Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has ceded the custody of his popular Ijegba Forestage in Abeokuta, Ogun State to the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB.
The development is said to be part of the efforts of Soyinka to expand the frontiers of knowledge.
According to a statement made available and signed by the university’s Registrar, Dr. Bola Adekola, a memorandum of understanding was signed to that effect by the university authority and Soyinka on Tuesday.
With the agreement, Ijegba Forestage, comprising several hectares of land areas housing residence, library, and writers’ retreat residency is to be managed by the University to promote academic, cultural, ecological, and recreational studies leading to the deepening of multicultural studies that can strengthen the integration of science and humanities.
According to FUNAAB, at the low-key signing ceremony held at the Ijegba Forestage, Soyinka who is an Honorary Doctorate Degree Awardee of the institution was said to have expressed his broad views on how the entire space should be put into use now and even after his exit.
He was said to have expressed his strong conviction on the need to run the place as an autonomous body that is dedicated to the promotion of knowledge of science and humanities and bringing together researchers all over the world to use the facilities in their natural form, irrespective of discipline.
In his response at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Felix Kolawole Salako, was said to have expressed appreciation to the Nobel Laureate.
He assured him that the university would make the best use of the gesture of the donor using his ideals as a guide.
The vice-chancellor noted that in spite of the separation of disciplines for award of degrees, all of them had a point where they merged for the benefit of mankind.
The university, he said, recognised the dictum when it awarded honorary degrees to Soyinka and Professor Toyin Falola, who are in the field of humanities.
Efforts to reach Professor Soyinka as at the time of filing this report is yet to yield fruit.