Nasarawa State University, Keffi’s Professor Ochinya Ojiji, is dead. He died of yet unknown ailment earlier this evening, Friday, August 3rd, 2018, being merely confirmed dead on arrival in the hospital. His wife, Mavis Hembadoon Ojiji, told Intervention there were no signs of danger observable by an onlooker before he died. He had an early dinner and was watching soccer on television before moving away into his room, something considered unusual by other dwellers in the house who alerted the wife and who found him blinking rapidly. As at the time they arrived the hospital, he was clinically dead.
Ojiji, a Professor of Social Psychology and a foremost methodologist attained professorship last year. A largely contended man whose dominant passion is soccer, Ojiji is not known by those close to him to suffer from any ailments. He was active till his last moment.
After obtaining Bachelors and Masters Degree in Psychology at the University of Jos in 1988, Prof Ojiji moved to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka for his PhD, carting away the UNN leadership prize for the best PhD in 1993. Ojiji taught at the University of Jos and University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State before relocating to the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, (ICPR), Abuja where he rose to the position of the Director of Research. He returned to academia at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi in 2011, making it to professorship subsequently. He was preparing for a one-year sabbatical leave to the Police Academy in Kano before his demise.
Widely travelled under the pioneer Director-General of IPCR, Prof Sunday Ochoche, Ojiji was an activist of the Nigerian Psychological Association, (NiPA), serving as the Editor-in-Chief of its journal, Nigerian Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology, for several years. He was working on a book on methodology which would now not be completed. Aside from his widow, family members, his friends and his students at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, he will also be missed by the many universities he served as an external examiner just as the numerous students who consult him informally for methodological and theoretical guidance in the pursuit of their graduate degrees.
Although highly published in terms of books, essays, book chapters and conference papers, especially the co-edited work, Dialogue on Citizenship in Nigeria, the late Prof Ojiji is most likely to regard as his most significant academic outing his 2015 essay published in the African Journal for the Psychological Studies of Social Issues. It is titled “Fifty Years of Psychology in Nigeria: Are We Still Teaching Science or Folktale?”