A TRIBUTE TO OUR GREAT FALLEN HERO- EMERITUS PROFESSOR FESTUS AGHAGBO NWAKO (AN INTELLECTUAL LEGEND OF ALL TIMES)

It was with great shock and sadness that we recieved the sudden death of our grest and endearing Prof. Festus Aghagbo Nwako, the foundation Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. A Professor of Professors, an impeccable and worthy gentleman, a surgeon of world class, a Paediatrician of refute, a lovely husband, father of the defenseless, lover of students, an administrator par excellence, a very deep religious man with a spirit of tolerance, an understanding and a good forgiving heart, a man who had zero tolerance for gossips and always ready to confront such situations head-on, a courageous administrator who was ready to confront problems always without fear or favour. The UNIZIK family mourns a great patriot, a hero,the man with a large heart and soul, an avid lover of excellence.

Oh wicked death, where is thy sting, have you not done your worst? You may have touched his body but Jesus Christ will have the soul! You denied us of the warmth and love Prof. Aghagbo Nwako shared with us and his medical students. We shall continue to mourn the first Emeritus Professor of Medicine of UNIZIK, the former President of West African College of Surgeons, the man with the Midas touch in his University Administrative propensities, the great scientist and Paediatrician whose profound dexterity in the separation of Siamese twins at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital reverberated all over the world.

Where do we start and end in eulogizing this genius of all times? We miss the iroko of a man who masterminded the takeover of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, from Anambra State by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the man whose managerial abilities secured UNIZIK the second best position amongst Federal Universities in National Universities Commission rating, the man who gave UNIZIK its first Academic Brief, the man who gave UNIZIK a sense of belonging through prudent management of funds and high profile appointments of academic and administrative staff. What more, we miss the bridge builder, the man of the people who does not discriminate along class or religious lines, a lover of peace with a forgiving heart and a mentor to young academics and professionals. Prof. Nwako was such a kind hearted, jovial and Philosophical man with a very high sense of humour, one could never have a dull moment in his company. He continuously offered his free services to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital after retirement till his passing away.

On behalf of the Governing Council, senate and Management, Staff and students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, we commiserate with the entire Nwako family and the entire medical academic world for this great and irredeemable loss. May the Good Lord Almighty give the Nwako family and us all the fortitude to bear the great loss, Amen.

Prof. Boniface C. E. Egboka Phd, FAS, FNMGS, FNAH

(Vice-Chancellor)

From UNIZIK Bulletin, March 3, 2014 (Vol 7 No 9, pg 1-2)

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