By Paul Adaji (ABUJA) –
It was a day of sadness for President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday as he mourned the passage of two formidable professors whose contributions to the Nigerian university system and the medical sector would remain indelible.
They are the 5th Vice Chancellor of University of Port-Harcourt, Prof. Nimi Briggs, who passed on at the age of 79 and Idris Abdulkadir, Professor of Veterinary Surgery and Medicine, who also died at 79.
While extending sympathy to the academia and Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), the President said in a condolence message by his media aide, Garba Shehu, that he shared the pain of loss with family, friends and associates of Prof Briggs who was at one time the Chairman of the committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities.
Buhari noted the historic contributions of the scholar to national development, particularly the educational sector, reaching the pinnacle of his career, with distinctions in service.
The President believed the Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Pro Chancellor of Federal University, Abakaliki, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa and Chairman, Committee of Pro Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, lived for the good of the country and humanity.
While urging family and friends to immortalize the legacies of Prof Briggs, the President prayed that the Almighty God would grant the soul of the departed a peaceful rest.
President Buhari also sent a message of condolence to the family of the late Prof Abdulkadir, who was at one time the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), describing him as a scholar par excellence and a towering statesman.
“He was a versatile personality and a great scholar,” said the President, adding that the deceased was “blessed with a wealth of scientific knowledge and extremely articulate as well as witty.”
President Buhari commended the late Abdulkadir for his role in strengthening the country’s university education and the paternalistic role he played in preserving the historic role of his alma mater, Barewa College, Zaria saying that he leaves behind an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation.
“His wise counsel on key policy matters in education, science and technology will never be forgotten,” assured the President.
President Buhari prayed for the repose of his soul and the courage to bear the loss on the part of those he left behind in the family, as well as the government and people of Kaduna State.