By Adesina Wahab
The University of Lagos, UNILAG. where he served as the Vice-Chancellor from 2000-2007, has expressed deep regret at the demise of Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo Obe.
In a statement signed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and which was made available to our correspondent on Monday morning, the university community described Ibidapo-Obe’s demise as a ride shock.
“The University of Lagos community regrets to announce the sudden demise of our amiable and well respected 8th Vice-Chancellor, Distinguished Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, OON, FAS, FAEng who passed-on in the evening of Sunday, January 3, 2021.
“The news of his death came to the University Community as a rude shock because of the great service and dedication he has put into developing the institution since he joined as a student in 1968, later as a staff and eventually as the 8th Vice-Chancellor (2000 – 2007). His commitment, vision, resilience and tenacious nature helped to shape the University in many ways.
“It is painful that Professor Ibidapo-Obe is exiting the world at a time that his experience is in dire need for nation-building. For us at the University of Lagos, we take solace in his many enduring legacies and footprints which will remain with us for many years to come. The University has indeed lost an erudite scholar. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace and the good Lord gives his family and the University community the fortitude to bear the loss,” the statement read.
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Also, former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Distinguished Professor Peter Okebukola, said Ibidapo-Obe’s impressive leadership qualities and eminence of scholarship were commendable.
In a statement he signed, Okebukola said he found in the deceased a clear-headed individual.
“The death of Professor Oye Ibidapo Obe is one of the shocks of epic proportion to me. Even now, I am unable to process the news that came filtering in from late afternoon of January 3. Can my friend of about 21 years go just like that? Our close interaction started while he was vice-chancellor, University of Lagos and I was executive secretary, NUC.
“His impressive leadership qualities and eminence of scholarship attracted him to me and along with Professor 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 Oye.
“Like twins, Oye and I offered service in several national and Africa regional academic engagements and I found him a clear-headed partner and deep thinker who offered solutions to knotty problems that will overwhelm most.
“We were together on December 9, 2020, at the convocation ceremony of Crawford University where he served as Chairman of Council and I 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,” he wrote.