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Renowned Nigerian Educationist, Mr. Chukwude Emmanuel Ikechukwu, Leaves a Legacy of Excellence and Mentorship

BIOGRAPHY OF AN EDUCATIONIST WHO HAS PRODUCED MANY LEGENDS, MR. CHUKWUDE EMMANUEL IKECHUKWU, RETIRED ZONAL DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, POST PRIMARY SCHOOL SERVICE COMMISSION, ONITSHA ZONE, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA.

A citizen of a no mean city, Onitsha has departed on his final journey to join the saints. The odyssey of the great will truly not be complete without recognizing the mark made on the sands of time by late Mr. Chukwude, Emmanuel Ikechukwu whose magnetic personality commanded the respect of the heavens. His influence and greatness made him a global phenomenon, a quintessential, a paragon of a modern gentleman, a man of high intellectual fecundity, high overflowing sagacity, luminary qualities and sterling character.

At the mention of the name of Mr. Chukwude Emmanuel Ikechukwu our minds are bound to reflect on a man whose commitment, thoughts, and ideas has greatly influenced the Nigerian Educational System; whose thinking mind cannot be forgotten in the development of the Education Industry in Anambra State and Onitsha in particular where he retired as one of the Zonal Directors of Education, Post Primary School Service Commission, Onitsha Zone, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Late Mr. Chukwude, Emmanuel Ikechkwu was a man who does not believe in blowing his own trumpet, but behind the mask was a committed Christian, a luminary teacher and polymath, a seasoned administrator, an outstanding orator who rose to heights of eloquence that have been rarely attained in all the annals of mankind, an exceptional philosopher and scientist, a great father and good husband who made his mark as a god among men and immortalized his name in the pantheon of the gods that in the gallery of great leaders he was without doubt a rare master piece. Truly, he was an embodiment of celebral articulation. A bringer of rain whose impeccable life style has made it Impossible to gloss over his attribute for greatness.

Born on 29th December, 1947 into the distinguished Umuisagba family of Odoje Ubene Village, Onitsha of Late Mr. Johnson Menkiti Chukwude and Late Mrs. Chude Emetarom Josephine (Nee Onuorah) as the fisrt of ten children, namely Godfrey Chude, Edward Chude (Late), Winifred Igboneme, Blessing Uzoh (Late), Hope Chude, Patience Nwajuaku, Stella Onyekwe (Late), Benedict Chude and Charles Chude. He was the first son out of five boys.

His father, Late Mr. Johnson Menkiti Chukwude was born in 1908 into the family of Late Akunne Chude of Odoje Ubene Umuisagba Family and Late Mrs. Omenwa “Okwuonicha” Chude (Nee Inoma) of Umuaroli Village, both in Onitsha, Anambra State. Late Mr. Johnson Menkiti Chukwude died on 10th October, 1974 at the age of 66 years old. He was educated at the C.M.S. Central School, Onitsha and C.M.S Training College, Awka. He became a teacher in 1930 and rose the rank of Headmaster Special Class 1 before his death. Late Mr. Johnson Menkiti Chukwude with his family travelled far and near in the North and the former East Central State of Nigeria as the mission School Head namely Kafanchan in the North (1946 – 1947), Ozubulu in Ekwusigo L.G.A (1948 – 1950), Nnachi and Enugu-Inyi in Enugu Sate (1951 – 1954) Amumara Mbaise in Imo State (1955 – 1956), Umuleri (1957 – 1959), Umunachi in Dunukofia L.G.A (1960 – 1965) and finally Onitsha C.M.S Central School (1970 – 1974). His father was a dedicated and devout Christian and an important member of Onitsha Progressive Union (O. P. U.). In his time, he contributed a lot to the building of Immanuel Anglican Church, Inland Town Onitsha.

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His mother, Late Mrs. Chude Emetarom Josephine (Nee Onuorah was born on 15th November, 1929 into the family of Late Chief Onuorah (Ojiede of Onitsha of Umuosodi Umudei Village, Onitsha and Mrs Akajinwa Onuorah (Nee Edekobi) of Akabo Village Ojoto Obiofia in Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State. She died on 18th October, 2016 at the age of 87 years old. She was educated at Onitsha Girls School (now Okosi Primary School, Onitsha). She obtained her standard six certificate in 1943 and proceeded to St. Monica’s Teacher Training College, Ogbunike in 1944 and in 1945 she got her Elementary Teachers Certificate. She got wedded to Late Mr. Jonson Menkiti Chukwude, a retired Headmaster Special Class 1 in December 1946 at Immanuel Anglican Church, Inland Town Onitsha and her marriage was blessed with ten children with Mr. Chukwude Emmanuel Ikechukwu being her first child.

