Awka Community Pledges Support to NAU

. . . Demands for Creation of Blacksmithing, Fabrication Department, More Quota

By Abuchi Onwumelu and Chioma Ndife

Awka, the host community of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, has assured the university of its continuous support and assistance to ensure that the institution achieves maximally in the area of human and capacity development.

The community, through its Traditional Ruler, Obi Dr. Sir. Gibson Nwosu, made the assurance last Tuesday while receiving the new administrative team of Nnamdi Azikiwe University led by the new Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone during their courtesy visit to Eze Uzu Palace in Awka.

Fides gathered that Prof. Esimone was at the visit with members of the Management Council and Governing Council of the University.

It will be recalled that Prof. Esimone’s appointment as Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University took effect on 4th June, 2019, after due approval by the Governing Council of the university following a keenly contested election.

Speaking at the visit, Prof. Esimone explained that the courtesy visit, earlier scheduled for June 5, was geared at familiarizing the new administration of the institution with the leadership of the host community. He noted that it had become a norm for every administration to visit the palace and inform the traditional head of changes in the university.

He commended the support which NAU had received from the Awka Community and the cordial relationship that had been enjoyed by the two parties in the past. He stated that the university community would always come to the palace for guidance and described Eze Uzu as the priest of the community. He beckoned on the traditional ruler to always call the university community to order whenever they deviated.

Responding, the Traditional Prime Minister of Awka Community, Engr. Ben Okoye, traced the history of Unizik, saying that such was made possible through the instrumentality of God and a son of Awka Soil, Prof. Kenneth Dike. He disclosed that Awka Community had never had any dispute with the University community and expressed happiness that the new administration continued with on the path established by the past administrations in the university.

Engr. Okoye urged the Prof. Esimone led administration to always come to Eze Uzu II for clarification on any issue as it remained the only right channel for inquires.

He called for the creation of a Blacksmithing and Fabrication Department in the University, noting that such would show true representation of Awka Community in the University as the town was known for blacksmithing.

Speaking on behalf of Awka Indigenes in NAU, Prof. A.U. Nnoyelu, commended the Vice Chancellor for obtaining the royal blessing of Eze Uzu II during the contest which he lost out in. He charged the Prof. Esimone administration to disregard what he called the impostor parading himself as the traditional ruler of the town and described him as a destroyer of the constituted custom of Awka Community.

He revealed that Awka indigenes in the University had totally accepted the vice chancellor as their own and pledged their total support to ensure that the new administration achieved optimally.

Also speaking, the President General of Awka Community, Engr. Tony Okechukwu, congratulated the new Vice Chancellor for emerging winner and commended the former VC, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, for the relationship he was able to build with Awka Community and his contributions through the built relationship. He pleaded with the new administration to pay attention to areas not given attention by the past administration.

He called for more opportunities to be given to Awka indigenes in admission, employment and awarding of contracts, noting that such would reduce the destructive tendency of the youths and improve the living conditions of the people.

Welcoming Prof. Esimone and his team, the Traditional Ruler of Awka, Obi Gibson Nwosu, endorsed the points made by the Prime Minster and PG and expressed the conviction that the relationship existing between Unizik and Awka Community would be sustained.

The member representing Awka North/South in the Federal House, Hon. Chinedu Onwuaso, said the relationship that had been established by the two parties was of mutual benefit and called for it to be strengthened.

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