The Abia State University (ABSU) community stood still Tuesday, November 2, 2021 as prominent academicians from different universities across the country converged on the university auditorium for a colloquium/book launch in honour of a renowned Emeritus Professor of Economic History, the late Anthony Iheukwumere Nwabughuogu who passed on recently after a brief illness.
ABSU’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof O. M. Ogbulu said is his opening remarks that late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughuogu made enormous contributions in the development of manpower needs for the country, especial in the areas of social, political and economic history.
The ABSU vice-chancellor, who was represented at the occasion by the Dean, MJC Echeruo, Faculty of Humanities; Prof. Roseline Ihuoma Ndimele, described the late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughugu as a diligent, committed and sound academic whose demise will in no doubt create a big vacuum and “the University will fondly remember his contributions in the development of the different areas that he served.
He commended the mentees of the late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughuogu for organising the colloquium/book launch and however, urged them to emulate the dedication and selfless service that their mentor was known for in the interest of building a better society.
In his keynote address at the occasion, Prof. Christopher Ogbonna Emerole of the Faculty of Agricultural ABSU said that the late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughuogu was a patriotic scholar and economic historical researcher who applied historical facts to solving contemporary economic problems.
“One professional way he did this was by publishing five books; eleven book chapters; eight articles in learned journals; and eleven commissioned articles which he presented at international fora. Most of the trustees he chaired remains the strong pillars of ABSU development,’’ he said.
According to him, the late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughuogu was a senior and most successful academic who rose to the height of ranks through the regimented ladder of academism in Nigeria even as he said: “His obituary before us today is a celebration of life spent meritoriously within hallowed chamber of Ivory tower of learning.”
Speaking on the subject ‘Economic History and Issues in Human Development in Africa’ which is the title of the book written by the late Emeritus Prof Nwabughuogu’s mentees, friends and colleagues, the book reviewer, Prof. Austine Amanze Akpuda, said that the book was originally designed as a festschrift in honour of the late academician and was intended to be presented while he was alive.
He said that the late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughuogu merited a festschrift on account of his painstaking research work on social, political and economic history, as well as very important essays that he documented and presented that at different fora that deepened and also illuminated the understanding of economic history in Nigeria in particular and the world at large. According to him, the late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughuogu majorly focused his perspectives on people who are usually not identified as makers of history.
“When you hear that Hannibal conquered everywhere and Alexander the great conquered so many places, people would not ask if these men had cooks, whether they had messengers or other domestic staff, but the late Emeritus Prof. Nwabughuogu took care of these aspects of the social and economic history,” he said.