Remembering Professor Fatiu Akesode (3) – Prof. Siyan Oyeweso

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8 shares, 62 points
Remembering Professor Fatiu Akesode (1) - Prof. Siyan Oyeweso

Professor Akesode was a scholar who continually reproduced himself in his students and this fact is manifested in the number of Post-Graduate research work he supervised for the award of the Post-Graduate Fellowship of West African College of Physicians and National Post-Graduate Medical College, Ijanikin, Lagos State.

These include Dr. D. Esangbedo on “Thyroid Disorder in Children” (1987), Dr. A. Agbato on ‘Convulsion Metabolism and Rickets” (1992), Dr. O. Ogunfowora “Effect of Sickle Heamoglobinpathy on School Performance (1994), Dr. Iyabo Runsewe Abiodun “African Breadfruit preparation as Food Supplement in Children with Malnutrition” (1996) and a host of other. At different times between 1968 and 1976, Fatiu Ademola Akesode studied and taught Public Health and Paediatrics (with emphasis on Endocrinology) at the reputable John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.

Between 1978 and 1980, Professor Akesode was a Visiting Consultant Paediatrician at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

As a foremost Paediatric Endocrinologists, Akesode joined Dr. Sunny Folorunso Kuku and others to establish the Endocrinology Study Group in Lagos in the 1980’s, an effort which resulted in several publications.

Verily, Akesode had tall dreams for #LASU and worked very hard to attain them. A sound administrator, seasoned academic, a bridge builder and manager of men and resources, Akesode definitely achieved for the best for LASU and Lagos State. In fact, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the then Visitor to LASU and the Executive Governor of Lagos State monitored closely the activities of late Prof. F.A Akesode and he was quite impressed by his record of academic and infrastructural achievements.

Certainly, Akesode’s life was characterized by dynamism, high sense of responsibility, hardwork and keen sense of mission.

In life and in death he commanded the respect of the young and the old while he remained a truly medical professional with abiding commitment to paediatrics endocrinology.

As an academic, he was a prolific, distinguished and unabashed defender of the academic community worldwide. Akesode was also a man of honour. He was an achiever of distinction, a man of probity and sincere believer in accountability.

He was a man who did not allow glory and trappings of power to becloud his sense of social responsibility and commitment to people. He saw university administration as a sacred trust, an opportunity to serve and not to be served.

Indeed, the Prof. F.A. Akesode was not only a success in public life; his private life was also a resounding success.

He was a good family man, a champion of family values, a devoted husband and lovely father of four lovely children; Faisal, Toyin, Abiola and Azeezat. Often times, he expressed his joys concerning his family.

In one of these instances, he noted that his happiest moment was his marriage to the girl he met when Nigeria became independent in 1960. That lady was then Miss Risikat Titilayo Bakare, now a retired Lagos Permanent Secretary.

Another was the birth of his first daughter, Modupe, in the United States while he was undergoing his postgraduate studies at the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

In his university career, Akesode was a shining star who scored many firsts.

He was the first alumnus of University of Lagos to emerge as a Vice-Chancellor in any Nigerian university since University of Lagos came to existence.

He was also the first Chairman of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of State Universities in Nigeria.

He was, in the same vein, the first Vice-Chancellor of LASU to successfully complete a four-year tenure with his dignity intact.

Akesode also remains the only Vice-Chancellor in LASU who was visited by the Visitor within a year of his tenure but who came without any blemish or stain. Another first scored by Akesode is that he was the first Vice-Chancellor to die in office in LASU!

There is no doubt that the Akesode years at LASU, so far, have been the best for the university.

Our consolation lies in the fact that Professor Akesode departed this world and LASU with his dignity enhanced. The man who was responsible for phenomenal infrastructural expansion of LASU, left without a property which he could call his own.

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