for ‘constituted authority’ is unassuming.


    Prof. Omotola’s penchant for leadership/mentorship is worthy of emulation. There is no denying the fact that you are both an impressive and admirable individual. Due to his leadership, we are lucky to have one of the most peaceful Political Science departments in Nigeria.
    “Professor Omotola believes and respects the ideas of others. He is not a dictator, not sentimental in judgment, and not bias but engages/dialogues with others and acknowledges/accepts stronger and more convincing arguments. Indeed, the foundation of his core values resonates in mutual respect and loyalty, humankind, trustworthiness, and openness. He is renowned for speaking truth to power, regardless of the backlash and difficulty it causes him, which some erroneously considered as weaknesses instead of good virtue and strength.
    “Mentorship by a genius is a whole new level. You constantly inspires me to push limits, achieve my potential, and climb new heights. You have shown me that there are no limits to my potential; all I need is to believe in myself and put in my best. I appreciate your wonderful mentoring, unwavering support and direction, knowledge, counsel and guidance. I feel very fortunate to be able to advance together with you. Thank you for being an exceptional mentor, role model, and friend.
    “Cheers to the birthday of the smartest brother, teacher and mentor ever!


    I pray that the kindness you freely extend to those around you will return to you in hundredfold, bringing joy and blessings to your life. May God continue to fulfill all of your wishes, shield you from unkind friends, and deliver you from the wicked.
    To Dr. Gbeke Adebowale Adenuga of FUOYE, Professor Omotola was an enigma. He said in his tribute, Professor Jeremiah Shola – Celebrating an enigma @ 50, “the first time I got to meet this enigma was in the 2001/2002 Political Science M.Sc. class in the University of Ibadan. The class was an assemblage of Political Science graduates from all over the country and it was apparent that there was going to be a keen competition for academic relevance and leadership amongst these budding scholars.


    “Our very first class had the renowned Professor Eghosa Osaghae, the current Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), providing deep insights into colonialism and de-colonialism processes on the African continent. To kick-start discussions, Prof. Osaghae wanted to know whether we had read any of Professor P. P. Ekeh’s treatises on the subject. Only three hands were raised. The first student had the privilege to have been taught by the great scholar in the late 1970s, while the second was present at his inaugural lecture in 1995. Jeremiah Shola Omotola was the third student. He stood up and without a pause, listed the major articles authored by Professor Ekeh, with the names of the journals and their years of publication. An impressed Professor Osaghae looked at all of us and exclaimed “Watch out for this guy, he is going to be quite a revelation!”
    “True to Professor Osaghae’s prediction, Shola Omotola held all of us, including our lecturers, spellbound by his profound, incisive and insightful contributions during class seminars and it was not a surprise that he was the best graduating student in the class. Under a decade after bagging the M.Sc. degree in 2003, he had become a global scholar with an enviable research output that only few of his contemporaries in the global academic community can match.


    “He became a Professor in 2016 and continues to win national and global acclaims. He is, unarguably, one of the leading lights in the field of Comparative Politics, especially in the area of Psephology. He has won so many academic laurels that if I were to state them here, I would run out of time and space. Most recently, he bagged the coveted Claude Ake Visiting Chair of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University (DPCR), Sweden. His administrative acumen is also reflected in the fact that he was, at various times, Head of Department, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Federal University Oye Ekiti, Nigeria.


    “Yes, Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola is an academic and administrative giant, of that there is no doubt. However, beyond this fact is the enigma that this great man is. An enigmatic person is one who is phenomenal as he/she is not defined or constrained by natural societal expectations which are in the main negative. For example, the norm about power, position and prestige is that they intoxicate and make their holders to become proud and pompous. The greater the power and prestige, and the higher the position on the socio-economic ladder, the greater the tendency for arrogance. Professor Shola Omotola is one of the few exceptions to this rule. I can attest to it, and virtually everybody does, that he personalises humility despite the increasing accolades and positions of importance he occupies. Contrary to the vast majority who also become less reliant on God with increasing successes, Professor Shola Omotola draws closer to God with every advancement he experiences. The saying that ‘a friend in power is a friend lost’ does not also apply to him. He holds family and friendship as sacred. He identifies with everyone without consideration for rank or status and he makes sacrifices to draw others up to his level.


    “Professor Shola Omotola is a man of average height but with a heart that is bigger than Mt. Everest. He facilitated my appointment as a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Federal University Oye Ekiti, housed and fed me for over a year until I got my footing in the University Community. As a middle level staff, I was expecting him to be ‘prudent’ in his relationship with me given his status in the University. The reverse was the case as this great man openly identifies with me and tells all people that I am his friend and former classmate! That is an enigma.
    “God has blessed Professor Shola Omotola richly by giving him a wife and children with the same behavioural dispositions. His wife is also a rarity as she gracefully exudes charm, loveliness, respect, humility and godliness in astonishing proportions. His children are also well taught as they interact with people with great respect and wisdom. Indeed, Professor Shola Omotola is blessed!
    I salute this enigma as he celebrates five decades of God’s goodness, favour and mercies. May he live to celebrate decades of the day in good health and wondrous prosperity. Amen!!! Happy birthday cheers to a friend, a brother, a mentor, boss and a role model.”
    In his tribute, entitled “The life of a scholar, Dr. Samuel Oyewole of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, said “the culture of celebrating scholar and mentor is dying in Nigeria! First, the economic hardship visited on the academic community and the general masses by the elite is killing intellectual enterprises, thereby undermining scholarship in Nigeria. Second, shortage of true scholarship has led to the decline in quality mentorship, which very few enjoy. Third, inadequate mentorship has circled back to produce dying culture of celebrating scholars in the country. Hence, Nigerian scholars are like the Biblical prophet, which “is treated with honor everywhere except in his own hometown”.
    “Therefore, it is my great honor to celebrate Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola @ 50. He is a distinguished scholar and great teacher in the field of politics, mentor and inspiration for generations of newly established, emerging, promising and aspiring scholars, a rare combination of humility, humanity, critical voice of reasoning and advocacy, an administrator of repute, a strategist and peacemaker, passionate human, community and national development expert and practitioner, a strong believer and cheerful giver, a loving husband and father.


