Obasanjo, Jim Ovia, Unilag VC extol virtues of late Prof Ibidapo-Obe at symposium

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Jim Ovia as well as the Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on Friday, in Lagos, extolled virtues of the late former and eight substantive Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, saying his contributions to university education, nation’s building and humanity generally was not only huge but priceless.

The trio among numerous other high profile personalities in attendance including chief Obasanjo’s wife, Mrs Bola Obasanjo, wife of late former governor of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, Aare Rasaq Okoya, Prof Peter Okebulola’s wife, Prof Oluwatoyin Okebikola, gave the commendation at a bi-annual symposium organised in honour of the late professor of systems engineering at Civic Centre in Victoria Island.

Professor Ibidapo-Obe graduated at UNILAG in 1971 as the overall best graduating student of his set and joined the service of the university in 1972 and rose across the file to obtain a full professorship at 34 and later became the eighth VC of the university and he died a year after his retirement in January 2021 at 71.

Speaking further, they said the late Ibidapo- Obe was a true professional and his contributions to quality education in Nigeria and globally are greatly acknowledged.

Obasanjo in particular said the late scholar did his administration as Nigerian president proud as he was twice the best vice-chancellor in Nigeria first in 2003 and secondly in 2005.

He also said their relationship got to the extent that the late scholar visited him at home without obtaining a prior appointment.

Speaking on the theme of the symposium, ” Viewing the world through the lens of the big data,” Obasanjo, using population as a reference, said even though Africa’s huge population is scary when considering what to eat, house schools to go, health and medicare system and so forth, respective African countries could still use the huge population as an asset and not a burden.

He said what is required as a master key to get things done appreciably is the political will and political actions by the leaders.

In their separate remarks earlier, the vice-chancellor of University of Lagos(UNILAG) Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and his immediate predecessor, Prof Rahamon Ade-Bello, extolled the virtues of late Ibidapo- Obe, saying his contributions to the development of UNILAG, university education and humanity in and outside Nigeria was huge and impactful.

They said they both cherished the sterling qualities of the late professor, particularly in the areas of research and innovations as well as university administration

Prof Ogundipe for example described him not only as a visionary leader but his personal mentor.

He noted that it was late Ibidapo- Obe who branded UNILAG as the Nigerian university of first choice and nation pride, adding that the UNILAG community has really missed him.

In her speech, the widow of Prof Ibidapo-Obe, Mrs Olusola Ibidapo-Obe, thanked the former president Obasanjo and his wife, Mrs Bola Obasanjo, Mr Jim Ovia, Prof Ayodele Ogunye, the vice- chancellor of UNILAG, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and his immediate predecessor, Prof Rahamon Ade Bello and many others for physically gracing the occasion.

She said she was particularly happy that even though her husband is no more, they continue to demonstrate their love for the family and also identify with the ethos and beliefs of the deceased to lift the country’s education.