Rev Msgr Prof Sylvanus Iniobong Udoidem
To some, Rev Msgr Prof. Sylvanus Iniobong Udoidem is a fiery Catholic priest. To some, he is a teacher of Philosophy. To some, he is a poet. To some, he is a music composer. To some, he is a Philosopher.
Put together, Rev Msgr Prof Sylvanus Udoidem is a priest, teacher, philosopher, music composer and poet.
Above all, he is the Ata Ifiok 1 of Mkpat Enin, a honour bestowed on him by the Mkpat Enin Traditional Rulers Council in 2005 and a Justice of Peace, accorded him by the River State Government in 2019.
At the University of Port Harcourt where he spent over 25 years as a Lecturer, he is a ‘notary public’, known for being a former Head of Department of Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Humanity. Above all, he is known as the one who composed both the lyrics and music of the University anthem in 2011 and for many years, as the University Chaplain
Born in 1951, Prof Udoidem’s journey to the priesthood was divine. His late father, Alexis who was Dominic Cardinal Ekanem’s friend and classmate had wanted to be a priest. Family pressure and resistance stopped him but the urge to see his descendant become one made him take 12 year old Sylvanus to meet the Cardinal in 1963. By December, 1977, he was ordained a priest, the first in the old Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
He started out as a teacher and later, principal of Assumption Girls Juniorate, Ndon Ebom, Uruan before going on to serve as a priest in the Diocese of Port Harcourt for more than 30 years, 15 of which he served as Chaplain of the University of Port Harcourt.
The Mkpat Enin born philosopher-priest attended the Catholic University of America where he bagged a Masters of Art (M.A) and Doctor of Philosophy( Ph.D) degrees in 1983 and 1985 respectively.
In between studies, he was Chaplain to three universities in the United States of America and Research Fellow, Centre for Research in Values and Philosophy, Washington DC.
The Fellow of the Nigeria Philosophical Association, visiting Professor and Professorial Assessor in many Nigerian Universities and the University of Zambia was appointed by the Pope to the post of Rector, Catholic Institute of West Africa in 2016.
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