Professor Elijah Tamuno Iyagba


Professor Elijah Tamuno Iyagba passed on in United States of America during the late hours of November 17, 2016. He was the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas Bonny.

Prof. Iyagba earned a PhD (Chemical Engineering) from the University of Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A., 1986. He had two MS degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1985 and Chemical Engineering in 1983 with a Thesis: A comparative Analysis of a Proposed LNG Base-Load Plant in Bonny, from the same university and a Bsc (Chemical Engineering) from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 1979 with first Class Honours.

He had a distinguished career at the university of Port Harcourt, doing world class research most of which can be seen in his publications, relating to Catalysis & Reaction Engineering. More importantly, he inspired a culture of research in a whole army of young faculty members who joined the University after him. His entry in the Chemical Engineering department marks the beginning of a new era in which a modern, research-based work culture developed in the department.

He was a fantastic teacher, involved in the teaching of core fluid mechanics courses and Transport Phenomena. He earned heaps of praise from the students he taught.

Prof. Iyagba held important positions in the University and served meritoriously in various capacities including Dean, Faculty of Process and Energy Systems Engineering, PTDF Chair Occupant in Gas Engineering, Director, Information & Communication Technology Centre (ICTC), Director, Basic Studies Unit, Head of Department Chemical Engineering, Director, SIWES (Industrial Training), Hall Warden, Kwame Nkrumah Hall, Assistant Hall Warden, Kwame Nkrumah Hall.

He was recognized with numerous honors and awards, including Best Overall Performance, West African School Certificate Examination, Okrika Grammar School, 1971, University of Port Harcourt 28th Convocation Merit Award for introducing in-house Computer Based Testing (CBT) in the university, 2011 (he was one of Only three staff of the university who have won merit awards twice), and other awards

Prof. Iyagba was a Registered Engineer,(COREN), a Fellow Nigerian Institute of Management, (Chartered), Member American Institute of Chemical Engineers and other professional bodies.

His passion was to serve God through his services to mankind. He believed that we are gifted according to God’s grace to serves other not ourselves. And our services is to be marked by diligence and fervour.

He deserved much more but his gentle nature and a strong sense of modesty did not allow him to chase awards and rewards. He had many ideas on research and higher education, and a vision of how to build institutions. Even if you disagreed with some of it, you had to respect that fact that he thought so comprehensively. And then he followed it up with the passion and zeal that such dreams deserve.

Prof. Iyagba was one of the finest human beings we have been privilege amidst us. He was a friend, collaborator, gentle mentor, a good team player, a bridge builder, a wonderful father and husband. An epitome of Simplicity, one in a million.

Prof. Iyagba is survived by his wife, Mrs Flora Iyagba and their children Deinma, Daniel, Boma and Ibiye and Tonye.

We will miss him sorely.


  1. This is very sad. May your soul rest in peace. My condolence to your wife and children; they will miss you for sure.
    RIP Prof.

  2. Oh Death where is the sting?
    Oh grave where is the victory?
    He is gone to rest in the bosom of our Lord.
    No more pain, sorrow nor struggles of the wicked world.
    It is true that good people don’t last.
    But there name continue to live in our hearts and on our lips. My Prof. DEIN NA MU.

  3. To my friend and sis Ibiye Amiesimaka, I know you’re deeply hurt. God will heal your heart and that of your family. To his wife and lovely children, God Almighty will see you through this trying time and He will take care of you forever. Amen!

  4. May You Rest in the Bossom of the Almighty… Amen!!

  5. You were a true leader. One who served wholeheartedly and sought to take everyone along.
    May your gentle soul find rest. Amen.

    Enighe Jonathan
  6. To the Iyaba”s, May the almighty God grant you his peace that passes all understanding to comfort and uphold you in this period of mourning. Accept my condolence..

    To my friend Ibiye, your second dad is gone but take heart my dear and be strong for your sister and nephew because they look up to you not only as a Aunt but a big sister. The Lord will take care of you guys in Jesu’s name, Amen

    Somina Eka
  7. It’s sad indeed, I am so shocked to hear that u are gone my dear Rector……I can’t stop crying……you left us when we need you most….The Polytechnic will miss your cheerful nature and the love you have shown to us all….May your gentle soul rest in the bosom of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ….Amen!

    Gift George Green
  8. What a good man u are,May ur gentle & peace loving soul RIP uncle Santa

    Happie Alamina
  9. Words fail me.I am just dumbfounded and amazed at how a person can be doing well one minute and dead the next minute. Uncle Santa like we fondly called him will be dearly missed.where do I start from.I just leave all to God. He alone knows why.Sleep on my dear fought a good fight.Rest with the lord where no harm can come near you.I love u but God loves you Best. Adieu Uncle Mi. Ayanaba Boma Lawson Wodike.

  10. I still can’t come to terms with the fact that Prof is gone. I never saw it coming. Words alone can’t describe how wonderful Prof was with everyone who met him, regardless of their background. Oh Prof, I will miss your smile, gentility, honesty, humility, swag, fatherly advice, sense of humor and everything you stood for. Every moment I spent with you will live on in my heart. Rest in peace Sir.

