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UI staff, friends and family pens down touching tribute in honour of Prof. Olufemi Olaleye
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 30 Sep 2021   ||   Nigeria,

THURSDAY, 30th September 2021 witnessed the gathering of great minds in the academia and other walks of life to pay tribute in honour of a great scientist, teacher, mentor, colleague, husband and father, Professor David Olufemi Olaleye.

The event beamed of sadness as lovers and well wisher gather to express their feelings towards the passing away of the professor; at the Oritsejolomi Thomas Hall, International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. At the event was CEOAFRICA Media Company to help keep the memories alive.

Among guests present at the day of tribute include Engr. Oluseyi Makinde, Executive Governor of Oyo State who was ably represented; Dr. Muftau Adebisi Ayoola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Oyo State; Prof. Babatunde Ekanola, the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan; Prof. (Mrs) Chinedum Peace Babalola, the Vice Chancellor Chrisland University, former Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan; Prof. (Mrs) Aina Adeogun, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, and Dr. Adebayo Faneye, Department of Virology, University of Ibadan and many others.

The Head of Department of Virology; Dean, FBMS; Provost, College of Medicine and the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan and several guests who spoke with CEOAFRICA News correspondent described the late professor as an amazing man, a teacher, mentor and an academic giant.

The Oyo state government recognised “the late professor as having dedicated his last years, months and years in serving the state government to the core”.

In A Book of Tribute in his honour of Prof Olaleye, the executive Governor of the state, Engr Makinde expressed that “he served Oyo, Nigeria to the best of his abilities”.

“I commiserate with the family of Prof. Olaleye, the University College Hospital (UCH), the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and the University as well as the body of academics in the country. May God Almighty grant everyone the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss and grant repose to the soul of the late Prof. Ololeye”. – Seyi Makinde, Oyo State Governor. Extracted from: A Book of Tribute: in Honour of Professor David Olufemi Olaleye.

Prof. Babatunde Ekanola, also commiserates with the family of the late professor. In his speech, he discussed that solicitation for fund for the Olaleye Trust Fund would be properly managed and every fund would be accounted for, for the full actualization of its true purpose.

In an interview with CEOAFRICA, Prof. (Mrs) Chinedum Peace Babalola described the late professor as “an outstanding researcher for our times. I regard him as the professor or the researcher that got the highest number of grants in UI.

“I may be wrong but to my experience in UI, and since I have been working (not too closely), but we’ve worked together. I see him as one of the best researchers in Nigeria or even in Africa”.

“As a member of A&P for instance, we’ve come a long way. From the research, from mepping, HIV, my students benefitted, I was a mentor, I had a mentee; so we had workshops together. At the developing some curricular, we had a workshop together.

“I realised that administratively, even when I was the Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, UI, and we had to seat in A&P, each time he spoke, you know somebody had spoken.

He was the conscience of A&P (Appointment and Promotions). This is because he would give information that would guide the meeting. He was very upright and honest with those suggestions”.

Speaking further, Babalola said “He was part of the committee for Ebola, pharmacist who were developing sanitizers; he gave the UI community a lot of information. With the way they tackled Ebola.

The Chrisland University VC prayed the lord would comfort the family; as he has left many legacies and mentees that would carry on the work. She said “they should be comforted that he has done a lot for mankind”.

Also, Prof. (Mrs) Aina Adeogun of the Department of Zoology, UI, described the Olaleye as a sound academician, a man whose legacies would live on.

She said “He was kind to everyone, human, friendly, a person who knew about the system. He’s someone who is “enthusiastic about the development of young people”.

She also described his efforts and contributions when her students needed to do molecular research and had issues with equipments.

She said “when he found out that we were doing that kind of work, he was impressed. He provided all the assistance, the equipment, providing electricity, using their generator, fuelling generator for them to be able to run their PCR and all that”.

Aina said she will always remember him, because that is the hallmark of a true scientist.

In another interview with CEOAFRICA, Dr. Muftau Adebisi Ayoola, described the late professor as someone who has made his impact to serve humanity.

Speaking on Prof Olaleye’s contribution in the Task Force, as he helped in the containment of Flu, HIV, and even Covid-19. The Permanent Secretary also thanked the Oyo state government for making the professor part of the Covid-19 Task Force, and prayed for his soul to rest in peace.

Dr. Adebayo Faniye described the late professor as a teacher, mentor and friend.

She said “he was a great teacher; he never misses the opportunity to teach us. He is an ever so current teacher. You can’t go to him thinking you have something new that he does not already know about. He was a good friend to all of us”.

“If he believes in something, truthfully, he will maintain his stand, irrespective of what someone has to say; and this has earned him lots of enemies. He never bend his rules for anybody.

Indeed the demise of Prof. Olaleye had brought together important personalities both from the University of Ibadan and the Oyo state government. All having commiserated with his family and wished that his soul may rest in peace. As his wife, Mrs Caroline Adebayo Olaleye have said “thank you for being my man. My darling, continue resting, and I will continue loving you forever. I will continue praising God forever. May the soul of the departed continue to rest in peace. Amen.


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