The passing of Prof. Leo Otoide caught the Board of Trustee (BOT) and all members of the Castle of Legends Initiative (COLI) unaware. It is sad that we are left to remember the profundity of the opening eight verses of Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes and accept the providence of a sovereign God.

We all remember Prof Otoide as a thoroughly decent, affable, soft-spoken, humane, engaging, courteous, thoughtful and genuine man who served his country, the university community and humanity as a competent, influential and accomplished historian.

Otoide’s journey from a young assistant lecturer and his subsequent ascendancy through the ranks to become a professor at the University of Benin is the quintessential success story for the Otoide we knew. His life and career will serve as an inspiration to Nigerians throughout our country as a real life example of how, notwithstanding the challenges and vicissitudes of life, we can all achieve our aspirations and positively impact those around us and the
development of our nation.

He left behind a legacy that reminds one of the virtues of hard work in the face of adversity, and a dedicated service to the cause of humanity.

Goodbye Prof. Leo Otoide – fearless colossus of a historian, who refused to be quiet on historical facts (such as African International Relations; Nigerian History: Peoples & Culture, Border Studies and Group Relations, International Crisis & Conflict Management). You will be sorely missed and always loved.

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Finally, in a nation desperate for heroes, searching for beacons in the struggle for the entrenchment of social order and equitable political arrangement, Prof Leo Otoide stood side by side with us and other compatriots in the Castle of Legends Initiative (COLI), founded by Chief Dr D. U. Edebiri OON, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, to remember and honour several Nigerians whose story of great significance went unnoticed by the vast majority of Nigerians.

Professor Otoide’s memory and legacy will remain forever etched in the minds of those who knew him. The entire COLI family would like to convey our warmest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to his wife, children and their family members.

Prince Julius Akhanoba
Vice President

Dr Philip Ugbodaga
Secretary General