By Alao Abiodun
Sadly, the second wave of COVID-19 has assumed another terrifying dimension.
The pandemic has caused a great deal of disruption and anxiety. Many Nigerians are still in denial about the existence of the virus.
The spike in infections is also leading to fatalities. A handful of Nigerians – health workers, professors, prominent politicians, others – have been lost to the virus.
The federal government recently warned that a significant increase in COVID-19 infections in Nigeria appears imminent due to continued violation of safety protocols.
Here are five Nigerian Professors lost to the virus so far:
- Professor Lovett Lawson
– He was a Professor of Infectious Diseases. His area of expertise was clinical tropical medicine.
He reportedly died of COVID-19 complications.
Lawson, who was Chairman, Board of Directors, Zankli Medical Centre, Abuja reportedly died in quarantine at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The deceased, it was learnt, had some underlying conditions before his demise.
Lawson, who graduated from the University of Lagos in 1975, later bagged a PhD from the University of Liverpool.
- Professor Femi Odekunle
– He was a professor of criminology and member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
He was reported to have died at the COVID-19 isolation centre in Gwagalada, Abuja
Born May 2, 1943, Odekunle attended Methodist Primary School; Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha; Molusi College, Ijebu-Igbo; University of Ibadan; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
He has taught at the University of Lincoln and University of Ibadan, before berthing at the Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru, Zaria.
- Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe
– He was a professor of systems engineering. Ibidapo-Obe, aged 69, was a professor of Applied Mechanics and Systems Engineering,
He was the UNILAG vice-chancellor between 2000 and 2007.
He was born in Ile-Ife and attended Ilesha Grammar School and Igbobi College between 1962 and 1971.
He reportedly died of COVID-19 complications in an undisclosed hospital.
Ibidapo-Obe was, until his death, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council of First Technical University, Ibadan.
- Prof Duro Ajeyalemi
– He was a retired professor of science education at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
He reportedly died of complications from COVID-19.
Ajeyalemi, UNILAG former dean of students’ affairs and immediate past registrar of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB), was said to have died at an isolation centre in Lagos.
He retired from UNILAG in 2020 after he clocked 70 years old.
- Professor Ebere Onwudiwe
– He was a fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development. He died from complications due to COVID-19 according to the family.
A statement by Menmme Onwudiwe on behalf of his family said he died on January 9, 2021.
Prof. Onwudiwe was a man who loved his family and friends. He held from Isunjaba, Imo State, Nigeria.
He was an author, a columnist and a social commentator of issues relating to Nigeria and Africa.
Prof. Onwudiwe was the Director of the Centre for African Studies at Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, where he served as Professor Emeritus.