President Muhammadu Buhari and Ekiti State Governor Kayode have both paid tribute to renowned academic and administrator, Prof Afolabi Ojo (KSG,CON), who passed away last week at the age of 90 in Lagos.
According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, President Buhari joins the academia, indigenes and government of Ekiti State to commiserate with family, friends and associates of the scholar, who was a founding staff of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria.
“The president believes the retired professor of Geography lived an exemplary life, showing the world the reward of discipline, focus and dedication by climbing the academic ladder over many years and becoming a renowned author and administrator, which brought many national and international awards his way. The President prays that the almighty God will receive the soul of the departed, and comfort his family,” the statement said.
Also speaking on the demise of Ojo, Fayemi said he was a distinguished Ekiti-born scholar and a leading light in the country’s education sector.
In his condolence message, Fayemi said there was no doubt the late Ojo was an academic of repute as he was at the forefront of research in the academia, with over 140 books and articles to his credit.
The governor added that it was not a coincidence that the late professor utilised his experience and exposure to become one of the brains behind the take-off of distance learning in Nigeria between 1980 and 1981 as pioneer VC of NOUN.
He said: “Remarkably, the deceased started his life-long career as a teacher in 1946 in Ado-Ekiti and rose through the dint of hard work to become a Professor of Geography in 1970, appointed Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences in 1972 and later, Dean, Faculty of Administration from 1976-77, and was a Project Director at the UN University, Tokyo.”
The governor stated that Ojo’s death was not only a loss to the nation but also to Ekiti State which he proudly represented during his lifetime.
”On behalf of the government and people of Ekiti State, I commiserate with members of Ojo’s immediate and extended families and pray that God will grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” the statement said.
Ojo was a Papal Knight of St. Gregory the Great (KSG), a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), the Asiwaju of Ado-Ekiti, the Balogun of Imesi-Ekiti and the Otun Maye of Ile-Ife.
Funeral rites will be conducted in his honour in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, October 8, and Friday, October 9.