Top 10 Most Influential Alumni Of Unilorin

You probably might have missed it, those prominent figures you see on TVs, and those holding a successful public figure in Nigeria attended the “better by far” university. 

This category of people has become prominent in their chosen fields or important positions, running affairs of our dear country, and making names in other places worldwide. 

Follow the below list, for the influential personality you might know who attended Unilorin


1. Ishaq Oleyede

I’m sure you know the Joint Admission And Matriculation Board, Registrar. The professor of Islamics, an academic and public servant, who hails from Abeokuta in Ogun State was once the vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin. 

He began his tertiary education in Unilorin, where he studied Arabic and was awarded a B.A with first-class honor from 1978-1981. He was appointed an Assitant Lecturer in the Department of Religions of the Institution the following year. He also had his doctorate in island studies in Unilorin.

His first career as an assistant lecturer pave the way for the steps he climbed to his now pedestal, and he became a professor in 1995. He was the Director of academic planning of the better by far university (2001-2003) He was then elected the five years term, vice-chancellor of unilorin in 2007 after he had been the deputy vice-chancellor of his “alma mater” for two years (2005-2007). He was also the preceding two-time National Vice President of the unilorin alumni Association. 

Outside Unilorin, he held positions like the chairman of vice-chancellor of Nigeria universities and committee of vice-chancellors between 2009-2011. He has been the secretary-general of the Nigerian supreme council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) some 2013. At international levels, he has been the president of the Association of African Universities and more.

2. Abdulrasheed Na’llah

He has BA honors from the University of Ilorin, in 1988 and received an MA in literature in English in the institution as well. He went further to obtain his Ph.D. in Comparative literature from the University of Alberta, Canada.

He was a professor and chair of African-Americans at western Illinois University. He then became the vice-chancellor of Kwara state university and now the vice-chancellor and chief executive of UniAbuja in the federal capital of Nigeria.

He is an author and co-author of many books; like the latest Yoruba Oral Tradition in Islamic Nigeria:A history of Dadakuada in 2019, Globalization, Oral performance, and African Traditional Poetry in 2018. His other books include an introduction to African Oral Literature 1994, coauthor the Instructors’ to Functional Literacy Primer in Hausa, and many more

He has been nominated and won several awards like the Nigeria Rotatory International award in 2013, the Leading light award by the University of Ilorin alumni association, the Award of Recognition of Sterling Achievements/Outstanding Contributions, by the Unilorin Alumni Association, Abuja Chapter; in 2012, given the Meritorious Award, by the Ilorin Emirate Students Union; also in 2012, decorated with the Honorary Membership and Merit Award, by the Man ‘O’ War Nigeria.

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3. Ezekiel Adebiyi

He studied Mathematics at the University of Ilorin graduating as the best graduating student, from 1987-1991. He also completed his master’s degree from the same institution in 1995.

His doctorate theme was Pattern Discovery in Biology and Strings Sorting: Theory and Experimentation, which he concluded in 2002 at the University of Tübingen.

Ezekiel Adebiyi began his lecturing career immediately after graduation from the University of Ilorin, he became a Nigerian bioinformatics professor and research scientist after he withdrew from the school to become a visiting scientist at several research centers. He continued with professional research before joining Covenant University Computer science department in 2008. He was promoted to the professorial cadre in 2010.

Between 2007- 2011, Adebiyi was the vice president of the African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. After his tenure, he became the secretary of the professional body. He is also the president of the Nigeria Society of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (NISBCB)

4. Femi Adebayo

Femi is a Nigerian director, film actor, lawyer, producer, and Special Adviser to the Governor of Kwara State on Arts, Culture, and Tourism. He is the son of the veteran actor, Adebayo Salami.

He attended the University of Ilorin, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law, He later completed a master’s degree in Law at the University of Ibadan.

He began acting in 1985, the same year he featured in his father’s first movie titled Ogun Ajaye. His long list of movies to that gave his credits, which includes the Sonto Alapata, Wura Ati Fadaka, Ma Wobadan, and Buga, among others. He is the MD/CEO of the J-15 media network Nigeria.

Adebayo has signed a deal with a digital TV platform, StarTimes as her ambassador. Because of his talented acting skills, he has won four awards as Best Yoruba actor at the 17th African Film Awards popularly known as Afro Hollywood awards at the Stratford Town Hall London. He also won an award in the same catecategory for the Best of Nollywood Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria Awards in 2012.

