Buhari, Gbajabiamila, Sanwo-Olu Mourn Ibidapo-Obe

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Michael Olugbode, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Funmi Ogundare in Lagos

President Muhammadu Buhari, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, have said the former Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who died on Sunday will be sorely missed.

Ibidapo-Obe died on Sunday at the age of 71.

The renowned Prof of Engineering who also later served as the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Ndufu Alike, Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, was until his death the Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of First Technical University, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Buhari, in a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina while commiserating with the academia over the passing of former Vice Chancellor and condoling with family members and friends, said the scholar and administrator will be sorely missed by the academia, government and the country as his sudden transition left a gap that will be difficult to fill.

He said specially considering his contribution to the development of education, with a rich pedigree of being President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Chairman of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities and upwardly rising over the years with distinguished career.

The president also condoled with students and staff of the University of Lagos, First Technical University and the NUC over the loss, as well as the government and people of Osun State.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker described Ibidapo-obe as patriotic Nigerian who gave his best toward the development of his country.

He death is a great loss not just to the academia but also the country.

Gbajabiamila said Ibidapo-Obe, a onetime chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, made remarkable strides during his term as the VC of UNILAG.

Gbajabiamila said his thoughts and prayers are with Prof. Obidapo-Obe’s family at this difficult moment, praying God to grant his soul eternal rest.

Sanwo-Olu condoled with the family, friends and associates of Ibidapo-Obe, describing the death of the renowned scholar and administrator as a colossal loss to the academia and the country as a whole.

The governor in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the rich experience and knowledge of the late Ibidapo-Obe, especially his contributions to national issues in the education and engineering sectors will be sorely missed.

He said: “The death of Prof. Oyewumi Ibidapo-Obe is a colossal loss to the academic community, government and the country. The late professor will be greatly missed. The late Ibidapo-Obe made lots of positive impact and contribution during his life time to the growth and development of education in Nigeria.”

Also, Okebukola, described the death of Ibidapo-Obe, as a great loss.

In a statement titled, ‘Oye Ibidapo-Obe- What a Loss’, made available to THISDAY, Okebukola described Ibidapo-Obe as a friend of 21 years, adding that “Nigeria has lost a university administrator of special ilk and a scholar of immense lustre.”

According to him, “The death of Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe is one of shock 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.”

The former NUC ES said they were together on December 9, 2020 at the convocation ceremony of Crawford University where he served as Chairman of Council and he as Chairman, Board of Trustees, bubbling with energy and full of life, adding that they had drawn up plans for 2021, but God had other plans of taking him home.