MY FATHER IS A THOROUGH MAN!


Dr . Onyeka Asuzu is son of the new Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof. Isaac Asuzu. He is a lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture at the Ikole campus of the university. Talk about coincidences! Father came here to meet Ii is son doing what he had taught him. Read a dispassionate view of the Vice Chancellor,from his own son.

Let’s know you, please.

I’m Onyeka Asuzu.l’m a doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a lecturer at the Ikole campus of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti. I’m third of my parents’ four children.

What is your fondest memory of your father?

My fondest memory of my father is that of him being around us, playing with us in the stadium or at the tennis court. We have this rapport. In fact, I can say I see him more as a friend than a father.

Do give us an objective description of Prof. Asuzu.

He is a scientist and with him, everything must be proven. As a lecturer, he is detailed and leaves no room for doubt or misunderstanding. He is thorough and would rub his index finger on the floor to be sure it is well-swept. If there is dust on his finger, the work is repeated. He is also friendly and down to earth, and would often sit at the security post chatting with his security men. Above all, he is a good time-manager. He understands the value of time and maximizes it in all he does. In fact, back at Nsukka, he had an inscription on the door leading into his office which read: “Any meeting that lasts more than 5 minutes is a distraction’.

What do you not like about your father?
Sometimes, he is too thorough for my liking. He is very painstaking, and this at times could annoy others.

What is the Prof not doing that you would make him do if you had the opportunity?
I would make him rest more because he works too much. I would make him delegate duties and then sit back to supervise. That way, he would catch some rest.

Besides his appointment as Vice Chancellor of FUOYE, what do you think has been the highpoint of his career?
I could say the highpoint of his career was his being a two- term DVC Academics at UNN. He was also Project Manager of Step-B Project, (a World Bank sponsored project) at Nsukka, a post he held until this appointment. He also had one of his research works with the Wellfare Trust, London published in several newspapers in the United Kingdom.

What do you like about him most?
I like his simplicity; his simple approach to issues.lt is the way he shows his annoyance on provocation and never revisits the issue or allows it to inform his future dealings with the person. He simply forgets when he forgives. I learnt that.

Is your father publicity shy? How is it that before now, he had no profile in the internet?
My father is a man of the laboratories and spends most of his time in research. For instance, one day we were in the lab until 11:30pm but didn’t notice the passage of time. We reached home by 1:00am driving through many security posts mounted by the vigilante and answering questions all the way. He even had a laboratory behind our home at Nsukka where he would dash into for experiments even at odd hours. So you see, he has had no time, nor cared, for publicity before now. However, if you “google” his name, you will find several of his publications on the internet.

How did the family react to his appointment as Vice Chancellor?
Well, we had mixed feelings. For him, it was a welcome change and ‘recreation from the relative drudgery of research work. Yet, there was this little misgiving about the location of the appointment ‘in another land’. Nevertheless, it’s good a thing I was already here to cushion his landing!

What do you think will be his greatest challenge, and what are your suggestions on how to meet them head-on?
My father has a penchant for research. I know he will want laboratories to be established and equipped. He may meet financial challenges in this regard being a new University. He may also meet the challenge of handling staff who would not want to be carried along his tide of work. You see, he is hardworking and will expect his staff to be so too. Some of his staff may feel overdriven.

Tell us about your siblings.
The first of my parents’ children, Chidiebere, is currently working in the United Kingdom. I-Ic studied Industrial Chemistry at first degree level at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, and then moved to the University of Reading, UK where he obtained his masters degree. The second began to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka but later transferred to the Iowa State University, USA where he completed the course. Now he has his Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering and currently a medical student at Yale Medical School. There is me and then our only sister who studied Medicine and Surgery at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She is currently house officer at Ilesha, (OAU Teaching Hospital).

Your dad is known to be a very congenial fellow; a gentleman in behaviour and outlook. Do people take advantage of his simplicity?
Sometimes when you expect him to take action, he doesn’t. He leads by persuasion rather than by force. However, he might easily fall out with you if you’re not able to interpret his instruction well.

How does he react when he is angry?
He keeps silent and looks steadily at the point of his annoyance, and in a level, but firm tone demands for an explanation. Thereafter, he finds a way to have you learn the needed lesson.

In one simple sentence, describe Prof. Isaac Uzoma Asuzu.
Prof. Asuzu is a father, a friend of Christ and an erudite academic who effectively combines family with career.

                                                                                                                                           Reports by Onyeka Asuzu

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