By Editor (additional report by Omoregbe Igiebor
Unrelenting, Osayuki Godwin Oshodin, Professor of Health Education and former Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Edo State, pushed himself further very early and the fruits he derived from his unrelenting labour and tenacity proved to be the sweetest of all pleasures, when in November 2009, the Governing Council of the University of Benin approved his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at the university.
That made him the first Bini man to occupy the position since the institution was established in 1970 by Brigadier S.O Ogbemudia.
But that long highly favoured journey to the zenith of his enviable career did not however start from the top.
Born on August 9, 1950, the young but determined Oshodin, an indigene of Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, started that journey in 1962 at Western Boys High School, Benin City, where in 1966 he obtained his West African School Certificate.
With his unwavering thirst for education, he proceeded to the Federal School of Science, Lagos, for his GCE Advanced Level between 1969 and 1971. Determined to break new grounds, Oshodin proceeded to Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, United States, for his university education, where he obtained certificate in Alcohol Education 1972. After his sojourn at Ohio, he left for City College of City University of New York, New York City, in the United States, where he graduated in 1976 and obtained a BSc in Biology/Medical Anthropology.
Oshodin had a Master of Science from Hunter College of City University of New York in 1978 where he studied Health Science/Community Health Education. He obtained his Ed.D (Doctorate) in Health Education from the Teachers College, Columbia University of New York city, in 1980.
The astute administrator was a member of various learned societies, which include Education to Africa, United Nations, New York; American Museum of Natural History; World University Games Association, WUGA; American Public Health Association; International Council on Alcohol and Addiction; Nigeria Institute of Management; Nigeria Academy of Education, and former editor-in-chief 1999-2003 Physical and Health Education and Recreational Journal; 2001 to 2006, editor-in-chief, Nigeria University Games Association, editor-in-chief; 1991 till he passed on, consulting editor, Nigeria Journal of Health Education, official journal of Nigeria Association of Health Teachers, as well as consulting editor, Ibadan Journal of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan.
Not alien to breaking new grounds, the highly respected professor of Health education received many academic honours and distinctions, especially armed with a doctorate in education, MSc Health Science/Community Health Education, BSc Biology/Medical Anthropology and several others.
Prof Oshodin’s awards included City College of the City University Academic scholarship, Hunter College of the City University postgraduate academic scholarship, Teachers College, Columbia University post-graduate academy scholarship, Bendel State government scholarship, Federal Government Scholarship Award and
Special Academic honours award by Sports Psychology Association of Nigeria
He was a highly intellectual scholar with an eye for excellence. Oshodin received one of the best students prizes in the master’s degree level and some courses, which earned him employment as lecturer/tutor in Health Education in the Department of Academics, Hunter College of City University of New York, United States, 1978 to 1981.
The incisive academician was also awarded one of the best student’s prizes in the doctoral degree level and some specific courses, which earned him employment during the course as a research assistant, 1979, in the department of health education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
An academician per excellence, Professor Oshodin’s modesty, unassuming nature, peaceful disposition and sincerity stood him out among his peers.
The meritorious appointment of Professor Osayuki Godwin Oshodin as Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, brought extraordinary development to the university, and succeeded in putting it at a desirable position among the comity of universities.
He demonstrated uncommon administrative ability and capacity, that brought peace, togetherness and smooth academic activities in every facet.
The unprecedented transformation and steady growth, especially in the areas of infrastructural development witnessed in the university during his tenure was attributed to the tenacity and result-oriented approach of the passionate drive of the dedicated professor of Health Education.
NO doubt, the highly respected and affable Professor Oshodin proved himself worthy in every sphere of human endeavour.
His highly rated accompaniment at the University of Benin, however witnessed a major shock at about 5pm on January 5, 2015 when bulldozers brought down his official residence on the order of then, Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The mission of the bulldozers was to enforce the order of the High Court, Benin, that had declared that, about 18 buildings given to the University of Benin in 1970 by the government of the defunct Midwest State, led by Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, were the properties of the Edo government and not that of UNIBEN.
Oshodin, who was relaxing after the day’s work and his wife was preparing his dinner, when the roof of his residence was broken down.
He authored several publications, including books on health education.
He was also an external examiner to more than 15 universities, and a member of several learned societies
Professor Oshodin was married to Otasowie Oshodin and he is survived by lovely children.