Late Mr. Chukwude Emmanuel Ikechukwu started off his education at C.M.S Central School, Umunachi, Anambra State between 1953 to 1960. He had his secondary education at Anglican Grammar School, Orakwu between 1961 to 1965 where he obtained his outstanding West African School Certificate result (W. A. S. C) having displayed uncommon traits that singled him out for greatness as a luminary scholar and polymath. He belonged to Umunna House as a student of Orakwu Grammar School, Onitsha. He later proceeded to Alvan Ikoku College of Education (A.T.T.C), Owerri for his N. C. E programme between 1966 to 1971. Despite the infact he was greatly affected and wounded by bullets during the Nigeria – Biafra War of 1967 – 1970, God kept him to complete his N. C. E programme and was certified in 1971. The quest for further education was topmost in his plans and he worked assiduously to bag a Second Class Upper Division in Agricultural Education in 1993 from no other than the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

His first work appointment dated 10th February, 1972, where he was posted to Metropolitan Secondary School, Onitsha and started as Master III SGL 07. During his stay at Metropolitan Secondary School, Onitsha, he was nicknamed ‘Stuff’ by his students due to his height of intelligence and meticulousness in handling his taught subjects like Physics, Agric Science and Biology which has today inspired many of his students to success.
After his father’s death in 1974, life was not easy for him, his mother and his siblings. He worked tirelessly and contributed immensely to the growth of the family and the education of his younger siblings. He was a gem in the eyes of many and a foundation for many successes. He obviously mustered discipline and expended toil for his success.

It was when he resided at Nkisi Aroli, Inland Town, Onitsha that he found his sweetheart, Mrs. Chude, Ndidi Maryrose (Nee Abadom) who he did her traditional marriage in 1983, and white wedding and on 27th November, 1987 taking the vows of Holy Matrimony at his home church, Immanuel Anglican Church, Onitsha. He later moved in to reside at No 22 Osuma Road, Inland Town, Onitsha where his landlord was the great Late Barr. Ezennia Ogbuli, the father of the respected Hon. Justice Akwunwafor Amangbo Ogbuli. He went on to father five sons (two dying in infancy) who he educated up to their University levels.

His surviving sons namely are Engr. Chude, Ifeanyi Victor( Staff of Independent Electoral Commission, INEC), Engr. Pst. Chude, Philip Ikechukwu (Church Teacher, St. Christopher’s Junior Seminary 3-3, Onitsha, Associate Member, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Corporate Member, Nigerian Association of Technologists In Engineering) and Amb. Dr. Chude, Arinze Timothy (Aristotle) who is a Global Education Ambassador, Wisdom University, Nigeria, a Child Advisor, Glory Future Foundation, Bagerhat, Bangladesh, a Global Peace Brand Ambassador, All Lives Do Exist and Women’s Lives Do Exist, U.S.A, a Global Youth Ambassador, Theirworld, London, Member, Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network (CYGEN), London and Member 28 Credentials of Entrepreneurs, Malaysia, an International Facilitator, Yil-Network, Monrovia Liberia, and an International Speaker & Member, Yes You Can International, UK.
Late Mr. Chukwude Emmanuel Ikechukwu lived with his family happily and peacefully. He had a glorious home that radiates so much love and peace despite the challenges of life. His love for his children knew no bound; it was a very happy home even till his very end. He also saw to the training of Mrs. Obiefuna Anuli (Nee Ogbogu) who was very helpful to the raising of his sons.

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While he was in Metropolitan Secondary School, Onitsha between 15th February, 1972 – 22nd September, 1989 under the administration of the Late Rev. Fr. Nwosu, he was a House Master, the School Head of Science Department, the Chairman Disciplinary Committee, the Chairman Continuous Assessment Committee and the Acting Vice Principal. He was later promoted to Principal Master 1 (N. C. E) Grade level 13 on 24th May, 1990.

Still winning greatly on his journey as a quintessential teacher and administrator, he was transferred from Metropolitan Secondary School, Onitsha to Ado Girls Secondary School, Onitsha in 1989 where he taught Agric Science and served diligently as the Head of Department Agric, Dean of Studies and the Vice Principal of Ado Girls Secondary School, Onitsha under the administration of Mrs Onyido C.C. His stay in Ado Girls Secondary School, Onitsha was between 23rd September, 1989 to 17 October, 1996.

On 9th October, 1996, he was transferred from Ado Girls Secondary School, Onitsha to Community Secondary School, Ogwuaniocha. His stay in Community Secondary School Ogwuaniocha was between 18th October, 1996 to 25th September, 1997 where he served as the Principal of the school.

After a successful administration as the Principal of Community Secondary School, Ogwuaniocha, he later handed over the administration of the School to Mr. Uladike G. M. on 4th March, 1998.

On 25th February, 1998, he was officially handed over the administration of Community Secondary School, Ossomala as the principal by Mr. Obiakor, B.N where he served from 26th September, 1997 to 5th March, 2000. Under his administration as the principal of Community Secondary School, Ossomala, he won the hearts of many within and outside the school community. This made him in 1999 to champion scholarship award for 4 (Four) students namely Agwuonu Osita (SS III), Nwafili Ernest (SS II), Osaweta Patricia (SS I) and a less privileged student through the benevolence of Chief P. O. Ndenu. Also in 1999 as the principal of Community Secondary School, Ossomala, through the benevolence of C.W.O Ossomala Home/Abroad he received with thanks nine (9) Biology Laboratory tables and 32 stools which he saw as an indelible and memorable gesture by Ossomala women who demonstrated the spirit of purpose and commitment towards the growth and progress of their darling Secondary School – Community Secondary School, Ossomala.

