President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of first female Vice Chancellor in Nigeria Prof Grace Alele-Williams who passed on Friday at 89.
A statement by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina on Saturday, stated that he shared the painful loss with the academia and all associates over death of renowned mathematician.
Buhari declared that “Alele-Williams’ achievements in scholarship and administration removed the glass ceiling for many women in Nigeria, Africa and the black race, and continues to inspire a generation who have found their passion and voice in research, teaching and lifting the nation with ideas, especially in science and technology”.
Part of the statement read, “President Buhari believes the scholar’s brilliance and outstanding character reflected in every opportunity and position she served, particularly playing a major role in the educational development of the country, and serving as consultant to many international institutions, including UNESCO.
“As the first female to obtain a doctorate degree in Nigeria, 1963, and first female VC of the University of Benin, 1985, the President says the entire Country will sorely miss the scholar, and cherish the memories of her diligence, discipline and refreshing candour.
“President Buhari prays for a peaceful rest for the soul of the departed, and God’s comforting arms over her loved ones”.
The Octogenarian was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in 1985.
Similarly, the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has mourned the Alele-Williams, describing her as an Amazon, who tread where others dreaded, hailing her unmatched devotion to national development.
According to him, “It is with a heavy heart that I received the sad news of the passing of renowned academic and administrator, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams.
The governor said Prof. Alele-Williams was a thoroughbred academician who throughout her life left an indelible mark of dutiful service, hard work, diligence and determination.
He said, “As the first female Nigerian to earn a doctorate degree in mathematics, Prof. Alele-Williams was a woman of many firsts. She shattered the glass ceiling and didn’t look back thereafter.
“When she became the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) – at the time the first ever female Vice Chancellor of a Nigerian university – she shone brightly as a fearless administrator and restored sanity to the higher institution during a period of social upheaval.
“Prof. Alele-Williams will be remembered for her insight, dedication to duty and courage as well as her commitment to breaking barriers limiting advancement of women in uncharted territories”.
Obaseki also commiserated with the Alele-Williams family, praying that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.