By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan,Bayelsa state Governor,Douye Diri and others at the Weekend in Yenagoa received various categories of award from the University of Port Harcourt Alumni association,Bayelsa state chapter during a dinner and award giving ceremony event organised by the later.
Presenting the award entitled Ambassador of Democracy to the former president represented by chairman, Otakeme council of chiefs and Senior Lecturer at the Federal University, Otuoke, Dr Sunday Omekwe the University’s Alumni harped that the rationale behind the award was due to Jonathan’s contributions in the development of Democracy in Africa and his role in ensuring global peace during and after his time as president of Nigeria.
The Alumni described the former President as an exemplary leader,saying the University is proud to have produced him as an Alumnus.
Speaking through his representative Jonathan commended the Alumni for the award,maintaining that over the years the University has had the privilege of churning out graduants who have been contributing to nation building in all facets of live.
He urged the Alumni to continue in their quest of being worthy ambassadors of the institution, just as he charged them not to relent in doing all within their reach in bringing soccour to the Alma mata when the need arises.
“I’m proud to be associated with the University of port Harcourt.Over the years this institution like others in this nation has had course to be producing graduates who have been contributing to Nation building in different areas if live,”he said.
Also awarded for examplary leadership was Bayelsa state Governor, Senator Douye Diri.
The Governor who was represented at the event thanked the Alumni for the award, stressing that the University was part of his success story today.He reiterated that the institution moulded him as a person for preparation to serve the state and mankind.
In his opening remarks,state chapter chairman of the Alumni,Dagogo Edmundson called on all members to rally round the union,describing the University of Port Harcourt as breeding ground for intellectuals who have been part of the success of the nation.
Edmundson commended members for making the event a success,saying the dinner and award giving ceremony is an avenue for cross fertilisation of ideas towards the development of the Alma mata just as he mentioned that it is also a medium for expressing appreciation to deserving members of the Alumni and others who have contributed in one way or the other in nation building.
Also speaking,National President of the Alumni, Barr.Chris Adokeme applauded the state chapter for the initiative.
Adokeme emphasised the need for synergy, maintaining that the University of Port Harcourt has been in the forefront of providing manpower in this part of the nation and beyond,considering the huge number of academics and other professionals the institution has incubated into the nation,charging the chapter Alumni to keep up their strides.
In the same vein, guest lecturer at the event and Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Federal University,Otuoke,Professor Benjamin Okaba has canvassed for social reorientation and continuous self and societal Development.
The Don harped that with ethical reorientation and attitudinal change Bayelsa and Izon nation can start the processes of industrialisation and job creation,thereby bringing a reduction in crime, criminality and joblessness in the state.
Okaba decried the spate of absenteeism of Bayelsans in almost every business done in the state,stressing that citizens have deliberately handed over the state’s Economy to non indigenes,just as he condemned what he described as “pull him down syndrome”amongst Bayelsans and Ijaws.
Similarly, Chairman of the occasion and Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities,University of Africa,Toru Orua,Bayelsa state, Professor Barclays Ayakoroma has sued for help from the Alumni of the University of port Harcourt in making the institution even better than it was in their times as Alma mata.
Ayakoroma maintained that the Alumni has the duty to synergising with the authorities of the institution towards its development,just as he eulogized them on their achievements as an association.
Other award recipients include present and former Lawmakers,active and retired public servants, captains of Industries,Media organisations and others from different walks of live.