The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has described the death of the institution’s pioneer vice-chancellor, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, as a great loss to the nation’s academic community.
In a condolence message issued on his behalf on Tuesday by the institution’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun, the vice-chancellor said the late emeritus professor of Medicine died on Monday at the age of 86 years in Ibadan.
The vice-chancellor said the deceased, who superintended over the University of Ilorin between 1977 and 1978, laid a solid foundation for the institution on which other vice-chancellors after him built.
“The late Prof. Akinkugbe was an administrator that envisioned what others could not see many years ago,” he said.
He pointed out that “the late pioneer Vice-Chancellor of our University was one of the most accomplished administrators that Nigeria has ever produced.”
“Definitely, the pre-eminent status of our university today could be rightly traced to the great foundational works done by the late Prof. Akinkugbe,” the vice chancellor said.
He said that the late Akinkugbe left a great mark in the nation’s university system where he spent most of his career life.
Abdulkareem also described Akinkugbe as 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.
He said that the alluring status the university had attained was a clear manifestation of his successes.
Abdulkareem 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 a clear testimony to his foresight.
He expressed his heartfelt condolences to members of the Akinkugbe family, saying that the death of a patriarch of the deceased’s status could be devastating.
The vice-chancellor, however, urged them to take solace in the fact that the erudite scholar lived a fulfilled life of service to God and humanity.
He prayed God to grant Akinkugbe’s soul peaceful repose as well as grant the family he left behind and the nation’s academic community the fortitude to bear the great loss.