ForeverMissed
Come ye disconsolate, where e’re ye languish; come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish, earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal!...
(1Corinthians 15:55-57)
Posted by Kemka Gbasam on April 20, 2021
   Moving from OGS (Okrika) where discipline was an identifying mark I thought that HSC in Baptist High School (BHS) would be freedom for me as a senior boy. But I discovered that BHS under 101 was a continuation with even higher stakes. For example, it was still from Khaki to Khaki,even longsleeves .
   I turned my green Khaki inside out and decorated it with threads. It was special and different, hard to place and copy. Artfully, I dodged the principal ie 101 successfully for almost a term. I was enjoying the game . Not having much in height and stature, it was easy for me to (during assembly hide behind friends like John Onumbu,Sunny Erekosima,Sunny Marisagba(forgive me if the spelling is wrong —it's a long time, since 1977/78) and Tony Nwalia(reasonable height for cover but boney framework —so I combined him with One B Woks if I couldn't get around Boomy)
Suddenly, I was asked to pick my letter in the admin block. I thought I had checked very well:although distracted by my excitement for the letter —Dames ruineous— I surely thought that the Principal's kind and unique car was neither at the office area nor at the quarters. For, 'she' would have shouted the signal .
   As I finished my 'business' and was cerebrating my 'victory', I froze as I heard that calm unmistakable and firm voice: "Kemka Gbasam, come come". It was the Principal, (101,for sure)," come, I have been looking for this boy"he called and the magnet of his knowing voice turned me around to be face to face with him."I thought you had left this school".I made up immediately (then we were relishing the art of having something reasonable to tell him instantly —Tony Nwalia and Sunny Rex were experts) so I said to him,"yes sir,my uncle wants to take me away..."Sensing that that was not enough,I came up,"Now I am a day student... "I sturttered away on all cylinders. " OK tell John(my father) that I want to talk with him ".Wahala! Then he ordered," For now give me this your senior army uniform"; then it dawned on me that he was sending me home to report myself.
   Now,he stamped the real victory, "Did you think that I was not seeing you? Look at how you took time to change my uniform ". He turned to Nwabali and said " He thinks he is smart ,give him back the cloth". He promptly asked how the world would be if everybody walked and worked about without greeting; everyone dumb,bottling his own worries not sharing them with any. Then he landed :"worries not works kill".
    Of course I did not wear that uniform again; and I stopped dodging him and the teachers, I became his little friend.
    After about 22yrs, he discovered me in the Seventh–day Adventist Church. I had become a lawyer and he was very happy with me. He was for a longtime and uptill death a worthy Elder of the church. He reinforced the lessons of humility and simple Faith in the Lord. He maintained a delicate balance of these with diligence, fairness fineness.
   An urbane Teacher/Principal and an astute Elder of the church,l.O.I lzewgu was of the species of real great men that could not be bought or bent into the vanity of this world. His type is becoming increasingly scarce.
  May the lord help his family and us.
 
Posted by Kemka Gbasam on April 20, 2021
Moving from OGS(Okrika)where discipline was already an identifying culture at Secondary School level. I thought that being an HSC student would be freedom. BHS under 101
turned out a c continuations.l
Posted by Ejiro Elems on April 20, 2021
Words can't just express the depth of your demise, I am consoled because very soon, on the street of gold, we shall meet to path no more. 

May the Good Lord console his wife, children, extended family and friends.
Posted by Keri Iheagwara on April 17, 2021
I will always remember Uncle Aji. The last time I saw him was when we visited Nigeria and came to Ede during Christmas of 2014. He was so happy to see us and greeted us with a warm welcome along with auntie and several other cousins in the compound. He always made everyone around him comfortable and at ease. I will always remember uncle Aji for his convivial nature and for welcoming and entertaining us whenever we visited.

Uncle Aji led a full, complete life and his spirit and memory will live on forever.

Keri Iheagwara (niece)
Posted by Nwamara Ahiakwo on April 17, 2021
TRIBUTE TO MY ELDEST BROTHER AND MY MENTOR.

Aji as I fondly called you, your demise was a shock and surprise to me because Aunty called me in the morning of the fateful day and told me you were admitted in the hospital and I told her that I would be coming see you. Just a few hours later, on my way to the hospital with Sister Ehonne Aunty called me again and told me you had passed on. I was confused and did not know how to cope with the situation as my husband had died a few weeks before and was in the mortuary. This was a tough experience for me.
Oh my brother, death snatched you away when I was eager to meet you on your sick bed.

With that news, I reflected on the good times we shared together as siblings. I remembered our last telephone conversation a week before your demise. During our conversation, you told me about the death of Professor Ahiauzu and Chief Ohia. Naturally, you were scared as is the habit of the elderly to be afraid when they hear of the death of a fellow elder, I told you not to be afraid that nothing will happen to you and you laughed.

Aji, you were like a father and a mentor to me. Some people always referred to you as my father and will ask me “How is your father?” Or ther will say to me “I saw your father”. Papa fondly called me Amaraike when he was alive and you continued to call me Amaraike till our last telephone conversation.

As a mentor, you encouraged me to embrace western education. You assisted papa and mama to bring me up to be a hardworking and responsible woman.
As a school principal, I emulated your leadership style in my school’s administration. Aji words cannot express my gratitude to you but I thank you for being there for me. Thank you for being a good leader to us your younger ones and for encouraging us to follow the foundation our parents laid for us.

You touched the lives of many people. You were an unassuming family man, an astute administrator and disciplinarian. As a school administrator, your teachers liked to work with you because you worked with them as a father.
As a disciplinarian, truancy in your school was checked and most of your students changed and became responsible adults in their families and and society.

As a little girl in those days when I and my younger sister Amauche were in the Primary School, you inculcated in us the habit of observing siesta. We were not happy with you because we took it as punishment but later in life, we appreciated the discipline and moral training you gave us.

