LAWRENCE CHUKWUDI writes that as part of the events marking the celebration of the United Nations International Day of Charity, some eminent personalities were honoured by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka for their philanthropy.
According to the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof Rita Nonyelum Ugokwe-Joseph , the lecture/ Award ceremony which forms part of the International Day of Charity celebration with theme ‘’Giving back to the society’’, said the faculty decided to celebrate the day in honour of numerous philanthropists in our society who have given back to the society.
Prof Ugokwe Joseph reminded that the Faculty in collaboration with the Vice Chancellor, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone selected few individuals for honour for their selfless giving and service to humanity in line that humanity is designed around the fulcrum of interdependency.
Those selected for the honour were High Chief Obiora Okonkwo (Dikeora Ogidi) who doubles as the Guest Lecturer, Chairman on the occasion, and member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Barr Val Ayika (Okaa Obuluzo Umunri na Enugwu-Ukwu).
Others honoured were Chief Finbas Ofodum (Ezeofor Ejiejemba na Aguata); Chief (Sir) Dr J.J Ezeokafor (Eze Udo Aguata , Nwa Chi na emelu) represented by Deacon Benneth Ezeamu; Chief Gabriel E. Ofor (PEG Group); His Royal Majesty, Igwe Chidubem Iweka (Eze Iweka 111 of Obosi); His Royal Highness Chief Sir Obi Gobson Nwosu (Ezeuzu Awka) ; Chief Godwin Anyim (Onwa); Chief Ogoor Egolum (Onwa Nri) and Chief Ogbonna Moses Chukwuma (Ogbuefi 11 of Izzi).
Others were His Royal Majesty, Chief Charles Ezeudogu (Igwe Ohazulunye, Obi 11 of Ichida) represented by Rev Fr Dr Cyril Okechukwu Obiweluzo; Chief Sir Anthony Enukeme (Onowu Neni) represented by Chief Ikegwuonu Osita ; His Royal Majesty, Chief Peter Uyanwa (Ezedike 11 na Ukwulu); Chief Sir Ikenna Okafor (Ide Akwaeze) represented by Rev Fr Dr Cyracus Ajaelo; Chief Sir Godwin Ezeemo (Achinagbaraoha Umuchu); Hon Emeka Aforka (Member House of Assembly representing Orumba North).
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charles OKechukwu Esimone in his remarks commended the Faculty of Social Sciences led by Prof Rita Nonyelum Ugokwe-Joseph for instituting the lecture in remembrance of charity, noting that those who gave selflessly to the society to alleviate others needed to be recognized.
Prof Esimone represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Prof Federick Chidi John Odibo charged staff, students and others in attendance to cultivate the habit of giving back to the society as it more pleasurable to give than to receive.
Chief Obiora Okonkwo in his keynote address as Guest lecturer urged people to cultivate attitude of giving back to the society as a moral obligation of empowering others after being empowered, reminding the participants about the biblical beatitudes. He stressing that in giving, an individual share, add value to the communities and people around just as all fingers are not equal.
On his part, the Member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia in the House of Representative, Hon. Val Ayika said that the issue of charity goes hand in hand with good leadership adding that both the leaders and the led are not doing the right thing.
Hon. Ayika reminded the participants the importance of giving back to the society as everybody has what and areas they can render help to others, insisting ” there is always something to give, even if it is advise. Some people get low as to committing suicide, so talking to them by giving words of encouragement is still part of giving. It must not be tangible or palpable thing,” said Hon Ayika.
In his vote of thanks , the Sub-Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr Allen Nnanwuba Adum while thanking all for making out time to attend the event , reminded that the International Day of Charity was the brain child of the Hungarian Civil Society and it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 in memory of Mother Teresa of Calcutta who lived a life of struggle to overcome poverty and distress which constitute a threat to peace in the world.
In an interview, the Chairman planning committee , Dr Martins Ifeanyi Okeke described the event as apt adding that the actual date for the celebration was on 5ft September but the faculty had to shift it to 13th September.
Other guests who witnessed the event include Vice Chancellor’s wife/Lecturer in department of Music, Dr Chinyere Esimone; Prof Au Nonyelu, member Governing Council/Director Unizik Business School; Prof Edmund Egbo, former Dean of the faculty.
Members of the planning committee were Prof Rita Nonyelum Ugokwe-Joseph-Dean; Dr Allen Nnanwuba Adum the Sub-Dean; Dr Martins Ifeanyi Okeke-Chairman; Rev Fr Dr Cyracus Ajaelo, Dr Chidozie Obiora , Dr Amaka Metu ; Dr Henry Duru; Chidozie Mabia ; Cynthia Udeze; Nneka Ihuoma Okafor; Kingsley Nweke and Jesse Ossai and Athanasius Igweze Ekwunife.
Uchegbuo, an analyst expresses worry over state of prison nationwide CHIDI ASONYE writes from Aba that a frontline analyst of national issues, Engr James Nnadozie Uchegbuo has expressed worries that most ex-prisoners left the prison yards more brutal than before they were jailed because “they did not receive a single behavioural counselling or craftsmanship while serving their jail terms.”
Uchegbuo who was reacting to the recent renaming of Nigerian Prisons Services to Correctional homes by the Federal Government, urged the FG to emulate developed countries like the USA before renaming any public institution.
According to Uchegbuo, “Changing the name of prison to Correctional home has not added any value to why the prisons were established. The first thing that should have been addressed is the exploding unemployment rate in the land and the wide gap in inequality margin between the rich -corrupt leaders and the poor. The second thing is the absence of craft facilities, qualified job trainers and seasoned counselors.
He posited that those who sold the idea of name change to President Buhari may be at home with reality on ground stating that what is on ground is that proper research and installation of the necessary men and facilities were not done before arriving at the decision on name change.
He called for the review of the 1999 constitution to accommodate the tenets of justice and equality and expressed worries on the inadequate craft facilities in prisons, non-availability of qualified job trainers as well as seasoned counselors around the prisons.
His words, “Why should we continue to easily convict an unemployed youth who steals a little item while the politicians and other administrators who refused to create job for such unemployed person is allowed to move around free, even after stealing the commonwealth of the people?
“We should review the 1999 construction to bring in the virtues proposed by the legendary French philosopher, Montesquieu. Changing the name of Nigerian Prisons Services to Correctional home has not added any value to why the prisons were established”