    “One of the questions I usually ask young social scientists in our first informal intellectual encounter anywhere across Africa is to ask if they know Professor Shola Omotola among other leading names in Nigerian political science family. The common responses are: “yes”, “sure”, “I have read many or some of his works”, “I use his work/s in my thesis or dissertation”, “who no go known Omotola for this field!”, among other affirmative claims. He is apparently one of the most published and cited African political scientist of his generation. Who will not be proud of such mentor!
    “I proudly reviewed his books entitled Horror in Paradise: Frameworks for Understanding the Crises of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria (2014) and The State in Contemporary Nigeria: Issues, Perspectives and Challenges (2016). His other major books are The Legislature and Governance in Nigeria (2014) and Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections: Continuity and Change in Electoral Democracy (2017). I finally got the opportunity to co-author three articles with him in 2022 and 2023. I am also pleased to co-edit my third and sixth books with him: The Political Economy of Kidnapping and Insecurity in Nigeria: Beyond News and Rumours (2024) and Introduction to Political Science: A Reading Text on Politics and Governance (2023).
    “I am lucky to have met Prof. Omotola as an undergraduate student. My passion for intellectual development generated an enduring bond with him. From our early encounter, I saw a mentor and Professor in him, even though he was then a doctoral candidate. His passion for research, massive publications in reputable scholarly outlets, frequent intellectually driven oversee-trips, and grant record inspired many of us to desire the path of scholarship. Decades after our encounters, many of us still draw inspiration from his work ethics and exceptional scholarship. I am just one of the numerous testimonies of his quality teaching, scholarly mentorship and the inspiration he has become for generations of scholars.
    Despite his scholarly height and the attendant pressure, Professor Omotola remains an embodiment of humility. I worked closely with him as a junior colleague in the same department for years. It is always hard for him to call his colleague by name, no matter how junior. To him, every academic, including a graduate assistant, is a professor. This respectful disposition extends beyond the academic, as I have observed him to have numerous grandpa, grandma, daddy, mummy, Egbon, uncle and aunty everywhere, just to escape the trap of calling them by name.
    “Professor Omotola is a critical voice of reasoning and advocacy. He often forms his opinion on issues based on experience, consultation, critical engagement, superior argument, reasoning, and conviction, with little or no prejudice. His core value is built on humanity, honesty, openness, and mutual respect. He does not shirk from supporting the course he believes in. While he does not back down easily on his position, he always respects other views, appreciate and engage alternative opinions, acknowledge and accept superior and convincing alternatives. He is also known for speaking truth to power, no matter how unpopular it is and inconvenience it brought to him.
    “Over the years, I have watched Professor Omotola rise in administrative profile from Head of Department (HOD) to the Dean of Faculty and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti. In all these cases, he transcended theories and displayed applied political science, as he proved himself to be administrator of repute and strategist.
    “Professor Omotola has contributed significantly to development at human, community, national and regional levels. His words of encouragement, financial and moral support have transformed many lives. Hail from Ekirin Ade in Kogi State, his love for his people and passion for the growth and development of the community is evident with his support for many progressive initiatives in the town and it environment. At the national and regional levels, he has deployed his expertise to better the conduct of elections and the course of democratization, advance quality of education, and promote peace, development and security in Nigeria and the continent of Africa at large.
    “I initially thought that progression in scientific and philosophical enterprises automatically lead to atheism, but I was wrong. Professor Omotola is a strong believer, a devoted Christian, and an elder in The Apostolic Church. Nevertheless, his religious tolerance and interfaith engagements are reflection of humanity.
    “Professor Omotola is blessed with an amazing home. It is not easy to marry the princess of one’s community, but that is exactly what you did. It’s a perfect match that your wife is equally humble, simple and accommodating. Since my days as a master’s student that I have known her, she always called me Prof or uncle Sam. “I know that you know that I know” that you a loving husband and father.
    On this special day, I wish you a happy birthday!”
    Dr. Seun Bamidele, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, described Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola as a mentor, academic Iroko, academic titan and scholar of high intellectual fecundity.
    In his eulogy entitled “50 GARLANDS TO A DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR ON HIS BIRTHDAY,” said “this day has given me a great opportunity to express my heartfelt felicitation to a mentor, an academic titan and scholar of high intellectual fecundity, Professor Shola Jeremiah Omotola (Claude Ake Professor of Political Economy).
    “Our path invisibly crossed in 2011 by stumbling on your Curriculum Vitae, which is not only exceptional but full of gigantic academic muscles, thereby transforming my academic career. I kept ruminating over his academic profile within me and these somnambulic thoughts about him changed my thinking of a better Nigeria, that “if a man that possess all his education in Nigeria can attain this height, then the sky is the beginning for me”. Till date, Prof. Omotola remains, not only my boss but a mentor, role model, my teacher and, of course, my family member.


