The Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State has honoured the pioneer Vice Chancellor, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe for his meritorious service to the University.

Also honoured with him were the former Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the University Governing Council, Chief Engr. Anayo Onwuegbu, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor emeritus Mosto Onuoha, pioneer Registrar, Mr. Gabriel Chukwu and a former member of the University Council representing the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Rose Gold-Idehen.

VC, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba (L) giving a plague to the pioneer Vice Chancellor of FUNAI, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe in recognition of his meritorious service to the University while his wife claps

Speaking at the award night held recently to appreciate the former key officers of the University, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba thanked them for their sacrifices especially when the institution was newly established, adding that he has continued to build and expand on the foundations they laid.

He further enjoined them to be happy for the rare opportunity God gave them to play critical pioneering roles in the University, noting that their names have been eternally inscribed in the history of the institution even as he stated that in future they would always be remembered for their work in FUNAI.

Professor Nwajiuba also reiterated his commitment towards ensuring that the culture of excellence and integrity is maintained in the University in order to ensure it makes steady progress in all fronts.

In their separate responses the awardees thanked the Vice Chancellor for the honour, noting that it was one of a kind. Professor Ibidapo-Obe in particular expressed his gratitude to the Vice Chancellor for recognizing the modest contribution he made to the development of FUNAI as its pioneer vice chancellor, stressing that the award would always remain indelible in his heart.

Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe (with Mic) expressing his gratitude for the honour accorded him while his wife, Bar. Shola Ibidapo-Obe, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba and Wife, Dr. Chinyere Nwajiuba listen with keen interest

It may also be recalled that Professor Nwajiuba had in consultation with the Governing Council as he assumed office, named the main University Library after the pioneer Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibidapo-Obe and the administrative building after Mr. Chukwu, the pioneer Registrar for their outstanding contributions to the University.

Mr. Gabriel Chukwu, pioneer Registrar of FUNAI (L) receiving a plague from the current Registrar, Mrs. Odisa C. Okeke for his meritorious service to the University

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the University Governing Council, Professor Mba Uzoukwu reinstated the commitment of the Council towards making policies that would place the University in higher academic pedestal among other Universities in Nigeria and beyond. He maintained that FUNAI is being repositioned to attain the ideals and culture of a world-class University, ensuring that students are prepared to acquire functional knowledge and sellable skills to be globally competitive while the capacities of staff are being built to make them highly productive and efficient in their various fields.

The award, a first of its kind in the history of the University, was a clear demonstration of statesmanship by the Vice Chancellor; as it is usually rare in our type of society for an incumbent office holder to acknowledge the positive contributions of his predecessor and also publicly celebrate him.

A cross section of guests at the occasion that included the Chancellor, HRM Oba Michael Aremu Gbadebo and Pro-chancellor, Professor Mba Uzoukwu and wife

The event was graced by the Chancellor of the University, HRM Oba Michael Aremu Adedotun Gbadebo CFR, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egba Land, wife of the first President of Nigeria, Professor (Mrs.) Uche Azikiwe and other dignitaries.

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