Professor Don Ohadike of Cornell University died yesterday. He once served as the Director of the prestigious African Studies and Research Center.

Dr. Ohadike made significant contributions to the study of resistance and the Igbo of Nigeria. He that acquired a tremendous reputation in the field of African history, one of the very best in the field of resistance to colonial rule in south-eastern Nigeria and the social history of the Igbo of West Africa. He contributed to the development of the discipline in many other ways. He related with his own peers and juniors with ease, offered leadership, shaped the direction of the discipline, encouraged aspiring students, generated trust and respect, and promoted a healthy debate among a large number of intellectuals. He was a gifted leader with capability and experience. He believed in an interdisciplinary focus, and he contributed substantially to the historical linkages between Africans and African-Americans. He combined a passionate commitment to scholarship with an understanding of the academic community, culture and society.

He published with Ohio University Press, one of the preeminent publishers in African studies, two books on the Igbo. The first one, The Ekumeku Movement, an analysis of resistance to colonial rule in south-eastern Nigeria, broadens the discourse on resistance in general through fresh data, original interpretation, and a conclusion that previous scholars have made an error by assuming that resistance was limited to large African groups. We see in The Ekumeku Movement the analysis of guerilla warfare and the anti-colonial activities of the Western Igbo between the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the outbreak of the First World War. The originality displayed in this remarkable book has been the hallmark of his scholarship.
His other book on Anioma: A Social History of the Western Igbo People is dense and original--the very first to explore how a dynamic Igbo group was able to navigate change at a most dramatic period in their history. We see ideology and identity combined to reveal the rich history of a group that has been ignored in the literature. This is an important book on a neglected Nigerian ethnic group. He is careful to place such a history in the broad context of state formation, imperialism and European contacts with Africa. Future historians of the Anioma will find it convenient to take any of his chapters and expand on them, while work of synthesis on Nigeria will find it valuable to integrate this marginalized group to the larger picture.

May His Soul Rest In Peace