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Matthew Obichukwu Edoga: Painful exit of the peoples’ professor

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When the sad news of the passing unto glory of Professor Matthew Obichukwu Edoga filtered into Aku, his hometown on the early hours of Friday, July 27, 2018, many were struck with disbelief.

As the cloud of rumour fades, and it became obvious that it was true that Mighty has transited.

The entire town was enveloped in deep pain and sorrow.

The personality of Professor Edoga, popularly known as Mighty, an academic colossus in the field of science and a great philanthropist was what deepened the grief.

According to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “Thou know’st ‘tis common, all that lives must die passing through nature to eternity”, but it has become once too many to the people of AKU having lost two other academic giants within a short period of time.

We cried, ‘O proud death, what feast is toward in thine eternal cell, that thou so many princes at a shot so bloodily hast, struck?

Professor Matthew O. Edoga was born into a noble family of Edoga Onugo of Umualoke Eworo, Umueyikiyoke, Ezi-Oshigo, Aku, Igbo-Etiti Local Council Area of Enugu State.

His parents, Chief Edoga Ezikanyi and Lolo Oye Ezikanyi (Nee Ugwueworo) were two of like minds, very industrious, brave and resourceful.

It was not surprising that Matthew Edoga in all his life endevours strived to always be first among equals.

Edoga’s academic voyage which sailed through many turbulent waters started immediately after the civil war at St. John’s Primary School, Ejuona Aku.

He moved on to Igbo-Etiti Grammar School, Adada in the present Uzo-Uwani Local Council Area of Enugu State for his secondary education.

He had a stint at Boys’ Secondary School, Aku as a science laboratory attendant after his secondary school before proceeding to the then Anambra State University of Science and Technology (ASUTECH), the first University of Science and Technology in Nigeria, where he obtained Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering.

As one who had set a target for himself, the youthful Matthew swiftly enrolled for his Masters Degree at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he once again demonstrated his intellectual prowess and obtained his Masters of Science Degree and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Chemical Engineering in a record time.

It is on record that Professor Matthew Edoga was the first Nigerian to be honoured with Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Chemical Engineering Department at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

As part of his nomadic academic expedition, Edoga attended the Washington State University, USA, where he was trained on Desktop Learning Module (DLM).

He also attended the Grenoble Graduate School of Business, France, where he was also skilled on the Principles of pedagogy. All these were to enhance his capacity as a University lecturer.

His research activities as a towering light in the field of Science and Engineering encompass the areas of catalysts development and application, Bioremediation, petrochemical development and application and process equipment design.

Being a leading scholar in his own field of Engineering, he taught various course both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.

He had also held visiting professorship at Federal University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, University of Maiduguri, University of Lagos, Nigeria Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Abuja and others.

When the Federal Government established the Federal University Ndufu-Alike decided to transfer his seat to the newly established University as a way of extending his professional services to the development of Igboland having spent his entire working career in the Northern Nigeria.

His leadership qualities blossomed when he was appointed Chairman Committee on the Establishment of Faculty of Engineering and Technology in FUNAI. An assignment he performed creditably to the admiration of the entire university community.

As the pioneer Dean, Faculty of Engineering of the newly established University, he set a standard that remained enviable even by other older universities.

He was the immediate past Director of FUNAI Advancement and Linkages Centre.

Before attaining the peak in his chosen career, his academic exploits in the coveted field of engineering saw him leveraging on over fifty (50) high impact journal publications, several proceedings and conference papers which culminated in his award of Professorship in 2014.

He attended several international workshops and conferences at the USA, France etc.

Edoga is a registered Engineer with the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria; a professor of Chemical Engineering with bias in Petroleum/Petrochemical Engineering and Technology.

He was a soaring eagle, a great genius, a dogged and persistent fighter, a pacesetter, an epitome of humanitarian services, a philanthropist who was always willing to assist people, but never wanted to be assisted, a professor per excellence.


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