Aji words can never express how heartbreaking it is to loose you. As Christians, we mourn with the hope of the resurrection day when we shall all be with our creator and live to die no more. I pray that the good seeds you sowed will produce abundant harvest in the lives of all the people you left behind.

May your peaceful soul rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Your Sister,
Lady Nwamara Sally Ahiakwo (KSQ)
Posted by Yinka Coker on April 16, 2021
Elder Isaac Okechukwu Izeogu was the third Principal I had in Baptist High School, Port Harcourt. His coming into BHS indeed changed a lot of the ways things were done! He changed the school brown khaki shorts to army green D6/12! He it was that banned 'cubicles' (cubicles were the fencing off of corners in the hostel with bedsheets to create exclusive spaces for seniors) in the hostel! This event was necessitated by a "dramatic" event that took place one night. Some seniors had "dived" a neighbours chicken behind Brantley Hall and needed to fry it after boiling. I was singled out by the senior to get oil from Enugu street! As I made to pass through the back gate near the principal's house, I was spotted by IOI! Being mischievous too, instead of running away, I gladly walked up to him and told him my mission! Without batting an eyelid, he collected my container, went inside, filled my container and asked me to go, deliver the oil and go to my bed. Within minutes of delivering the oil, he "happened" upon the 'cooks'! What he did left a great impression on me. He understood the tradition/code amongst students! If the seniors had discovered that I "gave them up", life would have been hell! He spared me this agony. Our principal was both compassionate and a great disciplinarian! His years in BHS will never be forgotten!
Posted by Yinka Coker on April 16, 2021
A Tribute to Elder Isaac Okechuku Izeogu (1937-2021) former Principal of Baptist High School (BHS) Port Harcourt by Professor Hope Eghagha Senior Prefect BHS (1977/78)
If former Principals of Baptist High School Port Harcourt could be deified in the tradition of the old cultural order which held sway before our contact with the western world, or as the Greeks and Romans did, Elder Isaac Okechuku Izeogu would certainly be on that pantheon of heroes who have impacted positively on the lives of men. For, as we know, Sango in the Yoruba pantheon is a deified ancestor. In his very style of administration and his commitment to education, I.O. Izeogu embodied the strict rules of discipline which helped to shape our lives, the boys and girls who were placed in his care when he headed the administration of our iconic BHS. We will never forget I.O. Izeogu!
I entered BHS in December 1977 as an A ’Level student after my O ’Level education in Delta State. My first impressions of BHS were made that evening as I checked into the hostel. Mr. Fred Alasia was on duty at the gate. I think it was later that month that Elder Izeogu was announced as the new principal to take over from Chief Okpara. Indeed, at the time I entered BHS, things were in a flux, because of the void created by the exit of the last Principal. Mr. Jesudhason the Indian, if my memory serves me correctly, was Acting Principal. Students were a bit relaxed about obeying the laws. Then came January and Mr. Izeogu fully took charge. It was a very dramatic period of action, action, and more action. Soft-spoken with a slight stammer, none of us knew the iron will behind those soft words and low tone of his voice, till we encountered him. We will never forget I.O. Izeogu!  
He changed the school uniform from brown to green khaki. Khaki. Not any of those fancy materials which we liked. Some students bought the expensive materials to make their shorts or trousers. Mr. Izeogu would have none of that nonsense. It was either khaki or nothing. He enforced the new rule and sent away students who did not comply. He ensured that we kept a low haircut, almost skin cut. Those who flouted the rule were disciplined. No loitering. No breaking of the lights out order. No missing classes. Then the homilies each time he addressed us in the morning assembly in the chapel, supported by able teachers like Mr. Ogulu, Chief Horsfall, K.K.M.D. Braide (Music teacher), Mr. Fred Alasia, Mr. Ajimani, Mr. & Mrs. Sangoju, to mention a few. We will never forget I.O. Izeogu!
Then came February 1977 that changed my life and perception of the school. We were in a literature class when we heard the unmistakable sounds of Mr. Izeogu’s powerful and decisive steps marching towards our classroom in the HSC Block. The contact between his shoes and the floor spoke volumes about his character and personality. He burst into our classroom, beckoned on me to follow him, after the usual ‘Good afternoon Sir’ from the class. He also beckoned on a classmate Aku Pankin-Braide to come with him. My heart was pounding. What offence had I committed? He took us outside the earshot of our classmates and said rather dramatically: ‘I want to make you Senior Prefect and I want to make you Deputy Senior Prefect. What do you have to say? I was not sure of the message. Aku was older and looked bigger and stronger. He ought to be Senior Prefect. Not I the thin and almost fragile homo sapiens from Bendel State! But I.O. knew what he wanted. That was how my working encounter with I.O. started. As principal he was firm, decisive, and compassionate. We will never forget Izeogu!
He was a man of action. He believed in positively influencing lives. I don’t remember him with a whip flogging anybody. Perhaps he did. He punished breakers of the school rules with manual labour, suspension or expulsion though I do not recall any specific expulsion order. The Black Boom was still in vogue those days. We will always remember Izeogu!   
I heard the expression ‘what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander from him for the first time. He had a way of telling us stories during the morning assembly. One of those stories which he used to convey a conflict between a student and his dad was how a man had spent a huge sum of money to make a pot of soup and when he was ready to eat, a giant fly from the toilet landed in the soup. What would you do if you were the soup owner, he asked rhetorically? It was later I found out from the delinquent student the ugly background to the story! We will never forget I.O. Izeogu!
I.O. was a man of character as I wrote and published in The Guardian of 9th December 2019. I. O. Izeogu was a man of character, like ‘many men and women who stood for something and were ready to defy all odds. ‘Character,’ writes J.C. Watts ‘is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught’. As we know, the cost of standing by principles is very high these days! We will never forget I.O. Izeogu!
For deeming it fit to appoint me Senior Prefect, though I came from another State, as was the tradition in the country, the Nigeria that is fast disappearing, I will never forget Elder I.O. Izeogu!
As we bid I.O. Izeogu goodbye, we remember the lyrics of this iconic song which we used to render with gusto in our BHS days, the deep meaning only now becoming clear:
Only the truth in life we have spoken
Only the seed that on earth we have sown
These shall pass onward when we are forgotten
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done
REFRAIN
Only remembered , only remembered
Only remembered by what we have done
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling
Only remembered by what we have done
Till the resurrection! We will always remember I.O. Izeogu!
Professor Hope Oghenerukevbe Eghagha (BA; MA; PhD; MNAL)
Poet, Newspaper Columnist and Dramatist
Department of English
University of Lagos
Senior Prefect (1977/1978) Baptist High School PH
Former Commissioner for Higher Education (2009-2015)
Delta State 
Chairman, Daily Times of Nigeria Editorial Board
Posted by Izontimi Otuogha on April 15, 2021
He Gave Me “A Quiver of Canes”
Tribute to Elder I. O. Izeogu, Principal,
Baptist High School, Port Harcourt 1976 – 1985
By Selem V. Amachree

