Longest serving Nigerian university vice-chancellor, Ayo Banjo dies at 90

The Nigerian university’s longest-serving Vice-Chancellor and former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI), and an icon and an eminent citizen of the world Prof Ayo Banjo has been reported dead at age 90.

Penpushing reports that the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the university and a mentee of the deceased, Prof Idowu Olayinka, confirmed this development, explaining that he first got wind of the demise of the Emeritus Professor of English on the group page of the Chapel of Resurrection- where Banjo worshipped.

The Professor of Geology added that he later found out from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, who he said equally confirmed the demise of Banjo who has served within Nigeria’s education sector in various capacities.

Lush Arena

“I have just learned of the transition of Professor Emeritus Ladipo Ayo Banjo, the longest serving Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan (1984 to 1991). This is very sad news, even at a ripe old age of 90 years—the end of a most glorious era. Rest in perfect peace, Baba. You will be sorely missed by all of us who knew you’, Olayinka wrote in a tribute.

‘Heartfelt condolences to his entire family and to all of us, his mentees and academic children. We valued your wise counsel at all times. You were highly approachable. An icon. An eminent citizen of the world. The gift of UI to humanity. It hurts very deeply to start referring to you in the past tense. Nonetheless, we thank God for your life of selfless service and worthwhile legacies. Good night, Sir’, he added

Penpushing further reports that as at the time of filing this report it was still unclear the circumstances leading to the death of the university icon, but multiple sources said that he had been weak and unable to attend public events for months.

The record has it that since his service to the University of Ibadan, first as Acting Vice-Chancellor between November 1983 and November 1984 and as substantive Vice-Chancellor between December 1984 and November 1991, his last public office was as the Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Penpushing also reports that the deceased equally served as the governing council chairman of some universities, including the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, among others.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of University of Ibadan (UI) Joke Akinpelu, when contacted said she was yet to confirm the development and promised to revert as soon as she was officially informed, but as at the time of filing this report she was yet to revert.

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