President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,
President and Commander in Chief,
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Aso Rock Villa,
AN APPEAL TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO HONOUR AND IMMORTALIZE THE LATE PROF. SIR EFOSA VICTOR UWAIFO, JP.
The announcement of the transition of Prof. Sir Victor Uwaifo, JP, MON, on Saturday, 28th. August, 2021, came as a rude shock which vibrated across the local, national and international spheres.
We recognize the fact that as mortals death is an inevitable end but the prayer of everyone of us is to live a fruitful life and transit at a ripe old age.
At the age of 80years Prof. Sir Victor Uwaifo, JP has departed but not without making his mark on the sand of time which is worthy of recognition.
We of the Edo Peoples Assembly (EPA), a socio-cultural forum made up Distinguished personalities of Edo State extraction, a group of which he was also a part, hereby make a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to honour and immortalize him in death.
We suggest that his name be immortalized in any of the following options:
1. The National Museum and Monument in Benin City should be renamed after him for his contributions to the works of Arts and Culture.
2. Any of the Federal Higher Institutions in Edo State be named after him.
Justification of our appeal:
1. For his outstanding creativity in the field of Music and Arts.
2. For his promotion of the rich cultures of the Edo People through Music and Arts.
3. For his achievements of National and International recognitions impacting on the global entertainment Industry.
4. As a true patriot who was never involved in any political or social confrontations.
5. As an academic achiever who at the age of 77 years became a Professor and dedicated a substantial part of his life to building capacity as a lecturer.
6. As a onetime Hon. Commissioner for Art and Culture Ministry in Edo State.
It is on record that he was a Nigerian musician, writer, sculptor, and musical instrument inventor.
A very talented Benin man with multi-skill in Electric guitar, flute, saxophone, electric piano, percussion and vocals which saw him exceling in heights.
As part of his creative work he designed and built guitars with the unique features of combined strings and piano keyboard. He also designed and built double arm guitar.
His creative works of art abound in Joromi studio in Benin City.
He promoted the rich cultures of Edo People through his Arabade, Ekassa series and Akwete music from which he won the first gold disc in Africa (Joromi) which he released in 1965.
He was bestowed with a National Honors Merit Award (MON) in 1983 by The Federal Government of Nigeria, in appreciation of his talents and contributions to Nigeria’s development.
Sir Uwaifo was the first professional musician in Nigeria to receive such an award. He was a Justice of the Peace and had served in many capacities.
Appointed Justice of Peace (JP), Public Notary and Lay Magistrate, Sir Victor Uwaifo was honored by four Nigerian Presidents: He was invited to the State House by four Presidents and Heads of State of Nigeria.
On the international scene, according to Wikipedia, Prof Sir Victor Uwaifo brought glory to Edo State and the Nation at large.
In 1995, Uwaifo was invited by the United Nations Staff Day International Committee to perform during the UN Golden Jubilee celebrations. He was cited in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1983 edition, documented in the “Who’s Who in Nigeria”, “Who’s Who in Africa”, “Who’s Who in the Commonwealth”, and “Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth” sections.
He was an Honorary Member of the Biographical Advisory Council, Cambridge, England; a member of both the Performing Right Society, and of the Advisory Board of American Heritage University, California, US.
As a true patriot, he stood for the growth and development of the State and the Nation. Whenever called upon to perform at any State and National events he availed himself.
His last major performance was at the last year Festival of Arts and Culture hosted in Benin City, Edo State.
Until his last moment on Earth, he contributed academically in the development of capacity in the field of Arts and Sculpture.
He received a bachelor’s degree with First-Class honours at 54 years old (Valedictorian) and a master’s degree from the University of Benin in 1997 at 56 where he studied Fine and Applied Arts and majored in Sculpture. He was indeed an achiever to be proud of.
Sir Uwaifo was also appointed the Honorable Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism and Member of the State Executive Council, the highest policy-making decision body in Edo State from 2001–2003. He served meritoriously.
Your Excellency, Sir Uwaifo has exemplified himself well enough to justify the honour being sought to be bestowed on him. Such recognitions will no doubt serve as an inspiration to the upcoming youths.
It will be appreciated if our prayers receive your kind blessings.
Thanking Your Excellency in anticipation of favoured response.
For: EDO PEOPLES ASSEMBLY (EPA)
Hon. George Kellyford Edigin.