A Tribute to one of my High School Principals at the prestigious Baptist High School (BHS), Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Tribute to one of them, because I had the good fortune of being guided by different Principals, haven started secondary school from Form 1 (Class One) through to 6th Form (Upper Six).

Sometime in between the years from Form 5 and when I returned to Lower Six, I was on a kind of Sabbatical. The first Principal I met at the school was a Reverend gentleman and Anglican Priest called Bromilo Timothy Jack, popularly called ‘Bro. Tim Jack’. After Bro. Tim Jack, was a career civil servant named Mr. C. E. Okpara; then Rev. C.T.T. George, Ph.D, after which came Elder I. O. Izeogu.

This tribute is for one of those Principals and his name is Elder Isaac Okeckukwu Izeogu, and because his initials looked like One Hundred and One (101), he was code-named “101” by BHS, Port Harcourt, students.

I think 101 became Principal of BHS, Port Harcourt when I was in my 5th Form in 1976. In the course of that year another career civil servant came with a letter from the Ministry of Education or so, saying that he had been posted to the school, to take over as Principal. There was an embarrassing situation on ground. Staff and students were beginning to take sides. I think I was then House Leader of one of the dormitories. I mounted the rostrum and advised my fellow students to avoid taking sides in this imbroglio between the in-coming and out-going Principals; who obviously latter was anxious to take over leadership, but the former was not prepared to handover.

I suggested that we refrained from being partisan and show our non-alignment or non-allegiance to either of them, and that when the struggle would be over, whoever emerged would look at the staff and students as being partisan and that may not augur well for those concerned. Trust me, not every student bought my opinion.


Thereafter, 101, I think, locked the office doors and disappeared, only to resurface with another letter authorizing him to continue in BHS as Principal. Wow, that was great! He simply advised the gentleman to go back and consult with the authorities who had sent him. That gentleman left and never came back.

Some thought 101 was just a busy-body, trying to impress some persons somewhere, of which they cared little. He brought an earth-moving machine (Grader) and leveled the school field and path ways. He designated certain areas as Car Parks for Staff and Visitors. He put sign boards, like “No Tress-passing the Field or Lawn”, “Silence, Library Area”, etc. Trust my nutty schoolmates, those signs were removed and thrown far away!

This type of unruly behavior among the students continued, but the indefatigable 101 did not relent or give up on his call for order and discipline in the school. He believed that it was worry that kills and not work. Those students rebelling against his insistence on obedience of school rules and regulations felt he was too stubborn and wicked. Consequently, when 101 lost one of his loved ones, they attributed it to his perceived wickedness. Imagine how mean some of us can be even to a bereaved School Principal. May God have mercy, for the children knew not what they were doing. Somehow, 101 got to know these and felt very pained in spirit, soul and body. However, he did not become despondent and he did not relent in the business of moulding the character of his students and insisting that the correct things be done. He continued to provide leadership as Principal as he knew best, until some more students began to appreciate what he was doing. He was actually aiming for excellence, independence and self-confidence in his students.

In those days, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) used to bring the Council’s question papers in advance and lodged same with the school Principal. On the day of the exams of a particular subject, 101 will bring the envelop and open it in the clear view of all to see, to make a point that the envelop was not tampered with, but was only being opened and nobody had prior knowledge of the questions as far as the envelops that were lodged with him were concerned. So, when you heard of “Expo 77”, when WAEC exam questions were said to have been leaked, 101 and BHS, Port Harcourt had nothing to do with it, and he as Principal expected his students to have worked hard, to be courageous and sit for the exam without fear, and hope for the best results.

I imagined that a lot of the students that keyed into 101’s vision got good results and moved on in life. I recall that I even wrote my first Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams in that spirit and made it, but I didn’t know because I was expecting admission letter to be posted to my address as in certain climes. Some years later when I went for my registration at the university, one of the clerks commented that he was familiar with my name, and wondered why I was coming to register at that time? Frankly, I thought I had failed, but my dad, also a school Principal, assured me that it may not be failure per say, and that if the number of students the university would take was complete the rest had to wait or try again.

Pardon my rigmarole, I am just trying to express the weight of self-confidence my dear Principal put in us his dear students. Hence, after what I jovially called my Sabbatical in the outside world, I came back to BHS to do my Advanced Level and 101 was still Principal of the school.

In those days, the school operated the Sixth Form, and Upper Six students and Form 5 Students, at some point before the WAEC exams draw so close, must appoint their successors as School Prefects. It was under this setting that I was made the Senior Prefect (SP) of Baptist High School, Port Harcourt. 

