Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Obituary: Professor Mike Ogbeidi

The news of Mich'S demise was devastating to me .He was my ph.d student and I supervised his thesis and I have watched  him grow academically and professionally. Mike  was always ever considerate of other people . He was very close to me and he always invited me once a year to expensive restaurants of my choice and he will humbly say "this is the least I owe you" He forced me to write my autobiography in 2005 and saw to the publication of the book that has been materially rewarding . I can never forget Mike for many reasons . There was a time when trade unionists in the university of Lagos wanted to kill me when I said there were too many administrators and hordes of other hangers on to the detriment of academic work . He contacted security people who smuggled me out of danger. I was hoping to work closely with him as from next session when I will be more frequent in the university as professor emeritus after disengaging from my present university.. This now can not be but I will cherish his memory for ever


Akinjde Osuntokun, Ph.D OON FNAL FHSN
Professor Emeritus of History and International Relations
Bapitan of Oyo

On 1 Mar 2017, at 12:40 PM, Toyin Falola <> wrote:

Obituary: Professor Mike Ogbeidi


Mike should be the one to announce my death; but God works in His own ways. The news of his death last Saturday was devastating. His colleagues and friends were in shock. When I spoke with Professor Funke Adeboye, his predecessor as Chair of the History Department, University of Lagos, she was still dealing with the pain. And as Professor Muyiwa Falaiye, the Dean of the Faculty, told me:  "Because we are pencils in the hands of the creator, we accept His verdict and the portrait he makes of us." Indeed, we are all pencils in the hands of God. As I read the Dean's thoughtful note, my own mind takes me back to my days in the choir when I looked at coffins before me:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." 

John 10.10


The last time I saw him was last year when he read a generous and magnanimous citation on me before I gave the lecture to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Department of History, University of Lagos. He was always generous to me, twice asking me to keynote the conferences that he organized, but twice I disappointed him because of an intense and brutal schedule.

He made his mark in the field of business history. His book on Nigerian business history is a fitting capstone to his writing career, revealing his research and writing strategies over the years. Dr. Ogbeidi's essays on entrepreneurs, key business figures, education and educators represent a diverse output, notable for its range and quality.  His publications attest to a level of scholarly engagement that have enabled us to widen the frontiers of Nigerian historiography, and to pay attention to new topics.


We will miss him.

Toyin Falola

Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)

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