“For the righteous, there is life after death and so we can say late Prof. Israel Adu, though dead physically, is alive spiritually”. This was the submission of the University Chaplain, Prof. Christian Ikeobi during his exhortation at the commendation service held in honour of the third substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University, Emeritus Prof. Israel Adu. In his sermon taken from Revelation 14:13, the Chaplain charged members of the immediate family of the deceased and the University community not to mourn because Prof. Adu had died in the Lord. He assured them that “Blessed are the dead that died in the Lord as they shall have rest from their labour for their deeds will follow them”. He described the late Vice-Chancellor as an epitome of hard work, diligence, humility, love and peace.
Delivering his tribute, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako noted that the late Professor was a true advocate of FUNAAB, who worked frantically in promoting the cause of the University till he breathed his last. While expressing how deeply saddened the University was on his demise, Prof. Salako eulogised him for his immense contributions to the development of the institution and agriculture in Nigeria, saying these feats can never be forgotten. According to him, “Emeritus Professor Adu, as a Vice-Chancellor, demonstrated record of hard work, excellence, integrity and was noted for enviable performance and credible achievements. He won the maiden Best Vice-Chancellor Award for Nigerian Universities in 2002 and won the award again in 2005.
In recognition of his steadfastness and meritorious service, the University Governing Council awarded him Emeritus Professor during the 27th Convocation Ceremony held on 27th January, 2020, little did we know that his days were running out”. Prof. Salako described the deceased as an academic-par-excellence, father and mentor, who served gracefully and passionately, would be dearly remembered by the University. Adding that it was during his administration that FUNAAB emerged as the Best University in Nigeria during the National Universities Commission (NUC) Research Fairs in 2004 and 2005.
The Vice-Chancellor charged his family members to remain strong, noting that the late Emeritus Professor had gotten an advantage over the living, describing his death as a ‘gain’ to heaven. The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Elias Bogoro, represented by a former Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. Femi Bamiro said the late Don contributed immensely to the advancement of knowledge in the country. He described Prof. Adu as a great gentleman, astute administrator and thorough-bred professional. The Executive Director, National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), Kaduna State, represented by Prof. Clearance Lakpini, said the deceased was known for hard work, dedication and honesty at NAPRI, where he worked before transferring his service to FUNAAB.
The fifth substantive Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, eulogised the positive and invaluable contributions of the Emeritus Professor, saying that he was a leader with a difference. The Dean, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), Prof. Olusiji Sowande, stated that the College was celebrating the life and times of an exceptional educationist whose passion and diligence stood him out among his contemporaries. Representatives of professional and academic bodies in the country such as the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Nigerian Institute for Animal Science (NIAS), Nigerian Society for Animal Production (NSAP), and Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) paid glowing tributes to late Prof. Adu, who until his demise was National President of NIAS, describing him as a teacher, mentor, an academic giant, leader and versatile researcher.
Various staff unions in FUNAAB; National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), lauded the former Vice-Chancellor for his outstanding staff welfare and development initiatives during his tenure, noting that he took the institution to national reckoning. The President, FUNAAB Student Union, Abiodun Oloyede confirmed that Prof. Adu acted like true father to the students while those that joined live streaming of the event via Zoom and Facebook platforms, commended the late Emeritus Professor for serving humanity.