This tribute is not about me, it is about 101. Upon been appointed Senior Prefect, 101 gave me a Quiver of Canes to enforce discipline in the school. Canes are usually tied in bundles, and the same set of canes are sold in the market, but the canes which the Principal gave me were inside a container that looked like ‘arrows in a quiver’, hence I can say that he gave me a Quiver of Canes to enforce discipline in the school for which he was so passionate about.

The School had Rules and Regulations to be followed by all students; from Rising Bell to Lights Out, as well as time for Exercise, Prep, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, etc, for Senior and Junior students respectively. I had the license to flog recalcitrant students back into line and into their classrooms if necessary, instead of allowing them rigmarole outside their classrooms and playing as truants.

Had a Teaching staff not called me aside to inform me of the deliberations the staff had before my subsequent appointment as Senior Prefect, I might have carried enforcement of discipline too far. The said staff told me that my appointment was preceded by serious debate among the staff, some of who expressed the fears that I was a martial artist, and that I was a wicked person and I would deal ruthlessly with students, and possibly harm someone! I believe that with this warning I had to moderate myself to the extent that 101 called me to say that I was getting too soft with my students and that they may imbibe wrong attitudes in the long run.

I spent a lot of my time chasing students into their classrooms. At other times, 101 will send for me to complain that my students were still roaming around and promptly I will go round and ensure the students go into their classes. Because I knew the names of practically all the students, I will shout their names and order them to go to their classrooms. The Principal, 101, liked the order that was restored, he hated students having to fail and wasting their parents’ money.

But in the process I missed my lectures and had to read up every topic that was thought on my own before I sleep every day. To achieve this, I will have to drink concentrated Nescafe to keep awake, and when I’m done to find sleep became another issue. I will be awake, but I know I needed to rest to reboot my brain for another day. This running after students to go into their classes, missing my own classes, and having to drink strong coffee, and finding sleep difficult became like a vicious cycle until I learnt a dangerous trick to get drowsy!

I imagine that 101 was quite impressed by my keeping the school in order and would not release me and my other Prefects the burden of leadership. We must serve as Prefects until we dropped our pens in our exams! Luckily, this decision was made known to me and the Prefect Body that I guess we all adjusted. To the Glory of God, most of us soon thereafter gained admission into various universities and other higher institutions, graduated and got busy with one vocation or the other. Some acknowledged that 101’s supposed wickedness, in their thinking, was for their own good after all. Some did not understand it all by then, but now they were better for it. We all imbibed the good virtues of self-discipline haven grown up in a regimental life setting of a boarding house. 

I am sure most of the students at the time 101 was Principal must have had their own encounters and experiences which do not have to follow my pattern, but I am sure most of us will agree that 101 not only believed in us as students, but he also brought out the best in us. Somehow, he made us value hard work and learnt to live ‘For God and Truth’.

He was not a bogus man, a leader in every sense of the word, moderate and never flamboyant, but passionate about discipline. A man entrusted with the overall leadership of an erstwhile Missionary School, whose job was to serve the Rivers State Government and the Church Mission by using his leadership skills in an educational setting, and he did his duty with integrity, fear of God and love of mankind.
He was also a man of faith. As an Elder in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, he believed in God and held steadfastly to Him in all our activities.

You are bound to grieve his loss as you now know that he is finally home.
Rest assured that 101 fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. May his gentle soul rest in the bossom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

Adieu, Our Dear Unforgetable Principal and Mentor, till we meet again.

DCP Selem V. Amachree, ESQ, APNM
Senior Prefect (1980-1981)
(O/L 1973 to 1977 & A/L 1979 to 1981)
Posted by KINGDOM ORJI on April 15, 2021
TRIBUTE IN HONOUR OF LATE ELDER ISAAC OKECHUKWU IZEOGU

Late Elder Isaac Okechukwu Izeogu was my most cherished Principal who mentored me between 1974 and 1975 before he was transferred. He was an embodiment of discipline. He carved a niche for himself as an icon with a rare administrative acumen. Virtually every day in the hallowed morning devotions, he appeared fresh and commanded the respect of all students.
I feel fulfilled that few days before he passed on , I had the prompting of visiting him at his AGIP Estate Residence and this I did in company of a senior boy, Dr Joel Joel in the presence of the wife of the late sage. I can confidently assert that my late quintessential Principal has served his generation with a living legacy and I sincerely pray that the God of all comfort will console the wife, the children and the numerous relations he left behind.

Professor Kingdom E.Orji, FHSN
Dean, Faculty of Humanities,
Ignatius Ajuru University of Education,
Rumuolumeni, PortHaarcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
Posted by Joel Adeyini Joel on April 13, 2021
 TRIBUTE TO ELDER I. O. IZEOGU.

