Stella Dimoko UNIBEN Prof Joseph Osagie Mourns The Exit Of His Colleague And Mentor Prof Leo Enahoro Otoide


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Thursday, December 23, 2021

UNIBEN Prof Joseph Osagie Mourns The Exit Of His Colleague And Mentor Prof Leo Enahoro Otoide

Professor Osagie of the University of Benin Wrote this captivating ODE to celebrate the exit of an Icon Professor Leo Enahoro Otoide, FHSN...

Professor Osagie wrote....

''I am always grieved when a man of real talent dies. 

The world needs such men more than Heaven does. (George Christoph Lichtenberg)The news of the death of our teacher, brother, friend, mentor, benefactor, erudite and distinguished scholar, Professor Leo Enahoro Otoide came to me as a rude shock; the worst I have ever received. 

Oh! I wish I knew that my visit to him shortly before he travelled to Lagos on medical treatment was going to be the last – the end of friendship of over forty years …!! 

Although we have no control over our lives, Prof Otoide did not deserve to die at this time – a time when his contributions to the wellbeing of his students, the University of Benin and the nation in general are still needed.

 All of us, his friends, admirers and well wishers would have loved to have him live much longer but the Almighty God, the ultimate decider, has taken a decision which no human being can change. It is perhaps his turn to join his maker and he had no control over it. However, the vacuum created by the demise of a beloved father, brother and Friend can hardly be filled and the grief it brings is unimaginable.

Nevertheless, we take solace the in scriptural maxim that: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die”. It is perhaps, the time for our dear friend and brother, Prof. Leo Otoide to answer the call of his Maker and this he did on October 16, 2021. Although as humans, we are saddened by his painful exit, we are, however, consoled by the fact that he left some indelible mark in the sand of time. 

Prof Otoide was a compassionate, considerate and cultured individual who will be greatly missed by those who came in contact with him. All the students who passed through his intellectual mill will always remember the positive impact he made on their lives. I want to specially thank Professor Otoide for his invaluable contributions to my wellbeing and that of my family.

 My friendship with him started in 1980 when he joined the Department of History of the University of Benin, where I was a junior staff, as an Assistant Lecturer. Since then, the Almighty God has used him to better my lot. When I secured admission to read History in 1982, he provided me accommodation in his boys’ Quarters pro bono.

 This singular gesture removed from me the burden of having to search for accommodation every academic year. It thus provided me a conducive atmosphere to pursue my academic work from Bachelor up to Master’s Degree without stress. In fact, securing accommodation in staff quarters at that time was a luxury that could only be afforded by the rich, influential and highest bidder. Even when I had to relocate from Benin in search of elusive job, the apartment was still available to me whenever I needed it.

 I finally packed out of the apartment in 1991when I was employed as an Assistant Lecturer in the University of Benin. My academic trajectory would have been herculean without the contributions of Profess or Otoide.

Apart from teaching me at different levels, he supervised my B.A project. He also came to my rescue at a time my Ph.D. programme almost suffered a major set-back when after I had gone far with the dissertation, my supervisor travelled to the United States of America on a one year fellowship. 

After about two years of waiting and my studentship almost elapsing, Prof. Otoide came to my rescue and within two years, I successfully completed the programme. He continued to assist, encourage and mentor me until I attained the peak of my academic career…. For all these, I am grateful to him….!At the family level, Professor Otoide was always there for me: His boys’ quarters acted as a rendezvous for me and my then girl friend, Stella (now my lovely wife of over 28 years!).

 He was present at our traditional marriage ceremony in Kokori Inland, Delta State, on March 13, 1993 and the solemnization of the Holy Matrimony at St. Albert Catholic Church, UNIBEN on November 20, 1993 - his lovely son, Master Oseghale (now Engr. Oseghale Otoide), was the ring bearer. He was the chairman at the 25th Anniversary ceremony of our marriage in 2018. He played a major role in the wedding of my daughter in 2019. Apart from attending the traditional marriage ceremony and the solemnization of the Holy Matrimony, he chaired the wedding reception.

 For all these, I am grateful to him….!

Professor Otoide was a good and principled man with a humane disposition. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, students, “grand students”, “great grand students” and mentees. I pray God Almighty to give his soul eternal rest as we take solace in the scripture: “Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord … they will rest from their labour, for their deeds follow them” (Rev. 14:13).

Prof. Otoide obtained the Bachelor of Arts, Second Class Upper Division and the Master of Arts Degrees in History from the University of Ibadan in 1976 and 1980 respectively. 

