From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna indigenes resident in the United States of America (USA), under the banner of Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora (SOKAD), yesterday hailed the life achievements of late Professor Jonathan Andrew Nok who died on the 21st November, 2017 in Kaduna, saying he was prodigious scientist who lived a humbled live.
SOKAD, also made up of accomplished academics, paid its tributes in two separate letters it wrote to Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state and the wife of the late Professor, Mrs Andrew Nok.
The two letters were signed by Dr. Freeman Kamuru, its President, Mrs D. Ngbozi, its Secretary – General and its Secretary Mr. S. John.
The letter written to el-Rufai reads: “In the early hours of November 21, 2017, SOKAD received the news of the sudden and unexpected death of Nok. We are deeply shocked and saddened by the premature loss of a great man in his prime.
“Prof Nok was a rare gift to humanity as evidenced by his great accomplishments as an Educator, Scientist and Researcher. His seminal work that elucidated the enzymology and biochemical basis for sleeping sickness was a great academic feat in which Nigeria honored him in several ways.
“ He went further to develop a candidate vaccine to immunize against the causative agent of the disease, in what is recognized as one of the greatest developments in Tropical Medicine in recent times. Though a giant in the scientific world, Professor Nok did not forget his humble beginning and remained a meek and humble man to his last day on Earth.
“His contributions to revamping the health system of our State when he was Kaduna State Commissioner of Health, and the agenda he has put in place to reform education as Commissioner of Education Science and Technology, is testimony to his love of Kaduna State and the common man. His presence in your administration gave hope to the marginalized people of Southern Kaduna; we hope his legacy remain in the collective memories of your government and the state.
“On behalf of SOKAD, we extend our deep, sincere and heartfelt condolences to you and the good people of Kaduna State. His loss has created a big vacuum that will be difficult to fill. We pray that the Lord will grant the government and the people of our State the fortitude to bear this immense loss.”
“And to the wife of the Professor, SOKAD writes: “We received the sad news of your husband’s call to glory with shock, more so as this was sudden and unexpected.
“Your husband was a good man; he was God’s gift to humanity.”