An Afternoon Of Tributes As Cesar Bids Farewell To Retiring Distinguished Professor Anetekhai - EDU-BIZNEWS


Thursday, December 21, 2023

An Afternoon Of Tributes As Cesar Bids Farewell To Retiring Distinguished Professor Anetekhai

Barely a week after he delivered his widely celebrated Valedictory Lecture on his 70th birthday, Distinguished Prof. Martins Agenuma Anetekhai was again deservedly the Centre of attention on Thursday, 21st December 2023, when the Centre of Excellence for Sargassum Research (CESAR) organised a sendforth programme for him. 

At the event, attended by former colleagues, mentees, students of the retired professor of Fisheries and staff of the CESAR, the celebrant sat in deep reflection as tribute after tribute was delivered by few of those whose life he has touched at some point in his almost 40 years career journey in Lagos State University. 

The tributes were led by the Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) representative and visiting researcher, Dr. Iyabo Philips who attributed the success of sargassum research in Lagos State University to Distinguished Professor Anetekhai. 

According to her, "Many people did not understand what Sargassum is when Distinguished Professor Anetekhai first ventured into it. Today, with his passion, he has made everyone a disciple.... Many people are now in sargassum research because of his pedigree. The passion he put into this Centre has brought out the innate potentials in many of us.", she said while thanking him for his service to the Centre. 

Dean, School of Postgraduate School, Professor Ibrahim Olateju, who was also at the programme attributed his success as a professor to the peerless fisheries teacher.  In his brief speech, he averred that "I can boast about winning research grants today thanks to Distinguished Professor Anetekhai who gave me the opportunity to partner with him on the sargassum research. If he had refused to give me the opportunity, I would never have been proud to be a Professor or Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies because what is a professor without a research grant?" 

Professor Olateju urged the septuagenarian to continue to make himself available for the service of the Centre, which foundation he laid. 

Another mentee of the Distinguished Professor, Dean, Faculty of Science, Prof. Shehu L. Akintola, described his meeting with Distinguished Professor Anetekhai as "divine". He described him as a mentor, father, teacher and friend who related freely with everyone regardless of their social class or status. "People talk about my research grants today, but Prof. Anetekhai gave me the chance to win my first grant, and some others that followed. He taught me the rudiments of grantsmanship; I have no regrets knowing him."

Professor Tosin Adu, Director of Lagos State University Ventures who served with him on the CESAR's team to Science, Technology  Innovation Expo in Abuja, last year, described the Edo-born academic as a man who commits all to whatever he sets his heart to do. "Once his mind is on something, he does it. Even before we went for the Innovation Expo in Abuja, he was already saying that Lagos State University would win, and we won."

Others who spoke glowingly about Distinguished Professor Anetekhai included his former student, Professor Edwin Clark, Dr. Morounke Saibu, Dr. Ade Adebayo, amongst others. 

They all prayed for him and courted his mentorship for the benefit of the Centre and the university as a whole. 

The celebrant thanked all the people present one after the other and almost succumbed to emotions when he said, "listening to you makes me feel that there will be many more things to say at my graveside. I feel humbled by your kind words."

The icing on the cake was cutting his birthday cake and holding group photographs with all present. The event held at the Centre of Excellence for Sargassum Research building.

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