Ayo Akinwole, chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan Chapter on Tuesday said that the Union would continue to fight for justice and ensure that the police arrest the killers of Opeyemi Ajewole who was killed by unknown gunmen four weeks ago.
Akinwole, who spoke at the lying-in-state ceremony for the late professor of Social and Environmental Forestry, in which the University of Ibadan Academic community, friends, family and relations of the deceased were in attendance, said the “merciless people have cut short the life of our Iroko. We will stay faithful to that course that you stood for. ASUU will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book.”
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan (UI) branch on Monday berated security operatives for failure to apprehend killers of the deceased four weeks after the incident, saying this speaks volume of the state of insecurity in the nation.
Recall that Ajewole was gunned down in his Olororo, Ojo, Ibadan residence by yet-to-be-identified assailants on Monday evening, June 5, 2023.
Bisi Olawuyi, Senior Staff Club President, who recalled his last conversation with the slain Professor, said that the late Iroko would forever live in the forest of “our hearts.”
“This iroko has not fallen. He forever lives in the forest of our hearts. The assailants may have done their worst, but he lives on. In the staff club he lives on in our hearts. Why are we dejected? I shared a personal relationship with Iroko. If I shed tears, it’s not because I lost someone. In iroko, you have a trusted friend, a dependable ally. We will meet on the other side, Olori-ebi,” he said.
A representative of the Forestry Association of Nigeria, T. Afolabi, said that the late Professor Ajewole contributed immensely to the association, igniting their conferences with his unique deliveries.
“It was never my plan to be here to see this. Iroko never merited this from me or the FAN family. He was unique. The children he left behind will carry on. He was a brother and I am going to miss him. I will miss his smiles. Our conferences were ignited by Iroko. It is pathetic and sorrowful. I called him the day he was killed. I have a message for those who killed him: Those who kill by the sword will die by sword. ”
As the remains were moved out of the Trenchard hall for the church service preceding final interment, friends and families could not hold back tears seeing one of their own in a lifeless state.
In his sermon, Pastor Samson Ajetumobi of Men of Issachar Vision, Ibadan said Ajewole’s life was cut short at his prime time.
He emphasised that those who planned and killed the deceased would also die by gun because blood of the deceased would get revenge.
“It is okay to die because it is price human beings have to pay but it is not okay to kill because it is punishable before God and men, God determines our days, when you read through the scripture, you will see that dying is okay but killing is bad.
“God hates anyone who sheds blood of the innocent. Nobody owns life. If a man kills, he will account for it.”
Dignitaries at the event include the Vice Chancellor (VC) of University of Ibadan (UI), Kayode Adebowale, a professor, Registrar, J.O. Saliu, pro-Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Deji Omole, a professor , Director General of Forest Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN),
Zachariah Buba Yaduma and the Provost, Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan, Funmi Aderonmu, both professors, among others.