Prof. Inno Ukaeje
By Azikiwe Ukaeje
Prof. Inno Ukaeje died in a Dakar, Senegal-based private hospital on March 6. His death was attributed to complications from a stroke he had suffered in Nigeria about two years ago. Then, he was flown out of Nigeria to the Austrian city of Vienna for medical treatment and care in April 2011. He was also flown to the United States of America for further treatment. He was subsequently flown to Dakar, where he eventually died, to continue his treatment.
Prof Ukaeje studied political science at the Central Washington State University, Ellensburg, Washington, and University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA where he had obtained a B.Sc. degree in 1968 and an M.Sc. in 1969. He also bagged his Ph. D. in international relations and political economy in 1978 from the State University of New York, Binghamton, New York.
Having taught in several universities in the US, he returned to Nigeria in 1979. In Nigeria, he lectured at the University of Lagos (from 1979 to 1981), the University of Calabar (from 1981 to 1990) and the University of Abuja (from 1990 to 2006). Even after his retirement, his passion for imparting knowledge to the society took him to Nasarawa State University, Keffi on a contract appointment between 2006 and 2010. It was here he suffered the massive stroke on March, 2011.
The renowned professor, who died at 75, was a scholar of both national and international repute. He spent a greater part of his life in the academia in research and teaching on some of the world’s past and contemporary political and contemporary political problems.
He was a realist thinker, who wrote several books and publications especially on Nigerian Foreign Policy and Great Power Politics, African Government and Politics, Military Intervention and Prevention in Nigeria, as well as Strategic Studies and National Security Questions.
A staunch believer in the basic tenets of political science, “Prof”as he was fondly and popularly known, belonged to several professional associations including the Nigerian Political Science Association, Nigerian Society of International Affairs of which he was former president from 1987 to 1990, African Studies Association, American Association of Professors, International Political Science Association, The Academy of Political Science etc.
Prof was a quintessential and fine gentleman. He would be remembered among other things for his humility and love for humanity, which drove him to readily share knowledge, love and material things with anyone who came across him. He loved classical music, enjoyed reading, writing, walking and playing ping pong game.
He is survived by a wife, six children, grand children and other relations.