By Ugboaja Stanley
The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, fsssn, (Walin Zazzau, Suleja) has expressed shock over the demise of the University’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Prof. ’Femi Odekunle.
The Vice-Chancellor’s condolence message was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 to the institution’s Information and Publications Unit.
Prof. Bala described the news of the demise of the University’s Pro-Chancellor as shocking and numbing. He added that Tuesday, December 29, 2020 was a dark day for the entire University community and the nation at large.
It read, “He was in control of the affairs of Council. He led with demonstrable integrity, showed zero tolerance to indiscipline and corruption, and was firm in ensuring fairness and equity.
Prof. Odekunle showed unparalleled commitment to the sustenance of peace on campus and the development of the University. He pointedly avoided interference in the day to day administration of the University,” the statement added.
The University helmsman further disclosed that the Pro-Chancellor would be sorely missed, especially for his intellectual prowess, insight and for his wit and humour, while stating that the FUT, Minna could not have had a better Pro-Chancellor.
“He loved, fought, strived and protected the interest of the University. He was a friend of the University,” the Chairman, Association of West Africa Universities (AWAU) stated.
The Vice-Chancellor prayed to God to grant the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and equally grant the soul of Prof. Odekunle eternal rest.
The late Prof. Odekunle rounded off his primary education at the famous Otapete Methodist School in 1955, secondary education at Ilesha Grammar School (1962), and higher secondary school at Molusi College, Ijebu-Igbo (1964) and was further educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1965 to 1968). His quest for further studies took him to the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA (1969 to 1974) where he studies Sociology and Criminology.
He joined the service of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1974 as a Lecturer II and started the Criminology training programme in the institution. He was accorded the rank of a professor in 1985. He also held several positions of responsibility in the University before his retirement.
He was also at a point appointed the Chairman, Advisory Committee to the Chief of General Staff (CGS) to General Oladipo Diya on Socio-Political and Economic Matters in 1994.
He also worked briefly after his retirement from ABU, Zaria on contract in the Department of Criminology, University of Abuja and was later appointed as the pioneer Director, Centre for Corruption Studies, University of Abuja.
Before his demise on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, he was a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) and member, FG/ASUU Renegotiation Committee.
It will be recalled that Prof. Odekunle was appointed Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council, FUTMinna by President Muhammadu Buhari in May, 2017.