The Executive Director of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and the country’s former Health Minister, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin is dead.
Osotimehin who turned 68 last February 6 died on Sunday in New York shortly after he reportedly had lunch with his son, Dr Babjide Osotimehin, who was visiting him after Church Service.
Healthstyleplus Online gathered that Late Osotimehin’s passage was very sudden as he had no previous history of ill health and had only just returned from Sunday service and also had a telephone conversation with his wife, Funke who was visiting their daughter in London.
Our Correspondent learnt that Professor Osotimehin during the conversation with his son, Babajide, suddenly took ill and an ambulance was immediately called to help him to the hospital but gave up soon after.
In a statement to announce his passage, Babajide wrote:
The late Osotimehin was appointed the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund on 19 November 2010 for a four-year term but on August 21 2014, he was reappointed and assumed the position on 1 January 2011 and became the organisation’s fourth Executive Director.
The late ED equally held the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations until his sudden death on Sunday.
Former Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, friend and classmate of Late Osotimehin described his death as “unbelievable, unexpected and a most unfortunate dream not supposed to come true”.
Professor Lambo who was still shaken from the news lamented that he recently spoke with late Osotimehin promising to send him copies of his recently launched autobiography, “but guess that has become history”, he sighed.
Executive Director Ejike Oji Foundation and former Country Director Ipas, Nigeria, Dr Ejike Oji who closely worked with Osotimehin on Family Planning advocacy in Nigeria, described the death of Osotimehin as “a great loss to Nigeria nd the world at large”
According to Oji, “He would be most probably remembered as the one who focussed more on youths and gender at the UN. I pray God grant him eternal rest”.
In another statement signed by Director General National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) Dr Sani Aliyu, where Osotimehin served as the first Director General, he was described as the formidable officer who successfully transformed the organisation from a committee under the Ministry of Health to a government agency and “would be remembered for his outstanding contributions to the HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria”.
Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole in a condolence statement signed by Director of Media and Public Relation said, “The late Osotimehin will be remembered for his role and global contributions to increased access to Family Planning as well as Sexual and Adolescent Health especially in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).