Tor Tiv: I Never Knew Ikpeazu Could Be Governor

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Says he’s an exceptional student

Olaseni Durojaiye

The Paramount Ruler of Tiv Nation in Benue State, Prof. James Ortese Ayatse (Tor Tiv V) yesterday disclosed that he never knew Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu could be a governor while undertaking his doctoral studies in the University of Calabar.

However, the monarch attested Ikpeazu’s sterling academic performance, noting that the governor was indeed was one of his most brilliant and exceptional doctoral students at the University of Calabar.

He made the comment during a state banquet organised in his honor at the Government House, Umuahia, Abia State just after the governor approved his appointment as the Chancellor, Abia State University.

Tor Tiv, a professor of Biochemistry, was one of biochemistry Ikpeazu’s lecturers while undertaking doctoral research in Biochemical Pharmacology at the University of Calabar between 1991 and 1994.

Speaking at the banquet, Tor Tiv V said, “When I knew Ikpeazu many years ago, I did not know he would be a governor. I never knew that I would sit beside him today as the governor of one of the important states in Nigeria.”

According to him, Ikpeazu was one of our very brilliant, sharp doctoral candidates. He finished his doctoral programme at the university in record time.

Also at the banquet, Ikpeazu noted that Tor Tiv V was one of the lecturers that inspired him in his choice of becoming a university lecturer.

He said, “This event has provided me the opportunity to say what I have never said anywhere or to anyone. When I arrived University of Calabar for my doctoral studies in Biochemical Pharmacology, Tor Tiv was one of the lecturers that inspired me. He made me see my choice of becoming a university lecturer as the right one.

“I then promised myself that I would equal his achievements in academics. But when he became the Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Makurdi and later Vice Chancellor Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, I knew then that I can’t equal his academic heights.”

Meanwhile, Ikpeazu, the Visitor of Abia State University approved the appointment of the monarch as the Chancellor of the Abia State University.

Ikpeazu said Tor Tiv, as Chancellor, “is expected to use his huge influence as a first class traditional ruler in the country as well as his wide experience and contacts in the tertiary education sector in Nigeria to further the interests of the Abia State University, which he said is one of the best state owned universities in Nigeria.”

In response, Tor Tiv said his appointment as Chancellor of ABSU has the potential of strengthening our existing relationships and opening up new areas of cooperation and collaboration not only between Abia and Benue states but our two geo-political zones and Nigeria at large.

“Let me express my profound to Ikpeazu for my appointment as the fifth Chancellor of Abia State University. Perhaps, it is worthy of note that by divine coincidence, I am also the fifth Tor Tiv of the Tiv nation.

“I assure His Excellency and the University community that I shall do the needful to justify the confidence reposed in me. God helping me, I shall deploy my experience and network built over the years within and outside the university system as well as in and outside the country to positively impact on the fortunes of the university.

“I have heard of your tremendous support to Abia State University which has made the university highly rated amongst Nigerian universities. This you have done in the face of the present dwindling resources and economic down-turn of the country and competing needs. I encourage you not to relent in your funding efforts of the university.”