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Death Claims Prof Frank Ndili, Ex-UNN VC And Nigeria’s Pioneer Nuclear Physicist At 89

Professor Frank Ndili, renowned Nigerian first Nuclear Physicist and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has died.

An announcement by his family said he died on Tuesday, February 13.

He was 89 years old.

The obituary announcement said: “The Family of Professor Frank and Dame Edna Ndili wish to announce with deep sorrow, yet with gratitude to God for a Glorious, Excellent, and Exemplary life well-lived, the passing of our beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Patriarch – Professor Frank Nwachukwu Ndili.

“This sad event took place on February 13, 2024. He passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

“Professor Frank N. Ndili – Ph.D Cantab, F.InstP (October 6, 1934 to February 13, 2024) – Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Emeritus Professor of Nuclear Physics, is survived by his beloved wife Dame Edna Ndili, his children – Dr. Isioma Ndili-Nwokolo, Dr. Amaechi Ndili, Dr. Awele Ndili, Dr. Ogugua Ndili Obi, Dr. Unoma Ndili Okorafor, Dr. Obianuju Ndili, numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers, nieces, nephews and many more. He had an everlasting legacy of Leadership, Love, and Excellence.

“May his great, generous, loving, and kind soul rest in perfect.”

His Wikipedia profile calls him the country’s first Nuclear Physicist.

It describes him in the following words.

Frank Nwachukwu Ndili (born 6 October 1934) was the 1st Nigerian Nuclear Physicist and the 7th Vice Chancellor (President) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

He served as Vice Chancellor (President) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka from 1980 until he was succeeded by professor Chimere Ikoku in 1985.

He left the office after a long and controversial investigation by the panel of inquiry.

However, he is believed to have been forthright even where his predecessor Umaru Shehu (1978-1979) threaded carefully. He is credited with being one of the most visionary Vice Chancellors of the University.

During Professor Ndili’s Vice-Chancellorship, effort was undertaken for the first time to rebuild and refurbish the University of Nigeria following its devastation by the Nigerian Civil War.

Ndili envisioned that the University would be destined for world-class status and designed a Master Plan to that effect.

Today, the grand University entryway, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, the School of General Studies, and the Faculty of Arts Complex stand as testimony to his grand vision.

He is not only a scientist, he is a great teacher, a top administrator, and a positive strategist.

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