By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
It was a moment of euphoria for the pupils and staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Demonstration Nursery/Primary School, Awka when the Governing Council members of the University and the management led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone danced to the tunes of Christmas songs with the pupils.
This is coming as the entire staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University will this Christmas smile home with a bag of 10kg rice each, courtesy of renowned Anambra Philanthropist, Engr Prince Arthur Eze.
The Vice-chancellor of Unizik, Prof Esimone, announced this Monday, during the 2020 Christmas carols and Nine Lessons held at the University’s Demonstration Nursery and Primary School field.
Prof Esimone who said the Christmas gift which usually came in form of a productivity bonus has been the yearly tradition of the university. He noted that the gift came after he pleaded with a friend of the University, Prince Eze to help provide the rice for the staff to endure a turbulent year of many challenges.
He said following his plea, Prince Eze agreed to donate 10 kg of eight thousand (8,000) bags of rice for the staff. He assured that aside the 10kg of rice, tomatoes, and groundnut oil will be added to the gifts of rice.
Esimone who stated that the university has closed for months now, following the outbreak of COVID-19 and ASUU strike urged the university community to show gratitude to God for the smooth winding up of the year.
He also expressed appreciation to God that several philanthropists in the state have been helping the institution in getting what they needed to be a unique university in this part of the world, adding that individuals, organizations like league of Anambra Professionals as well as the government through Tetfund have been building structures as well as donating other laudable education materials.
Speaking on the Christmas Carol, Prof Esimone noted that the university management decided to celebrate the annual Carol at the staff primary school to celebrate with the children the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a yearly affair that is designed to appreciate God for His mercies.
Delivering the Carol message of reflection, Very Reverend Onyekachi Moses Nwakamma said that 2020 was marred with lots of bloodsheds even challenges to Nigerians following the covid-19 pandemic that destabilized the Nigerian economy.
“In the Year 2020, many people have gone through pain and sorrow. Those that survived are by the mercies of the Lord which is the reason Christians celebrate to appreciate God for His mercies and protection.”
Rev. Nwakamma said Christ is the major reason for the season and warned Christians that the season is not Xmas but Christmas. He said that many people use the word ‘Xmas’ in place of Christmas noting that happy Xmas is happy nothing. He said Xmas is all about eating and drinking but Christmas according to him, tells about gathering for Christ.
He reminded us that Jesus Christ was born to reconcile Christians with their maker knowing fully well the suffering that awaits mankind. He urged the congregation to show love to the people as Christ did the same for His people.
Meanwhile, the Headmistress of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Demonstration Nursery and Primary school Awka, Lady Chinwe Alagbu in an interview described the carol as the first of its kind since the inception of the school in the year 2,000. She said it was the first time that such an event was taking place at the primary school.
According to her, such an event was usually celebrated at the University Auditorium but the university council chose to celebrate with the children in 2020. ” the university council informed me that they will be coming to the primary school to celebrate their carol of nine lessons with the children. It was a bit late but because of the joy which comes with Christmas and its newness to the heart we arranged for it.”
Noting the essence of the Christmas Carol, Lady Alagbu said it is aimed at remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. She said Christmas is all about mass organized in honor of Jesus Christ who according to her is the saviour of the world.
Also speaking, the School Dean of Studies and staff secretary, Mrs. Nkiru Joy Ezenagu while extolling the university management for celebrating with the children said that everybody almost lost hope following the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic adding that God remembered His people.
She urged the university management to keep in touch with the children as according to her, primary school is the foundation of all education and as such should be given proper attention.
Earlier, Dr Kingsley Ikechukwu Ubaoji Chairman, PTA UDNPS stood under the sun entertaining the pupils for almost two hours before the event.
He told newsmen in an interview that commitment and the spirit of sacrifice is lacking amongst all, adding that gain is not the reason for service but sacrificial love.
Dr Ubaoji said further: “No greater love has any man than this” is the reason for the season.
“Parents should remember the sacrifices made by our parents that made them use the rod to mould us to who we’re today.
“Teachers should remember that our reward is in heaven meaning we enjoy the benefits of our love when they grow up & cast back their eyes on those who paid a supreme prize.
“Management, the future is here with the kids. A lot to be set right for posterity sake such that those little things we do are moulding the characters and personalities of these young ones.
He concluded:”Who knows from whence they will pick a model!’
Deputy Headmistress, Mrs Evidence Okeke-Uzondu as well witnessed the Christmas Carols and Nine lessons.
Meanwhile Joint coordinator of religious event in the university, Rev Dr Leonard Onwuzuligbo coordinated the Christmas carols and nine lessons along side others including Revd Lucky Onebunne, Assistant Chaplain, Chapel of Redemption Unizik Awka.
Some members of the Governing Council of Unizik, Registrar amd others participated actively in Carol including Prof Emma Okoye who read seventh lesson; Barr Philomena I. Okoye who read Third lesson and Prof Ada Sam Omenyi who read sixth lesson among others.