President Bola Tinubu has expressed shock and deep sadness over the passing into glory of a foremost Nigerian educationist and one of the pioneer medical doctors from Northern Nigeria, Umaru Shehu, on Monday.
Born in 1930 in Maiduguri, Borno State, the nonagenarian was 92 when he passed away.
President Tinubu described the death of Mr Shehu, an emeritus professor, as a big blow to the country, saying that his death had closed a glorious chapter of illustrious service to Nigeria, Nigerians, and humanity as a whole.
“Emeritus Professor Shehu was a giant, even among that legendary generation of pioneering indigenous professionals in our country, and the story of his life is saturated with many first, golden steps across the realms of medical practice, school administration, and humanitarian services.
“The renowned Professor of Medicine has always served Nigeria meritoriously and bestowed on all Nigerians a sense of pride with his indelible breakthroughs and innovative approaches to the administration of health and medical education around the world. Nigeria was indeed blessed to have him as both a patriotic son and as a worthy global representative in his fields of endeavour,” the president stated.
Trained at the defunct University College-Ibadan, the University of Liverpool and the University of London, among others, Mr Shehu spent a lifetime straddling Nigeria’s medical and higher education institutions, in addition to several remarkable engagements on the global stage.
The legendary academician served variously as a deputy vice-chancellor, vice chancellor and sole administrator of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and the University of Maiduguri, respectively. He successfully taught and mentored generations of medical practitioners, both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom, and served at different times as the Country Coordinator of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Nigeria and Ethiopia.
President Tinubu shared his profound condolences with the people and Government of Borno State, the deceased statesman’s family, the Nigerian medical community, and so many others who are grieving around the world over the colossal loss of this Nigerian icon, mentor, father, son, and dedicated professional.
The president also prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased academician and statesman.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
October 2, 2023
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