By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the passing of Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas at the age of 89, saying “Nigeria, indeed the world has lost an expert in public health.”
In a condolence message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday, the President commiserated with the family, friends, medical community and academia over the passage of the global health leader for Africa.
Buhari stated that the deceased, an award winner for his outstanding support for research on tropical diseases especially malaria, bilharzia and leprosy, would be remembered for his contributions to humanity.
He noted that as Professor and Head of Department of Preventive and Social Medicine in the University College of London in Ibadan, (later University of Ibadan) among other national positions, Lucas ‘without doubt left indelible national imprints”.
While referring to his decade at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva as Director, Special Programmes for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, Buhari said Lucas made his name even beyond the shores of Nigeria.
The late professor was also pioneer Chairman, Nigerian Medical Research Council; and Chair of the Committee on National Health Policy, as well as Professor of International Health at Harvard University, Boston, and adjunct professor.
The president urged the numerous former students and admirers of the eminent scholar and researcher to build on the solid foundations laid by the professor for national growth.
He prayed God to console all those mourning the well-respected “teacher of teachers” and grant the soul of Lucas peaceful rest.(NAN)