Lecturers at the University of Lagos- Akoka, Yaba have been mourning one of their colleague, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice-Chancellor who died on Sunday.
Ibidapo-Obe reportedly died on Jan. 3 of COVID-19 related disease. He was aged 71.
A former colleague of his, Prof. Peter Okebukola, in his reaction, described Ibidapo-Obe’s death as a shock
“I was put in total confusion when he heard the news,’’ Okebukola said.
“Ibidapo-Obe was a Nigerian professor of Systems Engineering educational administrator.
“He joined the institution in 1968 as a staff and later as a staff and was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos in 2000 till 2007.
“He was my friend of about 21 years and our close interaction started while he was vice-chancellor, University of Lagos and I was the Executive Secretary, of National Universities Commission (NUC).
“His impressive leadership qualities and eminence of scholarship attracted him to me and along with Prof. Nimi Briggs, who was vice-chancellor, University of Port Harcourt.
“We formed a trio that has remained unbroken until the cold hands of death snatched Ibidapo-Obe.
“Like twins, Ibidapo-Obe and I offered service in several national and Africa regional academic engagements.
“I found in him a clear-headed partner and deep thinker who offered solutions to knotty problems that will overwhelm most.
“We were together on Dec. 9, at the convocation of Crawford University where he served as Chairman of Council and me as Chairman, Board of Trustees.
“Bubbling with energy and full of life, we had drawn up plans for 2021 but God had other plans of taking him home.
“Nigeria has lost a university administrator of special ilk and a scholar of immense lustre.
“I lost a friend and brother, may his soul rest in perfect peace,’’ Okebukola remarked.
Another lecturer at the institution, Dr Adetokunbo Pearse of the Department of African Studies, said that he was stunned at the news of the demise of the late Professor.
He said that Prof. Ibidapo-Obe contributed immensely to national development as he was always providing his opinions to public issues at the state, local and federal levels.
According to him, the University of Lagos was popularised and was brought to international limelight when he (Ibidapo-Obe) was in charge as the vice-chancellor.
“He was a national leader in many ways and governors trusted his wise counsels on issues that affect the polity.
“It is a very sad loss because the nation has lost someone who is passionately involved in the development of the society, especially at human capacity development.
“He gave his candid views on issues that affect the polity and governors’ trusted his wise counsels.
“I think the nation has lost a rare gem and I hope the University of Lagos can give him a befitting burial.
“May his soul rest in peace,’’ Pearse said.