“Like a Comet Blazing Across the Evening Sky, Gone Too Soon”: A Tribute to My Teacher, Professor Iyorhemba Utim Ate, FCVSN, FTPD. By Samuel Nguetyo
I have been thrown into a state of limbo, swinging between elation and excruciating pains; seeing the trajectory of our professional colleagues whom we celebrate today and grieve over tomorrow; the tragicomic pendulum of life.
As I grapple with the devastating reality of your death, it pains beyond the marrow inscripting in history your exit. Sir, I pen this dirge in shattered emotions knowing you breathed last when you slumped and life left you, yesterday.
I called you on 1st of this month, enquiring into how you and family were faring, you spoke with strength and hope, leaving me with no premonition that death was lurking in the corner to sniff life off you.
As characteristic of your personality, you combed my family if there was any challenge and then, sent greetings.
My interactions with you during my undergraduate days left me with a father and mentor who was humility personified, sacrificial and accessible to all and also, garnished with an avid interest in making efforts to encouraging one to cling tenaciously to their studies.
Professor Iyorhemba Utim Ate was an angel in human form, a colossus, consummate professional, and ace administrator imbued with skills beyond the ordinary.
He was a professor of Veterinary Obstetrics. Member, Governing Council, Federal University of Agriculture, Mkd, Director, Ahmadu Ali Centre for Public Health and Comparative Medicine, FUAM.
He was also the Head of Department, Theriogenology (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), FUAM. Member of the Senate and ASUU-FUAM.
The Federal University of Agriculture, Mkd community will miss this sound mind, immeasurably.
How will his lovely wife; our mother cope with this sting of unending pains? Will his children whom he made friends with and was grooming into useful assets for God and humanity smile home in your warm embrace?
As mere mortals, what shall we do?
Our consolation lies only in God,
for He gives and takes, praises be His holy name!
Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA has lost a rare gem! College of Veterinary Surgeons of Nigeria, has lost a pioneer fellow. ASUU has lost a vibrant, committed and eloquent voice in him.
If it were physical strength, like you gallantly wrestled and overpowered armed robbers who cocked a gun at you last year, you would have defeated death to our admiration.
You knew Christ, may God be kind to accept your gentle soul, Amen.
Adieu Prof. Ate!
Written Samuel Nguetyo, a student of Prof. Ate