    I honestly do not know where to begin from, but I will start by saying that you have been a source of blessing in my life since the first day I met you at EKSU – as my external examiner for my Ph.D. in 2021. Just for emphasis, I have come across a crop of scholars before meeting you, whom an early career researcher like me was looking up to vis-à-vis their writing styles and scholastic endeavours. Having completed my Ph.D., my first personal encounter with you was tantamount to meeting my lifetime goal; meeting a man whose academic profile should be recommended for a Guiness Book of Record. As if I won a lotto, I ran home to jubilate with my wife that I had eventually met an academic Iroko whose CV is pasted all over my personal library at home. The greatest gift you have given to me, and I sincerely thank God for this, is that God has used you to strengthen my academic life. Thank you for my first golden gift that you ever gave to me, “Your CV”, which I saw online in 2010. This will not only be passed down to the generations unborn by the grace of God, but will remain memorabilia to me; it is the greatest gift someone has ever given to me. I thank you most sincerely for being a pillar of support for me and my family, especially your unalloyed effort in putting an end to my joblessness. This singular help will linger in my memory forever as you made me to navigate through thick and thin, manoeuvring among lions and tigers to be whom I am today. May you know no sorrow as you wiped away my tears. Despite your very tight schedules, you still find time to attend to my worries, tears and sweats whenever and wherever the situation demands. Is it the ones we had under the scotching sun, under the canopy of your house or even under the tree? Your pieces of advice on the philosophy of life and how to manage people generally will etch in my memory forever. If everyone takes after your lifestyle, the world will definitely be a better place to live. With a person like you in the academia, mentorship will thrive, tears will dry up, worry will vanish and envy will be a thing of the past.


    Dear Professor Omotola, I can write encyclopedia about you, but just to shower my genuine encomiums on the man who lives for other to live, and to let you know that you are my divine helper.
    Without rhetoric and demagogue, today is about you; your special day! As you turn 50 this day, I pray to God to surrender to you all your heart desires and make all your wishes and aspirations come to pass today and forever. Prof. Shola J. Omotola, you will live long to see and enjoy all that you have laboured for. The coming years shall be merrier than ever and I decree and declare that more greatness will be your portion this day and beyond in Jesus Name. I am so happy to see how God has lifted you as my mentor. From not being paid well in Nigeria to being paid well, and now excelling and getting grants left, right and centre, God used you for me to achieve all these. This is just the beginning of many other opportunities God is yet to open.


    As you turn older, God shall continue to work and walk with you in all your endeavours. May Long life and prosperity be your portion in Jesus Name. I look forward to seeing you soon across the corners of this globalised world.


    To John Sunday Ojo, School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, simply said Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola “is a cerebral giant,” hence “Celebrating Intellectus Maximus: Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola at 50 has become inevitable.


    He said: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader- President John Quincy Adams, USA. One of the greatest gifts ever possessed by mankind is the ability to inspire others to believe in themselves and their potential to exploit. Such a reflection mirrors the unique attributes of Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola.


    “Professor Omotola is a globally respected intellectual African scholar who has delved into murky scholarly terrain and challenged the ever-present westernized cerebral status quo. I encountered some of his erudite works published by the University of Oxford while undergoing postgraduate study at the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds in the UK. His rigorous acumens and contributions to academia and the policy world painted his name as a cerebral giant. I have been able to engage with some of his works on African Politics, Violence, and environmental security.


    “As a former deputy Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti in Ekiti State, and the recent high-level international position as Claude Ake Chair at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, he demonstrates terrific leadership potential and innovative thinking towards solving African challenges that have endured several generational rollercoasters.


    “Beyond his intellectual prowess, Professor Omotola has been one of the scholars I have ever met with an unquantifiable high level of humility. My first encounter with him was in the Netherlands, when he came for a seminar hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. As a well-cultured Yoruba man, the younger ones do not watch an elderly person carry his or her bag. On that cultural tenet that every Yoruba holds in high esteem, I asked Prof in Yoruba native language that Prof e gbe baggie yin waa, he responded ha, e maa embarrassi mi loju awon oyinbo yii, meaning that please bring your bag so that that I can help you carry it and he responded that do not embarrass me before these white people. Prof refused to release his bag to me, which I quickly grabbed before he realised immediately after the seminar lecture.
    “All his works serve as a stimulus to emerging scholars. In several journal outlets where many African scholars are considered impenetrable, Professor Omotola has proved beyond the myopic judgements of many Western literati who always considered African scholars unfit to dictate the pace of specific academic fields.


    “Prof is one of those scholars who have inspired me to penetrate Western-oriented publishing outlets, which I have previously considered difficult for someone like me to echo my scholarly voice.
    “Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola has made a significant contribution to the field of political science in Africa. It seems impossible for anyone to research the African electoral landscape without mentioning his name. He has laid the foundation for the current and incoming generation in the intellectual space. As an author of several books, journals, and technical reports, Professor Omotola is an icon to be reckoned with in Africa and global collegiate provinces.


    “I celebrate a leading leader, mentor, and motivator whose works have inspired emerging scholars beyond the continental axis of Africa. As you clock 50, may your life continue to inspire the current generation and the one yet unborn.
    Happy birthday to intellectual titan.”


    To Dr. Olawale Akinrinde, Johannesburg University, South Africa, Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola “is a Guiding Light.” In his tribute entitled “Guiding Light: A Birthday Tribute to Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola, Dr. Akinrinde said “Dear Professor, in the hallowed halls of wisdom and the academia, where minds converge, You stand as a beacon, a sage, and a guiding light.
    “Your wisdom’s light has guided us through each life’s curve, You are a mentor, a friend, and your influence is eternal.


    From the realms of ancient Greece, where philosophy reigns, Words of wisdom echo, stirring the depths of our brains.
    Aristotle, with his timeless grace, speaks of excellence, And in your teachings, we find its quintessence. “Excellence is never an accident,” he said,


    “It is the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution.” In your classroom, we felt the truth of these words,
    As you inspired us to strive for greatness, to aim for the stars.


    “As your former student, now a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, I stand on the foundation you laid, with deep admiration.
    At the Department of Political Science, Osun State University, I impart knowledge, inspired by your legacy’s continuity.


