Veteran Technical Tutor, Administrator
Amaopusenibo Emmanuel George Toby was a renowned Technical Educationist that kept a lasting legacy as foremost Principal of Technical Colleges in Niger Delta between the 70s and 80s. He was best known for being the Pioneer Provost of Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku, Rivers State.
Who was Amaopusenibo Emmanuel George Toby?
Amaopusenibo Emmanuel George Toby (1943 – 2016) was an Opobo born veteran Technical Teacher who taught and managed reputable technical schools in old Rivers State for over 2 decades. He received his Master’s degree in Industrial Education and Training from the University of Manchester, UK. George Toby’s wealth of experience in Technical Education and Management knew no bound as he coined most of the Technical Colleges in old Rivers State from 1972 to 1978 and also, he was the pioneer Provost of Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku. He prides himself to have trained and mentored several technicians from the Niger Delta and beyond who had made their marks in the industries and factories of Nigeria. Ultimately, his godliness was never in doubt, he was a dedicated member of the Salvation Ministries till his demise in 2016 at the age of 73.
Emmanuel was born to Senibo George T.M Toby of Opobo town, in the present Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State and Madam Mary George Toby (nee Umuna) of Amapu town in Abia state, on 23 December 1943. At birth, he was named after his grandfather, Minimie hence he was called Ogboada abbreviated to Ada. He became fondly referred to as Ada Toby.
The young Ada lost his mother in 1948 at the age of 5 and his father at 12 in 1955. Despite being orphaned at this tender age, God’s mercy and blessings were upon him with the combined effort of his late step mother, Madam Comfort George Toby and Gabriel Onuoha George of Lorji Aboh, Mbaise in Imo State who ensured his early education was a success. He was a very courageous young child. His intelligence and brilliance endeared him to his father who made him personal Secretary at the tender age of Ten, keeping the financial records of his father’s empire and played the role of secretary to the house and family.
Ada Toby attended Primary School at St. Peter’s School Owerri in 1951 and obtained the First School Leaving Certificate in 1956. He was one of the very talented students admitted into Government Technical Institute, Enugu, the only Technical Institute in the whole of the eastern region in 1957. In 1962, he obtained both the West African School Certificate, and Technical Institute Certificate, a rare feat in those days, Ogboada was focused and determined.
Only leaving the Government Technical Institute in 1962, he was immediately engaged by Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN). After about five months at ECN, he had an offer by Posts and Telecoms P&T to be trained as a Technologist (specializing in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering) at their training centre at Oshodi-Lagos. While at the Training School, he entered for the City and Guilds Examinations in Machine Shop and passed the Intermediate and Finals in 1964 and 1965 respectively. He obtained the full Technological Certificate in 1971. Subsequently, he worked with P&T and resigned in 1971 as Assistant Workshop Supervisor. He was passionate about the Technical Education and decided to switch over to teaching services to impact the skills he had acquired in Technical Education to the younger ones. With that motivation, he transferred to the Rivers State Government Civil Service in May 1971. Thereafter, he went to National Technical College, Yaba-Lagos where he obtained the Technical Teacher’s Certificate in 1972.
Between 1976 and 1977, he attended the Bolton College of Education (Technical) UK and obtained a Diploma in Advanced Studies (Technical Education) majoring in Education Management, Economics of Education and Comparative Education in 1977, he later obtained a Masters of Education (M.Ed) Industrial Education and Training from the University of Manchester, UK in 1981.
Amaopusenibo Emmanuel George Toby (Ogboada) was married to Mrs Belema Data Toby (Nee Fubara), the daughter of late Warisenibo Theodore Jim Fubara. The marriage was contracted in complete accordance with Opobo native law and customs and the wedding was consummated at the St. Cyprians Anglican Church, Port Harcourt in 1975. He had Five children, Three boys and Two girls.
Ada Toby harvested a wealth of experience over about the Thirty-Four years of his working career as he was the following:
- Drawing Office of Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) Headquarters in 1963
- Assistant Technical Officer (ATO) in Training, Post and Telecommunications (P&T) Lagos in 1971
- Civil Servant of Rivers State Civil Service Commission in 1972.
