•The late Prof BIC Ijomah
That is what he was: a colossus. Professor B. Imeagwu Chukwumah Ijomah, professor of political sociology, author, scholar, academician, and institutional administrator. Ijomah graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1963, and after three years as administrative officer and assistant registrar at the same University of Nigeria, he proceeded to Northwestern University, Evanston, where he obtained a master’s degree in 1967 and a doctorate in sociology in 1969.
He was perhaps one of the few scholars who combined academics with administrative work. His mentor, Prof. V. Chukwuemeka Ike led in this respect. Professor Ijomah had followed his mentor almost in every move he made – a registrar who transferred to become a professor.
He was for several years, the Head of the Department of Sociology, from Nsukka to Ambrose Alli University, where he spent many years. He was Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 1985 – 1989.
He returned to the substantive position of Head of Department of Sociology, a position he held until he retired in 2002.
Ijomah was a member of many professional bodies: A member of the Institute of Administration and Management; member of the Institute of Sociological Association; Fellow of Inter University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society; member of Nigerian Sociological and Anthropological Society, member of American Statistical Association; member of American Sociological Association; member of International Sociological Association; and Editor of African Journal of Behavioural Sciences. Prof. Ijomah published many articles and books; until his death on March 13, 2020, he was actively writing.
As an activist, Ijomah was the first president of Students Union at University of Nigeria Nsukka from 1960 – 1961; he was the first national vice president of the National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS). He was the first President of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association.
Prof. Ijomah was an incurable quantitative researcher in sociology, and had carried out a number of field work. In 1986 – 1993, he carried out a national and international research on coastal erosion in Nigeria, and successfully predicted the instability of the ocean in Victoria Island, Lagos. He was the national chairman of Coastal Erosion Research which involved four universities, the Nigerian Navy and Deustch Hydraulics.
He served on a number of Federal Government committees and commissions. He was a member of the Federal Government Advisory Committee on Social Development in 1982; member of the Board of Directors, Midwest Mass Communications in 1975; Principal Officer, Arts and Culture in 1977; was Bendel State Commissioner for Education in 1983. He was a member of the 1995 Constitutional Conference Commission, and a member of the Transitional Implementation Committee. He was chairman of Governing Council, Institute of Continuing Education, Bendel State; member of Governing Council, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Governing Council, Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Governing Council, University of Benin.
In 1998, Prof. Ijomah obtained permission from General Dani Abacha, the then Head of State, to pioneer the South South People’s Conference (SSOPEC) which later translated into the South South People’s Assembly. Prof. Ijomah has published over 10 books and over 100 articles.
He is an ardent lover of the Blessed Virgin Mary and has published several articles in her honour. He has received several awards to his credit and was installed as a national patron of the World Apostolate of Fatima in 2010.
In 2005 he commenced work on the establishment of the Madonna International College which successfully took off in 2006.
Today, Madonna International College has recorded many awards and he felt satisfied that the school emerged to be among the best, if not the best college in Delta State. It is striking that on most of his birthday celebrations, Prof. Ijomah would present a publication to the country, most particularly his prodigious work on Nigerian Nationalism and the Problems of Socio-Political Integration, a work based on research.
Welcome to the archives of this researcher, academician, politician, author, orator, and a man of the people, who will be laid to rest tomorrow, Wednesday, 16 December 2020.
An iroko has fallen!
•Emmah Ijomah, a pastor and son of the late Professor BIC Ijomah, writes from Lagos