As the family of late High Chief Ikpong Ikpong Etteh and Deaconess Nkaepe Ulaeto Ikpong Etteh, both of Royal families, in Upenekang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State mourn the exit of their icon and patriarch, Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette, a renowned educator, researcher, Nigerian Professor of Physics and one of Africa’s finest professors of Atmospheric Physics, who died recently at the age of 89, Darlington UDOBONG, Managing Editor of Ibom Telegraph, reflects on the life and times of the Late Professor.
The renowned scholar was a former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science and was honoured in 2002 with the highest academic award in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (NNOM), by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Born on the 23rd day of September, 1929, Late Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette received his early education at Ibeno Primary School, before proceeding to the famous Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar. He attended University of Ibadan on a scholarship, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with Special Honours in Physics in 1954. He then assumed duty as Lecturer at his alma mater, the University College, Ibadan in 1959, obtained his Doctorate degree at London University in the area of Atmospheric Electricity in 1966, and became Professor of Physics in 1972. He was the Head of Physics Department from 1965 to 1978.
He became the Assistant Warden, and Warden at Mellanby Hall, University of Ibadan, from 1962 to 1972, and Hall Master at Mellanby Hall from 1971 to 1976. He was awarded the Distinguished Order of Mellanby (DOM) in 1974 by the students of the hall. In 1976, he was appointed the pioneer Dean of the Postgraduate School at University of Ibadan, the first such outfit in the country. In 2007, the Postgraduate School honored him by naming her new Board Room after him.
Late Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette retired from the service of the University of Ibadan in 1990, and thereafter from 1990 to 1995, was engaged as a contract Professor of Physics at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho. He remained at Ibadan after his retirement.
He was still a prolific writer after retirement, writing several science textbooks, as well as his final book published in 2018 titled “God The Father, speaks on some burning issues in Science and Society” which sought to show that the Biblical creation story aligns with Science in more ways than we know.
Late Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette was the first of eleven children of his parents, he, along with his then two younger siblings Ikpong and Ekaeso, moved in 1937, first to Ifiayong, then to the twin town of Nwaniba with their parents.
He got married in 1961 to Edak Nsa at The Chapel of The Resurrection, University of Ibadan, they were blessed with five children: Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, Ukpong Nwankwo, Nsabasi Ette, Ene Ette, and Ette David Ette, Four Grandchildren: Ogugua Uduji, Ifeyinwa Obla, Adim Ogbue, and Onu Nwankwo, and Two Great Grandchildren: Joshua Uduji, and Samuel Obla. Late Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette was further blessed with an older son, Mr. Akpanoluo Etteh who gave him four more grandchildren: Eshiett, Okpolupm, Ette and Uyu, and two Great Grandchildren: Eshietanwa, And Nsabasi.
A gentleman and peacemaker, Late Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette was dapper in his dressing, as well as in his choice of motorcar, a green Citroen DS 21, which was an unofficial trademark of his.
The late Professor lived a distinguished life laden with accolades, some of them being Member of Sub-Commission I (on International Cooperation) of the International Commission on Atmospheric Electricity (ICAE) in 1971; Member of the National Youth Service Corps Directorate in 1975; Member of Projects Development Institute (PRODA) Governing Council in 1980; Member of Board of Trustees of National Science and Technology Fund in 1981; President of the Nigerian Academy of Science from 1991 to 1993, and Director of the Port-Harcourt Refinery in 1992.
Late Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette became a Christian in 1996, and was very passionate about his faith in Christ. He was an active member at The Chapel of the Resurrection, as well as faithfully attending bible study classes, and sharing his faith with everyone he met, singing to them as a bonus. He has now been translated into the presence of the Savior he loved so fervently, having lived a fulfilled life. He is survived by his wife Edak, Children, Grand Children, Great Grandchildren and siblings, notably among them being renowned Labour lawyer, Barrister (Bishop) Enobong Etteh, and the immediate past Leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh.
A statement by the family has confirmed that there will be Wake Keep at the family compound in Upenekang, Ibeno Local Government Area on the 23rd day of November, 2018, by 4pm prompt. Subsequently, according to the statement, the Funeral Service is scheduled to take place at Ibeno Local Government Council Secretariat, Upenekang, on the 24th day of November, 2018, by 10am prompt.