- Principal, Government Technical College, Tombia from 1973 to 1975
- Principal, Government Technical College, Ahoada from 1975 to 1976 and
- Principal, Government Technical College, Port Harcourt from 1977 to 1983
- Chief Supervisor of Schools, Rivers State Schools Board from 1983 to 1987
- Member, Rivers State Schools Board, 1987
- Pioneer, Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, Rivers state from 1988 to 1997
On account to his leadership prowess and discipline, Amaopusenibo Emmanuel George Toby had two other appointments:
- Chairman, Rivers State Chieftaincy Review Commission from 1997 to 1988
- Member of the Governing Council of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (now Rivers State University) Port Harcourt, from 2002 to 2004
He was born into a Christian home a devout Christian who maintained the fear of God in all his dealings. In his early days he was a member of Anglican Communion where he regularly paid his Class Fees to date. However, on retirement his desire for a deeper fellowship with God led him to the Living Pentecostal Church of the Salvation Ministries where he worshipped till his demise. His house plays host to the Home Cell Fellowship of the Salvation Ministries and even on his death bed, expressed desire that it should not be discontinued. He helped many Pentecostal Pastors build their Churches in Rivers State and beyond. His counsel with the word of God encouraged many to embraced Christ totally and truly.
A life encounter with late Ama-Opu-Senibo, Emmanuel George Toby would leave you with many impressions; he was down to earth honest, gentle, patient and humble to a fault. This is therefore little wonder why he was a man of the people and loved. He was fondly and popularly called ‘Ada’, ‘Big Daddy’, ‘Ada Toby live forever’ by friends, children, youths and even old people.
Emmanuel George Toby was like a father to many from Opobo and beyond, most of whom were his staff and students. He was a pillar of support to many, both young and old and brought them succour. Many benefitted from his monthly stipend as he made sure he paid their house rents, catered for their medication and feeding. He paid school fees, encouraged and counselled many to live uprightly. His simplicity made him easily accessible and approachable and as such many sought for his counsel and advice in challenges and matters of life. He was a man truly blessed with wisdom and was not selfish to share his wealth of wisdom to those who needed it. The affable and amiable Ada led a decent quiet and honest life.
Emmanuel George Toby was an administrator, veteran educator, educationist and disciplinarian.
He was truly a builder who believed in living legacies for posterity wherever he served. At Government Technical College, Tombia, he worked for the recognition of the City and Guilds Examination. Similarly, at the Government Technical College, Ahoada, he built and equipped all the College Workshops.
When he was at the helm of affairs of the Government Technical College Port Harcourt, he succeeded in establishing the permanent site at Ozuboko, near the Port Harcourt Zoo and transferring it from its Aba Road temporary location.
On assuming the office of Chief Supervisor of Schools in Rivers State, he designed a Staff Appraisal Format, which aided in streamlining promotion criteria in the teaching service.
As the pioneer Provost of Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku, he left indelible track records. He inherited an abandoned and vandalized Teacher Training College in 1996 but transformed it into a modern school by the time he left. Observers appreciate the fact that it took commitment to achieve this feat. He was able to get accreditation for all the programmes from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) within his first term of Four years. Interestingly, all these were done without any take off grant.
Some of His Awards
After retirement from active service, the Rivers State Government appointed him Chairman Chieftaincy Review Committee (1997-1998) to oversee all Traditional and Chieftaincy matters in the state.
Also, in recognition of Ogboada’s peaceful nature and contribution to the peace and development of the country, he was appointed a Justice of Peace JP in 2002 by the Rivers State Government.
Subsequently, due to his experience and discipline, he was appointed Member Rivers State 8th Governing Council of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt from 2002 to 2004.
He was in 2011 honoured by the Amaynanyo of Opobo Kingdom in Council with the title ‘Ama-opu-Senibo’ of Opobo Kingdom in recognition of his sterling qualities as a builder, seasoned, and astute administrator and a guru in the development of Technical Education in Rivers State and Nigeria generally.
He was a Member, Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (MNITAD); Member, Institute Plant Engineers (MIPE); Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Administration and Management (FNIAM); Fellow National Association of Teachers of Technology FNATT and Principal Emeritus; Provost Emeritus etc.
When He Died?
Amaopusenibo Emmanuel George Toby reportedly died on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Port Harcourt, Rivers State.