Traditional Ruler of Awka Kingdom, Anambra State, Obi and Eze Uzu III, His Imperial Majesty, Dr. Austin Ndigwe has bestowed on the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles Esimone with a Humanitarian Service Award.
The monarch also crowned three members of the community Palace Patrons to act as advisers to ensure peace, growth and development in the town.
Speaking on Saturday during the 2021 Annual Otite Awka festival organized by Obi in Council in collaboration with Awka Development Union Nigeria (ADUN), Ndigwe said the award was in recognition of the VC’s love and commitments to the community.
He assured him that his community would continue to support his administration in any way possible in realization of his goal and aspiration for the University.
He said, “We’re giving you this award today in recognition of the undying love and commitment you have towards the growth and development of the community.
“The award is also in recognition of your showing and giving a listening ear to the plight of the people of Awka by bringing justice to issues pertaining to admission and job quota.”
Responding, Prof. Esimone thanked the Imperial Majesty and the good people of Awka for the show of love and hospitality towards his administration.
He described the people of the area as talented and industrious as could be seen by the calibre of teaching and non-teaching staff of the institution and their contributions toward its growth and development in line with his vision for ‘Project 200’.
“Apart from being benevolent, our institution will continue to fulfil its obligation through Corporate Social Responsibility to the people of the area as the host community of the university,” he added.
One of the patrons, Ozo Kanayo Onyechi expressed appreciation to the monarch for finding him worthy of the appointment, pledging to bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear in course of their assignments.
He said, “Our duty is to advise the monarch so he won’t derail. You know as humans, we’re prone to make mistakes. Two heads are better than one and we’re the second heads to him. All efforts is to make Awka a great kingdom.
“This appointment is given to a high ranking ozo title holder in my community who is versed and grounded in the customs and tradition of the town. It’s also given to one who commands respect and have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the community.”
He added, “Awka has come to be good with the Eze Uzu the III in power. Gone were the days the community was ridden with crisis. Everyone can now sleep with his two eyes closed with the level of peace and tranquility existing in the town.
“The pockets of cultisms are gradually drying up. Those formenting trouble have come to realize their mistakes and appreciate that Awka is indivisible. They’re now coming together.
“The state government is already seeing our point, and very soon, it will realize it can’t continue with the divide and rule game. Today, Eze Uzu and all of us are saying enough is enough.”