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Tragedy as Nigerian university professor dies in road accident 3 years before retirement

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Lai Oso, a foremost Professor of communications in Nigeria has been confirmed dead.

Oso, a professor of Communications at the Lagos State University (LASU), died aged 67, in an accident while returning from a conference in Abraka, Delta State on Saturday evening, June 24, 2023.

The Dean, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of the Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Sunday Alawode, confirmed his death in a statement on Sunday.

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Alawode said: “Good morning family. I am constrained to inform us of the involvement of Professor Muraino Olayiwola OSO, (we all fondly called Baba Lai Oso) in a ghastly auto accident that claimed his life yesterday 24th June 2023.

“It’s a rude shock to all of us even as we commiserate with Mummy Oso, the children, and his entire family, the Communication family worldwide, LASU Community and all others.


Baba, your sudden exit is painful, but we rest in the comfort that you have gone to be with the Lord. Rest in Peace. Adieu Baba of the Communication family.”

Oso was a Professor at the Mass Communication School of Communication, Lagos State University. He was the Dean of the school between 2011 and 2015. He was President, Association of Communication Scholars & Professionals of Nigeria.

His academic journey included obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, a Master of Science degree in International Relations from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester in England, where he received a Federal Government scholarship in 1977.

Throughout his career, the late LASU professor was a reporter for both radio and the News Agency of Nigeria. He was also a dedicated teacher, imparting knowledge in various subjects such as Journalism, Media and Governance, Political Communication, Development Communication, and Theory.

Expectedly, the scholar’s departure has elicited a flurry of remarks from all and sundry, many of whom described him as a thoroughbred professional who discharged his duties diligently, and conscientiously, and who would be dearly missed.

Commenting on a journalist WhatsApp group, one Oba Adeoye said the deceased interested with everyone equally.

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Adeoye wrote: “I, alongside the late prof and some few other compatriots represented Nigeria at a UNESCO continental conference in Kenya a few years back. You wouldn’t believe he was the most senior member on the team, with the way he related and interacted with everyone.

“Representatives from other countries found it difficult to believe his citation but those who knew him, were so delighted to have met him in person, after reading his works for years. Painfully sad to have lost him.”

Pakuli Penmele said he benefited immensely from the late professor’s wealth of experience.

“Oh sad. Nigeria keeps killing its bests. Prof was helpful with my Masters Degree Thesis as our external examiner. Very thorough yet calm. Humble and cheerful. His jokes helped me brush off my pre-defence anxiety. His friendly posture was amazing. From Mapoly to Crescent, Unilag and Pan Atlantic University, I benefited from his wealth of academic knowledge. Not to mention his many creative and constructively engaging public presentations. We will miss you sorely Prof. Journey well my mentor,” he wrote.

Adekunle Yusuf said: “More than a legend. He was cerebral, yet humble, accessible and always willing to lift others without hope of gaining anything. I burst into tears when I saw the news.”

Damilola Kushimo said though he never had the opportunity of meeting Oso at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), his works had remained helpful.

Kushimo said: “I didn’t get to meet him in MAPOLY but his works have remained helpful. He was one of the reasons MAPOLY’s Mass Comm. Dept. is rated among the best. May his soul rest in peace.”

Samson Akindele said: “During LASU’s recent matriculation, I still muted the idea of handing over my daughter to him if LASU gives her admission to study communication in the coming session. I didn’t know my wish was just wishful. What a loss! A library of communication knowledge set ablaze.”

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