    But beyond the confines of my alma mater’s walls,
    I pursue knowledge’s quest in different academic and societal halls.
    As a Postdoc in International Relations and Public Policy,


    At the Johannesburg Business School, meticulously traversing your academic footsteps.
    A tall order, but you have instilled in us the can-do spirit,


    “In the footsteps you have paved, I tread with pride, for your teachings have been my guide.
    Your friendly approach, your superb teaching style, made learning a joy, mile after mile, back then.
    From the annals of Greek philosophy, more wisdom I hasten to glean, As Socrates speaks, “Education is the kindling of a flame.”


    In your classroom back then, that flame was ignited, and in my heart, its glow was ignited.
    “As I journeyed through the realms of Comparative Politics with other classmates in 2010, You opened my mind to diverse perspectives and conflicts,
    You showed me the power of analysis and critiquing, and instilled in me the passion for knowledge.


    “In the words of Plato, “Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil,” You taught me how to question, to challenge, to unveil all truths.
    To seek truth amidst the noise and distractions, And to strive for wisdom, with fervor and ardor.
    Now, as we celebrate your birthday, dearest Professor,


    I celebrate you, my teacher, and distinguished role model.


    May your days be filled with joy and success,
    And may your wisdom continues to inspire and bless this generation and many to come.
    May your legacy continue to endure, for generations to come,


    And as we carry forth the torch of knowledge, I pledge never to succumb to mediocrity,
    With deepest gratitude and admiration, I say happiest birthday Prof.”


    Revd Dr Opeyemi Aluko of Political Science Department, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State, Nigeria said Professor Jeremiah Shola Omotola was simply a “leading beacon among the beacons of academic light in the Political Science field and beyond. He is a mentor of great repute and he never settles for lesser values.”
    He went on: Prof J.S. Omotola @ 50, “the first time I met this wonderful personality was in 2003-2004 academic session at the mini-campus of the University of Ilorin, during the academic and business lecture organized by the Nigerian Association of Political Science Students. He told us many things, especially how he turned down a banking job offer for academic pursuit. This made the hall turns into an uproar, shouting ‘iwe, iwe, iwe’ meaning ‘book, book, book’, while the other guest was a banker. The 2006-2007 academic session in the University of Ilorin main campus was the first time he taught me in the classroom and that made me feel the new pulse of a Political Scientist. He changed the way I see the discipline and how the scholarship should be. The entire class testified to the new trend. However, he did not stay long before advancing to other places.


    “Prof. Omotola has been a leading beacon among the beacons of academic light in the Political Science field and beyond. He is a mentor of great repute and he never settles for lesser values. I have always shaped my teaching after his versatile and volatile mode of delivering lectures. He will not use a book as a guide per se and quote a lot of scholars to support his lecture notes, thereby exposing the students to many important scholars of note in the discipline. He makes me to know the scholars before the real time I met some of them later in life.
    “I have been quoting him as one of the scholars to be cited in many of my academic publications that centers on elections and democracy. In fact, in my classroom lecture delivery, on matters relating to election and democracy, after quoting other scholars, Prof Omotola’s perspective on democracy and election is added as one of the indigenous scholars of great repute. I remember in a political thought-class where students were given different scholars to study their political line of thinking, he was one of the scholars I asked a student to check-up and come up with discourse in the class.
    I have published with him in several books where he mostly edited along-side others. He is indeed a blessing to the academic world and the Christian world. He is devoted to Christ’s standard and ready to spend for the good and progress of mankind and the Lord. It is my prayer that as you celebrate your 50 years on earth, you will continue to be relevant before the Lord and you will do more exploit for the Lord and make heaven at last in Jesus Christ name.”


    In his “Birthday Wishes to a Mentor @ 50, Dr. Gbenga Owoeye of Landmark University, Omu-Aran described Professor Jrermiah Shola Omotola as “a sought-after quintessential academic.”
    He said: “When the information came to me that you will be celebrating your golden jubilee in a couple of days, my heart leaped for joy, and I was immediately engrossed in a deep thought on how best to make the day a remarkable one for you. I would wrap up my pieces within the crucial tripodal of your personality, scholarship, and mentorship.
    “Being a sought-after quintessential academic, your name rings a bell within the circle of political scientists in Nigeria. I was eager to know you in person because of this reality! My long-awaited dream came to pass in March 2015. I was at the political science department at the University of Ilorin when you drove in on that faithful day. Afterward, the person who stood by my side echoed, and confidently said “That is Dr. Shola Omotola”. I felt elated initially, but it was short-lived because I was expecting to see a display of attitude of superiority, given the status you have attained in the world of knowledge even as at then. What I saw in contrast that day was a calm, prudent, and humble personality. Sir, I had a take-home that day!
    “Your continuous, undeniable impact and contributions to the academic community nationally and globally are unusual. You have further carved a niche for yourself as a visiting scholar to prominent universities across the world, expanding and enriching the frontiers of knowledge. Your path-breaking and solution-driven research endeavors have shaped and improved democratic growth in Nigeria and contemporary Africa. The novelty of your research output has not only enhanced the subject of political science, but social science at large. Little wonder you have earned the prestigious stand as one of the most cited scholars in the field of political science in Africa, as captured by a top-notch citation database.


    “As your supervisee/mentee, I learned a lot from you in the course of my Ph.D work. You often take out time to provide guidance, instructive and constructive corrections right from the formative stage of the work up till completion in spite of your tight schedule. At times, you will call even in the middle of the night to offer quality suggestions on how to improve the quality of the study. Initially, I thought you were too stretching when you would give lifeline to return corrections, but later I discovered that you were only moulding me to become a better academic. Thank you, sir! “Importantly, I recall during my final defense, even though you were in faraway Sweden in your unwavering commitment to contributing to scholarship even beyond the shore of Nigeria, you still gave the needed support and encouragement. You stayed glued virtually for more than an hour when I was being engaged by my external examiner. Sir, that sacrifice was a validation that you are a good mentor! Yes, you have schooled and properly cultivated me. I’m assuring you that I will continue in that baptism without fail.
    I join the rest of your teeming lovers today to wish you a happy golden jubilee celebration. I pray that God in His infinite mercy will continue to keep you for us. Increase you in wisdom, strength, vitality, and sound health as you remain dedicated to advancing the course of humanity. Again, congratulations, Sir for the grace to climb the fifth floor.


