27TH CONVOCATION CEREMONY OF ABSU ON 27TH MARCH 2020: ANOTHER DIVIDEND OF UNINTERRUPTED ACADEMIC ACTIVITY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF A GREAT LEADER, PROFESSOR IKONNE AS VC.
There is always something phenomenal about the administration of great leaders, be it in Government, Corporate organizations, Institutions or even religious organizations.
Oftentimes, their ideas are revolutionary. Mostly,s ideas that are not common place but can change the entire architecture of their organizations for the better. Their words are nuggets. They speak words that are full of wisdom, which can stir up positive thinking in people, even in ages to come. And their achievements and works are legacies. Works that can endure even when kingdoms are swept away like dust before the wind. In fact, there is always something unique, creative and a touch of novelty in the things they do that excites even the worse cynics, and places them in the good books of history.
The Vice Chancellor, Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne aptly falls into these descriptions of great leaders as visibly demonstrated in his works, actions, and policies, which has brought uncommon transformation to the University, even in the events or ceremonies under his watch that has simply stood out as typical examples of novelty and excellence.
From the Inaugural Lecture series which was at the 19th edition, when he assumed office in December 2015 and now 55th within 4 years and 3months of his administration, the yearly thanksgiving service tagged “EBENEZAR: For Hitherto, the Lord has helped us”, the unique Matriculation and Convocation Ceremonies to mention but a few, each program has always brought glorious moments that showcased the creative ingenuity of the administration, and the new global reckoning of the Abia State University.
It was under the watch of the Vice Chancellor, Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne, that one of the most celebrated convocation ceremonies in the history of the University, the 26th convocation, was successfully organized. An event that defined the ever expanding horizon and fame of the University with the installation of the 5th Honorable Chancellor of the University, His Royal Majesty, Begha U, Tiv, Professor James Ortese Ayatse Tor Tiv, Chairman, Benue State Council of Traditional Rulers, with the crème of first class traditional rulers, academics, top Government officials, Clergy, Senior Military officers, and dignitaries world over in attendance.
The same goes for the maiden edition of the Abia State University Alumni Convocation and conferment of honorary Doctorate degrees on deserving Alumni.
Another great event that brought global attention to the University and cemented the cordial relationship of the University with the alumni and since has become a reference point to other Universities. Then the special 25th Golden Jubilee convocation under the administration, where another Distinguished Alumnus of the University and United Nations Human rights Lawyer and Diplomat, Dr Uchenna Emelonye was conferred with Doctor of Law (Honoris causa), as well as the 50th (Golden) Inaugural Lecture of the University delivered by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC), Professor O. M Ogbulu, still in the administration of Distinguished Professor E, Uche Ikonne. These were not just the normal University ceremonies, nor the dates mere coincidence
of history, but typical of the uniqueness of the administration of the Vice Chancellor, Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne and the events/ceremonies under his watch, which are landmarks and historical. They are also a foretaste of what is expected in the 27th convocation ceremony slated for 27th march 2020.
At the same time, it lays credence to Colin Powell assertion that, “Excellence is not an exception. It is a prevailing attitude”
The 27th convocation ceremony of the University on the 27th March 2020, promises to be another world class event that opens with a Press Conference on 23rd March 2020 at the Council Chambers by 12noon, and on Thursday, 26th March, 2020, the University will play host to the convergence of Politicians, Academics, Government Officials, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a Pre- Convocation Lecture captioned, “Nigeria’s Political and Economic Future: The Dangers we can avert” to be delivered by the President General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, and chaired by the Senate Minority Leader, and Member representing Abia South at the senate, His Excellency, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. It promises to provide another sumptuous academic menu, and solution to the economic recovery of the country, through harmonization of Economic and Political policies.
In the same vein, highly revered and celebrated personalities and philanthropists have been carefully selected to be awarded honorary degrees. They include, Barrister Allen Ifeanyichukwu Onyema, Chairman/CEO, Air Peace Ltd, Dame Gladys Nne Nwafor, Former National Commissioner (South East Zone) and currently the National Woman Leader, Ohanaeze Ndigbo,as well as Engr. Nnamdi Ezeigbo, Founder/CEO Slot Systems Ltd.
There will also be conferment of Emeritus Professors to some erudite academics, whose contributions and distinguished academic service in the University did not go unnoticed, and the administration of Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne wants to use this opportunity to celebrate and appreciate them as a way of encouraging excellence and service which the Founding Fathers envisaged for the University.
They are, Professor S. O Igwe, Former Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor A. I Nwabughogu, Former Deputy Vice Chancellor, DVC (Academic) and Professor G. I Nwaka, Professor of History and former Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU- ABSU.
The highpoint will be the conferment of First Degrees, Higher Degrees, and presentation of prizes, and the administration will keep its promise of giving graduating students who have completed clearance their certificates same day, another landmark achievement of the administration, through its policy of on-line registration of courses and assessment of results. Much more, for the first time in the history of the University, an award for the best well behaved student, which was instituted in perpetuity by the Honorable Chancellor of the University, HRM Professor James Ortese Ayatse will be given, as well as that for the best graduating student in Bio Chemistry.
As global attention beams on Abia State University on the 27th march for this unique 27th convocation ceremony of the University, we must first take a moment to commend the Governor, and Visitor to the University, the Scholar in Governance, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, for creating the enabling environment for learning in the University through his consistent support for the administration of the Vice Chancellor, Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne and his management.
We must again appreciate the Vice Chancellor, for appointing highly cerebral, astute and creative individuals in the Ceremonial Committee headed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Professor O. M Ogbulu.
We congratulate them for the successes so far, and pray for more excellent spirit in the execution of the plans and strategies of the 27th convocation.
As we welcome all, to the celebration of this epoch event, another milestone in the Professor Ikonne led administration; we sincerely thank the Almighty God, through the instrumentality of the Governor, and Visitor to the University, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, for this great gift to the University, albeit Abia State and Nigeria, of a Vice Chancellor, in the person of Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne, who has not only changed the story of the University, but has built historical monuments and legacies in the University that generations to come will forever celebrate.
Congratulations to all the awardees, and welcome all to the center of Excellence and service, Abia State University.