Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has expressed sadness over the death of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Professor Francis Otunta, who died in a ghastly motor accident on Tuesday, 30th March 2021.
Governor Ikpeazu, in a statement made available to NDREPORTERS by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka, on Friday, described the demise of Professor Otunta as painful and heartbreaking.
The Abia Governor said, “Professor Otunta was one of Nigeria’s finest mathematicians and educational administrators. In the area of managing the affairs of tertiary institutions, he was one of the most experienced in the country having served as Rector of the Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana Afikpo and later as the Vice-Chancellor of MOUAU”.
Ikpeazu said, “Professor Otunta was a well rounded academic who showed great respect to fellow academics. He supported and allowed me to lead a Research Team in Biochemistry at the University, even as Governor”.
“Perhaps, his most enduring legacy, in my view, is that he shared and respected my position as Governor of Abia State that an indigene of the state should succeed him as Vice-Chancellor of that University. This shared philosophy gave birth to the emergence of a son of Abia State, Professor Madu Iwe as the current Vice-Chancellor of the University, something for which I will remain grateful”.
Governor Ikpeazu condoled the family of the Late Professor, the government and people of Ebonyi State and the entire academic community in Nigeria on this huge loss.
He prayed the Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest and console his family.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, has also expressed shock at the sudden demise of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor
The Abia Speaker, in a statement on Thursday, described the late Otunta as an accomplished academic who played his modest part in the educational development of Nigeria, saying that his death will surely leave the academic community in pains.
While praying the Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest, Rt. Hon Chinedum Orji consoled Otunta’s family and asked God to grant them and all those affected by the death the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss