IN MEMORY OF LATE PROFESSOR ETOP JAMES USORO (1937-2011),
A PIONEER MEMBER OF MOBILE MANNA FOUNDATION (MMF)
The news of the demise of our pioneer member, Professor Etop James Usoro, a professor of coastal geomorphology in the Department of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria was like a hurricane to us at the Mobile Manna Foundation. He was instrumental to many developments in the Foundation since 2008. He was nominated as a member of the Advisory Council of the Foundation but never inaugurated because of his sudden death on 22nd August, 2011.
The burial of Late Professor Etop James Usoro took place on 17th September 2011. The commemoration service was held at the University of Uyo Main Campus by 8.30 am with a Mock Senate at the arrival of the corpse. After the Mock Senate at the Senate Chambers, a religious service started in the CBN Hall of the University of Uyo Main Campus. The University Community members, family members and other sympathizers trooped in to pay their last respect to the Late Professor.
The Commemoration Service at the University Campus witnessed the Parish Priest and the Associate Priest of St. Peter’s Parish University of Uyo Main Campus where the Late Professor was a member, Rev. Frs. Emmanuel Ating and Donatus Ukpong respectively in attendance together with other priests serving in the University Community.
The dignitaries who paid their last tribute to the Late Professor included: The Vice Chancellor, Professor Mrs. Comfort Ekpo, former Vice Chancellor, Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo, other Professors and senior Academic staff of the University of Uyo. Other Academic and Non-Academic Staff, Students and visitors outside the University Community trooped in to pay their last respect as well.
After the Commemoration service, sympathizers proceeded in convoy to the home town of Late Professor Etop James Usoro, Ukpap Itak, Ikono Local Government Area where a Funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Francis of Assisi Autonomous Catholic Community, Ukpap Itak, Ikono LGA, by Very Rev. Fr. Jude Etim together with many priests from the Diocese of Uyo as concelebrants. The Bishop of Uyo Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Ekuwem made a brief remark on the life and time of Late Professor Etop James Usoro before the Commencement of the Eucharistic celebration.
The final commendation was performed by Very Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ating, and finally the interment of the Late Professor Etop James took place in his family compound. More than 19 members of the Mobile Manna Foundation participated at the funeral obsequies.
This is what his daughter, Usenikwereke Etop Usoro said about him. “I remembered one time when my mother had to be hospitalized at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and my Dad would make two flasks of food to take to there on his visits. I found out to my amazement that one of the flasks was for my mom, but the other was for a homeless man who always sat under a tree at the corner of the street from the hospital! My father fed this man every single day that he went to the hospital. Such was his dedication to the plight of any one he considered to be less privileged than himself. He put many through school and mentored many throughout his lifetime. I have had the honor of meeting some who were helped by my father on the streets of Lagos and Uyo. He was a peaceful person, always preferring to leave conflicts to God Almighty than to respond or seek retribution.”
The MMF will continue to treasure the memory of our pioneer member, Prof. Etop Usoro. May God grant him the reward of the elects, as we continue to raise the bar of hope.