    Many, many happy returns of the day!!!”
    Olajubu, Amos O said J. S @ 50. He began. “How do I celebrate a FATHER, BROTHER, FRIEND, MENTOR, A MOBILE SCHOLAR, GUARDIAN AND BOSS?


    “Words and time will actually be inadequate to express my profound gratitude to Professor Shola Omotola for his large heart, wisdom, understanding and words of encouragement. I am lucky to have lived with him, and I am still living with him till date. This shows the level of love my family and I have enjoyed with him. He has mentored and guided me to where I am today. His scholarship has been a source of inspiration and a light to me. I bless the day I met you. Joy to the world for the day you were born, and blessed is the womb that conceived you.
    “I would have ended up as an ordinary diploma if not for his counsels. He is always there as a mentor to advise on how to make good choices. He is instrumental to my status today and I am grateful to God for bringing this destiny helper into my life. What else can I say of this humble scholar personified? You are a cheerful giver, very accommodating and a Professor par excellence! A leader who aspires to make his followers better and greater than himself. A man who believes in hard work and merit. A leader who always listens to other people’s opinions, no matter who they are. A mentor that is ready to share his knowledge with others, ideas and substance no matter how small.
    His wife also made a lot of sacrifices for me to be where I am today. She is a big blessing to me and my family. I am privileged to be associated with this family of God.
    Happy birthday to a phenomenal and a rare gem Professor @ 50.”

    Okikiola Samson Oyelowo, University of Stirling, United Kingdom simply said “what manner of man is Prof Shola Omotola?
    “There is a man who is always loyal to both young and old and in his Okun English accent, he will say to us even as an undergraduate, “Your boy is always loyal,” wondering who this loyal boy is.
    Prof Jeremiah Shola Omotola is popularly known as the unbeatable Professor by his friends whom he grew up with. I remember how I met Prof. Omotola in 2017 during my 100 level days as the representative of the fresh undergraduate students in the Department of Political Science. When I was just trying to identify and bring together other fresh students of my set, a call came in and I checked my phone, what I saw was a strange number, and I felt it was from my other colleagues who were trying to get some information. When I picked the call and said “yes, who are you? He replied “this is Shola Omotola,” and I said “how can I help you? Prof. responded saying, I will like to take your class POL 101 tomorrow. At that moment, I felt I was already in trouble by speaking to a lecturer in that manner. Some hours later, Mr. Saka, the admin officer of the department called me, and he said “Samson, I gave your number to Prof. Omotola.” At that point, I told myself that I was already in a BIG problem, because I already spoke rudely to a professor and not just a lecturer. I had a sleepless night that very day and I awaited my judgement the next day in the classroom, because I knew how a lecturer reacted to a friend for not taking his bag from him while walking together, how much more a Prof. The greatest shock of my life was how Prof. Omotola in his humble ways presented me to the class as the class Rep despite the fact that some classmates have already called him about their ambition to be the class Rep.


    “Unbeatable Prof is indeed an unbeatable man, who is never afraid or scared of his followers to go above and beyond him. I was extremely surprised the day I learnt that he recommended one of his former students for a job, with a strong claim that he was recommending someone that will be above him in a few years. I have seen mentors who will only want their mentees to continue worshiping them and never to grow above them, but I have come to learn the meaning of a Yoruba adage through Prof that “thousands of birds can fly in the sky without touching each other.”
    “I still have some unanswered question about Prof. I ask myself “what manner of man is he, who can go to any length to take bullets for his followers, students, and relatives? The only advocate I have met, who will go to any length to fight for you on things that are just to ensure that no one feels cheated. I have seen Prof letting go of some of his properties in time of conflicting issues, just for peace, he will always make himself the sacrificial lamb for the happiness of others. Honestly speaking, in my own reckoning, extremely few people, if any, can do most of the things that Prof does.
    “Prof is the only farmer that I know who will spend hundreds of thousands to farm and during harvest period say to us that he did it for fun, and I wonder all the stress in the bush and investment for fun! At first, I took it to be a joke, until when he started sharing the farm produce to the whole community, then I realized this man was not joking. His heart of love and giving is what words cannot explain. Unbeatable Prof is the only man I know who will happily discomfort himself for other people’s comfort, and when you tell him you shouldn’t have done that for this person because they can betray you, his response will be “I will continue to trust them until they give me reasons not to trust them again.” He always gives everyone an equal opportunity before him irrespective of status.
    “Prof is that man that when you win his trust, it is hard for anyone to manipulate you before him, which personally I have witnessed. Many people have tried to make him withdraw his interest in me, but instead Prof will increase his level of love and trust in me to the extent of giving me access to his finances without having to worry. If we can have 100 of Prof as a mentor in our society, a lot of young people today will have a ladder to step high in life.”
    Celebrating Professor Shola Omotola’s Enduring Impact, David Akindoyin, Florida State University, USA, said “Professor Shola Omotola, the esteemed founding father of the Political Science Department at Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), has been a beacon of knowledge and inspiration since I met him as one of the department’s pioneer students.
    “My first encounter with him during an introductory class profoundly impacted me. Professor Omotola’s confident and fatherly delivery deepened my love for political science and marked the beginning of a mentorship that has significantly shaped my academic journey.
    Professor Omotola embodies the quintessence of a mentor, always eager to educate, advise, and motivate. Beyond academia, he is renowned for his generosity and commitment to student welfare, often extending his support well beyond the confines of the classroom. His monumental contributions to political science, particularly in comparative, democratization, and identity politics, have set a high standard.
    “I greatly admire Professor Omotola’s approach to conflict resolution and his ability to maintain relationships without discrimination. These qualities have been as instructive as his academic teachings. His demeanor as a disciplinarian is a constant reminder of the high standards he sets for us, his students. Indeed, his academic prowess and nurturing personality exemplify a holistic approach to education.
    “Reflecting on my journey from the halls of FUOYE to completing a fully funded Master of Arts in the United States, I now stand on the cusp of a Ph.D programme at Florida State University; I owe immense gratitude to Professor Omotola’s mentorship. He didn’t just build a foundation; he built a launchpad for my dreams, teaching me that the real world requires scholarly insight and a hearty dose of good humor.
    “As we gather to celebrate this remarkable man, I am reminded of the adage, “A river that forgets its source will run dry.” Professor Omotola is not just a source of knowledge but also a fountain of wisdom and kindness. On this particular day, I pray that his legacy continues to flourish, touching many more lives and bearing fruit that lasts. May Almighty God bless him with long life, health, and happiness, and may his family continue to find joy in his accomplishments and impact on us all.”

