Tamuno, former VC, University of Ibadan, dies at 83 | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tamuno, former VC, University of Ibadan, dies at 83

Posted: Apr 12, 2015 at 7:48 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Oladele Ogunsola

Correspondent, Ibadan

Former Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Tekena Tamuno, is dead.

Tamuno, one of Africa’s renowned professors of history and
ex-president of the Nigeria Academy of Letters (NAL), passed on in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday. He was aged 83.

The intellectual giant’s demise came as a shock to friends and colleagues, as he was said to be in good health after recuperating from treatment for prostate cancer in the United States last month.

Details of his last moments were sketchy as his family members refused interviews when Daily Independent called at the Agodi residence of the late university administrator and scholar on Sunday.

One of Tamuno’s sons, a lawyer, his wife and a few other relations who received sympathisers declined interviews on comments with the press, describing their loss as “a private affair.”

They also turned down entreaties to copy entries in the condolence register opened for the deceased, despite being reminded that the late historian was a public figure.

Reacting to the former VC’s death, secretary of NAL and fellow historian, Olutayo Charles Adesina, said that “the Nigerian academic community and indeed the nation has lost an extremely cerebral historian and foremost scholar of the humanities, who combined both the rigours and flexibility needed for a better understanding of his field.”

Adesina, former head of the History Department, University of Ibadan, said the late historian was an academic with excellent inter-personal relations qualities.

“They don’t build them like that anymore; he was a study in humility”, Adesina said.

Tamuno also served as Chancellor, Redeemer’s University; Chairman of the Presidential Panel on National Security, from October 2001 to December 2002, and Panel on Policing Nigeria Project, 2002 to 2003.

A poet and historian, Tamuno was also a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation and a member of the National Universities Commission.

Born on January 28, 1932 in Okrika, Rivers State, he attended St. Peter’s School, Okrika, 1938 to 1946; Okrika Grammar School, Okrika, 1947 to 1951; University College, Ibadan, 1953 to 1958; Birkbeck College, University of London, 1960 to 1962; and Columbia University, New York City, United States, 1965 to 66.

He began his career as an Assistant Lecturer in History, University College, Ibadan, 1962; and was promoted Lecturer, 1963; Senior Lecturer, 1967; Professor of History, 1971 to 1990, and was Head of Department of History, University of Ibadan, between 1972 and 1975.

He was the VC, University of Ibadan, 1975 to 79; he was also a recipient of the national  award of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).