By Michael Nnebife
THE University Auditorium of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, recently pulsated with pomp and pageantry amid commendations as a throng of who’s who in the country, the university, the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), family members, friends and well-wishers, gathered to celebrate the Rev Canon Benjamin Osisioma.
The event, which was organised by the Department of Accountancy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, to mark the retirement of Prof Osisioma from the service of the university, saw a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, as a special guest of honour, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke, as a guest of honour and a former Minister of Power, the Ven Prof Chinedu Nebo, as a guest speaker.
Speaking, Gen Gowon made a passionate appeal to Nigerian universities to assist Nigerian youths to take the path of rectitude, otherwise the future of the nation would successfully meet its doom.
The retired army general, who was in the occasion virtually, described Prof Osisioma as a brilliant astute teacher of accountancy and theologian, congratulating him for making a difference in imparting virtues and values to many students, who passed through him.
Also speaking, the guest of honour and Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr Okeke, disagreed with the seemingly popular belief that restructuring is a solution to problems facing the country, but pointed out that Nigerian problem is squarely leadership, calling for attitudinal change among the citizenry.
The deputy governor expressed gratitude to Prof Osisioma for his mentoring and advice, which he disclosed he enjoyed.
In a presentation entitled “the Way of Excellence in Public Service and How to get Super Excellence in Life and Relationship”, the guest speaker, Prof Nebo, admonished the gathering to seek, understand and believe in Jesus Christ to reach the zenith of their professions here on earth and hereafter, noting that the restless pursuit and quest for firm, power, excellence and satisfaction by mankind can only bring to man frustration, disabling inclination and inadequacy.
Describing the celebrant, the former Minister of Power said, “I believe Benjamin Osisioma personifies way of excellence in public service. He is an intellectual of astronomical proportions; dignified public servant, world-class orator and priest of delightable gentleman.”
In their separate remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Charles Esimone; the Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof Lilian Orogbu and the cochairman of the occasion and Anglican Bishop, Diocese of Ihiala, the Rt Rev Prof Israel Okoye unanimously described Prof Osisioma as a professor in learning and character who had participated immensely in commissioning the nation-builders, adding that he has lived a fulfilled life as a scholar and clergyman.
While presenting Prof Osisioma’s citation, Prof Frank-Collins Okafor, who eruditely held the august gathering spellbound for appreciable length of minutes, disclosed that Osisioma had initiated and supervised some 42 doctoral research studies and examined 45 others out of which, 18 had been elevated to the rank of professor.
Presenting his valedictory lecture entitled, “Ethics and Values in Professional Leadership”, Prof Osisioma blamed the myriad of problems facing the nation on the entire elites and advocated the establishment of rules that set out the terms of governance and parameters of behaviour to save the nation from the failed state.
He appreciated the Management, the Faculty of Management Sciences, Department of Accountancy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, the members of ANAN, the Osisioma family, his friends and well-wishers, for honouring him.