Daddy; that was the name I called you lately because of the parental disposition you exerted in my life for almost five decade’s (1972 to 2021).
Daddy, you were three times my college Principal – from Sancta Maria High School, Omoku through Stella Maris College, PH to Baptist High School, PH at different times. At the Sancta Maria High School and the Baptist High School, you appointed me as a Deputy Senior Prefect and a Dining Hall Prefect respectively, where I imbibed the rudiments of leadership in addition to the subjects, Latin and Literature in English which you taught me. You monitored my academic development closely and provided good opportunities for me to continue educational pursuit despite my academic deficiencies. You modeled and mentored me in learning and character to live for God and serve humanity.
Beyond academics, you engaged me in other spheres including family and religious conversations. I appreciate your lovely visits to my family and treasured gifts particularly the book titled ‘It was never on a Sunday’ which corroborated our conversations about the violation on the observance of holy Sabbath by the Christian church and some emerging trends in Christian religious circles. You hardly reconciled them with the early church doctrines and practices. You regarded the new wave in Christianity as disobedience to God and you always prayed for mercy on our generation. You were a committed Adventist elder who prayed that the church and society should do the right thing.
Fifty years ago you cultivated in us, your students, the philosophy of healthy living expressed in one of your quotes from F. K. Buah which stated that ‘A healthy mind is found in healthy body’ (Mensana in copo sano) Latin translation. We grew up in that culture which added value to our lives because you gave us all inclusive education; and created an enabling learning environment which placed us at par with our contemporaries in the urban schools despite our rural setting that should have been a setback.
Daddy, it was fool hardy to disengage from you because of the pleasant experiences I had with you. The only unpleasant experience I remember was that fateful day I drove you in your car to the hospital in the company of your dear wife and we returned empty without you because you had gone. I recall Mummy’s voice, “Ade, Daddy has gone”. What a sad experience and day to behold? Immediately it dawned on me that life is like the fragrance of a beautiful flower that fades away with the wind not knowing where it blows.
But I know that Daddy has gone the way of the saints. Like all Saints you live on. Your service to humanity is for posterity. “Blest be the tie that bounded us together in Christian love”. Adieu Daddy. Pastor J. A Joel (Ph.D)
Posted by Sonny Erekosima on April 8, 2021
TRIBUTE FOR LATE ELDER ISAAC OKECHUKU IZEOGU.
As a student of Baptist High School Port Harcourt, I started from the very first class to class 7. In the course of that sojourn, I inevitably passed through many eminent Principals such as Pa A. B. Batubo, Rev. C.T.T. George, Chief B.T. Jack, Pa C.E. Okpara and Elder I.O. Izeogu. I most sincerely give kudos to all of them.
Be that as it may, let me make a small distinction here. Elder Izeogu was my Principal when I was doing my Higher School Certificate (HSC) course. All the other Principals were during my ‘O’ Level years when I was growing up. It was this very amiable gentleman that jerked up my Higher sense in life most probably because he met me in my Higher school days. It was in his tenure that I was appointed The SENIOR PREFECT (SP) of the school. He called me specifically to his office after he announced the appointment and talked sense into me by making me realize the big responsibilities that had saddled me, expectations from me, to be a companion of his strict disciplinarian scheme et al. It was after that fatherly advise that my intuition changed drastically. Ever since then I’ve been living my life in consonance with those attributes he inculcated in me and it has been very efficacious for me. Till date I can vividly recall what he wrote in my school leaving testimonial - SONNY DEMONSTRATED HIS DUTIES AS THE SENIOR PREFECT OF BAPTIST HIGH SCHOOL WITH SERENE MATURITY. This was a corroboration that he was satisfied with me and I was very happy. I’ve always flouted it to all my children both home and abroad for them to know the kind of Principal Elder Izeogu was. They all felt emotional when I told them of his demise despite the fact that they’d not met him before. Oh! What a great Titan he was.
Fortunately for me I made out time to be his guest during the yuletide season in Late December 2020 and spent quite some time with him and a good friend and HSC classmate by name Dr. Joel Ade Enimen joined us. It was nostalgic discussions all through and in the middle of it all, I reminded Elder of one of his philosophical statements back in the days at the school chapel.......he laughed and laughed until we continued our old gists. The philosophical statement goes thus: MENTAL POSITIVE THINKING LEADS TO ACHIEVEMENT.
Elder Izeogu will be greatly missed because virtually all his students have distinguished themselves in their various distinguished endeavors which goes to his credit.
My one time indefatigable Principal...... May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace. You will be AN ENDURING MEMORY to all of us that actually passed through you in your hay days.
Your co - American philosopher ( Emerson) once said that ‘IF WE ARE RELATED, WE WILL MEET AGAIN’ and I wish we do sometime, someday!
Adieu and fare the well.
Barr. Sonny M.A.Erekosima
( Senior Prefect BHS PH - 1978/79).
Posted by Chimaoge Okezie Jr on April 8, 2021
Daddy was an institution with a deep sense of morality, a fierce work ethic, and never afraid to speak up. Beneath this was a kind, joyful, and supportive individual even when prestige and age accrued.

I will miss him a great deal especially as his fatherly advice is even more relevant in these uncertain times.

Rest in Peace Sir.
Posted by Wokoma Izeogu on March 31, 2021
On the 6th of September, 1937...in the Umuohali clan of Ede community, in Egi land, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni LGA of Rivers State, a trailblazer was born into the Family of a humble, devout Christian and his lovely wife. A prayer answered, I’m sure they had said, but little did they know that the little baby will grow up to be a bright light that will light up the community, and beyond.... Breaking records/recording many firsts and pioneering many changes that occurred in his community and its environs. And up till this day, Elder Issac Okechuku Izeogu (101) remains a force to reckon with far and near.

Ihie k’egi...the Light of Egi land
My teacher, My mentor, My father, My friend!
You memory will always live within me.
Your words, your actions and your nature will always be evergreen.
No one will ever have so much influence on me like you did and still do...even in death, you still command so much respect and influence my deeds and thoughts. I definitely got a lot of things wrong, but one thing I know I was always right about when it comes to you is that I love you with all my heart.
Continue to rest in the Lord’s bosom until we meet again.
Goodnight Dad!
Goodnight Great man!
Goodnight Wonderful friend!
Goodnight Ihie k’egi!
❤️
Posted by Atun Ogiga on March 29, 2021
A great disciplinarian who took time to discipline his student and inculcate good morals into our lives. At that time we call it punishment because we do not understand him but today I know better .For you to have time to discipline us the way you did then make me understand better now that you only cared for us and that of our future.
  I will be forever be grateful to you sir for your loving care and the way you brought us up as our principal. You did not just bring us up as principal but as a loving father.
 You will be greatly missed but you will always remain in my heart not just a principal but as a loving father. Thank you for the good and loving way you raised us as a principal and as a father.
May your soul rest in peace...
Posted by Toba Afolabi on March 27, 2021
Big Uncle as I got to know him, was a man who I saw as upright, level headed and wise. I admired the way he raised his family and provided a home and source of stability to us cousins. I learnt by watching him the importance of how to treat my mother in-law. He didn’t have to say a word, his actions spoke volumes.

