The public presentation of the award-winning book titled: “Okuko Sakata Usa Nkata Ekpudo ya” by the author, Nze U Nze on Friday at Tansian University Umunya, turned into a day of tribute as the author recalled how N1million Obi, then governor of Anambra State give him and others inspired them to strive for the sky.
Nze, a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication of the university was among graduates of Anambra State origin who graduated in first class and were given N1 million each by Obi, then governor of the state in a show of appreciation.
At the public presentation attended by Obi, who was Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) in the 2019 national election, Nze described him as a “true, tried and tasted change agent.”
Nze, recalled that the N1 million said to be a grant which Obi gave to all the first-class graduates of which he was a beneficiary, helped many of them to realize their dreams of furthering their education.
He said: “I can assure you that many of us are teaching in different higher institutions across the country and some gainfully employed by good organizations and corporate bodies. We are all fulfilled.
“You did not give money to individuals, but as the Governor, everybody now appreciates the fact that you used the resources of the state to work for the state and to build the Human Resources.”
Speaking at the event, Obi recalled how he visited a hospital and was greeted by a nurse who happily introduced herself as a former student of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, which Obi massively supported the upgrade and enabled its School of Nursing, Laboratory Technology and Midwifery to gain accreditation.
“Likewise,” Obi continued, “one medical doctor I met recently also said he was able to graduate from Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu University after my administration secured accreditation of the University’s Teaching Hospital”.
Obi said that the two encounters, as well as the book presentation by a lecturer that benefitted from the state’s recognition of their achievements, were what gave him joy and fulfilment and not attending a birthday or related epicurean parties, where people display their limited perspective of life by displaying affluence.
He said he was particularly delighted that Mr Nze wrote in the Igbo language and that his work won the First Prize in the 2021 Nigeria National Award for Creative Writing in Indigenous Language.
Obi took the opportunity to lament the increasing neglect of the Igbo language to the point that even a bricklayer in the village now speaks English to his children.
He said it was because of the ugly situation that he supported the “ Otu Subakwa Igbo” group, offered automatic employment to Igbo Language graduates and gave out all manners of scholarships on the Igbo Language.
Obi said that the situation was more alarming today and calls for the meeting of stakeholders to come up with drastic measures to stem the ugly tide.
The students of the school expressed appreciation to Obi for the N100 million he gave to the school that enabled them to tar the entrance road to the school and for the school bus and other amenities they benefitted under Obi’s administration#