The first Professor of Geology in Africa, Jamiu Mosobalaje Oyawoye, is dead.
His death was confirmed by his son, Prince Olukitibi Oyawoye, on Monday evening. He was 96 years of age.
Born in Offa in Kwara state on August 12, 1927, Prince Oyawoye, the Aremo of Offa, served as a lecturer at the University of Ibadan between 1960 and 1977. He was appointed a professor in 1966 at the age of 39 and became the first Professor of Geology in Africa.
He also served as the Chairman of the West Africa Examinations Council.
Reacting to his death, the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in a condolence message signed by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye, described Oyawoye’s death as a huge national loss.
The governor said the death of Africa’s first professor of geology was the end of a great era in academic accomplishments, dedication to community service, and statesmanship.
“My heartfelt condolences go to the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II, the Olofa-In-Council, the Muslim community in Kwara State for whom he was the Baba Adini, and the Oyawoyes on this sad development.
Prof. Oyawoye was in a class of his own in philanthropy, academic accomplishments, community service, leadership, and support for national development. He was one of the last men standing, and his death represents a huge void in everything he represented for Offa people, Kwara State, and Nigeria.
“We find comfort in his fine legacies as the father of Geology in Africa, a powerful Crown Prince of Offa, and a statesman who wielded so much influence and deployed the same for public good. We beseech Allah to forgive his shortcomings, grant him Al-jannah Firdaus, and keep his family on the right path,” ” the governor said.
On his part, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari CFR, described late Oyawoye as a “God fearing scholar who lived his life with full commitment and dedication to the propagation of Islam”.
In a condolence message issued by his spokesman, Abdulazeez Arowona, the Emir said, “He was as a kind-hearted and loving man of integrity and father to all and sundry. The late don raised the bar and promoted the images of Offa community, Kwara State and Nigeria at large with outstanding scholarship and reliable mentoring of generations.”
Also, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Eswuoye II, in a condolence message said the deceased led a fulfilled life.
Accoridng to him, Oyawoye led a fulfilled life which has left behind a rich and enduring legacy, one that will inspire generations to come and that will continue to shape the future of humanity, science, and geology in Africa and beyond.
“Dear all, let us take a moment to honour his memory, to reflect on his life and his achievements, and to draw strength from his example. Let us continue the work that he began, and let us strive to make the world a better place, just as he did. In doing so, we will honor his memory and keep his legacy alive for generations to come,” the Olofa was quoted as saying in a statement signed by his Principal Private Secretary, Olayinka Kadri.