The 6th Convocation Ceremony of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, (COOU) formerly known as Anambra State University (ANSU) Uli, has come and gone, with 5 graduands emerging as best graduating students for 2013/2014 academic session having bagged “first class honours” respectively.
The epoch-making event which witnessed conferment of the honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt. Honoris Causa) on the Late Biafran Warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, was attended by his former military archrival, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; the outgoing Senate President, David Mark, bestowed on Honorary degree of Doctor of Law (Hon. LL.D) Honoris Causa; the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, Lady Bianca Ojukwu, who received the posthumous Honour on behalf of her Late husband; among other distinguished personalities in the country.
Delivering a lecture entitled; “No Victor, No Vanquished: Healing the Nigerian Nation”, the Former Head of State,Gen. Yakubu Gowon, blamed the Late Ikemba Nnewi for the war, stressing that he distorted the facts of what truly transpired at Aburi Accord, and in furtherance attempted to secede a part of the country.
Gowon, who explained that the civil war was neither out of hatred for the late Igbo leader or the entire Igbos race, added that it was based on the principle of commitment to a robust Nigeria.
“It is wrong to conclude that the civil war broke out following the failure of the Aburi. It was a direct result of a unilateral decision of independence for Eastern Nigeria. If there was no secession, there would have been no war. It was a reluctant war waged to unite the country. I would like to state categorically from the onset, it was never out of hatred for the Igbos (Ndigbos) or animosity against my old Comrade and colleague; Emeka, but on principle of commitment to ONE NIGERIA”, he said.
The General, while thanking the university community and Anambra State government for inviting him to deliver lecture at the convocation, however, attributed the underdevelopment of the country despite the principles of “No Victor, No Vanquished” and “3Rs”, to none adherence or abandonment by successive administration.
He however, extolled the state government for renaming ANSU after Odumegwu Ojukwu, even as he described the demised warlord as “an officer and gentleman worth of honour.”
In his speech, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Fedelis Okafor, explained that ANSU had its name changed to COOU by the state government after considering so many things to that effect.
“This new name which was first conceived during Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu’s birthday in 2013 was born through the action of the Legislature and the Executive when the Executive Governor of the State Chief Willie Obiano signed into law the bill from the House of Assembly on 7th September 2014, the law that is to be known, and cited as Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University law 2014”, the Prof. disclosed.
According to the VC, the State Governor was on the move to provide conducive teaching and learning environment for the University having provided them with necessary facilities such as water borehole undergoing construction, a befitting health centre, and increased electric power supply.
Okafor further emphasized that the University has continued to advance in all frontiers of learning, noting that the programmes of the University are accredited and some are now due for re-accreditation, even as they have made remarkable impacts on area of research.
While charging the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution and Nigeria as they finally journey to the labour market, the COOU VC, however, beckoned on the state government to act on the findings captured on the white paper delivered to the governor by visitation panel earlier set-up to fine-tune areas needful for more intervention and funding in the university.
Responding, Governor Willie Obiano, acknowledged recipient of the visitation panel’s report, and pledged to vividly study and implement the recommendations so as to make the university second to none in the country.
“I’m determined to revitalise our education sector. When I took over the mantle of leadership of Anambra state, I assured you that my approach for education will be on three key areas; infrastructural development, students people welfare and welfare of the teachers and training and retraining of the teachers. And I’m working towards accomplishing that. The blue print for the development of higher education would soon be implemented in the state.”
Speaking on behalf of other graduands, the overall graduating student, Mr. Iyebeye Michael Ifeakachukwu, posited that the institution has achieved the goal of building and promoting integrity among youths through re-orientation of their minds to imbibe the culture of transparency, academic excellence and sound moral values, and vowed to reciprocate the kind gesture with hardworking and industriousness.
The five students, who bagged “First class honours of COOU on 2013/2014 academic session were Iyebeye Micheal Ifeakachukwu, Department of Statistics with CGPA 4.75; Okafor Ekene Godson, Statistics with CGPA 4.66; Enekanma Kingsley E, Electrical/Electronic Engineering with CGPA 4.65; Uzor Obiora Anthony, Public Administration with CGPA 4.57; and Onuzulike Chimezie John, Law with CGPA 4.52.