I remember spending summer breaks at his home with my siblings. On one of such breaks, Wokoma was driving us all back from church. Traffic was getting a little crazy (as it always is in PH) with reckless drivers. Big Uncle said this, paraphrasing... assume that you are the only sane person on this road. Just imagine that all the other drivers are not sane and that will help you make better decisions...

I have taken that moment ever since and memorialized it, not just with driving but other areas of my life.

You will be missed but your memories will never be forgotten.
Posted by Oge Odu on March 26, 2021
His words in every event he was celebrated has always been, " whatever you wish to do to me and for me, do it when I'm alive."(paraphrased) I love the fact that not just his kids celebrated him to his last days, we, the ISS, '97 set honoured him in our reunion event.

1O1 was a good principal and father to all, a disciplinarian to the core. I can imagine his driver always giving out a good laugh when students see that brown car and take off even when he wasn't in the car

To him, kneeling down was a capital punishment and it kept me wondering till I got to the university and understood better. Yes, its really a capital one!

"Do no sinful action" was your favorite hymn in school assembly and that was a reset message to all students.

Now we're older, we understand better and are grateful for the impact you created in our lives.

Did I receive punishment as family? Yes! You were never biased. And I'm grateful for the fact that you came through in our downtimes when school fees was difficult to pay timely.

Rest on Uncle!
Rest on Elder I.O Izeogu!
Rest on the great Principal.

I remain your nwa-ada
Posted by Ibinabo Tomwest on March 22, 2021
Elder I.O Izeogu was a revered Principal of BHS, only sighting his car coming through the gates will make every boarding student to compose himself, tuck in your shirts or do the right thing. He gave me admission into BHS. I am forever grateful to you Sir. You will be greatly missed by everyone that came across you, You made a positive impact in our lives. Rest in perfect peace I. 0. I.
Ibinabo Tom-West, Agbebi House. I982 - I986.
Posted by Kote Obe-Eleme on March 22, 2021
It is so painful to have missed meeting you again after I left Baptist High School in 1982. You were my only principal and left me with a very great impression. You were disciplined, neat and godly. May God bless your legacies.
Thank you Mr. Isaac Okechukwu Izeogu.
- Emmanuel Obe, Davis Hall, Baptist high School, Port Harcourt (1977 - 1982)
Posted by Mercy Akpadiaha on March 21, 2021
When they say, 'Your Fame precedes you' , you were one of the few people whose fame did precede him. Long before I and my twin sister got into ISS, we had heard numerous exciting stories of the IOI from our Mum, who had taught in a school you principaled. By the time we did experience your leadership, we were not disappointed. You were everything she said you were, a disciplinarian, a strong character and a no nonsense personality. But you know what amazed me even at that young age, was the fact that you were approachable. That is a character that is most commendable in any leader.
You will be missed dearly Sir, but guess what? Now that you're gone, your fame continues to live on.
Adiues to one of the most impactful persons I have ever known.
Posted by Ibiso Beals Sammy on March 21, 2021
If humans are branded you would definitely have been labelled “A TOP NOTCH” . Your discipline and uprightness were part of the propelling factors to making most of your students become what we are today of which I am one. Your legacies will forever remain in our hearts. Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain. Sleep on our beloved principal Sir.
Posted by Chinyere Bonnie on March 21, 2021
You were a good disciplinarian. A man with good morals. Thank you for putting us in the right track while we were students at RS/UST/ISS. You taught us to take our academics seriously, to be obedient to our parents and also to obey rules and regulations. All of these and more has shaped a lot of us to be become responsible adults. Rest in peace sir. You will be missed. Adieu 1.O.1.
Posted by ebenezer isokrari on March 21, 2021
A great Principal you were to all your students...You helped groomed us to become responsible and disciplined adults...

Thank you Sir for everything...

May God give the Izeogu family and all your loved ones the fortitude to bear this sudden loss...

Amen...

Engr. Ebenezer Isokrari Jr.
ISS 97 Set, President.
Posted by george agapia on March 21, 2021
Words can't describe how much you have left in the reshaping children /students in the cause of your job, a welled deserved personality who took pleasure in sounding good morals in the lives of many schools, the seventh day Adventist Churches and everywhere you find yourself, I particularly will say, if the Almighty God is to bring another disciplined academician into this world, He should send you back again. May God keep you in His bossom and give you peace in His eternal Glory. Amen
Posted by Chiringo Opia on March 18, 2021
They say a good name is better than riches. . .
I still remember how my dad pulled me out of a school in my JSS 3, he said he wanted to send me to a very good school, a school led my a trusted disciplinarian. He was so adamant about it. He said Izeogu was a man of integrity and good character. It didn't make sense at the time until something that looked like a stampede occurred shortly after I joined the school. I wondered who we were running from and they said it was the principal. You just could not find your students roaming the school doing nothing. I still remember your trademark song "Do no sinful action, speak no angry word..." You were not just a principal but a father to many. Years later your daughter has become a good friend and from her I know what kind of father you were even at home. Continue to rest in heaven.
Posted by Ijay Pnc on March 17, 2021
I had always known you for your sincerity, straight talk and words of wisdom whenever you visited our home and this continued even when I became your student. You were more a father to me than a principal. Your words to me as a student in ISS and during my wedding has continued to resonate with me. You are indeed a legend and will be remembered. Rest on Sir until we meet on the resurrection morning.

Ijeoma Prince-Olokotor nee Ellah
Posted by Onisokien Osuamkpe on March 17, 2021
You were a father to us all, and wanted to get only the best from us. Your service to humanity will not be forgotten, as you have groomed generations of good men and women. Your perspicacious, disciplined and firm approach to life are things a lot of us have imbibed and we are glad we crossed paths with you, Sir. May your soul rest in peace, IOI.
Posted by Moma A's on March 17, 2021
I’m not good at memorizing songs, hymns, poems, etc but late IOI made me memorize “Do No Sinful Action” in my junior secondary. He wasn’t just a principal but he was a father to all because he’d speak to the students the way he’d speak to his own biological kids.

