The puzzle is what social psychologists, theologians, culturalists and medical experts are still trying to crack. Many parents say so but it rarely happens that the mother follows, four days after the death of the son, presenting the handlers as well as the family with the question of who to bury first. On October 12th, 2018, the son was buried at Ogodumu in Adoka, Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State. The mother is still in the mortuary.
Professor Tony Edoh, ex-Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and ex-Benue State University, (BENSU) Makurdi Political Scientist, died August 28th, 2018. It was a Tuesday. On September 1st, 2018, his mother also died. It was a Friday, four days after the demise of the professor. The main hint is the mother’s statement when the Professor son’s ailment was getting tougher on him. She has been quoted as saying she would not be there to see it happen. In other words, she dreaded that reality, suggesting such a strong mother-son bond between the two.
Professor Tony Edoh had been suffering from an ailment aggravated by a badly done operation, the correction of which took a second trip to India but after which things were never the same again till his death last August. His burial turned out to be a statement on his stature in Nigerian Political Science. Apart from Zaria colleagues such as Prof Pindar Izah who wept openly at Adoka, there were Professors Ejembi Unobe and Ibrahim Shuaibu, the immediate past President of the Nigerian Political Science Association, (NPSA) whom Prof Edoh taught; his colleagues such as Prof Odeh Ojowu, a former Economic Adviser to President Obasanjo as well as Prof Silas Okita. From the capital city University of Abuja went Prof Solomon Ogbu and then Prof Pam Dung Sha from the University of Jos. The squad from Benue State University, Makurdi where Edoh was teaching until his death was led by Prof Akase Sorkaa to whom Edoh was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) when he was the Vice-Chancellor. Others include Prof Mvendaga Jibo; Prof Oga Ajene with whom Edoh migrated into BENSU from Zaria in the mid 1990s, Professor Member George-Genyi whose doctoral thesis was supervised by Prof Edoh and Prof Armstrong Adejo, the historian. There were no less than three former Vice-Chancellors in attendance. These were Prof Shamsudeen Amali, of the University of Ilorin as well as Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Prof David Ker of Benue State University and later, Veritas University aka The Catholic University of Nigeria, Abuja and Yakubu Ochefu who was at the Kwararafa University, Wukari. Lastly, there was Justice Ada Onum, Chief Judge of Benue State.
Born June 13th, 1948, Prof Edoh obtained his West African School Certificate, (ASC) with Distinction from one of the finishing schools of his era- the Government Secondary School, Katsina – Ala in 1967; followed by an A, B, B result in Higher School Certificate, (HSC) from another finishing school – Government College Keffi, That was in 1969 while 1970-1973 was spent at ABU, Zatia for a First Degree in Political Science. In 1979, he obtained his PhD in Political Science from the Madison Campus of the University of Wisconsin in the USA on Rockefeller Foundation scholarship. Since returning to teach at ABU, Zaria, he has remained in academia lecturing, researching and serving as a resource person to many other institutions such as Nigeria’s Foreign Service Academy, (FSA); the Jos based National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS), the Command and Staff College, Jaji. Even between 1988 and 1993 when he served in The Presidency, it was as a Director of Research and Statistics although he was also Resident Electoral Commissioner for Abia State in 1993.
As a Political Scientist, Prof Edoh has taught Introduction to Political Science; Introduction to African Politics; Organization of Government; Citizen and the State; Introduction to Comparative Politics; Introduction to Political Analysis; Political Parties and Pressure Groups; Introduction to Public Administration; Elements of Development Administration; Introduction to Public Policy Analysis; Political Ideas; International Organizations; Nigerian Government and Politics; Comparative Public Administration and Political Behaviours.
At the postgraduate level, some of the courses he handled were Advanced International Organizations; Foreign Policy Analysis; Theory and Practice of Development Administration; Rural Development Administration; Advanced Public Policy Analysis; Advanced Comparative Politics; International Economic Relations; Introduction to Strategic Studies; Applied Strategic Studies; International Administration; The Management of Public Enterprises; Topics in Nigerian Governmental Process; Advanced Political Ideas; Special Topics in International Relations; Development of Ancient and Medieval Western Political Thought.
The implication of his death is that academia in Nigeria has again lost one of those it is not in a position to easily or quickly replace/reproduce.