Another Professor Dies From COVID-19 Complications


The death has been announced of Professor Ebere Onwudiwe, a renowned economist, political scientist, prolific writer, promoter of Afro-optimism, and respected public intellectual. According to family sources, he died on Saturday, January 9, “due to…complications of the global pandemic.” He was born on October 10, 1952, and is from Isunjaba in Imo State of Nigeria, where he held the traditional title of Mba 1 of Isunjaba.

Apart from having a doctorate degree in Political Science, he also acquired postgraduate degrees in Economics and International Relations. He held several local and international positions in his lifetime, including serving as professor of behavioural sciences at the Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he also became Director of the Centre for African Studies and Executive Director of the Centre for International Studies.

The late Professor Onwudiwe was equally a governance consultant at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and, until recently, was a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development, as well as the Lagos Business School. Until his death, Prof Onwudiwe was a regular commentator on contemporary issues and a well-read columnist

One of his closest associates, along with whom he was a Fellow of the Abuja-based Centre for Democracy and Development, Jibrin Ibrahim, could barely contain his shock at the rather unfortunate demise of the renowned scholar. For Mr Ibrahim, a professor, “the death of Prof. Onwudiwe is painful. He was a perfect gentleman, good friend, committed nationalist and fine scholar that so many of us will miss dearly. He gave up a high-flying academic career in the United States to contribute his quota to the development of his country.”

Another close associate, Pat Utomi, the founder of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), described the late scholar as a passionate intellectual and afro-optimist, who left indelible marks wherever he worked.  Utomi, a professor, recalled their meeting many years ago, during one of the gatherings that Prof Onwudiwe convened for prominent African scholars in America. He further described the late professor as a person someone who took particular interest in the challenge of Afro-pessimism and deliberately promoted a positive flip for Africa through his numerous persuasive writings on Afro-optimism.

Just about two weeks ago during a ceremony in Prof Onwudiwe’s village, veteran journalist Ray Ekpu recalled how he met the late professor many years ago in the United States of America and persuaded him to come home. This was the call that he finally heeded on retirement from active teaching in the American university system.

The deceased is survived by a son, MbaMemme; daughters, Chinwe and ObiAwo; wife; and a number of other family members.

Other prominent Nigerians like Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation and Steve Azaiki of the House of Representatives responded in shock to the death of Mr Onwudiwe and prayed to God for the repose of his soul


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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