During his transfer as Principal to Orakwu Grammar School, Orakwu on 25th February, 2000 to succeed the outgoing Retired Principal, Mr. Okoli, he temporary handed over the administration of Community Secondary School, Ossomala to Mrs. Okoye G. U who was the next in command as the Acting Principal before the arrival of Mr. Anisiobi I. F. who he formally handed over the administration of Community Secondary School Ossomala on 29th August, 2000.

He assumed duty on 6th March, 2000 at Orakwu Grammar School, Orakwu and worked assiduously to putting the school in position of greatness before he handed over the administration of the school to Mr. Ezeume, J. C. on 6th July, 2001 following the posting/redeployment of Principals. His stay in Orakwu Grammar School, Orakwu was between 6th March, 2000 to 19th November, 2000. He was later posted to work as a staff of the State Education Commission Ogidi Zonal Office between 20th November, 2000 to 25th January, 2004.

At State Education Commission, Ogidi Zonal Office, he worked as a supervising Principal until 2004 before he was transferred and assumed duty on 26th January, 2004 as a staff of State Education Commission, Onitsha Zonal Office where he later rose to the height of a Zonal Director of Education, Post Primary School Service, Commission Onitsha Zone, Anambra State, Nigeria.

During his 35 years of teaching experience, he was a class teacher (January 1972 – August 1996), a Principal (September 1996 – November 2000) and a supervising Principal (December 2000 – February 2007). Upon his retirement on 15th February, 2007, he was ranked as Principal Special Class 1 as he was promoted from the post of PSG II SGL 15 to the post of PSG I SGL 16 Step 9. He has written many articles and has attended and spoken at countless conferences, seminars and workshops within and outside Anambra State.

Late Mr. Chukwude Emmanuel Ikechukwu’s greatness and great exploits in the education industry was unmatchable. Even after his 35 years of active years, he continued again on this great journey of raising students to become global champions as he dedicated another 15 years as a teacher and an administrator. He became a staff of the prestigious St. Christopher’s Junior Seminary 3-3, Onitsha in 2007 where he was made the Dean of Studies, Internal Supervisor Senior Classes, Academic Adviser and later served as Vice Principal Academics for nine years. He greatly helped the school win many laurels in Science competitions.

His great footprints in this academia of learning were highly felt by all and sundry and this got him an introduction to notable personalities like Rt. Rev. Sandy Okeke (Former Bishop On The Niger), Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo, PhD (Bishop On The Niger) and Rt. Rev. Obiora Uzochukwu (Bishop Of Mbamili Diocese) who was then the Diocesan Education Secretary in Diocese of the Niger among host of many others who he also worked with at St. Christopher’s Junior Seminary 3-3, Onitsha.

On 14th July, 2012, as the Academic Adviser of St. Christopher’s Junior Seminary 3-3, Onitsha, under the administration of Ven. Chidi Nwadike, he met the former Governor of Anambra State and the Labour Party Presidential Aspirant, Mr. Peter Obi during his visit to the school.

He enjoyed the company of scholars as he always spoke highly of his great family friend and seasoned administrator who happens to be one of the great Principals and an illustrious old boy of Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha, Late Sir Joel Ezeukwu. In his later years, he was actively involved in the building of Church of Pentecost, Osuma, Inland Town, Onitsha while he was still resident at that area. He was also actively involved in the building of St. Peters Anglican Church, Enuovuve, Nkwelle Ezunaka, being his new area of residence having built and moved in, in his new house. He was a respected elder in the church who was highly committed, principled, down – to – earth, jovial and love singing hymns.

He concluded his final journey in the teaching field at Glory School, Onitsha in 2022 where he taught Biology and Fishery. Having became a household name in the Education Industry as a teacher and an administrator, we believe that his death on 1st June, 2023 was a grand transitioning to the academic Institutions in heaven where his services are highly needed. He will always be remembered as an upright man, a man of great dignity and Integrity, a man of few words but full of action, a man who always stood for the truth and never comprised his faith no matter the opposition.

Rest on Daddy. Rest on Icon. Rest on an Educationist who has produced many legends. History will never forget your kind. You have passed the torch to us and we promise to keep the flag aloft and the Chudkwude’s name unblemished.

We now bid you farewell with words of William Shakespeare which says “When beggars die no cometh seen, the heavens themselves blazeforth the death of princes.”

Until we meet again our Educationist, Leader, Great father, Husband, Father-in-law and Grand father.

Written By Son, Amb. Dr. Chude, Arinze Timothy (Aristotle)

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