    Green Ibim Abba
  11. So sad, i’m engulfed with grief.
    You were my project adviser during my MSc days at UNIPORT and Just as I was planning to pay you a visit this December…I get this shocker!!!
    Words cannot express my sadness. May God sustain your beautiful family because of your priceless contributions and legacy to our academia.
    Farewell sir.

    Darlington Maduagwu
  12. It’s still so shocking to imagine that we would not hear your laughter or see that smile that was warm and welcoming regardless of the individuals age or status.

    Every life you touched will miss you. This world misses you, your family misses you so much it hurts. We don’t understand but the Lord God Almighty knows the hows and whys. May God comfort and fill this gap like only He knows and can. Dearest Ibiye, it is well.

    Adieu Uncle Santa. Rest on in the bosom of our Lord.

    Melissa Okonny
  13. He was a very good man, he impacted in d life of everyone dat came in contact wit him, he will forever remain alive in our hearts.may his gentle soul rest in d bosom our Lord amen.

    Florence Wilcox
  14. The last time we met was in July 2016 in Port Harcourt. Before then was December 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia USA; where my family and your family had good times and we had longed to see you. The Steelers were playing you watched and yelled with lots of excitement. We all remembered them thirty something years ago when Joe Montana (American football player) was a young man playing with the Steelers.  Santa, it all seemed like yesterday, that thirty something years ago was in 1983 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, when we all met the first time. Your passing was very painful, but we will remember your gentleness, your kindness, and your simplicity in life. May your family be encouraged as we are, of the promises from Jehovah,  as we hope to see you again.  Revelation 21:3, 4

    Rosemary Nkechi Reuben

    Rosemary Nkechi Reuben
  15. This is too difficult to believe. My professor, mentor, senior friend, advisor, many things to me. He taught me as an engineering student in 2009 and since then we have been close, he is never too busy to pick my calls, reply my text or share things with me. His name and signature are around me because he is my referee even till now as i type. I haven’t been myself since I know he died, so painful that death snatched prof Iyagba. We spoke around september and he was full of life and smiles. One of the best men I have seen and encountered, you will forever be missed Sir. Am happy because I take solace in the fact that you are with the Lord in heaven. RIP rare gem, a unique man, a soft soul. Eternal peace and rest is yours Sir. May God grant us, friends, colleagues, wife, children, relatives the fortitude to bear this great loss IJN..Amen.

    Engr Great Tobore Obaro
  16. Uncle Iyo!!!! Hmmm… life throws curves every now and then. We have very fond memories of you. You were a regular face at ourisk home. My dad was very fond of you. I remember how you would come over some mornings and request my younger brother to bring out special chin chin made by my late grandma. With humility you would sit on our rug and munch on the chin chin. I remember how you stood up for me during Management meetings at Uniport when so many people would pounce on me and accuse me of things I knew nothing of. You always invited my dad for functions at your home. Oh Uncle, will miss you. It’s been such a shock since I heard the sad news. Rest in peace Uncle Santa and may God console Aunty Flora and your lovely kids and family.

    Nwira Mbanefo
  17. Bros.It is a wonderful world to live.I don’t know how to describe what really happened but all the same we leave all to God to decide. And to those you love and leave behind but not to die.May your soul rest in peace.
    Bro.Elijah Aseminaso (USA ).

    Elijah Aseminaso
  18. I will really like to know why good and sound people don’t last longer.May your kind walk through this world again.Be at peace as you travelled beyond my boss prof ELIJAH IYAGBA TAMUNO .RECTOR federal oil and gas poly Bonny

  19. Prof, it’s so sad to hear that you are gone. we will for ever live to miss you. kind and generous man you were to me and my family. May God grant you repose with the faithful departed in the bosom of our Lord. Amen. Adieu my Prof., Adieu my best teacher!! Adieu!!

    Engr. Livinus Obasi
    I lack words to express how shocked and disheartened the news of your demise made me feel. It was to me like and unannounced solar eclipse. In deed this life sometimes be funny and unfair if we could be treated this way. However, I am rest assured that it was your appointed time to repose with the faithful departed. We will greatly miss you. All I can say to you now is “Farewell and May God choose faithful men who will not only comfort your survivors but also continue your good works and enduring legacies while you rest in the bosom of our Lord”. Amen. Adieu my Prof! Adieu!!
    Mrs Ethel I. Obasi.

    Mrs Ethel I. Obasi
  21. You are a rare gem sir, so down to earth and real. U still leave on in the hearts of those who knew you.

  22. What a loss! You were a special one. Bright like the morning star, with loving kindness so rare to come by. Will always remember your legacies bestowed upon us all in your days in University of Port Harcourt. Sleep well special , sleep well till we meet again.

    Stanley Beregha
  23. Prof, You taught me well, guided me and supported me like a Father does to a son. You may be gone from us but your good works will continue. I am honored to have learnt principles of Chemical Engineering under your tutelage. May your soul rest in Peace. Amen.

    Tuka Kuru

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