He obtained the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in History from the University of Benin in 1989. In his quest for multi-disciplinary approach to research and academic, he, in 1991, obtained the Master of Business Administration from the University of Benin. He was employed as Assistant lecturer in the Department History of the University of Benin in 1980 and rose to the position of Professor in 2009.Prof. Otoide held the following administrative positions in the University of Benin: Ag. Head of the Department of History 2000-2002; Assistant Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, 2003-2005; Ag. Director, University Exchanges and Linkages Unit, 2007-2009; Chairman, University Demonstration Secondary School Management board, 2004-2007; Head, Department of History and International Studies, 2013-2015; Dean, Faculty of Arts, 2015-2017.Prof. Otoide also served in the following University Committees: Member, University Admission Board Sub-Committee on Waivers, 1993; Member, University Senate (Representing Congregation), 1992-1994; Member, University Admission Board (Representing College of Humanities and Law) 1992-1994; Faculty of Arts Coordinator, General Studies, 1991-1994; Faculty of Arts Representative: Language Laboratory Committee 1989-1990; Member, Faculty of Arts Admission Board, 1989-1991; Faculty of Arts Time-Table Officer, 1989-1994; History Department Examinations Officer, 1985-1993; Member, Faculty of Arts Board of Studies/Examiners, 1980-1994; Member, History Department Board of Studies/Examiners, 1980-1994; Member, University of Benin Admission Board, 1997-1998; Hall Warden, Postgraduate Hall, 2002; Member, University of Benin Senate, 2000-2002; Congregation Representative, University of Benin Demonstration Secondary School, 2001-2003; Editor, Journal of Humanities, 2009-2012; Editor, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 2010-2012.

His service to public bodies include: Special Assistant to Special Adviser to Head of State, 1994-1995; Special Assistant to Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1995-1996; Member, Joint Technical Committee on Boundary Dispute between Edo and Delta State, 1993; Member, Technical Joint Committee on Boundary dispute between Edo State and Ondo State, 1993; Chairman sub-Committee on Boundary dispute between Sobe in Edo State and Ifon in Ondo State, 1993; Border Scholar/Member, Edo State Boundary Commission, 1993-2006; Member, National Implementation Committee on the Integration of Out-of-School Children from South-South and South-East into the Basic Education Programme, 2012-2014; Member, Castle of Legends Initiative.Prof. Otoide was external examiner and assessor to several universities in Nigeria. He also served as chairman and member of N.U.C. accreditation panels to several universities in Nigeria. He published widely both in national and international reputable learned Journals and Books. He edited two (2) major Books and presented papers at several local and international conferences. In recognition his disinterested service to humanity, he received several Honours and Awards from reputable organizations.  

As an academic father and mentor, Prof. Otoide successfully supervised several Master’s and Ph.D. students. He also mentored a number of students, some of whom have risen to the position of senior lecturers and professors in universities, both at home and abroad. 

 May the Almighty God be with him and may his soul and the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of Almighty God rest in perfect peace. AMEN.

 I and my family join his wife, children, immediate and extended families, students, mentees, friends and well wishers to bid this compassionate, generous, honest and unique personality farewell from mother earth. “It matters not how a man dies but how he lives” (Samuel Johnson). 

Prof. Leo Enahoro Otoide lived and died a HAPPY and FULFILLED MAN!

Adieu my beloved friend and mentor….''

Written By Professor Joseph I. Osagie, K.S.M.


  1. Indeed, a life well lived.

  2. This is so touching. Rip Prof.

  3. May his soul rest in peace 💔💔💔💔

  4. May God accept his soul and grant him eternal rest

  5. Rest on prof, it is well

  6. Rip
    May God comfort your families and loved ones

  7. This is so sad to hear. Rest in peace Prof Otoide. You were a good lecturer and I enjoyed your classes especially the on on brinkmanship. May God comfort your family.

  8. I just opened the post now and remembered that my sister always talked about him then so I called her now to confirm if the man was truly a good lecturer. She said yes, he was. He didn’t even have time, that you hardly see him let alone doing nonsense with students. May his soul Rest In Peace 🙏

  9. Prof Otoide touched the lives of many. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.

  10. What an apt Tribute to a man who left indelible imprints on d sand of time.May God comfort family members,Colleagues,friends,students,heleft behind IJN.

  11. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace

  12. May the soul of our dear prof. Otoide rest in peace, amen

  13. May he rest in peace.

    I attended his Inaugural Lecture.

  14. Oh oh, this is shocking.
    He was a very good man. He always encouraged us to do our best during our Masters program.
    May his soul rest in perfect peace, amen.


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