By Tony Okoroji
I was travelling when the news broke that a mighty Iroko had fallen. I had no idea what was going on. I am most saddened by the news I am receiving of the passing on of the great Nigerian and accomplished world citizen, Professor Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike.
To know Chukwuemeka Ikewas to know a true gentleman. His knowledge and intellect were gargantuan, yet he expressed his strongly held views in a manner that offended no one. I worked closely with Prof Ike in the development of the Nigerian copyright system and very much enjoyed the company of an exceptional man. He was a work horse who took on whatever assignment he was confronted with, with a smile and no complaint.
He was Rapporteur – General at the National Seminar that collated the extensive materials used to craft the present Nigerian copyright law. We both served on the committee that drafted the law and when the Nigerian Copyright Council (NCC) was set up, we were both appointed to the governing board. It did not matter to him that I was much younger and an activist without any of his towering achievements, the great Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike treated me as a friend and an equal.
I am talking about a man who had sat on top of the management of the mighty West African Examinations Council (WAEC) as its Registrar. This was a man whose books I had read in secondary school and whose son, Osita was one of my friends. When any issue had to do with the music industry, Prof Ike exhibited no pride or ego, he sought my counsel.
Professor Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike was an achiever in every sense. In education, he was top notch; as a novelist and author, he left a lot for us to read and as an administrator, he delivered results.
- It is in the character of the man that he spent the later days of his life as the traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu community in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
My condolences to his many admirers spread around the world and specially to his dear wife of many years, Prof Adebimpe Ike, mother of my late friend, Osita who departed this world a few years ago.
Adieu great Igbo man. Adieu great Nigerian. Adieu great citizen of the World.