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BREAKING: Ikechebelu takes over from Esimone as UNIZIK VC, promises defined pathways


By Our correspondent

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof Joseph Ikechebelu, has been announced to oversee the office of the Vice-Chancellor as Prof Charles Esimone’s tenure ends today.

Esimone became the Vice Chancellor of the University about this time five years ago.

Having served out his five-year tenure, it only became natural that his deputy should take over pending the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor in due course.

The announcement for Ikechebelu to take over was made at the special Senate meeting held at the University Auditorium today June 3rd, 2024.

Prof Ikechebelu, being the only Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the institution, was announced in accordance with the NUC’s circular to Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities recently.

The NUC circular dated May 28, 2024, titled “RE: END OF TENURE OF SOME VICE-CHANCELLORS OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES,” directs outgoing Vice-Chancellors to nominate a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, as recommended by their Senate, to temporarily oversee the office of the Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Esimone is scheduled to officially hand over to Prof Ikechebelu later today as Acting Vice-Chancellor.

Fielding questions from journalists, Ikechebelu promised that there would be a new dimension in administration of the institution.

He said there would be a defined pathway of excellence in steering the wheels of the institution in areas such as lighting up UNIZIK, addressing insecurity, digitalizing of the institution and Beautification of the institution.

He promised that efforts would be made to tackle the power challenge as a matter of necessity, adding that his administration would come up with a programme aimed at securing the institution while also promising that the digitalization of the institution will transit from the point of admission to graduation for the students of the institution right to the point of collection of transcripts.

He also affirmed that one attribute of a good institution is in its ambiance which will propel the beautification of the institution

Ikechebelu rose the through the ranks to become a professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology in the University in 2008. His research has distinguished him as a renowned fertility expert and Gynaecological endoscopic surgeon par excellence with over 150 scholarly publications in reputable national and international journals. He is listed in the Scopus First 500 scholars in Nigeria in 2020 and among the first 10 academics in UNIZIK Awka in 2021 based on article citations and publications.

His outstanding achievements besides his numerous Awards and Recognitions include his sterling performance as Director of Academic Planning (2019-2021) and Dean of Medicine (2012-2014) of the University which earned him the accolade “Digital Dean” for his innovative digital transformation of the Faculty of Medicine and Academic planning unit of the University respectively.


He holds the membership of notable societies and associations including International College of Surgeons, World Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons, European Society of Human Reproduction & Embryology, American Society of Reproductive Medicine. He is a Life Member of Society of Gynaecology & Obstetrics of Nigeria and West African College of Surgeons. He is also the pioneer president of Association of Gynaecological Endoscopy Surgeons (AGES), Nigeria.


He pioneered the establishment of Minimal Access Surgery (Laparoscopy) [2006] and provision of prevention of Mother-to-child transfusion of HIV (PMTCT) [2003] services in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi. These are twin services that he has continued to lead and train manpower for the Hospital and Nigeria. He also pioneered the establishment of Assisted Reproductive Technology Services in Anambra State [2010] with the delivery of its first IVF conception (aka Baby Joseph) on 6th August, 2011. Today, he has delivered over 300 babies from this Technology at Life Fertility Centres of Life International Hospital Awka and Life Specialist Hospital Nnewi.


Prof. Ikechebelu with his Team has trained over 300 Doctors (including Gynaecologists, Surgeons, Anaesthesiologists and Medical Officers) and over 40 Peri-operative Nurses in the field of Minimal Access Surgery as the founder and Course Director of Life Institute for Endoscopy [since 2010]. He is also the initiator and promoter of Always Life Fountain initiative (ALFI) since 2012. Through this organization, he offers scholarships to school children, indigent University Students and support to widows. Currently has about 25 persons on ALFI Scholarships.

He is the Editor-in-chief of Journal of HIV and Human Reproduction, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Nigerian Journal of Surgical Sciences and Special assistant to the Editor of Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice.

He is the Chairman of Faculty of Obstetrics & Gynaecology of West African College of Surgeons (WACS) since 2019 and serve as the Chief Examiner to all its Primary, Membership and Fellowship examinations for doctors specialising in Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

In pursuit of his dream to mentor the next generation, he has successfully supervised 5 MSc thesis and over 30 Fellowship dissertations for consultants. Five of his mentees have progressed to Professorial cadre in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Joseph Ikechebelu believes he could do all these through Jesus Christ. He surrendered his Life to Jesus after hearing the message of salvation (and got born again) on 23 January 1983 in his first year in the University and has enjoyed a loving relationship with our Lord. Many years down the lane, his trust in God remains unshakable. God is good if you serve Him in righteousness, in spirit and in truth. He has served the body of Christ in several capacities and he is currently a Trustee and Chairman of the National Administrative Board of Grace of God Mission International and Chairman of the Governing Board of Grace Theological Institute Onitsha.

Prof Ikechebelu is an astute administrator, an erudite professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, a Minimal Access Surgeon, a fertility expert, an accomplished entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a humble and silent achiever, a man of excellence, and above all a man after Gods own heart

He is married to Professor Ngozi Joe-Ikechebelu (aka Ebubediya) with 5 lovely children Belusochi, Okemsinachi, Ifeanyichi, Urukanachi and Sogibuchi to the glory of God.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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