By Jude Atupulazi
An industrialist and upcoming politician, Mr Ifeanyi Chukwu Ibezi, has been honoured with an award of Fellow and Partner of Ethical Leadership by the Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and the Advisory Board of Strategic Contacts, Ethics and Publications (STRACEP) of the university.
The event which took place last Wednesday at Alexandra Hall, UNN, was part of the 2018 Maiden Annual Ethical Leadership and Entrepreneurship Lecture and Award.
Receiving the August Guests in his office, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, explained the need for Ethical Leadership as an essential approach to the Nation’s Development. The Vice Chancellor who was represented by the HOD of Soil Science Department, expressed the University’s objective to remain a vanguard in ethical leadership, and congratulated the awardees for their gallant strides in upholding ethics in their various forms of leadership. He urged them continue in the efforts that got them to shortlisted for the prestigious award.
Delivering the Keynote Speech at the event, Prof. Damian Opata, expressed great concern on poverty as one of the grave causes of a decayed value system in the country. Elaborating the context of his paper titled, “Uwa by Afia: An Ethical Interrogation of Ways of Making it in Contemporary Nigeria”, the Professor of English said that restructuring, though needful, may not achieve any reasonable good, unless the value system of the country was first restructured.
Opata further said that the oath taking of the country was structured in a way that allowed representatives to escape moral punishment using the last phrase of “so help me God”, while taking oaths. He proposed an oath taking that would end with, “may it never be well with me if I intentionally abuse my office”.
According to him such moral commitment would go a long way to curb certain excesses of representatives who are bound to no moral commitment by the current oath.
In his speech, “Ethical Leadership and the Effective Representation of Grassroots in Nigeria”, Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Ibezi spoke about how ethical leadership should form the fulcrum and dynamics of representation at the grassroots and how it should serve the collective interest of the constituents.
According to him, to be ethical in representation was to be duty conscious, honest and make judicious use of the resources provided by the law to impact the lives of those being represented.
The high point of the event was the presentation of Awards of Fellow and Partner of Ethical Leadership to Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Ibezi; Sen. Ahmed Markafi and Sir. Chikwe Udensi, for their efforts in maintaining ethical leadership in their various sectors of engagement.
While presenting the awards, the chairman of the occasion, Prof. Osita Ogbu, a former Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, urged the recipients to see the award as a Special Award of responsibility. He also charged them to go forward and become ambassadors of ethical and good governance in the Nation.
Speaking to the press after the event, Ibezi thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba and the University Management for deeming him fit to be part of the annual event that focused on the imperatives of ethical leadership in national development. He prayed for more of such discussions, noting that they would be able to put the nation on the path to greatness.
The event attracted personalities from the academia, industrialists, as well as political and economic experts from within and outside the state.