ADIEU PRINCE (PROFESSOR) IRO EWEKA

The news of your brief illness and death took all of us by surprise as we hoped to continue drinking from your fountain of knowledge for a long time. Death is a necessary end but sometimes it is too soon. In spite of having scaled over three scores and ten years on mother earth, we are still pained to loose you so soon to the cold hand of death.
As a scion of Late Oba Eweka 11, you were born into royalty but you chose to be humble and made yourself accessible to all. You will fondly say ‘cut out the prince and professor thing, just call me Eweka, Iro Eweka’ Your early childhood was memorable as you sometimes say that the world has changed.
You attended Edo College Benin City a tower of learning in the days of Benin and Delta Provinces where you excelled in academics and in sports.
You did not end in Benin City, on obtaining the best Benin City could offer, you left in pursuit of knowledge abroad. You acquired degrees from the Ivory League Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom where obtained your first medical qualification and subsequent post graduate training in Hammersmith qualified you as a psychiatrist.
You were thirsty for knowledge and moved to Canada where you had your PhD in Human Psychology
As an adventurous spirit, you taught and acquired more clinical exposures in Canada and Germany and you also excelled. After the establishment of the University of Benin in 1974, you responded to the call of the mother land to pass on your knowledge and help mould our youths in the ways of our ancestors; the way of honour, the way of integrity, the way of dignity in labour and the way of transparency.
You were the head of the Department of Educational Psychology and Curriculum Studies at the University of Benin and you brought hard work, transparency, truth, support and ambient atmosphere for the development of excellence in education into that department. This was when I first met you as a Benin man to the marrow of your bones due to your philosophy of community good and progress. You were fair, just and friendly. You were a towering source of knowledge and wisdom and you gave counsel for those who had the courage to seek it. I recall you saying in a meeting where other dons were offering money for good course, you just offered yourself. Just come into my office you said; you did not need an appointment.When time permitted you took active part in the NTA Benin programme of ‘Many
Faces of Religion’ with your colleagues and friends Father Uwaifo, Chief Priest Ebohon
and the rest. I used to wait for the programme to air every week because of the
academic content and the level of intelligence espoused.
In spite of your help to our people and the goodwill you enjoyed, you had to leave the
shores of Nigeria again after the sudden loss of your lovely wife.
In the United Kingdom you continued to serve humanity as a psychology expert to the
police and security services and above all as Professor of Psychology to the Open
University based in Bristol.
You took time off to support Edo Community activities under the auspices of Edo
Global Organisation in our annual seminars and conferences in Europe and America
with minimal urging and at no cost to the organisation. You delivered high powered
lectures in Manchester England, in Verona Italy, in Toronto Canada to mention just a
few. The invitations you received were so numerous to give speeches all over the world
that we wondered how you coped. I recalled, you asking, ‘we ren iran na ra? Who are
they? What do they stand for? When I phoned around and come back to you, you agree
to go. You were so kind and so trusting. Your support for the Institute of Benin Studies
and your campaign for its support are still very vivid in my mind. You were always
ready to answer, historical, cultural, psychological, philosophical questions without any
prompting. My closeness to you was a blessing to my life because you were a walking /
human library of sound knowledge hence your passing is so painful.
In spite of your academic pursuit, you still had time to be the most caring father to your
daughter and son, a loving husband, a good and dependable friend, a mentor, an
advisor, truthful to a fault, very forthright and did not believe in the god of money but
the Supreme High God and the community success.
When it was time to leave this sinful world, you just said in a matter of fact way that we
should let you go so as not to prolong any suffering to those you were leaving behind.
You were brave, rational and altruistic to the end.
It will be written in the stars that Prince (Professor) Iro Eweka PhD was indeed a truly
noble and dignifying Edo man, well-versed scholar of Edo heritage; an avid
promoter of Edo cultural heritage and a repository of Edo history. You stood
upright for Edo core values always; spoke selflessly with authority and grace;
unassuming world-class scholar in his field as he authored several
authoritative books on Benin dynasty and human psychology with African
perspective.
You will be fondly missed for your altruistic behaviour, your kindness, love, support,
intelligence, academic prowess and above all your community spirit. Your loss is not
only to your nuclei family, the Royal Family of Benin Kingdom, but to your students,the larger Edo Community at home and the Diaspora and all those whose path ever crossed yours in your sojourn on this plane.
Adieu Iro Eweka; May your soul rest in the bosom of the Almighty God. SEO Ogbonmwan & Family.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s