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By Lere Olayinka
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Ekiti State Governor, Engr. Segun Oni has commiserated with the family of late Prof. Babatunde Fafunwa, describing him as “a committed patriot and an outstanding statesman of impeccable integrity whose death will be a huge loss to the development of education in Nigeria as a nation and Africa as a region".

Governor Oni, reacting to Fafunwa's death through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre said “Prof Fafunwa's contributions to the education sector are monumental and he will surely be missed by all.”

“I received with shock the news of the death of Prof. Babs Fafunwa and I wish to implore the family and Nigerians to take solace in the fact that Papa lived an exemplary and fulfilled life worthy of emulation by all.

“If one puts in perspective the quality of life that he lived, especially his contribution to education in Nigeria, there is every cause for us to celebrate a man with virtues plated in superlatives.

“As minister of education, he pioneered the 6-3-3-4 system and was also instrumental to the establishment of the National Examinations Council (NECO), National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) and the Fafunwa Educational Foundation among other great achievements.

“Baba Fafunwa will also go down in history as the first Nigerian to earn a Ph.D in Education (in 1955) and one of those who recommended the system at a curriculum conference in 1969 leading to its introduction in 1982 under President Shehu Shagari.

“The irony of life however, is that no matter how long and fulfilled they lived, we do not ever wish to lose our loved ones. We therefore implore the family to take solace in the fact that Papa's life was a model, a brand that symbolised excellence, honesty, hard-work and absolute dedication to worthy courses.

“On behalf of my family, Government and people of Ekiti State, I express our heartfelt condolence for the loss of such a distinguished elder statesman and wish the entire family the continued support and guidance of the Almighty God,” Oni said.