Chukwuemeka Ike: A tribute

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The Aro nation, Nigeria, the academia and the literary word mourn the death of an accomplished author, traditional ruler and First Nigerian Registrar of The West Africa Exanination Council (WAEC) HRH Eze (Prof.) Chukwuemeka Vincent Ike, OFR

 Born April 28, 1931, in Ndikelionwu, Anambra, Nigeria; son of Charles and Dinah (Ezeani) Ike, he attended Government College, Umuahia, Nigeria; University College, Ibadan, Nigeria, B.A., 1955; Stanford University, M.A., 1966.

He commenced his career as a teacher at a primary school in Amichi, Nigeria, 1950-51; teacher at a Girls’ Secondary School, Nkwerre, Nigeria, 1955-56; University College, Ibadan, Nigeria, Administrative Assistant and Assistant Registrar, 1957-60; University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Deputy Registrar, 1960-63, Registrar and Secretary to Council, 1963-71; West African Examinations Council, Accra, Ghana, Registrar and Chief Executive, 1971-79; Emekike and Co., Executive Chairman, 1979, Daily Times of Nigeria Ltd., Director, 1971-87; Times Leisure Services Ltd., Chairman, 1977-1979; University Press Ltd., Director, 1978-2002; Nigerian Book Foundation, Chairman, 1991-93, President and Chief Executive, 1993,. Nigerian Universities Joint Superannuation Scheme, 

Ugwu was Trustee, 1964-71; University of Nigeria, Chairman of Planning and Management Committee, 1970; University of Jos, Visiting Professor, 1983-85; University of Benin, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, 1990-91; Anambra State University of Science and Technology, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, 2001, Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO, Chairman of Culture Sector, 1986-91; Nigerian Copyright Council, member of governing board and chairman of technical committee, 1989-94; National Anti-Piracy Committee, Chairman, 1991-94.

He equally served as Republic of Biafra, Provincial Refugee Officer in charge of Umuahia Province, 1968-69; Headquarters Scout Commander in charge of Nsukka Province, 1970-71. Anglican Communion, member of General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, 1995-2002 etc.

Eze Ike was a member of many organizations including International PEN (Vice President of Nigerian Centre, 1989-91), International Association for Educational Assessment (member of executive committee from Africa, 1975-78), Association of Nigerian Authors (member of executive committee, 1982-83), Nigerian Institute of Management (Fellow), Bible Society of Nigeria (life member), University of Ibadan Alumni Association (life member) etc.

Some of the accolades and honours he received during his life time include, UNESCO travel grant, 1954; fellow, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1962; Ford Foundation grant, 1966; honorary fellow, City and Guilds of London Institute of Publishers, 1978; honorary fellow, University of Iowa, 1987; named distinguished friend of the council, West African Examinations Council, 1994; D.Litt., University of Nigeria, 1998, and University of Lagos, 2000; distinguished alumnus award, University of Ibadan Alumni Association, 2000; decorated officer, Order of the Federal Republic (Nigeria), 2001.

An accomplished author, some of his published works are Toads for Supper, Harvill Press (London, England), 1965. The Naked Gods, Harvill Press (London, England), 1970, The Potter’s Wheel, Harvill Press (London, England), 1973. Sunset at Dawn: A Novel about Biafra, Harvill Press (London, England), 1976, reprinted, University Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1993, The Chicken Chasers, Fontana (Douglas, Isle of Man), 1980, 

Others include, The Bottled Leopard, University Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1985, Our Children Are Coming!, Spectrum Books (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1990, The Search, Heinemann Educational Books Nigeria (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1991, To My Husband from Iowa, Malthouse Press (Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria), 1996, Conspiracy of Silence (novel), Longman Nigeria (Lagos, Nigeria), 2001, The Accra Riviera (short stories), Oyster St. Iyke (Lagos, Nigeria), 2001, University Development in Africa: The Nigerian Experience, Oxford University Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1976, How to Become a Published Writer, Heinemann Educational Books Nigeria (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1991.

Ugwu Aro alongside Emmanuel Obiechina and John Anenechukwu Umeh, edited  The University of Nigeria, 1960-1985: An Experiment in Higher Education, University of Nigeria Press (Nsukka, Nigeria), 1986.

He was also the Editor of the following, Creating a Conducive Environment for Book Publishing: Proceedings of the Second Annual National Conference on Book Development, Nigerian Book Foundation (Awka, Nigeria), 1996, Meeting the Books Needs of the Rural Family, Nigerian Book Foundation (Awka, Nigeria), 1997, Directory of Nigerian Book Development, Nigerian Book Foundation (Awka, Nigeria), 1998, Ndikelionwu and the Spread of Christianity, privately printed (Ndikelionwu, Nigeria), 2000, The Book in 21st Century Nigeria and Universal Basic Education, Nigerian Book Foundation (Awka, Nigeria), 2000 and Creating and Sustaining a Reading Culture, Nigerian Book Foundation (Awka, Nigeria), 2000.

Adieu erudite scholar

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