It was a memorable day for the family of former vice chancellor KWASU as well as the university community as the memories of its late VC was rekindled at a ceremony. ABDULWAHAB UMAR reports.
If tributes are strong enough to wake a dead person, then the late vice chancellor of Kwara State University in Malete, Professor Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi would have resurected from his grave by now.
His death, no doubt, had always proved to mankind that there is an invitable end of one’s life and that it is an irreparable loss. This is so because when and wherever death strikes, there is always no remedy to it.
It was at the 6th students leadership summit and empowerment programme organised by the Students Union of Kwara State University, (KWASU) in honour of the late VC’s contributions to the university that the memories of the former university teacher and administrator was once again rekindled.
The event on the theme: ‘A Colossus that Bestrode the Planet Earth: The Life and Time of Prof MM Akanbi’, saw an outpour of emotions and glowing tributes for the late university administrator whose demise came, just like many of such as a rude shock to the academic community, Kwara state and the country in general.
Akanbi, a professor of Law was appointed by Governor AbdulRazaq in April 2020, but he died two and a half years after at the age of 51.
His brief but impacful sojourn on earth has continued to be a reference point whenver his name is mentioned both in the academic world and social strata of the society.
This therefore came to the fore recently as eminent Nigerians gathered on the premises of the state-owned university to pay tributes to the late vice chancellor whose footprints are still evident wherever he once strode.
Roll call at the event
At the event were various dignitaries and some government officials including the Kwara state first lady Ambassador Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq who was represented by Dr Funsho AbdulRazaq; Mutawalle Ilorin and chairman of the occasion Dr Alimi AbdulRazaq ably represented by Dr Ghali Alaya; acting VC of KWASU Prof Shaykh Luqman Jimoh; dean students affairs, KWASU Prof Moshood Mahmud Jimba; representative and wife of the honoree Mrs Shakirat Mustapha Akanbi; guest speaker of the occasion and vice chancellor Ojaja University Eyenkorin, Prof Jeleel Sijuade; former VC Federal University of Technology Minna, Prof Musbau Akanji; Alhaji Sa’ad Salau; Alhaji Bashir Adigun; president Students’ Union Government KWASU Israel Jesutofunmi; some family members of the honoree, among others.
Speakers after speakers at the event took turns to pay tributes to the late Akanbi with the state government describing him as a strong and value-driven administrator in his lifetime.
The chief press secretary to the state governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, who represented the governor at the occasion, said Prof Akanbi was a team player that played active roles in transforming KWASU.
“Everything we have heard this afternoon revolves around the excellent qualities of the late vice chancellor Prof Mohammad Akanbi.
“He was a strong and value-driven administrator. He was a fine representative of the youth constituency as one of the youngest vice chancellors in the country.
“The state government is really proud of his leadership and his vision for the university. He was sure-footed, firm, courageous and kind. He was also a team player. It is rare to have students describe an administrator in those words in the same sentence,” he said.
Affirming that Prof Akanbi was exceptionally upright, the governor said for students to speak good about the late vice chancellor, it means a lot.
He therefore urged the youths, especially students of the institution, to emulate his values and virtues.
Speaking further through Ajakaye, the governor asked a rhetorical question: What legacy am I leaving behind? And what would you be remembered for? He then prayed to God to continue to bless the soul of the deceased.
KWASU to imortalise late Akanbi
The acting vice chancellor of the university Prof Shaykh Luqman Jimoh in his remarks said the late Akanbi was a visionary and academic luminary and an exemplary administrator whose tenure was filled with unwavering commitment and passion for transformative education.
He said the university has resolved to name the Senate building after the late administrator in order to immortalise him.
“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of loss that we gather to remember and honour Prof Muhammad Mustapha Akanbi, the second vice chancellor of this university. As we reflect on his life and the profound impacts that he had brought to bear on this community, we are reminded of the immeasurable void that his passing has left behind.”
Mutawalle Ilorin and chairman of the occasion, Dr Alimi AbdulRazaq who was represented by Dr Ghali Alaya said the institution owes a duty to maintain the good legacy of Prof Akanbi and to continue to execute what he had as wishes and aspirations for the university.
Prof Ojuade, in his lecture, said the late VC left a vacuum that was difficult to fill, alluding to some of his exemplary virtues and how he impacted the lives of many in all stages of his life.
Ojuade, who was a close confidant of Prof Akanbi, said the late VC was a man of great vision, focus, contentment, generosity, discipline, trustworthiness and commitment to the growth of humanity.
Prof Akanji, for his part, said Prof Akanbi was in a hurry to impact the lives of hundreds of thousand lives and urged Akanbi’s family to take solace in the fact the late VC lived a good and trustworthy life.
Culled from Blueprint Newspaper of August 2nd, 2023