By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has described the death of the University’s pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, as a great loss to the nation’s academic community.
The late Emeritus Professor of Medicine died on Monday at the age of 86 years at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
In a condolence message issued on his behalf by the institution’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun, the Vice Chancellor said that the Emeritus Professor, who superintended over
the University between 1977 and 1978, laid a solid foundation for the University of Ilorin, on which other vice chancellors after him built. He was Principal between 1975 and 1977 before his appointment as Vice Chancellor in 1977.
Prof. Abdulkareem said: “The late Prof. Akinkugbe was an administrator that envisioned what others could not see many years ago”, pointing out that “the late pioneer Vice Chancellor of our
University was one of the most accomplished administrators that Nigeria has ever produced.”
“Definitely, the preeminent status of our University today, could be rightly traced to the great foundational works done by the late Prof. Akinkugbe”.
Pointing out that the late Prof. Akinkugbe left a great mark in the nation’s university system where he spent most of his career life, the Vice Chancellor described him as an astute administrator, a medical colossus, a consummate academic, a consistent advocate of better healthcare delivery system in the country, a mentor par excellence and a role model of no mean stature”.
“The late erudite scholar”, according to Prof.AbdulKareem, “was and really deserved the appellation of the actual founding father of the University considering the fact that he got to the
University, which had absolutely nothing on ground but left after laying an enduring foundation, saying that the alluring status the University has attained was a clear manifestation of his successor.
The Vice Chancellor added that the tireless and selfless pioneering efforts of the deceased ,which included securing a very serene environment and comfortably large expanse of land for the limitless growth of the University was not only a clear testimony to his foresight but also an achievement that would forever be celebrated even by generations yet unborn.
Prof. Abdulkareem expressed his heartfelt condolences to members of the Akinkugbe family, saying that the death of a patriarch of the Emeritus Professor’s status could be devastating.
He however urged them to take solace in the fact that the erudite scholar lived a fulfilled life of services to God and humanity.
While praying Almighty God to grant Prof. Akinkugbe’s soul peaceful repose, the Vice Chancellor also prayed God to grant the family he left behind and the nation’s academic the fortitude to bear the great loss.
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