By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The founder and Director, Directorate of Sports, Awka Diocese (DOSAD), Rev. Fr. Coach Obinna Obiora Dike, was on Saturday, November 17, 2018, honoured with Excellent Sports Development Award by the University of Nigeria Alumni Association (UNAA), Awka Branch.
The award which was conferred on him at the 2018 Alumni Forum, Public Lecture and Awards of UNAA, Awka Branch, held at Kasorina Place, Awka, Anambra State, was in recognition of his contributions to sports development and engendering national unity and cohesion through sportsmanship.
Receiving the award, Rev. Fr. Coach Dike, who was represented by the Fides Advert Manager, Ifeoma Ezenyilimba, thanked the alumni association for the award, which he said would spur him to enviable youths development through sports.
Fr Dike, who is also the assistant Director I, Fides Communications, Okpuno, among other professional positions, said DOSAD which is the sporting arm of Awka Catholic Diocese has been committed to its mission of raising young sports icons at different professional levels.
He thanked God that DOSAD had from its inception and still counting, empowered many youths in the field of sports, adding that many youths of Nigeria have chosen to develop their sporting talents through DOSAD, so as to be responsible.
DOSAD Family through the goodwill message that was signed by the Media Consultant, congratulated Rev. Fr Coach Obinna Dike for the worthwhile recognition. According to the family, the award from UNAA, Awka Branch was an eloquent testimony of the positive turnaround which Fr. Dike's hard work and ingenuity gave to sports in Nigeria.
Also honoured by UNAA, Awka Branch at the event was the Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Dr. Tessy Okoli, who bagged Excellent Academic Development Award. The award was in recognition of her contributions to excellent academic formation of the youths and her exemplary academic leadership qualities.
Receiving the award, Dr. Tessy Okoli, who was in the company of her husband, Dr. H.I. Okoli and an overwhelming large number of staff of the College, thanked UNAA, Awka Branch for the recognition, which she said would spur her more for qualitative education of the youths.
Dr. Okoli, who was appointed the 4th substantive provost of FCE (T), Umunze on May 17, 2018, has served the College as Dean, School of Agriculture & Home Economics Education, 1999-2002 & 2015 and Dean, Students' Affairs Unit, 2002-2009, among other esteemed positions. She is currently the National Secretary, Association of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE).
Other UNAA, Awka Branch award recipients include, wife of the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, who was honoured with Good Governance Award; the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Chief Senator Sir Victor Umeh, OFR, KSS, who added Excellent Community Development Award to his cap; the Head of Service, Anambra State, Barrister Harry Udu, who was honoured with Excellent Service Award and the Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Afam Mbanefo, who bagged Excellent Service Award.
Also were Igwe Ralph Obumneme Ekpeh, (Okpalanakana Ukpabia IV), Eze Enugwu-Ukwu na Igwe Umunri, who was honoured with Excellent Traditional Stool Award; the Anglican Bishop of Aguata, His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Chukwudi Ezeofor, who was honoured with Excellent Human Development Award and the Group Managing Director, Oliswarren Associates Limited, Mr. Olisa Aniunoh, who was honoured with Excellent Business Development Award.
The award recipients also included the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba B. Umar, who bagged Excellent Security Service Award as well as the CEO, Winco Foam Ltd, Chief Godwin Ifeanyichukwu Okafor and the MD, Anambra Rice Mills Ltd, Mr. Akai Egwuonwu, who were both honoured with Excellent Business Development Awards.
Earlier, the president, UNAA, Awka Branch, Dr. Ngozi Ulogu, Ph.D, FNIPR, in her address of welcome titled: “Building Humanity and Restoring the Dignity of Man by Telling our Stories”, called on all to, in line with the motto of the university, seek the truth, teach the truth, preserve the truth and restore the dignity of man.
Pointing out that one of the main purposes of the alumni association was to lend support to the upcoming graduates and youths, Dr. Ulogu said the aim of the alumni was to give back to the school the education successes they received.
The president appreciated the award recipients, who she described as professionals whose attainment were by dint of hardwork and resilience. She appealed to the awardees and all to support UNAA, Awka Branch in its 2019 programme which would focus on engaging the youths, especially secondary school children in training and mentorship.
In the lecture with the theme: “Getting Elections in Nigeria right: Challenges and Way Forward”, the Guest Lecturer, Rev. Fr. Dr. Chika Okpalike, submitted that, until we get Nigeria right, nothing can be ever right, saying that the present Nigeria was wrongly constituted.
Fr. Okpalike, who is the SA to the Vice Chancellor, UNIZIK on academic matters, noted that to get Nigeria right, ethnic nationalities and religious groups must be taken both seriously and as the fundamental unit of nation building. He opted for restructuring in terms of superstructure, not infrastructure as second option to get things and Nigeria right.
Highlights of the event were the inauguration of the new executive of UNAA, Awka Chapter led by the president, Dr. Ngozi Ulogu, Ph.D, FNIPR and donations in support of the association's programmes.