How Technology, or Lack of One, Killed University of Lagos’s Vice Chancellor

…don’t mind my nerve, you can call it fiction, but I love being submerged in your contraction – Jason Mraz (Beautiful Mess)

There’s been many tales on how the (former) Vice Chancellor of the prestigious University of Lagos passed away in the early hours of Saturday, 12th of May, 2012.  Here’s my version, and even though I couldn’t hear from the horse’s mouth as it seemed quite difficult, or rather impossible, I got the account of his death from a reliable source. I’d summarize what happened and move on to what prompted me to writing this post.

He – Professor Shofoluwe – had just finished the work the day at the office of the VC on the 11th floor [topmost floor] of the University of Lagos’ Senate building, and decided to stop by his ‘real’ office at the Science Department, before heading home for the day. He noticed he wasn’t feeling too good and quickly placed a call to his personal doctor from his mobile phone but he slumped before he could give his location.

“Hello Doctor X. I am not feeling too good. Arggh! I am in….. (trying to state location)”

Let’s assume it was normal for the Doctor to get himself and the emergency medical team on campus in the shortest time, they spent a lot of time looking for him – first at the VC’s Office (just imagine the time it would take to use either the stairway or elevator to go up and down 11 floors) before going to his house only to meet his absence. Finally, he was found at the departmental office, and rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (that’s another trip), where he was hit a second time, and finally gave up the ghost – or so the story goes.

How Did Technology Kill The Vice Chancellor?

Not technology, but the lack of one, did kill the Professor. A simple lock-down on his mobile phone would have saved a lot of time used in searching for him, and perhaps saved his life. I am no pro in location-based technology (or is it called GPS – Global Positioning System or Cell Phone Tracker or whatever it is called), but it would have come in handy if the Doctor could launch an app, enter the Prof’s phone number (ceteris paribus on privacy and security), and then get a reading on his location, or alternatively forward the telephone number to a ‘public/private’ central service that can then track the location of the mobile phone.

The Co-Creation Hub, guess it’s time for another Tech-In-Series. Good job with Tech-in-Gov, as we really see BudgITng making a difference and setting the standards in Gov 2.0, not forgetting  Efiko from the Tech-in-Edu really thriving on both development and funding fronts, but tic-tac-tuc, it’s time for Tech-in-Med.


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