Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Authorities of the University of Africa (UAT) were battling yesterday to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Prof. Ayibaye Efere, who collapsed on his desk at the institution located in Toru-Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Efere, a United Kingdom trained academic, was reportedly found dead in his office, when some of his colleagues whom he was scheduled to have a meeting with earlier in the day, decided to check on him to ascertain why he was absent.
The professor who is the Dean of the School of Foundation Studies of the university, had already passed on when his colleagues got to his office, according to sources in the school.
Spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr Asinim Butswat, did not respond to enquiries as his phone rang out, but a source said the late academic was found resting his head on his table in a sleeping position, while efforts to save him by medics who were called in proved futile.
He had earlier been appointed Acting Rector of Bayelsa State Institute of Tourism Catering and Hotel Management by the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, following the formal passage and signing into law of the bill establishing the school in 2013.
In 2017, Efere, also a holder of two doctorate degrees in Health Services Management and Education from two Central American Universities, was made Dean of the newly established University of Africa, Toru-Orua.
A native of Nangi-Ama, Ekowe community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, the late academic was also a member of the State Diaspora Mobilization and Contact Committee and Chairman of the British Education Network.
It was gathered that before joining the university, Efere had lived in the United Kingdom for over 24 years and was mostly involved in teaching.