Being an Address Presented by the governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, at the 9 Convocation ceremony Of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University ON November 17, 2018
Ndi be anyi ekenem unu!
This convocation is very special to me for obvious reasons. My beloved wife, Ebelechukwu has been chosen to be honoured with a Doctorate Degree. In my career as a public servant, I have come to realize that there is no greater honour than the one given by your own people. So, I must thank the Governing Council of this great University and the Screening Committee, for finding her worthy of this honour. Nkea bu nke anyi! Dalunu!
It is interesting to note that this Convocation is taking place in the birth-month of the great man whose name this university bears. Yes, the great Ikemba Nnewi; Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was born in November 1933. I think that in a sense, this convocation is a part of Ikemba’s post-humours 85th birthday. I think that makes it special also. Oburo eziokwu?
Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to see that in the short period that this university has existed as Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, it has become a citadel of learning to watch out for. In June this year, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University attained a serious international recognition when it formally became a member of the United Nations Academic Impact programme.
The United Nations Academic Impact is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher learning with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the achievement of UN goals. These goals include the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.
This initiative has a membership of over 1,300 institutions across 130 countries of the world. And our own Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University is the only school from South East Nigeria that has joined them. (I think we deserve an applause here!)
Indeed, this university is rapidly growing into its name! I am told that the academic standards are rising to significant levels. There’s a growing seriousness to scholarship that I find commendable and I must thank every member of this academic community for this improvement. It shows that we are all fully aware of the huge weight that the name of this university carries.
On my own part, my Team and I have not relented in our efforts to ensure that the great tradition of excellence that Anambra has established in education is taken to a whole new height. In August this year, five Anambra girls from Regina Celi Model Secondary School Onitsha surprised the world when they won a Gold Medal at the World Technovation Challenge in San Francisco, USA.
Our Golden Girls brushed aside other competing teams from the USA, China, Turkey, Spain and Uzbekistan to clinch the gold medal. Before them, our school children had won the Bronze Medal at the World Schools Debate Championship in Singapore. Besides that, Anambra has remained a top performer in all external examinations in Nigeria since the past six years. All these are visible fruits of our strategic investment in education. And I have no doubt that there will be better results in the future.
Fellow citizens, I am also delighted to reveal here that during my recent trip to Boston, we held serious deliberations with the African Studies Library of Boston University on the possibilities of forging a partnership with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University. We also discussed with the Cambridge Innovation Centre in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the possibilities of setting up a world class innovation centre in Anambra State. All these are big reasons to be hopeful!
Back home, we have continued to improve on what we have to bring our schools to the level where they can impact our society more. That’s why we made sure that our on-going Light-up Anambra Project is extended to this school. That is also why we have built a hospital here to take care of the sick and directed that it should be quickly equipped to start fulfilling its mission.
We have also upgraded former College of Agriculture at Mgbakwu to a full polytechnic so that it can meet the growing educational needs of our people.
Ladies and gentlemen, the future is bright for Anambra State. And this brightness starts from our schools. It starts from our Nursery to Tertiary institutions. It starts from the academic and non-academic staff of this school to the students. It starts from me and you!
Once again, I thank you for the honour you have bestowed on my wife.
Chief Willie Obiano Governor, Anambra State