Members of staff of the University were in sober reflection, mourning the sudden demise of Abimbola Ladokun, a Professor of Reproductive Physiology in the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM). Speaking at a Commendation Service, held in the honour of the departed, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, urged members of the University community to take solace in God. Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, the Acting Vice-Chancellor stated that losing a loved one could make one feel as if one of one’s most vital parts had been torn away from someone; and the thought of going on alone is so daunting that it seems impossible, noting that death never chooses a convenient time to take anyone away. Professor Enikuomehin extended his heartfelt sympathies to the family of the deceased, particularly his widow, Mrs. Irene Ladokun and children; Oluwatosin and Ibukunoluwa, encouraging them to be strong, while praying God to comfort and grant them the grace and fortitude to bear the great loss.
In his exhortation, Pastor (Dr.) Tom Fabuyi, encouraged the congregation to always look up to God and give thanks to Him at all times. He cited the book of Joshua, Chapter 1 and the book of John Chapter 21 Verse 18, urging them to put their trust in God. He added that they should strive at all times to be righteous, saying that everyone was destined to die. In his tribute, the Dean, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), Professor Oluseyi Oluwatosin, said the departed Professor Ladokun was a distinguished and highly dedicated academic, adding that he was an excellent Animal Scientist and a prolific researcher, who had contributed immensely to the betterment of mankind in his chosen career. The Head, Department of Animal Physiology Department (COLANIM), Professor Olusiji Smith, stated that late Professor Ladokun was faithful to the end, saying that he had built on the foundation laid in the Department for others coming behind, to follow when he was HoD. Also, paying a tribute was the former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Israel Adu, who adduced to the popular maxim which says that “it was not how long but how well”, noting that the deceased lived a good life that had distinguished him in his chosen profession of Animal Science, to attain the ultimate position in the academia.
The former Vice-Chancellor, who is also the President, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), said that Professor Ladokun had proven his quality in all given assignments and responsibilities, stating that worthy of note was his mentorship of younger Animal Scientists. In his tribute, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU-UNAAB) Branch, Dr. Adebayo Oni, stated that the deceased was a silent strategic activist, who was privy to key principles and ideologies of the Union, adding that his death was unexpected.
Giving his tribute on behalf of the family, the brother of the departed Professor, Rev. Niyi Ladokun, stated that the late Professor Ladokun was a bridge-builder, who handled other people’s issues and situations as if they were his own. His death, according to his friends; Dr. Tolu Ososanyan and Barrister Femi Osu, was painful. He was said to have lived a fulfilled and impactful life, which was in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Dr. Tolu had described him as a committed family man, who would give nothing but the best in anything he did. Speaking on behalf of students of the deceased, Mrs. Oluwabukola Adenike, a PhD student, stressed that the late Professor Ladokun was a sacrificial supervisor, sincere and down to earth man, whose demise would be really felt.
Late Professor Ladokun was born on May 24, 1968 in Ibadan, Oyo State. He bagged a Master's Degree in Animal Science in 1997. He registered for his PhD programme in the same university in 2001 and completed it in 2006. Professor Ladokun joined the services of FUNAAB on January 2, 2008 as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Animal Physiology (ANP), where he later rose to become a Professor in Reproductive Physiology on October 1, 2016. He had over 50 publications in reputable journals and several publications in his field of study. Present at the Commendation Service were the First Lady of Edo State, Her Excellency, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; former Director, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) of FUNAAB, Professor Olusegun Osinowo; dignitaries; as well as relatives and friends of the deceased.