by Tokunbo David
News broke this morning of the death of Professor Babatunde Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos (Unilag).
Speaking to Dr. Karo Ogbinaka who heads ASUU Unilag he said, “He was a very nice man, very free and easy-going. A very good friend as well. We had a meeting earlier that day and he still bought some sweets for my children. They still have it as we speak. I’m so sad.”
Professor Sofoluwe’s passing was sudden, and reports trickling in say that he was at work and slumped at his desk, after which he was rushed to the hospital. “Full details are not out yet. Work had closed and then I think he went to his personal office where the attack happened. He was rushed to the health centre, then to LUTH and looked like he was recovering until another attack around 12 midnight. There’s a meeting today where full details will be clear,” said Dr. Ogbinaka.
“I’ll miss him dearly,” he continued. “I apologise I won’t be able to make your show tomorrow sadly. It’s not a good time for us as you can see.”
He could not confirm if lectures will resume on the main campus on monday as an emergency ASUU meeting has been called where such decisions will be treated. Speaking to a staff of the DLI he said, “The death came as a shock to all. He looked fine yesterday, went about his usual routine it was a shock for us to hear late at night that he slumped and died. Its a big loss for us all.”
The classes scheduled for today have not been officially dismissed but the lecturers seem to been in mourning as none had showed up as at when this report was compiled and the neither the administrative department nor any authority could confirm if lectures will happen.
Students have gradually dispersed as none seem to give any direction on what next.
Speaking to one of the secretaries at the institute’s secretaries office she said, “We’ll miss him indeed. But he don happen na, soldier go, soldier come. May his soul rest in peace.”
Mrs Bisi King Paul of Unilag Radio spoke of what a great a man he was and how much of a sad loss this would be to the institution. When asked if this would affect the 3-month long 50th anniversary in the works for later this year, she responded, “It’s really sad as he just addressed the press on this last week. It would be his delight to see it happen, plans will go on to honour him.”
The professor’s untimely passing may have thrown the inner workings of the university into disarray. A casual worker in the system shared that he for example will not get paid until a new VC is installed, and that the admissions process might slow down as a VC has to sign for the next batch. Signatures for finance for particular amounts are signed by the VC.