The Nigerian academic community was yesterday morning thrown into mourning following the death of the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe.
In a telephone conversation with Sunday Vanguard, the Dean, Students’ Affairs, Professor Kayode Amund, said Sofoluwe, 62, who was in his second year of his five-year tenure, had a heart attack in his office, Friday night, and was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). He suffered another attack before he gave up the ghost early yesterday.
In a statement announcing the demise, the university authorities said: “The entire university management deeply regrets to announce the sudden death of the Vice Chancellor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, in the early hours of Saturday, 12th May 2012.
“The university community in particular staff and students are advised to pray along with the family for the repose of the soul. A condolence register has been opened at the Senate House for messages to the amiable accomplished scholar and astute administrator. Further announcement will follow in due course.”
‘Sad loss for Nigeria’ Reacting to the death of Sofoluwa, the Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof John Obafunwa, described the deceased as a humble and easy-going man who refused to wear the toga of Unilag VC.
“It is a sad loss for the education system because he was a great man. We were together about three weeks ago and he was a very humble man who you can talk to for advice and share experiences with,” Obafunwa stated.
“Management and students of LASU received the news of his death with shock and we pray to God to give some comfort to his family to bear the loss because he will be greatly missed.”
National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, also described the death of the late VC as a national loss, particularly to Nigerian students.
According to the National President, NANS, Comrade Dauda Mohammed, “Prof. Sofoluwa died at the very period that our recent interactions with him had already started yielding positive results in the interest of Nigerian students, especially with his determination to reinstate a democratic Students’ Union to UNILAG after over a decade of proscription. “Our condolence, therefore, goes to his immediate family and the entire university community over this great loss. He will surely be greatly missed by us all. Adieu dear VC.”
Background Sofoluwe, a professor of computer sciences, was born on April 15, 1950 and was appointed the 10th VC of UNILAG on 31 January, 2010. He graduated in special mathematics in June 1973 from the university and earned his master’s degree in 1975 and doctorate in 1981 from Edinburgh University, Scotland.
He became a graduate assistant at UNILAG in 1976 where he rose to become a full professor in October 1996.
Sofoluwe was a two-time acting Head of the Department of Computer Science from 1989 to 1991 and 1994 to 1996. He was also Dean of the Faculty of Science between 1998 and 2002 and was elected as a member of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos in 2000. He was the third alumnus to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG when he was appointed to the position in January 2010.