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Tribute: Prof Iheanyi Nwosu (1953-2018)

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Prof Iheanyi Nwosu

On Thursday, February 1, 2018, death, like a thief in the night, stole into the family of late Chief Yellow Enyiocha Nwosu of Umuagbom Umukabia, Ohuhu in Umuahia, Abia State. On that fateful day, Prof Iheanyi Enyiocha Nwosu, a leading light in Umukabia community and Ohuhu clan, Umuahia was called to higher glory after a brief illness and hospitalization at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. It was, indeed, a day, a consuming darkness descended on the land, leaving on its trails, wailings, anguish and grief in low and high places.

The enveloping darkness brought to an abrupt end, 65 years of vibrant, purposeful and active life dedicated to national service, community development and outstanding scholarship. This instantly reminds us of the indelible words of Williams Shakespeare when he wrote: “Life is like a story told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; but signifying nothing”.

The immortal translation of Iheanyi Nwosu is still like a dream to the beloved ones he left behind. The reality that he is no longer on this side of the terrestrial divide with us is too hard to accept. But who are we, mere mortals, to question the will of the Almighty, the giver and taker of life. The consolation, however, lies in the fact that he lived a remarkable and an exemplary life in the service of God and mankind.

Prof Iheanyi Enyiocha Nwosu was a truly accomplished leader and great achiever who attained enviable heights in many spheres of human endeavours. He was a man who, from his childhood, was destined for greatness; greatness that did not come through any inheritance but through the dint of hard work and perseverance. Until his demise, he was an Associate Professor in Rural Sociology and Extension at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike where he distinguished himself as a leading scholar.

Iheanyi  Enyiocha Nwosu was born on 11th July, 1953 in Kaduna, Kaduna State to the family of Chief Yellow Enyiocha Nwosu and Madam Hannah Chinyere Nwosu (both of blessed memory). He was the first son and second child in a polygamous setting. His father who was a business merchant spared nothing to ensure that he attended the best schools during his era. He had his primary education at the Methodist Central School, Umukabia from where he secured admission to the famous Methodist College, Uzuakoli in 1966. In spite of the disruptions occasioned by the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War, he graduated tops in 1972.

After acquiring his Higher School Certificate (HSC) at Ngwa High School, Aba and having a stint as Classroom Teacher at Item High School in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, he gained admission in 1975 to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to study Sociology and Anthropology. As a brilliant student, he earned a Federal Government Scholarship based on academic excellence. He graduated in 1979 with Second Class (Honours) Upper Division. He also bagged M.SC and M.Phil Degrees in Sociology from the University of Lagos between 1983 and 1985. He capped his academic laurels with a Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) in Rural Sociology and Development from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in 2007.

In his working career, he served meritoriously in the following institutions amongst others: Committee Clerk, National Assembly (1980-1984); Administrative Officer, Federal Ministry of Justice, Lagos (1984-1985); Staff Manager, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Lagos (1985-1989); Head of Personnel and Administration, Nigerian Ropes Plc, Lagos (1989-1992); Senior Personnel Officer, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd, Lagos (1992-1996); Managing Consultant, Center Point Management Consult Ltd, Lagos (1996-2000); and Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Abia State (2000-2004). While in the National Assembly, he served as the Secretary to the Nigerian Chapter of Parliamentarians for World Order (PWO) and participated in its various delegations to the United Nations in New York City, United States of America.

In spite of the eminent heights he attained on the global and national stages, he still found sufficient time to attend to development challenges in his community. Apart from serving as the President of his community in Lagos (Umukabia Progressive Movement) between 1998 and 2000, he also served the community in the following capacities: Member, Church Building Committee, Christ Methodist Church, Umukabia (2010-2018); Chairman, Road Construction Committee, Umukabia (2008-2018); Chairman, Road Commissioning Committee, Umukabia (2012); and Chairman, Central Planning Committee for the Coronation of the pioneer traditional ruler of the Umukabia Autonomous Community (2017). He was also the Patron of Wesley Methodist Cathedral, Youth Association, Umuahia where he worshipped with his family in the Abia State capital.

He was a great achiever who left indelible footprints on the sands of time. As a consummate scholar, he authored several papers and books.

 



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