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OLADIPO OLUJIMI AKINKUGBE: NIGERIA’S FIRST PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE DIES AT 87

The first professor of medicine to be appointed by any African University, Professor Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe, has died in Ibadan at the age of 87 years after a brief illness.

Earlier, Akinkungbe’s family friend under anonymity stated that the late Professor Oladipo Akinkungbe had been sick for some time.

According to the source, he was initially flown to Germany for treatment but just came back last week.

He added. “he got worse yesterday and died at his son’s house. The son had to take him to his house at Onireke (in Ibadan) for care.”

Head of University College Hospital (UCH), Public Relations Department, Mr Toye Akinrinola, confirmed his death early on Monday.

Akinkugbe, who was promoted to a chair of medicine at the University of Ibadan at the age of 35 years was born in Ondo town in Ondo State. His father was a chemist and druggist that was connected to the marble rich clan of Igbeti in Oyo State.

The Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, entered into Government College, Ibadan, where he established himself as an undisputed leader in the science subjects, conceding English and literature to Wole Soyinka and Christopher Kolade.

After a brilliant secondary school career, he took entrance examination and gained admission into the University College Ibadan in 1951, to begin his study of medicine.

After passing his 2nd MB examination in 1955, he was posted to University of London [the Royal London Hospital] for his clinical studies, wherein 1958, he obtained his MBBS of London without any skirmishes. After completing a six months internship at the London Hospital, Professor Akinkugbe then embarked on numerous short programmes in different institutions, expanding his knowledge and experience, and obtaining a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the University of Liverpool in 1960.

Being a western region government scholar, Professor Akinkugbe came back to Nigeria in 1961 and took an appointment with Government Specialist Hospital, Adeoyo, Ibadan. But later that year he went back to England to do his DPhil. programme in Oxford.

On successful completion, he returned to Nigeria to take up a lectureship at the Department of Medicine University of Ibadan in January 1965.

Thus began Professor Akinkugbe’s brilliant academic career during which he became Professor of Medicine in 1968, Dean Medicine 1970 – 74 and Head of Medicine 1972. Taking special interest in Hypertension and Kidney diseases, he has made tremendous contributions in these areas.

He has attended over one hundred national and international professional, scientific, educational and health conferences, in the past forty years, in all the continents of the globe. He has made presentations in many of these conferences. Published many authoritative works, and received numerous awards. He is a member and fellow of over twenty international organizations, societies and institutions.

He is a recipient of the National Honour of Cote De Voire. Within Nigeria, Professor Akinkugbe was Foundation Chairman Joint Admission and Matriculation Board [JAMB]; Principal and Foundation Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin; Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; Chairman Planning Committee, Ondo State University; Chairman Planning Committee, University of Abuja; Chairman of the Presidential Projects Implementation Committee (PPIC) on the refurbishing of Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria; Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Port Harcourt. To each appointment, he has brought a very high degree of knowledge, skill, thoroughness, dedication and above all integrity and transparency. He is married with two sons.

@ Nigerian Tribune

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