    My encounter with Professor Shola Omotola
    Lajuwomi, Oluwatosin Owolabi, Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences,
    Pan African University, Cameroon said “when I was in my first year as an undergraduate student of Political Science, I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Shola Omotola.
    “He is a great role model for young men who come from low-income families. I remember him saying to me, “Laju, I have been where you are before.” What impressed me most about Professor Omotola was his level of humility. Despite his remarkable achievements, age, and experience, he treated all students with the same level of respect. When he entered the classroom, he would often say things like, “I am just a human being, and I don’t know everything; I can learn from all of you. In my mind, I usually said “we are still trying to get a BSc, you are already a Prof., and you want to learn from us!” I was amazed that someone so accomplished could be so humble.
    “Professor Omotola is not just a lecturer; he is like a father figure to us. Once, he purchased bags of rice and collaborated with the class representatives to distribute them among the students in need, due to the country’s economic situation.
    In my second year at school, when my professor was building a house, he called me. He used to call me “Laju”. He said, “Laju, I want you to do the painting for this project. Any money you make from it you can use it to pay for your school fees.” The same week, he paid me an advance for the contract. He would often ask me if I needed any money, but I would tell him that I was okay for now. As a father, he once told me that as a businessman, you should never let your client know that you don’t need money. Instead, you should collect the payment and put it in your pocket, as they say in Yoruba, “apo la ma ko owo si”. This advice has helped me maintaining a good relationship with my clients to this day.
    “Even after I graduated from school, Prof. always looked out for me. There was a day he called, and he said Laju, with your result, being a first class graduate in political science, you need to go for your master, and advised me on different schools I could consider. At the end of the conversation, he said if you need anything feel free to reach out to me. Some months later, I stopped contacting him, and he told one of our colleagues that I had forgotten him and all the other lecturers, and that life is not like that. I called him, thereafter, though he didn’t pick up initially, we spoke the second day. After my initial apologies for the distance, he encouraged me to always reach out to my former lecturers, as they can still be of help. During the conversation, he said again as usual, that if you need anything, feel free to reach out to me. I wonder if any other lecturer will do this, but Prof. Omotola is exceptional.
    Prof J. S. Omotola is a father, a mentor, and my benefactor, I can boldly say where I am today in academics is the work of God and Prof. Omotola.”

    Happy birthday Daddy— Temitope Feranmi Adeyanju

    “Today, we gather to celebrate a remarkable man, a pillar of strength, and an embodiment of love, dadddyyy as I fondly call him.
    It’s impossible not to reflect on his profound impacts. For he is not just a father in name, but in every sense of the word – a guiding light, a source of wisdom, and an unwavering support always. A man who always puts the needs of his children above his own. Always working late into the night just to provide for his family.
    His words of encouragement and reassurance have made me realise that his love knows no bounds. His positive attitude in the wake of adversity has also helped me develop a positive mind-set.
    No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. You’ve stepped in various OCEANS and such steep and narrow roads. Thus, every road travelled and water waded has made him the man he is today.
    But perhaps what truly sets him apart is his unwavering belief in the potential of his children. He is not merely contented with seeing us succeed; he actively strives to empower us to reach greater heights than we ever thought possible.
    It is this unwavering support that has shaped our lives. It is evident in the confidence with which we pursue our dreams, knowing that we have a father who stands firmly behind us, ready to catch us if we fall and lift us higher when we stumble.
    Also, to mummy, the woman who stands by his side, offering her love and support, we extend our deepest gratitude. For it is through their unity and strength that this family thrives.
    As we celebrate this milestone of your life daddy, we look forward to the countless moments yet to come. For it is said that a father’s love knows no bounds, and his impact extends far beyond the confines of a single day or celebration.
    Happy Birthday, dear father. May your day be filled with joy, and laughter. We love your unwavering Dedication and your boundless generosity, we love you Daddy.

