Posted by on Jun 24th, 2013 and filed under News Extra. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

By Amaechi Kingsley

It was indeed a wonderful day for the family of the late Prof. Celestine Onwuliri at the Federal University of Technology Owerri last Friday, as a memorial lecture which was held in his honour was heavily attended by array of personalities.

In a welcome address by the Vice- Chancellor of FUTO, Prof Chigozie C. Asiabaka, he recalled that this is the first in the history of the university that a memorial lecture is being held, as part of activities lined up to commemorate the one year anniversary of the 5th substantive Vice Chancellor who died in a plane crash last year.

Prof. C.C. Asiabaka further stated that the death of Prof. Onwuliri has remained a monumental loss to the institution, Nigerians and the academic world according to him, with reference to his selfless and immense contributions, and his enduring legacies in the educational sector, the governing council and senate of FUTO resolved to rename the FUTO international conference hall after the late Professor Celestine Onwuliri “CELESTINE ONWULIRI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE”.

The Chairman of the memorial lecture Prof. Emeka Nwogwu, the Minister of Labour and Productivity representing the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellence Arch. Namadi Sambo stated that this is not the time to mourn,
as the late Prof. has done so much to promote human development, taking into consideration his land mark achievement, which has put FUTO in the map. He charged the current Vice – Chancellor Prof C.C. Asiabaka and staffers of FUTO to continue the good work.
In his remarks, the Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa (FMSN) who represented the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan, recalled that the late Professor was a close friend and an associate of the Federal Government. He promised that the Federal Government will through the Ota Mirii River provide a hydro power plant to generate electricity for the institution, which will be named after the late Prof Onwuliri.

In the lecture he titled “INTELECTUALISIM IN NIGERIA’S TRANSFORMATION” the Minister for power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo pointed out that the topic unveiled what Prof. Onwuliri stood for in our nation today, and the fact that the transformation of the nation is paramount in the minds of all Nigerians.

Prof. Nebo further emphasized on the benefits, contributions of intellectuals to the society and its importance of relevance, stressing that intellectualism is a necessary condition for societal transformation, but it’s not a sufficient condition, thus, the relevance of intellectualism leads towards sufficiency as Nigerian Intellectuals have been at the fore front of the fight against bad governance.

At the event, wife of the Late Professor, Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri who was honored with the “Post Honours Award of for service” by the Imo State SUG Council, thanked all array of personalities present for the memorial lecture and prayed that no ill fated accident or disaster should ever occur again.

Meanwhile, during a mass service in honor of the late Prof. at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Chaplaincy, FUTO, Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri thanked the President for his kind gesture as she donated generously towards the growth of Saint Thomas Aquinas Chaplaincy FUTO.

Other top dignitaries who attended the function include; the former Governor of Imo state Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, Governor of Anambra state, former first Female Governor of Anambra state Dame Virginia Etiaba, wife of the Ex-Governor of Imo state Mrs. Agbomma Udenwa, Prof Anya O. Anya, and staffers of FUTO.

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