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Nick Igbokwe goes home



it was indeed a sad day and a big blow to the Igbokwe family of Eziogwugwu in Otolo in Nnewi, Nnewi North of Anambra state, the sports community of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun State as one of their own, Dr Nicholas Igbokwe was finally commuted to mother earth last week amidst sobs and deluges of eulogies.

 Popularly referred to as the king of higher institution sport in Nigeria and West Africa, Dr Igbokwe was an executive committee member of the West Africa University Games Association (WAUGU) as well as their auditor and chairman of the technical committee. This committee is termed as the pivot of the association as its task among others is to determine the host of every WAUGU game make the rules of the competition, prepare the technical officials of the competition. 

  Fondly called Nick, the deceased who was the chairman of the Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA) technical committee and the founder of the Higher Institution Football League (HIFL) in Nigeria was also the chairman of the OAU sports council. He was the coach of the OAU football team as well as the coach of the hockey team until his demise. 

  Dr Nick Igbokwe who was found dead by his wife in his office in OAU, Ile- Ife on 6th December, 2019, was a senior lecturer and an associate professor in the department of physical and health education.

 According to his mentee and younger brother he was an amazing personality and a strong pillar in sports development and philanthropist whose loss is irreplaceable.

In his words: “the late Nick was my senior brother and the third son while I am the last child and seventh son in the family.

 It was a pity on the night of Friday December 6th he was in his office marking exam scripts of his students and was discovered dead by his wife. Nobody knows what happened because he was a sportsman all his life. The issue of heart attack shouldn’t come in easy to such a fellow because he was an active sportsman till his death is my brother Nick for you.

   “He was a philanthropist that built the church with the father’s house in their parish in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. He motivated a lot of sportsmen who ordinarily if they retired from sports would have turned into destitutes as he gave them higher institution education that is why a lot of them are here crying like babies; the NUGA people are crying same for the WAUGU representatives here in the burial. This is so because their executive committees led by their various presidents were installed by Nick.

“My brother was an amazing scholar who made first class in 1981 in physical and health education. He was a master footballer, top striker in his hey days in football and hockey. Since 1982, it is on record that the OAU hockey team has always won NUGA gold male and female. He annexed to that as his birthright, so it is a pity”.

For Mr Chinedu Obiorah, (Okwuonwa kpolu Nnewi) an in-law, “the deceased is an uncle to my wife, Mrs Chisom Obiorah and younger brother to my father in-law, Martin Igbokwe (of blessed memory). The few times I have come across the Dr Nick cast a lasting impression in me for he is strikingly a good man.

When the news of his demise filtered in, immediately the social media was buzzing with awesome eulogies and tributes from people he has impacted in one way or the other. Even in the funeral church people were given the opportunity to speak about him.

It is a bad loss not only to Nnewi people to Nigeria as a nation because from his imparting in people through sports in a small town in Osun state, he was able to impart on a lot of people. He has worked across everything concerning sports.  We have no other option than to take heart we will accept the situation as the will of God. But the most important thing in life before we go to bed or when we wake up, we should ask ourselves what legacy we are going to etch in the sands of time”, he said.        

Dr Nick Igbokwe will be greatly missed by his wife, Dr Mrs. Philomena Igbokwe, a senior lecturer in the department of public administration; 3 boys: Nick Junior who recently finished his final year exams in the law faculty; Paul the second child and Peter who is in Senior Secondary School. He also left behind a centenarian father, 4 brothers and 2 sisters.                 

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1 Comment

  1. Jacqueline Cooper

    December 22, 2020 at 5:37 am

    God by old friend, my sympathy to his family. Just found out today.

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