I still haven’t forgotten when I told him, I thought break wasn’t over, when he caught be outside the classroom and his response was “keep thoughting”

The great IOI was a good father, principal and disciplinarian to us all in then International Secondary School. He always stood for the truth and never bias.

You’ll be missed IOI but I’m certain you are in a better place and you are resting in power!!!!


Posted by Linda Iheme on March 17, 2021
The first time I actually got to talk to him was when I got into trouble and had to come with my dad. He let me off with a note of warning that I never ever misbehave again. With all the stories that he flogged students I felt I was going to get the blunt end of the stick but he let me off with a warning never ever to misbehave again.... To say I was shocked was putting it mildly...meeting him years later the one question he asked was where I worked and he laughed and stated that what we put him through was what I was also going through right now.....that was my aha moment. A disciplinarian, upright and gentleman to boot. Rest on my principal
Posted by obi chima on March 17, 2021
Greatness, is all I remember when I think of you.
Sir you are gone, but not without a drop of your greatness on every individual who had the privilege to cross paths.
I felt that greatness as my encounter with you contributed in making a better me.
Rest on sir
Posted by Stephen West on March 16, 2021
Sir,

It's sad that you're gone but rather than mourn, we will celebrate a life well spent. Far from being only a Principal to us at ISS, you were a Father to us all and you moulded us to become successful in life. For this we will always remain grateful.

You were a great man and an icon, memories of your guidance will forever remail with us.

Adieu..... Rest easy Sir.
Posted by Ineifie Ohiomoba on March 16, 2021
Dear Sir,
Your memory can never be erased or replaced. I will always remember you fondly as our strict disciplinarian in ISS. Our beloved Principal. Always looking to bring out the best in us although we probably didn’t fully realize that at the time. I’m so glad you got to live a full and long life and we will forever celebrate your memory.
It’s time for you to rest and we pray that those you left behind are strong enough to carry on until we are all re-united. In the meantime, your favorite hymn for devotion at assembly

‘Do no sinful action, speak no angry word...
Ye belong to Jesus, children of the Lord’...

..will remain with us.

Farewell sir!!
Ineifie Ohiomoba née Saborogha
Posted by Cynthia Kalu on March 16, 2021
Sir, I do not know you personally. I never had the privilege to... But I do know your daughter Uloma whom I fondly call my Tweeni'm. If she is a representation of you, then I can surely say that you have lived a full and wonderful life. May you rest well sir in perfect peace at the bossom of the Lord. And if you ever bump into my parents while in heaven, do dine with them. Farewell sir. Till we get to finally meet in the Lord, enjoy your crown of glory...
Posted by Charles Ugoji on March 16, 2021
You are a true Legend. A father to all, you gave all to make sure we excelled in our lives.
May your soul rest in the bosom of our Lord.
Posted by Obinna Izeogu on March 14, 2021
Uncle Aji,

You were a great man. It is through you that I can say that you set me up for success in life even though I left Nigeria to move to the United States. Your love for us, the grandkids of A.W. Izeogu, knew no bounds. I cherish the moments we spent together when I was a child. Rest In Peace.

Posted by Dorothy Boafo on March 13, 2021
When the heart grieves over what is has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left.”
Big Uncle as he was fondly called by many including me, would always be remembered as a role model of discipline and a beautiful example of a man who dearly loved his wife.
With love we uphold the family in our daily prayers. May the light of God shine through the sorrow bringing comfort, healing and peace. He will live on forever in our hearts and minds. We offer our deepest condolences for the loss of an icon.
Posted by Nena Agwu on March 11, 2021
My beloved principal was a man of faith, principle and order. He was a disciplinarian who cared deeply about the success of his students both academically and personally. Proud and thankful to be one of the many successful adults he helped raise. Sir, You will be missed! May your soul rest in peace!

- Orieji Iroha-Agwu nee Eni
Posted by Lanre Adeoye on March 7, 2021
Daddy was a great disciplinaeian, lover of his children, his lovely wife and everyone who knew him. Met daddy once and he humility aura is something else, such a great father to all. Surely he will be missed by all, my condolences to mummy his wife and the entire families. May Almighty grant the family the fortitude to bear his great loss. Rest in peace Daddy.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Kemka Gbasam on April 20, 2021
   Moving from OGS (Okrika) where discipline was an identifying mark I thought that HSC in Baptist High School (BHS) would be freedom for me as a senior boy. But I discovered that BHS under 101 was a continuation with even higher stakes. For example, it was still from Khaki to Khaki,even longsleeves .
   I turned my green Khaki inside out and decorated it with threads. It was special and different, hard to place and copy. Artfully, I dodged the principal ie 101 successfully for almost a term. I was enjoying the game . Not having much in height and stature, it was easy for me to (during assembly hide behind friends like John Onumbu,Sunny Erekosima,Sunny Marisagba(forgive me if the spelling is wrong —it's a long time, since 1977/78) and Tony Nwalia(reasonable height for cover but boney framework —so I combined him with One B Woks if I couldn't get around Boomy)
Suddenly, I was asked to pick my letter in the admin block. I thought I had checked very well:although distracted by my excitement for the letter —Dames ruineous— I surely thought that the Principal's kind and unique car was neither at the office area nor at the quarters. For, 'she' would have shouted the signal .
   As I finished my 'business' and was cerebrating my 'victory', I froze as I heard that calm unmistakable and firm voice: "Kemka Gbasam, come come". It was the Principal, (101,for sure)," come, I have been looking for this boy"he called and the magnet of his knowing voice turned me around to be face to face with him."I thought you had left this school".I made up immediately (then we were relishing the art of having something reasonable to tell him instantly —Tony Nwalia and Sunny Rex were experts) so I said to him,"yes sir,my uncle wants to take me away..."Sensing that that was not enough,I came up,"Now I am a day student... "I sturttered away on all cylinders. " OK tell John(my father) that I want to talk with him ".Wahala! Then he ordered," For now give me this your senior army uniform"; then it dawned on me that he was sending me home to report myself.
   Now,he stamped the real victory, "Did you think that I was not seeing you? Look at how you took time to change my uniform ". He turned to Nwabali and said " He thinks he is smart ,give him back the cloth". He promptly asked how the world would be if everybody walked and worked about without greeting; everyone dumb,bottling his own worries not sharing them with any. Then he landed :"worries not works kill".
    Of course I did not wear that uniform again; and I stopped dodging him and the teachers, I became his little friend.
    After about 22yrs, he discovered me in the Seventh–day Adventist Church. I had become a lawyer and he was very happy with me. He was for a longtime and uptill death a worthy Elder of the church. He reinforced the lessons of humility and simple Faith in the Lord. He maintained a delicate balance of these with diligence, fairness fineness.
   An urbane Teacher/Principal and an astute Elder of the church,l.O.I lzewgu was of the species of real great men that could not be bought or bent into the vanity of this world. His type is becoming increasingly scarce.
  May the lord help his family and us.
 
