Renowned Professor of History Obaro Ikime, Dies at 86

Renowned professor of history, Obaro Ikime, is dead. He died on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He was aged 86.

His bossom friend, AM Akpieyi made this disclosure in a short message announcing the passage of the world acclaimed historian.

“I am deeply saddened to announce that my mentor, my Head of House and Head of School, internationally renowned Historian, Prof. ( Venerable) OBARO IKIME ( GCU 1950 SEPTEMBER SET) transited today to glory at about 05: 30pm in Ibadan.

Mark Nwagwu, poet and retired Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Ibadan also confirmed the death of the erudite and distinguished Professor of History on his Facebook page thus:

“I’ve just received from Mazino his son

Uncle Mark your friend and brother Oik is gone yesterday about 5 pm

“I’m devastated.

“Prof. Obaro Ikime, whom we fondly call Oik, is one of the finest gentlemen of our generation, No. 1 Citizen of Kuti Hall, UCI, 1957-61, an epitome of all that’s worthy and wholesome. I’ll write on him. May his dear soul rest in peace. Amen.

Nwagwu also posted a photo from his 86th birthday which held  in December 2022.

Obaro Ikime is a retired professor of history, a fellow and former president of the Historical Society of Nigeria.

The retired priest of the Anglican Communion and former member of the University of Ibadan Governing Council.

Ikime was born in 1936 in a village called Anibeze in the Erohwa clan in the Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.

 Ikime attended Government College, Ughelli, then known as Warri College (1950-1956), and the University of Ibadan, graduating BA (1961) and PhD (1965).

He was a Lecturer in History at Ibadan from 1964, becoming Professor in 1973. In 1975, he was Visiting Professor first at UCLA, then at Berkeley, and later at Harvard. In 1981-82 he was Visiting Professor at the University of Benin.

He has contributed chapters to twelve books and is the Editor, Groundwork of Nigerian History, first published by the Historical Society of Nigeria in 1980, and co-Editor with Michael Crowder of West African Chiefs Their Changing Status  Under Colonial Rule and Independence.

While at Ibadan, Ikime served as Director, Institute of African Studies; two times as Head of the Department of History; and as Dean, Faculty of Arts. He was President, History Society of Nigeria, March 1984 – April 1988. While at Ibadan, Ikime was at different times Visiting Professor of African History, University of California, Los Angeles, and at Beckley; Harvard University Summer School and the University of Benin.

He was National Secretary, University of Ibadan Alumni Association, November 1975 – November 1983. After retirement, he served as Professor of History (on contract), Bayelsa State University, Wilberforce Island, for three years. Ikime joined the ordained ministry of the Diocese of Ibadan, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Commission, in December 1995, and served until 2007. Made a Deacon in December 1995, he was priested in 1996, preferred Canon, 2002 and preferred Archdeacon in December 2006. He lives in Ibadan.

He is survived by his beloved wife of some 60 years, Hannah, and his sons,, Mazino, Maino and daughter, Majiro.

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