One of the earliest Agbor indigenes, to qualify as an Engineer in the United Kingdom has died. Michael Nwokoro, son of the late Nwokoro Morka of Gbokogbogidi Quarters in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State and the late Mrs. Ozoemenem Omordia of Ohumeri, also in Agbor, died at St. George’s Hospital in South London, on Monday, February 11, 2013.
He was aged 80 years. His father was a successful Businessman who lived at Boji Boji, Agbor where the young Michael attended Primary Schools at both St. John the Baptist Catholic School and the Government School in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
After Elementary School, he taught at the Catholic Primary School in Agbor-Nta. He left his Teaching job to work as a Clerk, at a Timber and Plywood Company in Sapele in Delta State. He said he was inspired by the late Dr. George Orewa the Administrative Guru, who encouraged him to further his education. Fired by this noble vision, he relocated to Lagos the then capital of Nigeria and enrolled at the City College where he passed the City and Guilds Examination. He then applied to and passed the Entrance to the Yaba Technical School, in Lagos.
The Institution was later changed to Yabba Trade Centre. He was awarded a Scholarship to enable him go to Yaba Tech as it was popularly called.
At Yaba, he did his preliminary studies in Building Construction and promptly gained employment with Costain Construction Company in Lagos, when he gained his Certificate.
In 1958, he left the Nigerian Shores for Britain to further his Studies. He enrolled at the Brixton College in London and sat for his Higher National Diploma (HND), Examination. Having obtained his HND, he was awarded another Scholarship to study Structural Engineering at the Bristol School of Science and Technology in the West Country of the United Kingdom.
While at Brixton College, he was joined by his wife, Elizabeth and they were blessed with a male child, before their relocation to Bristol. On graduation, he was employed by Over-rup and Partners, Consulting Engineers, there in Bristol but they soon sent him back home to Nigeria to work in their West African Branch Office.
About the year, 1972, he left the British Company, to work with the late Chief Vincent Egbarin, the Orikeze of Agbor, who had an Engineering Company, Vincenti, handling huge contracts in the country. But he soon left, to form his own company and later teamed up with Wilson Jato Ebomah, an Architect from Oki, also in Agbor, who had qualified in a North American University.
The late Engineer Nwokoro handled many important building projects, to the great satisfaction of his Clients.
In his tribute to the late Engineer, Chief Michael Nosegbe, a former Commissioner in the Delta State during the tenure of Office of three Military Governors, Colonel Bassey Asuquo, Air Commodore Ibrahim Kephas and Colonel John Dungs, (1992-1997), recalled that Michael Nwokoro was a pioneer member of the Old Agbor Students Club formed in London in the late 1950s and early 1960s by Agbor sons such as the late Solomon Nwokoro, the Engineer’s elder brother, the late Chief Vincent Egbarin, the late Michael Uwadia and the late Andrew Ebite, to name a few!. This Club was the precursor of the Ika Union of Great Britain and Ireland which still exists.
Chief Nosegbe described Engineer Nwokoro as �an honest and diligent person�. �You could rely on him as he was a good team player and a non-combative person�, he added. (It would be recalled that Engineer Nwokoro, did the Structural Engineering Drawings for the Chief’s Family House in Festac Town).
Chief Ben Nwaeke, President of the Ika Union of Great Britain and Ireland, described the late Michael Nwokoro as �well loved in the Ika Community and a great Historian�. He also said he was full of fun and regretted that he would be missed by �all who came across him�.
Chief Ben Nwaeke is the Odabameze of Akumazi Umuocha, in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State.
In his own tribute, the Reverend John Ohen, Curate of St. James Church of England, (Anglican) , in Clapham, South London and a native of Owa Alizomo in Ika North east Local Government area of Delta State, who had made many pastoral visits to St. George’s Hospital where Engineer Nwokoro had been hospitalized, described him as � a strong supporter of the present Ika Union of Great Britain and Ireland when he, Nwokoro was a student in the United Kingdom and also had rejoined the Union when he came back to Europe in 1998�.
He added that the late Engineer had encouraged members of the Union to teach their children Ika Language, Culture and Tradition to enable them hold their heads high in a country pulsating with a mulplicity of ethnic groups and cultural diversity.
He also recalled that the late Michael Nwokoro had graced the reception which he, Reverend Ohen, had held in his residence and at another occasion, to welcome the Obi of Owa, HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, JP, OON, when he visited the United Kingdom about two years ago.
The late Engineer is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, six children and eighteen grandchildren.
Burial arrangements will be announced by the family.