Special to USAfricaonline.com
By Prof. UZODINMA NWALA
We mourn the transition of Chukwuemeka Ike as a Cultural Act because we, the living, shall no longer behold him with our earthly eyes. However, Chukwuemeka Ike remains an immortal, only henceforth, to be beholden with our spiritual consciousness.
Many know him as a writer. But his greatest contribution to the march of human civilization is in the area of Administration of Higher Education!
He was among the great immortal lieutenants who, alongside Prof Kenneth Dike, pioneered University Administration in Nigeria and Biafra, nay Igboland.
Beginning with his epic career as Registrar at the University of Ibadan under Kenneth Dike, He became Registrar of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, then Registrar of the University of Biafra, subsequently Chairman of the Provisional Council of the University of Nigeria Nsukka.
It was in his capacity as Registrar that in 1964, he directed that I should be given admission to read Economics and later Philosophy, after my name was omitted in the original list due to typographical oversight.
It was in his capacity as Chairman of the Provisional Council of the University of Nigeria that he in 1970 signed my appointment as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Humanities. Chukwuemeka Ike later went on to lay the foundation of the West African Educational Council (WAEC) as the Registrar.
Yes, Chukwuemeka was a distinguished author somehow overshadowed by the mercurial stature of the foremost father of African literature, Chinualumogu Achebe. In the field of Education he was pre- eminent.
Chukwuemeka Ike retired in the service of his community, State and Igbo nation as Royal Father. In all he stands out as one of the pillars of Enlightenment In Africa.
Whenever I think of Chukwuemeka Ike, I see his majestic beautiful figure and his voice that relays an immense intellectual and spiritual force and Authority. Yes, I think of him as an authentic human being.
Igbo nation under-utilized Ike’s unique gift as a great leader in the modern history of Alaigbo, nay Africa.
Chukwuemeka Ike is gone Home to our Creator. When shall we have another!