UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA NSUKKA(UNN) 50th Anniversary Founders Day Celebration

The 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s first indigenous university – the University of Nigeria has come and gone with a grand finale /founders’ day celebration yesterday, 7th of October 2011. The epoch making event which promised to positively affect the university in years to come had in its attendance the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, represented by the minister of education Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I. Also at the occasion were Senator (Dr) Anyim Pius Anyim (GCON) who was the guest lecturer for the founders’ day lecture, and Chief Emeka Anyaoku(GCVO, CFR, CON), the chairman of the occasion. Other important dignitries that attented the event are the executive governor of enugu state, his excellency gov. Sullivan Chime represented by his deputy Mr Sunday Onyebuchi, Mr. Peter Pierce who represented the US ambassador to Nigeria, and the President of the Michigan State University, Prof Lou Anna Kimsey Simon amongst others.
In his address, the vice chancellor Professor Bartho N. Okolo recognized the vision of Nigeria’s first president, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe that brought alive the dreams of Nigeria’s first and foremost university whose motto “to restore the dignity of man” was also inspired by the late zik of Africa. He also recognized the important mentoring role played by the Michigan State University(who received an award during the event) in the establishment of the university, and also called for assistance from alumni, friends, various Governments and corporate organizations to support teaching and infrastructural upgrade in the university(full text of the VC’s address can be accessed here).
The secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, who delivered the founders day lecture on the topic “Democracy and National Development” regretted that past development plans for Nigeria dating from the pre-independence days, have failed to address the challenges posed by the development of the country. But assured that “The Federal Government under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is committed to providing qualitative, quantitative, and genuine leadership to the generality of the citizenry of this country”.
The chairman of the occasion and the former secretary of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku in his remarks charged Nigerian universities to embark on research tailored towards the achievement of the country’s development objectives.
Also speaking at the event, the minister of education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, who represented the president charged the university to continue to provide leadership in university education as the first indigenous university in the country by turning our graduates with skilled manpower needed for the development of the country.
Highpoint of the event was the cutting of the 50th anniversary cake which was beautifully decorated as you can see from the picture above
In all, the occasion was a very interesting one, but could have been more interesting for people like me without the heavy presence of non-smiling military men and other security personnel in and around the school. Though that is understandable, giving the present security situation of the country.

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