– Pres. Ezeruezu Mbaise lauds ILMI
The presentation of Professor, Maj. Gen. Celestine Onyemobi Elihe Onwuliri’s 3rd Edition Memorial Scholarship Award to deserving undergraduate sons and daughters of Mbaise at St. Jude’s Catholic Parish Amuzi, Ahiazu L.G.A. Mbaise, June 5, 2016, attracted many prominent personalities most of whom were academics, parents, friends and well-wishers of the 2016 awardees.
The six candidate awardees two from each of the three LGAs in Mbaise include: Chikwendu Anacletus U. from Nguru in Aboh-Mbaise LGA, FUTO; Miss Anyanwu Innocentia J. from Enyiogugu in Aboh-Mbaise LGA, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka; Miss Ugochukwu Ifeoma A. from Ekwereazu Ahiazu LGA Mbaise, Nnamdi Azikiwe University; Oguh Emmanuel E. from Oru Ahiara in Ahiazu LGA Mbaise, Miss Chikwe Gloria N. from Okpofe Ezinihitte LGA and Ododo Chinecherem U. from Eziudo Ezinihitte LGA, all FUTO.
In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration that kick-started the ceremony and assisted by Rev. Fr. Sabinus Iwu (SMM) of Seat of Wisdom Seminary Ulakwo , Very Rev. Fr. Ted Uwakwe, Dean St. Cyril’s Deanery Ahiazu Mbaise, described late Prof. Maj Gen C.O.E. Onwuliri as an exemplary Christian who was a pride of his people Mbaise, Imo State and Nigeria, adding that Mbaise people looked forward for him to bring them more laurels and progress, but for his sudden demise.
Very Rev. Fr. Ted Uwakwe thanked God for the good wife he married, Prof. Lady Viola Onwuliri, maintaining that good wives lead husbands to heaven. Expressing that late Maj. Gen. C.O.E. Onwuliri (KSJ), former VC of FUTO was a great leader and achiever who empowered many youths, he enjoined the people to establish something permanent in his name such as “Professor Onwuliri Memorial College”. Citing the day’s reading, he admonished the faithful to show love, kindness and mercy to one another, following the example of Jesus Christ who out of pity, raised to life, the only son of a widow of Naim. He explained that helping the needy, through charity work, remains character that may lead one to heaven as those who care for others are Christ’s faithful.
At. St. Jude’s reception hall, the President-General Ezuruezu Mbaise, Chief Barr. C.Y. Anyanwu also Chairman of the occasion, extolled the unrivalled academic and leadership qualities of late Pro. C.O.E. Onwuliri and lauded the International Liaison of Mbaise Indigenes (ILMI) in the diaspora for evolving Prof. C.O.E. Onwuliri Memorial Scholarship Scheme as a way of instituting living memory of the academic guru. He also praised Mbaise USA Free Medical Association for tackling health problems in Mbaise annually and urged their counterparts elsewhere to follow suit.
In a citation provided on late Prof. Maj. Gen. C.O.E. Onwuliri (KSJI), FAS, ALOHA, he was described as a man who loved God, the church, his family and country, Nigeria. He was also known as a man of distinction and integrity, a first class scholar, consummate family man, rigorous academic, meticulous researcher and a seasoned administrator. His academic brilliance manifested in his early primary school age at St. Jude’s Primary School Amuzi from there he proceeded to Community Grammar School Amuzi and came in Division 1 and made his B.Sc. Degree (2nd Class Honours) at the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka in Zoology (1975) and his Ph.D. Parasitology (1980) at the University of Leeds UK after a year’s research training.
His wife, Supreme Subordinate Respected President Prof, Viola Onwuliri (LAUX) and ex-State Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs appreciated all the visitors and the scholarship awardees urging them to hold their scholarship with tenacity. She eulogized (ILMI) particularly Dr. Joe Onyeocha, President and enjoined them to keep their flag flying. She advised Igbos to speak their language with pride, adding “it may be one of the subjects for the next scholarship exam.
Among the dignitaries were: Dr. Collins Ugochukwu, Secretary-General, Dr. Damian Dike, Co-ordinator, Chief Engr. Columbus A.C. Urewuji, Chairman St. Jude’s Parish Council, Mrs. Grace Opara, leader of Widows’ Association and Mrs. Chinwe Okafor from Anambra State, Others were Knights and LAUX from Commandery 456 Ahiara.
In their separate responses of gratitude, on behalf of the awardees, Anacletus Chikwendu and Chinemerem Obodo thanked the organizers and Onwuliri family for their show of love and kindness. They therefore, promised to remain prayerful for the peaceful repose of the late icon.