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Published On: Sun, Mar 27th, 2022

Okowa, Ibori, Edevbie Mourn Passage Of Prof Grace Alele-Williams


LAGOS MARCH 27TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Delta  State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa,  former Governor James Ibori and 2023 Delta State PDP Gubernatorial Aspirant, Olorogun David Edevbie  have expressed sadness over the demise of Prof Grace Alele-Williams who passed on Friday evening at 89 years. 

The trio  in separate statements, said the death of Prof Grace Alele-Williams who was a renowned mathematician and first female Vice-Chancellor of a Nigerian university, was a great loss to Delta and Nigeria as a whole. 

Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, condoled with the family of Prof. Grace Alele-Williams over the passing of the scholar and administrator, adding that late Alele-Williams was a great role model to the female gender whom she inspired with her brilliance and diligence. 

The governor according to the statement, joined family members, the academia and the Itsekiri nation in mourning the renowned scholar who, in 1963, earned a doctoral degree and became the first Nigerian female to attain such academic height.

He said: “On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I condole with the deceased’s family, the academia and the Itsekiri nation and all Deltans on the passing of the renowned mathematician and scholar, Professor Grace Alele-Williams.

“We received the news of her passing with shock, but thanked God that she lived a life of great impact.

“She was a great role model and worked assiduously to stamp out cultism at the University of Benin where she was Vice-Chancellor”, noting that the late scholar’s drive and love for knowledge earned her many recognitions and awards in Nigeria and across the globe.

Okowa said: “Prof. Alele-Williams was an illustrious daughter of the state, and only recently, we honoured her and other illustrious Deltans during the state’s 30th-anniversary celebration.

“She would be greatly missed by those whose lives she impacted and inspired in very many ways,” praying for the repose of the soul of the departed Professor, and for God to comfort her family.

Ibori in a statement by his Media Assistant, Mr Tony Eluemunor, said he received with sadness and a deep sense of personal loss, the passing of Prof Grace Alele-Williams.

He said: “Alele -Williams’ life imparted greatly on mine as she was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin while I was a student there. I remember her as an outstanding woman of integrity and one of those who showed my feet the way to follow”.

The erstwhile Governor sent his condolences to the Itsekiri nation and Delta state whose histories Alele-Williams decorated with her trail-blazing life; as the first Nigerian woman to earn a PhD in Mathematics and the first female Vice-Chancellor of a Nigerian University.

Ibori said: “I regret her passing even as I thank God for the pace-setting life she lived as a high -achiever”.

Olorogun David Edevbie in a statement issued by Fred Edoreh, Head of Strategic Communications, David Edevbie Campaign Organisation, the frontline Peoples Democratic Party aspirant for the Governorship of Delta State said it is a huge loss not only to the Alele and Williams families but also to the Itsekiri nation, Delta State, Edo, Nigeria and the entire world.

“We grieve deeply at the passing of an amazon, a mother and universal role model.

“As the first Nigerian female to bag a doctorate degree in Mathematics and also first female to be appointed Vice Chancellor, Professor Grace Alele-Williams represented the best in us and the huge potentials of our women to contribute to the development of humanity and we, as Bendelites, Deltans and Warri people will remain extremely proud of her.

“She started early when, as an undergraduate, she spent her holidays teaching mathematics to students at Hussey College, Warri. It came as no surprise, therefore, as she grew in her career to offer countless services, especially in the field of education to Nigeria, Africa and the world.

“Her achievements either as a university lecturer at the University of Lagos, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Regional Vice-President for Africa of the Third World Organisation for Women in Science, first President of the African Mathematical Union Commission for Women in Mathematics, Member of Governing Council, UNESCO Institute of Education, Consultant to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Institute of International Education Planning,

Vice-President of the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education and in many other positions she held in her life time are all inestimable.

“Prof has played her part well in uplifting and empowering millions of people across the world and, even though we grieve, we ought more to celebrate her for the inspiration she gave not only to women but entire humanity.

“We pray for the repose of her kind and gallant soul in the bosom of the Almighty God.”



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