– Harps on Education as short-cut to bigmanism
One of the activities lined up for the one-year memorial of late Prof. C.O.E. Onwuliri (KSJI), the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) is the commissioning of an ultra-modern school gate of Community Secondary School Amuzi, Ahiazu LGA Mbaise, which took place Wednesday, June 19, 2013 by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs State I, Prof. Viola Onwuliri (LAUX), wife of the late former Vice-Chancellor.
Before her arrival, the students and their teachers filed out from the school gate to the Eke Amuzi market to accord her a befitting welcome. After commissioning the school ultra-modern gate, the Minister inspected the school’s laboratory science block, internet communications lab, school library, Amuzi Acquisition Centre, conference room and classrooms. At the end of the inspection, the teachers numbering twenty-three were introduced to the august visitor by the Ag. Principal, Mr. Oliver Onyeweke. She charged them to be painstaking with their teaching work.
In her speech during the reception organized by the Old Boys Association of the school (ACOGRAMS), Lady Viola Onwuliri, expressed her delight in coming to commission the gate which her husband started before he died. She remarked that her husband was an Old Boy of the school and set a record of academic brilliance that led him to whatever he became after; Prof., Commissioner, VC, Major General etc. in appreciation of this, he undertook to build the school gate and fence as his remarkable impute to his alma mater, which the family has completed and is being commissioned before all and sundry.
Noble Lady Viola Onwuliri cautioned students against the abuse of electronic gadgets such as TV, internet, GSM handset etc. She also warned against premarital sex, abortion, maintaining that inspite of their health implications like contracting gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS and other STDs, they constitute stumbling blocks to high academic pursuits. She frowned at teachers who abuse girls placed under their care sexually as well as parents who collaborate with teachers in perfecting expo in school.
Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri urged the students to emulate late Prof. C.O.E. Onwuliri, who through serious academic work became the 1st VC from Amuzi Ahiara, the 1st substantive VC in Mbaise and two times commissioner in Imo State from Amuzi Ahiara, pointing out that education is the shortcut to becoming a big man.
She finally thanked the Old Boys, including Tony Obasi, George Onyenemerem and all the Old Boys of the school for the success of the ceremony as well as the Ag. Principal, Mr. Onyewoke O.O., the retiring principal, Mr. Anyanwu O.G. and the entire staff and students.
Other activities that followed included distribution of chaplets by the Minister herself, presentation of welcome songs and traditional dances by the students, reading of welcome addresses, Rosary procession from St. Jude’s Catholic Mission to late Prof. C.O.E.’s house at Umuokazi village, then to his wife’s home town Umuokisi Village Amuzi, where Bloc Rosary is established in Amuzi Parish. All through, the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was carried by Ezinne Lady Viola Onwuliri herself. She said that the family is a Marian devotee because of the wonders she has derived from the Blessed Virgin Mother, explaining how her husband’s body was intact after the Dana air crash, June 3, 2012, attributing it to the Blessed Mother’s care. Rev. Fr. Frankline Anyanwu was also present at the occasion.
In their reception address, the Old Boys of Amuzi Community Grammar School (ACOGRAMS) extolled late Prof. C.O.E. Onwuliri as their own Jehu, the personification of their highest aspirations, an embodiment of the kind of leadership Nigeria needs – a leader humbled by the trust placed upon him. In a similar address, the school requested the Old Boys and the Minister for more help in the school. The youths used the occasion to launch exercise books in honour of the late Prof. Onwuliri during which the guests responded with the Minister donating more than N250,000.
The occasion attracted the presence of dignitaries like Prof. Edy Oparaojii USA, former head of service, Dr. Mrs. Barr. Agatha Ndugbu, Ugoze (Dr.) Josephine Nwachukwu Udaku, Dr. Richard Nwoko of Heartland Radio, Tony Obasi and Lt. Egbuhuzor B.C. (KSJ) among others.