Posted by Kemka Gbasam on April 20, 2021
Moving from OGS(Okrika)where discipline was already an identifying culture at Secondary School level. I thought that being an HSC student would be freedom. BHS under 101
turned out a c continuations.l
Posted by Ejiro Elems on April 20, 2021
Words can't just express the depth of your demise, I am consoled because very soon, on the street of gold, we shall meet to path no more. 

May the Good Lord console his wife, children, extended family and friends.
his Life

His Story

He answered a call and the call carved for him a niche. He was a man of excellence and did not cut corners in dispensing his divine responsibilities in his family and in the rehabilitation and training of the next generation of his time, some of whom are grandfathers today.
Isaac Okechuku Izeogu, a grandfather himself, and a doting one to all his grandchildren, was a man of honor who lived the words of Proverbs 22:1 which reads "A good name is bore desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold".
The first son / child of Aaron Wobite and Mary Titi Izeogu, the son of a pioneer business man and a philanthropist in his own right, Isaac Okechuku Izeogu proceeded to live out his father's legacy and took on schools that other principals rejected, thereby being thrust into the limelight through one such assignment by the late Tam David-West in 1977, when he was sent to be the principal of Baptist High School, (Borikiri, Port harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria), even though there were others older and "more qualified" than him.
Never one to back down from a challenge, he threw himself into the task and the rest is history. He did such a thorough job with this school and became synonymous with rehabilitation of schools in the state, causing a following from parents with 'special' children.
Today, he leaves a legacy of a life of simplicity, honesty and service to God through humanitarian acts of kindness for right and justice, even and especially to the 'underserving'. So in the spirit of the man we are here to honor, may the value in our name be reflected in the lives we touch.
Recent stories

My unassuming brother Aji (Elder Isaac Okechuku Izeogu)

Shared by Carol Iheagwara on April 20, 2021
Memories last forever, especially those from childhood. Memories are treasures, but at a time like this they become golden treasures. My sister Nwamara and I often joked about our experiences with our big brother. Whenever we just want to reminisce about a time filled with fun and amusement we remember our brother Aji (who is popularly known as 101 by his students) and how he had a very unique side  to him that was fun to be around. We often remember our childhood years and the pranks we played when we lived at Ihie Mbawsi at the Adventist High School Mission Campus. The campus was large with streets lined with beautiful pine trees at the downhill section and fruit trees at the uphill and primary school sections of the campus. We would often climb the guava, mango, and  cashew trees around campus at our playtime. One day in our preteen years, Nwamara and I spotted our brother Aji cruising by in his car right underneath us while we were atop a guava tree on one of the streets and boy did we melt and prayed hard so he wouldn’t see us. But he sure did and made us get down immediately. You couldn’t escape his notice. I remember kneeling down beside my bed and offering a heartfelt prayer to God so I wouldn’t get reprimanded for being naughty when he came back home. Another side of him is that he expected to see you engaged in positive, productive activity. When he sees you idling, he would call you out and would immediately say “hum, my pity for you stretches from here to heaven”. That was his favorite line. These are just a few of our childhood interactions. They are parts of the lessons that molded us into what we’ve become. My brother was a father, away from our father (like “home away from home”). He fulfilled that role even before he became one and continued throughout in all aspects of his life. Aji, saying that I will miss you is an understatement. Because you’ll not only be missed but the vacuum can never be filled. You will continue to live in our hearts all the days of our lives. Aji, may you rest protected in the bosom of our Lord until we meet again at Jesus feet. 

Love Always, Amauche (signing off as you always did when you leave me a note/letters).

A MENTOR

Shared by Ikenna Obineche on March 21, 2021
Can’t forget one of the very few times I came late for school. I was coming from the main gate and was with the company of some regular late comers. So as a good student back then  I decided to walk faster. This was S.S.1 tho..Suddenly I noticed some students jogging pass me. I didn’t bother, maybe they felt they needed to run. But I was cool with my walking. Not until I noticed a brown Datsun salon, slow driving towards me with the windows down and him looking at me behind those brown shades... My heart skipped and I started jogging. I saw this car and the resemblance of the car he drove then on Pinterest and my mind flashed back to that very day . We all had our various memories with 101, good and not so good once, but one thing is for sure, those memories are part of our stories... We shaped into becoming successful in our various endeavors  He will be missed. R.I.P I.O Izeogu.

An Educational Icon

Shared by Ukabi Kelvin Agwu on March 9, 2021
Elder I.O Izeogu was my Principal in secondary school. He was a great educationist and a disciplinarian. He laid a solid foundation for his students. He shall be greatly missed by all. May the Lord strengthen he's immediate family and all who he influenced. Rest in peace great man!