Emeritus Professor Cookey At 80

The Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday 25th April, 2014 was packed full as Professors, Vice Chancellors, His Royal Majesties, families, friends, captains of industries and well wishers who gathered to mark the 80th birthday of Ex-V.C UNIPORT Prof. Sylvanus John Sodienye Cookey.

From HRM Nnaemeka Achebe (CFC) Obi of Onitsha, who chaired the event to HRM King Douglas Dandeson Jaja (Jeki V), Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, Rivers State, to guest lecturers Prof. Yakubu Ochefu and VC Taraba State, the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium was jam packed. Among invitees from all walks of life who graced the event are Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, Amb. Nne Kurubo, HRH. Dr. Constance Nwinyor, Prof. Amucheazi, former DG of NOA and now Pro-Chancellor, Anambra State University, Mr. Goodie Ibru, former Chairman, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and honorary Consul of Rep. of Lithuania, Prof. John Enaowho, former Vice Chancellor, Dr. G. Ngeri- Nwagha former Director NDDC, Mrs. Anucha, former Head of Service, Rivers State. Other diagnotories include Prof. Winston Beligam, Prof Tonye Bellgram, Justice Adolphus Karibe Whyte, Prof. Nimi Briggs, Prof. Omotayo Ebong and of course the chief host Prof. Joseph A. Ajienka, V.C. UNIPORT and his wife and Mrs. Matilda Nnodim Registrar UNIPORT, the event which was wrapped up with edibles also witnessed the cutting of birthday cake. The gathering was another platform for well-wishers to pay tributes to the resilient and hardworking spirit of the former V.C. UNIPORT whom many described as a true professional and kind-hearted. Tribute from Abia, Professor Offiong Timothy Ph.D, Associate Professor UNICAL clearly thanked God for giving “us a great man like you. You are one of the pivots of our historian in life generally as a historian, but particularly as an economist historian who moulded the character and focus of a new generation of Historians.

Congratulatory message from the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power, Abuja, clearly states, in part, “You are a priceless gift and blessing to mankind. I will continue to hold you in high esteem for the invaluable role you have played in the academic communities in Nigeria and world over as a lecturer Professor of history and Vice Chancellor. You have made so many contributions to the lives of millions of people including myself”, and prayed God to continue to reveal His numerous blessings He has in store for him and give him more fulfilling years on earth.

Also congratulating the celebrant the former Registrar Obafemi Awolowo University lle-Ife Ayorindo Ogunruke said, “Prof. Cookey was the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of council of the great Obafemi Awolowo University, lle-lfe, “My experience of Ife under the Chairmanship of this ebullient and highly cerebra! academic was a great departure from previous experience, Prof. Cookey represented that was excellent and neat”.

Prof. Cookey, replying to the several encomiums showered on him simply said, “I thank God that we are gathered here today to give God the Glory for seeing us through. Basically I am totally overwhelmed with the love you all have for me. I am just 80 years. I have not been there before so I cannot say what is there yet. — I am excited”.###

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