2nd October, 2023
President Bola Tinubu has described as a big blow to Nigeria, the death of Emeritus Professor of community medicine, Umar Shehu.
Shehu, who died Monday at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, after a long illness, was one of the pioneer medical doctors from Northern Nigeria.
Born on 8 December 1930 in Maiduguri, Borno State, the medical doctor was 92 when he passed away today in the Borno capital.
He had since been buried, with Vice President Kashim Shettima attending the funeral prayer along with deputy governor of Borno, Umar Usman Kadafur.
The Shehu of Borno was also among the thousands of sympathizers at the funeral.
The Funeral prayer held at his residence was performed by Chief Imam of Borno, Imam Zannah Laisu Ibrahim Ahmad.
Other dignitaries who attended the funeral prayer were former president of the senate Ahmad Lawan,Senate Chief whip Sen.Mohammed Ali Ndume, Sen.MT Monguno, Sen.Kaka Shehu Lawan, Speaker of the Borno state House of Assembly, Abdulkareem Lawan.
Also at the prayer were Former minister of FCT Arc Ibrahim Bunu, Vice Chancellors of UNIMAID and traditional rulers.
President Tinubu said Professor Shehu’s death had closed a glorious chapter of illustrious service to Nigeria, Nigerians, and humanity as a whole.
“Emeritus Professor Shehu was a giant, even among that legendary generation of pioneering indigenous professionals in our country, and the story of his life is saturated with many first, golden steps across the realms of medical practice, school administration, and humanitarian services.
“The renowned Professor of Medicine has always served Nigeria meritoriously and bestowed on all Nigerians a sense of pride with his indelible breakthroughs and innovative approaches to the administration of health and medical education around the world.
“Nigeria was indeed blessed to have him as both a patriotic son and as a worthy global representative in his fields of endeavour,” the President gratefully stated.
Trained at the defunct University College-Ibadan, the University of Liverpool and the University of London, among others, Emeritus Professor Shehu spent a lifetime straddling Nigeria’s medical and higher education institutions, in addition to several remarkable engagements on the global stage.
The legendary academician served variously as a Deputy Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Sole Administrator of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and the University of Maiduguri, respectively.
He successfully taught and mentored generations of medical practitioners, both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom, and served at different times as the Country Coordinator of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Nigeria and Ethiopia.
President Tinubu shared his profound condolences with the people and Government of Borno State, the deceased statesman’s family, the Nigerian medical community, and so many others, who are grieving around the world over the colossal loss of this Nigerian icon, mentor, father, son, and dedicated professional.
The President also prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased academician and statesman.