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Alele-Williams cared for humanity, says cleric at funeral

A former Provost of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Yinka Omololu, has described the late Prof. Grace Alele-Williams as a woman who cared for humanity and was passionate for women in sciences.

The renowned professor of Mathematics died on March 25, 2022, aged 89.

Speaking at the funeral service organised in honour of the first female Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria on Thursday at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Omololu said Alele-Williams was devoted to God and was zealous in his service.

He said, “Prof Alele Williams loved hard work and was a great disciplinarian who worked diligently. Through her efforts, many females were encouraged to choose science-based professions like Medicine, Engineering and Mathematics. She was also instrumental to the establishment of the third world organisation for women in sciences and was recognised for her efforts nationally and internationally.

“She cared for humanity and was endeared to various community services, in fact, she surpassed many men in these activities. She was passionate about women and she was a woman who devoted her life to the service of God and was among the first to volunteer for the evangelistic programme at the cathedral. She was a jewel to the people of God.”

Speaking of her positive influence in the academic environment, he said, “I am thankful to God that I came across Prof Alele-Williams in my life. I first met her in 1985 when she had just become the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin – the first female VC of a Nigerian university.

“Before her tenure, cultism was rife and pots of sacrifices were placed at different places in the campus, violence and everything evil was befalling the lecturers and students and I did not understand why the government decided to put this woman into this hostile terrain, however, she sought my support as I was the Chairman of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital at the time.

“She put strategies in place and demonstrated boldness even when we received intelligence report for her to be in hiding; she went forth and her plans changed the atmosphere of the university.”

One of the sisters to the deceased who declined to give her name said, “The legacy that my sister left behind is admirable and I want to make it last and her. Everyone in the family will deeply miss her.”

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