    Happy Birthday Professor Shola Omotola– Ohia Success Batholomew
    Congratulations on your birthday, sir. It’s a honour to write about you. I cannot truly begin to describe how amazing and generous you are. Should I begin with your charitable nature or your support for different students in one form or another? My undergraduate project supervisor, Professor Shola Omotola, put up with extra time to review my work despite his hectic schedules. He once said, “Success, you still have to do more as a first-class student.” Your kindness and encouragement have enabled me to succeed academically during my time as an undergraduate on campus.
    In my first introduction to Political Science class (Pol 101), you taught a fascinating lesson. You gave us a list of books to study, including “The Prince,” “The 48 Laws of Power,” and many more. I wondered, “Ahh, am I the one who’s reading all of these?” On that day that you taught me, I decided that I wanted to become a professor. This desire of mine gave me the drive to graduate with honors, which I eventually did.
    Sir, Prof., you have the greatest humility, and I believe I am in a position to tell you what I have wanted to say all this while. How come did you still remain so humble sir? Because your humility is topnotch indeed. Even though my first-class graduation felt like a huge accomplishment, it is nothing in comparison to what you have accomplished in life and in academic.
    I pray God grant you joy, contentment, and serenity in every aspect of your life as you ring in another year, sir. Amen.”

    Happy birthday Prof Shola Omotola— Folagbade Deborah Adedamola

    Today marks a significant milestone in the life of my/our esteemed mentor, Prof Shola Omotola. As we gather to celebrate his birthday, it is a moment of reflection, appreciation, and heartfelt gratitude for the impact he has had on our lives.
    To describe you as merely a mentor would be an understatement. You are a guiding light, a source of inspiration, and a pillar of support for all who have had the privilege of knowing you. With your unwavering dedication, boundless wisdom, and contagious enthusiasm, you have not only shaped my professional journey, but also left an indelible mark on my personal growth.
    One of the most remarkable qualities is Prof’s ability to see potential in others even when they may doubt themselves. You possess a rare gift for unlocking hidden talents and nurturing them into fruition. Whether through your insightful advice, constructive feedback, or gentle encouragement, you empower your mentees/children to surpass their own expectations and reach new heights of achievement.
    Beyond your role as a mentor, Prof Shola Omotola, you are a beacon of integrity and compassion. You lead by example, demonstrating the importance of kindness, empathy, and humility in all interactions. Your genuine care for the well-being of others extends far beyond the confines of the workplace, creating a sense of community and belonging wherever he goes.
    As I reflect on the impact you have made in my life and on other lives, we are reminded of the countless lessons learnt, challenges overcome, and successes shared under your guidance. Each milestone reached is a testament to your belief in our potential and your unwavering commitment to our growth.
    On this special day, I extend my warmest wishes to you, sir. May your birthday be filled with joy, laughter, and the love of those whose lives you have touched. May you continue to inspire, empower, and lead by example for many years to come.
    Happy Birthday, Prof Shola Omotola! Thank you for being the extraordinary mentor, father and friend that you are.
    Warmest regards.
    Celebrating Professor Shola Omotola: A Beacon of Selflessness and Inspiration
    By Adewumi Blessing Adebimpe
    Professor Shola Omotola is a great man of his time. A great man of numerous values and a blessing to the 21st century’s generation. I know numerous things about professor, but I’ll state a few. First, Professor is one of a kind. I have never seen a man who possesses his selfless character. Despite the tedious nature of his demanding career, Professor Omotola remains jovial and is in fact, one of the most jovial individuals I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.
    Professor Omotola is a wonderful lecturer, loved by students and colleagues. His influence further extends far beyond the confines of the classroom. He possesses an innate ability to see the potential in his students, go above and beyond the ordinary to encourage and nurture that potential into fruition.
    Most importantly, Professor Omotola is my mentor. As earlier mentioned, he is blessed with the gift of identifying great potential and talents. He identified my potential and has been my BIGGEST source of motivation. My emergence as the best graduating student of the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences at Federal University Oye-Ekiti in 2024 owe a lot to his unwavering support and encouragement.
    I am ever inspired by Professor Omotola’s dedication to nurturing my academic growth. His mentorship has not only shaped my scholarly pursuits, but has also instilled within me a profound sense of determination and purpose. I am often reminded of the invaluable role he plays as my mentor and foremost source of motivation. His insights, encouragement, and unwavering belief in my abilities have propelled me forward, even in the face of daunting challenges.
    Professor Omotola may not be extremely wealthy but he surely is a man of immeasurable value. His true wealth lies in the immeasurable impact he has on those around him. Though he may not have all what he wants, I must confess that he is indeed a fulfilled man. He is a very good man, perhaps even ‘too good’ for this world.
    In truth, words fail to fully capture the essence of Professor Omotola. My expression here is merely a glimpse into the depth of admiration and gratitude I have for him. From the sincerity of my heart, I celebrate Professor Shola Omotola—a man of incomparable value and unwavering integrity.
    Happy birthday Daddy– Lilian Omotola

    You are a person who is wise, compassionate and inspiring. You consistently demonstrate fairness, kindness and humility. Your integrity shines through in everything you do, inspiring others to follow in your footsteps. Your commitment to doing what is right and just is genuinely inspiring. You are an uncommon and amazing person who always put others first.
    Your integrity and ethical values make you a role model to us all
    You taught us the importance and value of giving back to the community. You are a true philanthropist and great leader
    Your existence is God’s gift to us all
    we celebrate and cherish the impact you have made on all those around you
    It is an honour to extend my deepest regards on this special day. Happy Birthday Daddy
    I love you ❤️

    Happy birthday daddy– Gift Omotola
    !
    Happy birthday to the most supportive, selfless and amazing father in the world. Today marks another year of life, love and adventure, and I’m so grateful to have you in my life.
    Your guidance, wisdom and unwavering belief in me have shaped me into the person I am today. I aspire to be as strong, kind and courageous as you are. Your influence has made a profound impact on my life, and I can’t thank you enough.
    Here’s to many more years of love, joy, and laughter.
    With all my love and appreciation,

