Prof. Ben Obumselu, first NANS President, dies @ 86
Posted by News Express | 27 March 2017 | 2,124 times
•Late Prof. Ben Obumselu.
The Obumselu family of Ezelle, Oba, Anambra State, has announced the death of their son, Prof. Benedict Ebelechukwu Obumselu, which took place on Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Lagos. He was aged 86.
Obumselu, born on September 22, 1930, was a formidable academic presence and a fine scholar through his long and distinguished life.
He was the pioneer President of the Association of Nigerian University Students (now NANS) and a College Scholar.
The deceased was one of the first two graduates of the newly established single honours degree in English from the University College, Ibadan, where he was a contemporary of Emeka Anyaoku, and the late Gamaliel Onosode, Emmanuel Ifeajuna, Bola Ige and Christopher Okigbo amongst others.
He took a doctorate from Oxford University before returning to Ibadan in the 1960s to lecture.
The upheavals and political crises of the mid-60s forced Ben Obumselu back to the East where he soon became one of Emeka Ojukwu’s closest advisers, playing a key role in the 1968 Ahiara Declaration.
After the Civil War, he lectured at the Sorbonne and held the Cadbury Fellowship at the University of Birmingham.
The following two decades found him in an intellectual odyssey across Southern and Central Africa, expanding his ideas and scholarship and lecturing at various universities.
He retired from academia in 1988, thereafter becoming a prominent leader of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
His powerful commitment to scholarship endured over the decades, and he continued to study, write and publish in prestigious academic journals.
Prof. Ben Obumselu is survived by his widow, Mrs Fidelia Obumselu, his first wife, Mrs Christine Clinton-Obumselu, eight children and several grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family in due course.