Shehu of Borno is seventh UNILAG chancellor
• Ex-auditor-general dies in guest house inferno
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba El-Kanemi, was yesterday installed the new chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
But it was a bleak atmosphere in the university as a fire outbreak at its guesthouse consumed a former Auditor-General of Borno State, Alhaji Kaka Kyari Abba Kaza who was on the entourage of the new chancellor. He was said to have died of suffocation in the inferno that broke out in the early hours of Wednesday.
The delegation, according to report, arrived the university at about 5pm on Tuesday for the monarch’s installation as the seventh chancellor of the institution. They were billed to lodge at the chancellor’s quarters but due to the large size of the team, others who could not be accommodated, including Kyari, were taken to the guesthouse where the sad incident occurred.
The university, in a statement yesterday evening, confirmed the unfortunate incident, adding that its cause was being investigated.
The chancellor’s installation yesterday was part of the activities climaxing the week-long event for the 2014/2015 convocation of the institution, in which 10,907 graduands received certificates, diplomas and prizes in first and higher degrees in various disciplines.
The occasion, which was graced by dignitaries, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar; the Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammadu Sanusi II, among others, went ahead as scheduled.
The entourage as seen at the ceremony were indeed teeming as all the districts heads, chairmen of local governments, titled men, 11 commissioners and their aids among numerous others were on hand to witness the installation.
When The Guardian visited the scene of the incident, some National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials and workers at the guesthouse were seen evacuating debris from the affected rooms.
It was learnt that the deceased was yesterday flown to Maiduguri for burial according to Islamic rites.
Speaking shortly after his installation, El-Kanemi, while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing him to serve the university in that capacity, pledged to contribute his quota to the advancement of the institution.
Also the Visitor to the university, Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, charged managers of tertiary institutions to place greater emphasis on research activities.
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