Ekiti community agog as KWASU Professor is interred
Last Friday, the Ilupeju-Ekiti, a sleepy town in Ekiti State was agog when eminent Nigerians converged to bid late Professor Francis Sunday Oyewole Otokiti of Kwara State University an usual but final farewell. AHMED 'LATEEF reports.
It was early Morning Friday in a serene town of Ilupeju-Ekiti, Ekiti State. There was unusual presence of exotic cars pouring in torrents.
As the drivers of the vehicles were searching for appropriate parking lots to park so also some guests, observed to be of high class, were alighting from them in their flowing Babariga and other expensive clothing materials.
The huge presence of people was strange but not unnoticeable. For some residents of the town, who already wore mournful look, there was needless looking for clairvoyant to interpret the soberly facial expression.
As dignitaries and other guests alighted from their cars, they headed for the Church Compound in Ilupeju-Ekiti to see the remains of Professor of International Business and Entrepreneurship, Francis Sunday Oyewole Otokiti, at a lying-in-state.
It was at that moment that reality dawned on congregants and guests that an elephant had departed the forest.
In his homily during an interdenominational Church service, Revered Father Shola Adeleye Of Saint John's Catholic Church, admonished Christians to always live a life worthy of emulation in line with God's commandment.
According to the cleric, every living soul is a pilgrim on earth, stressing the need for Christians to serve Almighty God wholeheartedly and show love to one and another at all times.
He urged Christians to let every minute of their life be spent on spiritually.
The Reverend father described late Professor Otokiti as a man of impeccable character with God giving talents, who served humanity at large.
Addressing Journalists after the funeral service, the Executive Chairman, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service,(KWIRS) who is also an Academic son of the late Don, Dr Murtala Awodun, said late Professor Otokiti imparted on the lives of those who came his way either directly or indirectly.
Awodun noted that late don, in his academic sojourn, produced 22 Doctor of Philosophy (Phd) in the area of Business Entrepreneurship and management science.
Until his death, Otokiti was the Director, KWASU Consultancy Services and former Head of Department of Business and Entrepreneurship, who joined KWASU as a full-time staff in 2014, and served on a KWASU committee to develop postgraduate studies in Business Administration.
Academics from the Kwara State University (KWASU) and other Institutions from far and near, representatives of Traditional rulers, top government officials, including the Kwara State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Alhaji Mahmud Babatunde Ajeigbe and members of the political class attended the funeral service.
Meanwhile, Kwara State University has eulogized the late Prof. Sunday Otokiti.
Some officials of the university described his death as a big loss to the KWASU community as he had left a big vacuum. The university's Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, expressed sadness over Otokiti's death and prayed to God to accept him as one of His most favourite servants on earth.
"I am hugely saddened by the death of Prof. Sunday Otokiti, a senior member of our university community, who served meritoriously as Director of KWASU Consultancy Services and was also former Head of the Department of Business and Entrepreneurship."
"I also condole with the family and colleagues of the late Professor of International Business and Entrepreneurship, praying to God to grant the deceased eternal rest," Gambari said.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na'Allah, said Otokiti was one of the university's most loyal, resourceful, hardworking, honest and visionary professors.
According to him, "Prof. Otokiti joined KWASU as a full-time staff in 2014 after serving on a KWASU committee to develop postgraduate studies in business administration." "He was among the topmost professors in our university and his death is a serious loss to this young university."
"I pray to God Almighty to console his family and all of us who have had opportunity to work closely with him, especially his students who were always dearest to his heart,".
The Registrar, Mr Surajudeen Oyebode, described Otokiti's death as a sad blow not only to his family, but also to the KWASU family. "This astute, versatile and erudite scholar and a gentleman will be sourly missed," Oyebode said.
Otokiti, who was KWASU Director of Consultancy Services, died on December 26, 2016 at the age of 66.
Buried in his hometown of Ilupeju-Ekiti, the don is survived by wife, Mrs. Comfort Olubisi Otokiti, children and grandchildren.