5. Abdulfatah Ahmed

Some would recognize him as the former governor of Kwara State, but he’s also a banker. He went to the University of Ilorin where he earned a BSc in Chemistry (1986) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA, 1992).

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He was a lecturer in Organic Chemistry and later Acting Head of Department at Federal College of Arts and Science, Sokoto, in Sokoto State (1986-1990). He became an Assistant Manager at District Savings and Loans, Lagos (1991-1993). In 1993, he started work with Guaranty Trust Bank in the Credit and Marketing Unit. In 1998, he moved to Societe Generale Bank Nigeria as a Senior Manager and Group Head, Consumer Banking. Later, he became a Public Sector Group for the North West region.

His political career began when he was appointed Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development at the start of Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s Kwara State Administration (2003-2009). He then became Commissioner of the newly created Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. During this period, Ahmed was also Treasurer of the forum of Commissioners of Finance in Nigeria for six years, and chairman of, the Budget Formulation Committee and Economic Team of Kwara State.

6. Aize Obayan

Her first degree in B.Ed. (English) was at the University of Benin (Nigeria) between 1979 and 1982. Obayan obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Ilorin, thereafter UNILORIN employed her as an assistant lecturer, in 1986, she rose through the ranks to become an associate professor (AP) in 1995, and before joining Covenant University, she was a senior lecturer at the University of Roehampton, UK.

She was a Nigerian educational administrator and a professor of counseling with a specialization in multicultural aspects of Human Behavioural Disposition.

7. Charles Ayo

He is a Nigerian academic, administrator, and former vice-chancellor of Covenant University. Before succeeding Aize Obayan as Vice-Chancellor, he was the head of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He is also involved in research on computer and communications topics, such as electronic commerce and mobile computing

He was the best graduating student in Computer Science at Ahmadu Bello University in 1984. Ayo has a Ph.D. in Numerical Computation from the University of Ilorin. Before joining Covenant, he taught at Lagos State University.

8. Sarah Alade

Sarah Alade was the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria during the suspension of Lamido Sanusi until his tenure ended. She was appointed to the post by President Goodluck Jonathan on 20 February 2014. Alade was appointed acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 20 February 2014 until the appointment of Godwin Emefiele

She attended the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, where she obtained a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Economics in 1976. She also obtained an M.Comm degree at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1983 and a Ph.D. in Management Science (Operations Research), from the University of Ilorin in 1991.

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Alade started her working career in 1977 with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ilorin, Kwara State. In 1991, she joined the University of Ilorin as a lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance.

9. Joe Okei-Odumakin

Joe is a Nigerian women’s rights activist. She is the president of the human rights groups, Women Arise for Change Initiative, and the Campaign for Democracy.

She received a bachelor’s degree in English Education in 1987, followed by a master’s in Guidance and Counseling and a doctorate in History and Policy of Education from the University of Ilorin.

In 2013, Odumakin was presented with an International Women of Courage Award from the United States Department of State. The award was made by Michelle Obama and John Kerry at the US State Department’s Dean Acheson Auditorium in celebration of International Women’s Day among other achievements.

10. Ado J. G. Muhammad

He is the Global Programme Director at the D-8 Health and Social Protection Programme and was the Executive Director/CEO of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the government organ responsible for developing national primary health care (PHC) policy and supporting states and Local Government Areas (LGAs) to implement them.

Dr. Ado served as a Special Assistant to the permanent secretary, Dr. Daudu, in the State House, Abuja.

He graduated from the School of Medicine, the University of Ilorin in Nigeria. He was admitted to the school in 1992. He also studied at the University of Wales, the United Kingdom where he obtained a master’s degree in public health (1996), and the University of Nottingham where he obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration.

He has won many awards, due to his outstanding achievements in the NPHCDA, he emerged as the winner of the Public Administrator of the Year Award, PAYA, which is organized annually by the Centre for Policy Development and Political Studies, Lagos, Nigeria.

That’s a load of them, the most influential and notable unilorin alumni, and achievements. The better by far sure produce prominent ones, and I don’t think it’ll stop. As a unilorite, I have seen the brilliance the institution radiates and shines on its students.

You have to see the outstanding honors the graduates produced in my “alma mater” and they all would go out there and do the institution name proud!

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