    A mirror of possibilities: A letter to my daddy @ 50
    In a world where almost every pathway to greatness forsakes right ancient paths and standards, Jeremiah Shola Omotola, “My Father” stands as a pillar that mirrors possibilities of true success through right moral standards.
    Hi daddy!!!
    It’s your birthday
    If someone were to inquire of me about what to do today or how days like this should be spent, I would suggest that, in my view, the entire world ought to come to a stop and all we do is thank God for blessing a generation such as this with a soul like you. Emphasis on the YOU because your YOU amazes me.
    There’s no dispute to the fact that you stand out beyond borders. You deserve every form of celebration in every sense, because you’ve paid the price to stand as light to the path of success and greatness in this world of mediocrity and dark knowledge.
    Dear daddy, I’m so grateful to God for your life as a Father, friend, teacher, mentor, leader, pastor and professor. When I’m to give my success story, I’ll tell the world that watching you function in all these positions stood as one of my most profound forms of encouragement and the brick to my great dreams.
    I vividly recall sitting with you on a beautiful day, with every sense and aura of love and passion, you told me there was more to me and all that I needed was to be more disciplined, dedicated and manage my time properly. These things made sense to me, seeing you live out these qualities. Seeing you live out your live based on such sound principles thrill me daily to shape and mould myself into greatness. A man of his words and actions
    A merchandise of value systems and integrity A banner against a mediocrity
    A great man I standard!!!
    How beautiful could it be that you’d never confine knowledge to yourself, you share it through training you give to us and every other that have come in contact with you in the walls of academics, in the most beautiful and gentlest of ways you exposed us to realities. In my words I would say you’re the definition of dynamic and if I was to give you a nickname it would probably be “The Treasure chest” because on your inside lies what rubies can’t buy, what gold can’t quantify and what diamond has no shine compared to.
    I stand boldly to say that “True greatness isn’t amassed by the number of steps that amounts to success or the amount of steps that amounts to wealth but based on the audacious steps taken even when the field looks like it’s going to be unfruitful and also the number steps taken to mould and impact the lives of men”
    You stand gallant not only in accolades of success and excellence, but also in audacity, compassion, love, intensity and above all the fear of God.
    Daddy you stand out in everything you do, and sometimes am like only if I could think like my daddy, I’ll probably have taken a better decision or probably a more rational decision, but there’s this peace I feel knowing that you’ve laid a beautiful foundation and it’s a matter of time before my siblings and I start to live out the live that surpasses all that you’ve mirrored to us. Daddy thank you for mirroring the true meaning of integrity, what it’s like not to compromise standards, what the true meaning of service is and what it is to be a man or a woman filled with wisdom and most essentially faith.
    Funny how one of the things that gives me the most ecstatic feeling and also keeps me motivated is remembering how far you’ve come and how far God is still taking you, and I just have that assurance somewhere within my heart that I can’t be less, not me or any of my siblings. You’ve made us understand that you shouldn’t give answers with no workings, and that every work yields a result. Professor Shola Omotola, you mirrored to me every day the importance of dream, you’ve brought me to the realisation of the quote that people often say “dare to dream”. I’m always filled with so much happiness whenever I pick up my phone and Google your name, and then there are results of different calibres. I remember checking you up again when I was about to write this and I saw in one of your profiles where you said “As a highly motivated individual, I aspire to become a leading Professor of Political Science (Comparative African Democratization and Election studies) and I’m like my God, this present position was once a dream. Daddy you’ve displayed to us what it’s like to stand up and see your dream come to pass.
    You’re a man of valour, you’ve stood alone with God, persevered, served and now we’re looking at your life, as it gives us every sense of how beautiful the intentionality of God is, through which you have mirrored possibilities.
    Having you as my father always reminds me of the intentionality of God. You remain an epistle of great testament that can be looked into, which dishes out encouragement, motivation, love and grace, because sincerely, you have been helped by God and you’ve done the most beautiful of things in playing your part.
    Dear daddy I could continue to write you out in pages, but it all boils down to one point, that you have stayed with God, played your paths and now you are one of the greatest mirror of possibilities of excellence attained through right means and with the right intentions, which we celebrate in you today on your 50th birthday. At the same time, I want you to sit back, wear a smile and listen to me make a public brag of you…

    This is the citation of character and accolade of Jeremiah Shola Omotola– Favour Omotola

    Jeremiah Shola Omotola is my Father and testament of hard work, excellence and wisdom.
    Jeremiah Shola Omotola is a leading professor of comparative politics and a distinguished global personality that actively participates in solving national and international political, economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems, and promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and freedoms for all without distinction based on race, sex, language, or religion.
    An icon in improving the national capacity in election and legislation for consolidation of democratic governance through deliberation and policy formulation.
    Professor Omotola, a patritoc citizen of Nigeria, who is passionate about the progress of the country, as he relentlessly conducts research in search for solutions to numerous national problems.
    Daddy you stand out in every height of standards
    You exemplify synergy with every form of excellence, brilliance and grandeur, and I’m super glad and grateful to God for you, and I’m sure that with God and all we learn from you, my sibling and I can’t be less.
    Thank you for being resilient, humble, teachable (I mean the fact that sometimes you’d ask what our take about something amazes me), excellent, faithful to mummy and us, and in every form of service.
    I tell you that you have no idea of the number of lives God is helping you mould by your display of indisputable excellence.
    On a day like this, I wish you the best of the best and that you’re accompany by God in all you do.
    So yes daddy
    It’s a brand new year
    Another year to seat and recount your blessings
    Another year to seat with kings
    Another year to push harder towards the greater version of you
    Another year to be refreshed by God
    Another year to evolve
    Another year for excellence and establishment
    So here’s the deal, I sing for you and then you throw me a smile accompanied with your dance moves
    I love you daddy
    I love that you love God
    I love that you’re resilient
    I love that you stay with God and
    I love that you love people ❤
    To the best man, my siblings and I wish you the best birthday yet.

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