Eni Njoku

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Eni Njoku was a Nigerian botanist and university administrator who served as the vice chancellor of the University of Lagos and later that of the University of Nigeria. He was also involved in the Nigerian political theatre as a member of the Eastern House of Assembly and later that of the Federal House of Representatives. In 1952, he was made the federal minister of Mines and Power.


Njoku was born on November 6, 1919 in Ebem, Ohafia to the family of Njoku Eni. He attended Ebem Primary School of the church of Scotland, Ohafia and the Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar. He then proceeded to the Yaba Higher College before going to the University of Manchester where he graduated with first class honours in 1947 and then earned his masters a year later. He received his Ph.D from the University of London in 1954.

Njoku started a career in education as a probational teacher at Ebem School, Ohafia and later as a science teacher at the Hope Waddell Training Institute in 1940, he later taught at the Army Clerks Training School, Yaba. After returning from Manchester in 1948, he joined the staff of the University of Ibadan. In the early 50s, he was a minister of Mines and Power after partaking in politics as an elected representative. He was later the chairman of the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria.

In 1962, a new University of Lagos act was passed which established the creation of a provincial council, also in the same year, Njoku was made the vice chancellor of the university. But in 1965, inter-ethnic tension flared up after the University of Lagos Provincial Council decided not to renew his term as V.C. Groups involved in various sub/regional nationalism interest decided to back a candidate of their ethnic affiliation or region.(1) However, he returned to university administration at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1966 after a brief sojourn as a visiting professor at Michigan State University. His appointment was just a year before the outbreak of civil war. During the war period, he supported the Biafra cause and was a delegate in negotiations for the East prior to the war at a conference in September, 1966 in Lagos and during the war.


  • (1)Boniface I. Obichere. Studies in Southern Nigerian History. p 171