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College of medicine mourns Prof Coker

By Paul Adunwoke
06 December 2020   |   3:29 pm
College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), Idi-Araba, Lagos was recently thrown into mourning, when Prof. Akitoye Olusegun Coker, an author and academician passed on at the age of 74.

College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), Idi-Araba, Lagos was recently thrown into mourning, when Prof. Akitoye Olusegun Coker, an author and academician passed on at the age of 74.

And to honour the deceased, the institution organised a tribute, an occasion that also served to foster unity among the academic staff members, non-academic staff members and students, including family members, children, friends and well-wishers of the deceased.

The event featured service of songs, prayer sessions, words of encouragement to the late Coker’s children and family members, among other activities.

The Coordinator of the programme, Prof. Wellington Oyibo, said he had the rare privilege of being mentored by the late Prof. Coker, who took great interest in his personal and career life. Coker had passionately guided him through the nitty-gritty of professorial and other forms of academic assessment at an early stage of his career.

Oyibo recalled that Prof. Coker had very nice ways of presenting his positions with examples and historical accounts for better comprehension.

“His mantra of ‘five publications per year’ that I tried to imbibe was the secret shared with him by his doctoral mentor at the early stage of his career, when he crossed over from the hospital to the department,” Oyibo said. “His account of how this approach raised his publication output and career growth was sufficient stimulus that shaped my life and career disposition and I am eternally grateful.

“In retirement, he continued and every accomplishment achieved was a delight to him. His fatherly guidance was memorable and invaluable to my family. We had great times sharing and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ together either for 21 times, 14 or seven, depending on the direction of the spirit and time available. These were important doses of proclamations that discharge its unstoppable and undiminishing efficacy with appropriate impact. Prof. Coker was an excellent and invaluable guide and mentor.

“He was an erudite and highly esteemed scholar with unparalleled passion for high level capacity building and a relevant contributor to the attainment of the mandate of CMUL. Today, his mentees are contributing immensely to critical mass development and global knowledge stock with adaptive opportunities for national and global impact.”

Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Science, Prof. Olubunmi Magbagbeola, said Coker was a distinguished, highly esteemed and dynamic faculty member.
She said: “He was a fellow of the West Africa College of Physicians (FWACP), and a fellow of the Medical College of Nigeria, Faculty of Pathology (FMC. Path) United Kingdom (UK), among others. In line with his path of excellence, he became a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science (FAS) among other honours and achievements.

“Prof. Coker was a man of prayer, a brilliant academician, an outstanding researcher, a warm hearted, down-to-earth father, mentor and a great teacher to the core at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

“He was well loved and respected by all and sundry within and outside the department, Faculty College and the University of Lagos at large. His life was a clear testimony of humility and readiness to serve humanity at all times. His ever smiling face, warmth, encouraging words and prayers, especially in times of trials, remain fresh in our memories.”