UNICAL ALUMNI HONOUR HER FALLEN HERO
The National body of Unical Alumni under Kennedy Dike has organized a memorial lecture in remembrance of one Miss Grace Ushang Adie who was murdered by suspected dreaded Islamic sect; Boko Haram in 2009 at Maiduguri while serving the compulsory one year youth service. It could be recalled that this is the second lecture organized by this body since Kennedy Dike led dispensation.
The programme which took place at the new Senate Chamber of University of Calabar witnessed the presence of many students and dignitaries among which are Prof. James Epoke (Unical Vice Chancellor) who is the special guest I the occasion; Appolo Goma who was the Chairman of the Occasion; Dr. (Mrs.) Julia Omang, Unical Registrar; Dr. Roland Ehigeamosea, Unical Pro Chancellor and Chairman of governing council – body in charge of decision and finance; Prof. Austin Obiekezie, Unical DVC Academic; Prof. Utsalo DVC Administration; Dr. Chike Ekeokpara, member of council; Dr. Ezi Ihiegbunam who represented Ministry of Education and a member of governing council, Prof. A. E. Odock; Okorile Okorile who is in charge of Calabar Chapter of Unical Alumni.
Others include Mr. Kennedy Dike, The National President of Unical Alumni; Prof. Emeka Okwueze member of council; Mr. Msebut, the Bursar of Unical; Barr. Henry Idagu; Prof. Lulu E. Representative of the congregation; Prof. S. O. Abang from Agriculture Faculty and a member of governing council; Members of the National Alumni Association; Prof. Celestine Bassey, member of council and former Commissioner of Education in Cross River State; Members of NUC, Chapter Executives of Alumni; Associate Prof. Felix Akpan, HOD, Public Administration; other Alumnus of Unical; Members of youth Corps led by NYSC State Coordinator; Prof Eyong U. Eyong DSA who was represented by Mrs. Anita Eyo; family members of the late Miss Grace Ushang Adie.
In his opening speech, the National President of Alumni Association Mr. Kennedy Dike recounted how he was treated like “a small God” during his service years in 1994 at Anambra state. “But those who went out to serve their father land in recent Nigeria have become victims of brutality because of ethnic hostility which Miss Grace Ushang Adie was a victim in 2009. He decried the increasing need for government intervention and protection of lives which is one of the pivotal reasons for organizing the memorial lecture, especially, for those who fall during serving their father land as a mark that they die for all.
On his part, the Pro Chancellor of Unical noted that “unless the Nigeria Security is ready to guarantee the security of Corper in that area, they shouldn’t be posted there”. He enjoined the others to call on the federal government to see the dear need to rise and tackle such menace which is eating deep into the survival of the country as a whole.
In the same vein, the Vice Chancellor asserts that he is really impressed for such remembrance by the Alumni. He further said that notwithstanding that “she dies but she lives on”, noting that it is the exigency of the lecture that made the Council (who were already having their meeting) to pause the setting for a while and honour the occasion.
Barr. Emeka O. who gave the profile of the lecturer as “a product of Unical, a graduate of law school SJD (i.e Dr. in Law), he serve in Chief Feyemi’s Chamber, 2005 special adviser to senate president Ken Nnamani, 2008 2010 chairman Nig Electricity Regulatory Commission till now, Dr. Sam Amadi CEO National Electricity Regulatory Commission.
In his speech Dr. Sam Amadi Speaking on the topic “The Lady Died, Education, State and Terrorism, assets “that Nig State has not effectively allow a liberal society; a society in which u e and I be”. He advocate for a liberal democracy in which there’s a freedom of expression by all.
He narrated how Grace met her untimely death because of the societal hostility just for serving in Northern Part of the Country where non Northern are seen as enemies. He decried over the growth of religious fanatic both in Muslim and Christian world-“if you cannot guarantee life to Nig Citizens, you cannot guarantee human dignity” he assert to Nig government’.
“He asked if really Nig is a nation state or states in a nation. What is the impact of religion in our contemporary Nig” He further lamented on the constitutional provision of Nig as a circular state yet still recognizes the place of Sharia which contravenes the provision of circular state. He said that if Miss Grace is Hausa Fulani, maybe, she wouldn’t have been kill but because of the fact that Nig State is yet to find its bearing if it’s circulate or otherwise.
He further noted that the role of University should well be differentiated from that of the state. “Universities should sponsor seminar and symposium like this”. He also stated the necessity of our Ministers and politicians who has higher educational degrees to see the need to be guest lecturer as their knowledge can be of immense help to the teeming youths.
He opined that “this lady died because from 1960 till date Nig has not been able to seat down and think of how to manage ethnicity etc” He concluded by charging all to raise to these numerous challenges by saying that “the time to act is now”. Thus stressing capacity development as the first step to Nigerian development.
It was also noted through people response that the greatest problem confronting the Nation is the failure of leadership. The National President of Unical Alumni Mr. Kennedy Dike also noted the failure of leadership on the part Unical SUG as virtually all the executives fail to either grace to occasion nor were able to mobilize/invite their students, the SUG Vice President who came behind time was charged to take the massage back to his president and others and see how they make proper amendment.
Chairman of the occasion on his own part noted that both Ethnicity and Religions Crisis emerge as a result of lost of values. He advocates that the university system should be purge-off of ethnicity as it plays a vital role in building the society. The guest lecturer Dr. Sam further added that for better tomorrow of our country, the amendment and training should begin from the family and our student hostels. “At least, each hostel should have fire extinguisher as an indicator to nay unwanted occurrence”. He urges all to be patriotic.
Ray Adie, the elder brother of late Grace Adie equally gave a poem as the massage from the late Grace which goes thus “Don’t blunt at my grave and weep, ….I’m the gentle showers of I rain, …. I am the spark light of the might, I m’ in quiet room where there is not trouble… do not stand at my graves and weep for I’m out there and I do not die”.
He further asserts that there was resolution for compensation to the family from House of Representative and Senate “but they were all mere lip service” as the resolution has nothing to back it up.
He further said that their family has sued the federal government for negligence and inability to protect its citizen as the law of Nigeria that choose for where one will serve during youth service couldn’t protect her.
Maxwell Ebe, the National Secretary in his closing remark said that chunk of the problem confronting students union is the changing of unionism into students’ politics but recount that through the lecture, there must be reorientation. He concluded by saying “let come together to make a better Nig”.
The seminar was preceded by a tour to the site of Alumni where the one story building of Alumni house is ongoing. The work is already at felling level. The National President charge all who make the tour to see how they put heads together to finish the site building before next year’s meeting, as he opined that fund is one of the challenges that withholding the conclusion of the work.
In exclusive chat with the National President, he stated how he was disappointed in the current SUG as there is both lack of coordination and leadership qualities. He equally noted that the lack of performance may not be unconnected to the pattern of leadership adopted by the SUG President; Ima Ayi Ekpenyong hence the invitation given to him for the occasion was mere formality as he refused coming around nor sending someone else to represent him, “I’m disappointed in him” he fumed
Speaking about the hostels how it used to be Dr. F. Akpan assert that the problem that mostly confront the contemporary students’ Union Government is the total overriding of unionism by politics. He detailed that the students leaders in recent times has fully mistaken the real essence of having students association and the most booming associations are mostly tilted towards the ethnic line which further heightens the ethnic rivalry among students. He cautioned that unless something is urgently done to detribalize students union, the possibility of having the students’ union people clamours for is not near. He finally charged students to only engage in association and fellowships that will contribute to their studies.