The Federal Government has approved the appointment of a new Chancellor for the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He is, His Royal Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon, Abasi Otu V, the Obong of Calabar, Cross River State. He was appointed alongside 37 prominent traditional rulers as Chancellors for all the nation’s Federal Universities.
Born 66 years ago, the young Prince Ekpo Okon attended St. Patrick’s Convent and St. Mary’s Schools for his primary education and in 1963, he received his First School Leaving Certificate from the later. In 1968, he obtained his West African School Certificate from the popular West African Peoples Institute (WAPI), established by the first Nigerian indigenous professor, the late Professor Eyo Ita and at the age of 24, Prince Ekpo Okon obtained a Diploma Certificate in Telecommunications Engineering, having earned the International Telecommunication Union Best Student Award.
The new Chancellor first worked as an Assistant Technical Officer-in Training at the then Post and Telecommunications (P&T) Department, Federal Ministry of Communications and became an outstanding Trainee Officer, who eventually rose to the position of Operations and Maintenance Manager in its Domestic Satellite Division. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Technological Engineers (FNATE). Following the deregulation of the telecommunications sector in the country, the young Prince was employed at the Telnet Nigeria Limited, where he rose to the position of Divisional Manager, until he was called upon to serve as the Obong of Calabar. His Royal Eminence is the Natural Ruler, Treaty King, Grand Patriarch of the Efik Eburutu Kingdom, a prominent member of the South-South Monarchs’ Forum and National Council of Traditional Rulers. He is married to Princess Ansa Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu and they are blessed with children and grandchildren.
With the appointment, Edidem Ekpo Okon becomes the fourth Chancellor of the University. The first Chancellor was His Royal Highness, Alhaji Kabir Umar, the Emir of Katagum, Bauchi State, who was appointed in 1989. Next was His Royal Highness, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, the late Oba of Lagos, who served for a brief period, between 2001 and 2003, while the third Chancellor was His Royal Majesty, Obi (Professor) Joseph Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba, Delta State, a renowned and retired Professor of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, who has now been re-appointed as the Chancellor for the newly-established Federal University, Gashua, Yobe State.