The Oasis Reporters
March 15, 2019
While the Oasis Reporters was celebrating the life and times of a leading emeritus Sociology professor, a Nigerian icon, Prof. Onigu Otite, his son in faraway Canada, Jovi Otite was at the same time, utilizing the social media to inform the world that his father has joined the Saints triumphant.
He wrote :
“To my father who taught me everything
A father who taught me where to find God
A father who taught me how to make my pigeon cages and dog kennels
A father who supported my journey to becoming an animal scientist
A father who ensured I learned how to defend myself and family like a man while showing love to all at the same time.
I remember when students from Nigeria and other African countries would come to Ibadan to study and he will ask me to give up my bed for them
A father who taught me how to share
A father who taught me EVERYTHING
A professor by ALL standards
To you daddy, I kneel and say THANK YOU! MIGWO!
God will judge us on how we raised our kids and the impact of our lives on others.
I know you’re in Heaven. Rest in peace in Jesus Mighty Name. May the Angels and Saints welcome you with open arms.”
It is understood that in keeping with the Urhobo culture and tradition of the late emeritus professor, his children who are mostly resident in the Western world would have to travel from their diverse continents to Okpara Inland, near Warri city in Delta State to officially break the news of their father’s demise to the elders and people of the land before a burial date is announced, which may see the young men and women coughing out millions of naira to entertain guests for as long as the burial carnival would last in the village.
One of the painfully moving aspects of the life of Nigeria’s iconic professors who raised their children under academic environments is that virtually all of them relocate to US, UK, Canada, Germany etc, leaving the Nigerian environment poorer, because successive governments have not made the atmosphere for the country to retain its well trained and well nurtured children at home.
Professor Onigu Otite was born on January 21, 1939 at Okpara Inland in Urhobo land, Delta State remains a leading icon in the firmament of Delta State. He was one of the pioneering students to attend the University of Nigeria, Nsukka before proceeding to the
University of London, United Kingdom.
Born into a very large family, he attended the village’s Catholic school. He later furthered his studies at the St Thomas Teacher Training College in Ibusa, Delta State from 1950 to 1954. He went on to teach in this school and by 1956 he was made Headmaster of the St Francis Catholic School, Sapele in Delta State. In 1958, he was appointed Assistant Executive Officer, at the Ministry of Health and a year later he was made the Private Secretary (Defense) to the Prime Minister’s Office in Lagos.
After leaving University of Nigeria, Nsukka that he entered in 1960, he was employed as the Administrative Officer, at the Ministry of Lands and Housing, Western Region, and later at the Ministry of Works and the Public Service Commission.
Professor Otite teamed up with his fellow kinsman, Professor Omafume Onoge to lay the foundation of the University of Ibadan Dept of Sociology. While Otite had a British bent to Sociology, Onoge who studied at Harvard University, added the American blend, but curiously, with a Marxist socialist slant. The blend was rich and exciting from the duo, but the Marxist side drew the ire of then military head of state, General Olusegun Obasanjo. He didn’t understand that rich variety of ideas made a university process stimulating. So he got Onoge out of University of Ibadan.
Tributes have been pouring in, eulogizing late emeritus professor of Sociology, Onigu Otite.