Anyadike: Revisiting Exploits Of Late UNN’s Renowned Climatologist | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Anyadike: Revisiting Exploits Of Late UNN’s Renowned Climatologist

Posted: Sep 17, 2016 at 9:20 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

 By Ejikeme Omenazu.

LAGOS – It is exactly three years since Professor Raymond, Nlemadim, Chima Anyadike, one Nigeria’s renowned climate scientists, and former member, Nigerian National Committee on Climate Change died. The death of this Professor of Climatology sent shivers down the spine of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) community and the academia at large. Three years after his exit, it is time to revisit the exploits of this rare gem to serve as encouragement to the present and future generations of scholars.

Prof  Anyadike was not an ordinary lecturer. In addition to bestriding UNN like a colossus for about four decades, he was the unsung guru of climatology whose prognosis on climate change and its implication on the different aspects of the economy made academic headlines. As his family and numerous admirers remember him, it is worthy to reminisce on the life and times of this academic icon, also known as ‘The People’s Professor’ because of his socialist leaning.

His widow, Mrs. Nkechi Anyadike, a lecturer with the Department of Public Administration, UNN, during an interview with Independent, said: “It is hard to believe three years has passed since that painful exit of the unsung hero who spoke extensively on global warming and its potential dangers. God has been my strength and that of my children. It has been a journey that without my faith in God, I don’t know what I would have done.”

She stated that for her husband, the UNN was his passion because it was his platform for imparting knowledge. She maintained that within these three years, she had been tempted to question why such an energetic and brilliant mind who still had so much to offer humanity would die, adding that he finished well, by dying as a believer.

His first son, Dr. Obinna Anyadike, told Independent in an interview, “My father was a man who lived for the people. He cared for the ‘have-nots’ in the society. He sat down with orange sellers and made them feel important. He stopped for the groundnut sellers and gave them a ride; the downtrodden shared their stories with him.

“He listened to everybody. No one came to him without having either his ear or pocket. My father was a man that illuminated everybody who came across his way. Many thought it was foolishness, but he felt the best life is one lived in affecting people positively.

“What mattered to him was empowering people, speaking for the voiceless, standing for the oppressed and speaking when brave men go silent for fear of the oppressor or food on the table. My father was fearless and  spoke out against class hypocrisy and injustice.”

Anyadike was from Amakohia, Owerri, Imo State. He was born on November 15, 1949 to the family of late Engr Francis Anyadike and late Mrs. Agnes Anyadike of Amakohia in the present Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State. He started his primary school education in the United Kingdom where his father was working as an engineer and attended such schools as Earls Court School, London (1954-1955), Topsham Primary School Devonshire England (1955-1958), Gospel Oak Primary School Camden Town, London (1958-1959).

In 1959, his father brought him back to Nigeria where he finished his primary education at St. Mary’s Convent, Ikoyi, Lagos. In 1960, he started his secondary school education at St. Gregory’s College, Obalende and obtained his W.A.S.C in 1964. At Government College Umuahia, between 1965 and 1966, Raymond sat for and obtained his Higher School Certificate.

After the Nigerian Civil War, in 1970, he secured admission to study Geography at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he won the institution’s Foundation Scholarship in 1971.

On graduation in 1973, he won the Department of Geography Prize for the best graduating student in the Department of Geography and the Faculty of Environmental Studies Prize for the best graduating student (1973). In line with the University’s policy for its best graduating students, Raymond was awarded the university’s Postgraduate Scholarship to study at the famous University of Sheffield, England. He completed his research in 1978 and was awarded Ph.D. in Climatology. His doctoral thesis was titled “West Africa Rainfall: Its Synoptic and Dynamic Climatology”.

Prof. Anyadike spent his working life in the service of the UNN, spending 40 years.  Within this period, he rose from the rank of Junior Research Fellow in 1973 to the rank of Professor in 1992. He taught several courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. An astute researcher and scholar, Raymond produced several Ph.D. holders and was supervising many when death came knocking. He was a mentor and role model to scores of postgraduate students who went through his tutelage.

Professor Anyadike published more than 50 publications in acclaimed journals. His book on “Statistical Methods for the Social and Environmental Science (Spectrum Books 2009)” received international recognition. He has served as Member of Editorial Board of several Journals including Journal of Environmental Science and Health and the International Journal of Climatology.

In his 40 years of service to UNN, he occupied several high administrative positions within his department, the Faculty, Senate, and the University Governing Council. He was a  Member, Government Council of the University (1993-1996);  Dean, Social of Postgraduate Studies (2006-2009) ;Dean, Faculty of Social Science (2002-2004); Head, Department of Geography (1991-1994, 1998-2004); Chairman, University of Nigeria Staff Audit Committee (1999); Chairman, University of Nigeria Staff Certificate Screening Committee (2000);Member, Senate Curriculum Committee (1980-1985);Member, Committee on Reconciliation and  Peace in UNN (1998);Member, Senate Search Team for the appointment of Vice Chancellor for UNN (1999)

Anyadike served as External Examiner to the Anambra State College of Education, Awka; Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri; Enugu State University of Technology, University of Port Harcourt, Delta State University and Nnamdi Azikiwe University. He represented the University of Nigeria as a member of the Governing Council of Alvan Ikoku College of Education between 2000 and 2004.