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Posts tagged ‘University of Nigeria’

Duplicitous Atiku Commends Jonathan On 2nd Niger Bridge, knowing full well that it is a scam.

Former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, said, Monday, that the flag off of the construction of the second Niger Bridge by President Goodluck Jonathan was belated, “as the project ought to have been completed before now.”

Atiku stated this while delivering a keynote address at the 16th annual conference of African Council for Communication Education.

The conference was entitled “Communication, Children and the Youth in the 21stcentury,” and was hosted by the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

At the time Atiku was speaking at Nsukka, President Jonathan was in Onitsha, Anambra State, flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge.

The former vice president, however, commended the President for eventually flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge after long years of wait.

He said that when completed, “the bridge would boost economic activities and transportation in the South-East zone and environs.”

In his address, Atiku urged participants at the ACCE conference to find solutions on how best to ensure that 10 million out-of-school children returned to school.

“The participants should also seek solution to the high rate of unemployment facing youths in the country,” he said.

He tasked the media on content that would promote the Nigerian economy, which, he said, has diverse sources of revenue and employment generation. “We don’t have to depend just on oil, but on agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing and services”.

He said, “The media as an agenda setter should promote ideas for building the 21stcentury robust economy. You also have the responsibility to promote an education system mix of academic and vocational training, so as to cater for diverse needs of the youth and the emerging economy.”

Atiku, a presidential hopeful in the All Progressives Congress, advocated that federal schools be handed over to states in which they were located, saying, “It would help in administration and management of the schools.”

He added, “The Federal Government should also focus on setting regulatory standards and insist on implementing these standards.

“It will save cost as well as make it easier in management if federal schools were handed over to the states.”

The Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Prof. Bartho Okolo, expressed appreciation to the former vice president for honoring the invitation.

Earlier, the Head, Department of Mass Communication in the institution, Dr. Ray Udeaja, explained that the aim of the conference was to continue to advance evolution of communication education in Africa as well as guarantee the dignity of young Africans in the coming days.

“We are aware of the faith our society reposes on those of us who are in the academics. This is why we organise such conferences as these to enable us contribute to sustainable development.

“This conference targets young Africans who are our successors on this planet,” he said.

Udeaja added that the ACCE 2013 annual conference held this year (2014) because of the protracted Academic Staff Union of Universities strike last year. [Vanguard]

(From Biafra Galaxy)

Salisu Buhari, A Member of UNN Governing Council? No Please!.


Salisu Buhari
By Joe Igbokwe

I may not know the current situation now but the University of Nigeria I left in 1985 was a citadel of learning where the Dignity of Man is restored. When I got to the University in 1980, it was to me the best place you can be, the environment is unique, the structures correct, the teachers good, the students fantastic and well behaved. We were told then we were the best the nation could produce and therefore the most privileged to be there. The name University of Nigeria rings bell. It was the best brand then, the only University that taught General Studies (GS). If you are in Science, you must take a course in Humanities and Social Sciences and if you are in Arts or Social Sciences you must take courses in Sciences.

That was the University of Nigeria I know; an institution built for excellence, for the best and nothing but the best, a great university built to produce great minds for Nigeria. I do not know the situation now but the troubles of our country have permeated into the corridors of our university system and rendered the huge sacrifices of our heroes almost nugatory. Thanks to the leaders of Nigeria for rubbishing our university system. In the University of Nigeria then, anybody who gives a good account of himself or herself at the Manifesto Night becomes the President of the Student Union Government. That was how Dr Olu Oguibe, a very small but mighty man won the presidency of the Student Union in 1982. It was Dr Olu Oguibe who told us that if leadership is measured by might giants would have been ruling the world. Again he taught us that Methuselahs would have been ruling the world if leadership is measured by old age.

In Nsukka then you cannot aspire to be in any office in the Student Union Government if your cumulative average is below 2.5. From 1980 to 1985 when I left the University I did not see two students fighting and I did not lose anything to anybody. There were no killers and thieves then. There was nothing like cultism.

Today almost 30 years of rudderless leadership has rendered our universities almost worthless. Things that you could not imagine then are happening now in our universities. Hard criminals, fraudsters, 419ers, drug peddlers, certificate forgers, oil thieves, looters, armed robbers, kidnappers etc walk into our most priced universities to pick Doctorate degrees for fees. Students who have no entry behavior are now students in our universities, producing graduates that are not graduates, graduates that are not employable, graduates that are armed robbers, kidnappers, rapists, thugs and what have you. Oh we have gone full cycle.

This is the only reason why the Federal Government would deem it fit to appoint Alhaji Salisu Buhari, a disgraced former Speaker of the House of Representatives (removed as Speaker for certificate forgery) as a member of the UNN Governing Council. This is public assault. This is impunity. This is recklessness and at best, unholy. My Alma Mata whose motto is TO RESTORE THE DIGNITY OF MAN cannot take this public assault. The state of our university systems in Nigeria today tells a big story of how miserable our leadership has become in the last 30 years. The tragedy is not peculiar to our university systems as it has permeated into every sector of our economy, dealing a dangerous blow to all the things we hold dear. Villains and fraudsters of yester years who were thrown out of the system because they were found wanting have been exhumed, dusted, repackaged, garnished, robed and re-dressed to look like angels and then brought back to the system, and the rot continues. Enemies of the organized systems and organized institutions have been recycled into the system to continue to inflict pains on the project Nigeria.

Please let somebody tell President Goodluck Jonathan to use his left hand to throw away Salisu Buhari from the University of Nigeria’s Governing Council before we get annoyed. Salisu Buhari is a reproach to the education system. He is a rebuke to the sacred values of education and should not be found anywhere near an academic constituency. he is a smear to academic integrity and will ever besmirch the sacred ethos of education. He is a dent to the University of Nigeria Nsukka and a huge mockery to the values of the school and the entire Nigerian educational sector. He has no redeeming value and should be kicked off. President Goodluck Jonathan should use his leg if the left hand cannot do the job to kick Salisu Buhari on the buttocks for convenience sake. To allow the certificate forger to tarry a day at the University of Nigeria is to rubbish the pride of that great university.

Joe Igbokwe


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Bona Ezeudu: Using Art To Contain Tragedy By Okey Ndibe.

Bona Ezeudu

Ijele masquerade

Ritual drummers from the bird’s eye view II

Okey Ndibe

For at least three decades, enthusiasts of Nigeria’s visual arts scene have been familiar with the name Bona Ezeudu. In the mid-1980s, Mr. Ezeudu emerged as a sought-after artist, a member of the highly regarded Aka circle of artists whose inaugural exhibition held in 1986. These artists were individually accomplished, but they burst as a collective onto the national and international art scene. Their works gained critical acclaim within and outside Nigeria, and attracted collectors from near and far.

Working in the media of painting and sculptor, Bona soon established a formidable professional reputation. He compiled an impressive dossier of group and individual exhibitions both within Nigeria and several foreign countries. For a while, it seemed a safe bet that only diminished personal drive could possibly stand between Bona and a soaring career as an artist.

Then on September 26 2009, he and his wife Ngozi, a teacher, received a jolt that no parent should ever have to face. It was the kidnap of their 19-year-old son, Lotachukwu – Lota, as family and friends called him. A rather bright second-year accountancy student at the University of Nigeria (Enugu campus), Lota was last headed for the home of a Divisional Police Officer, Sam Chukwu. He and the DPO’s son, Nnaemeka Chukwu, were classmates in secondary school. The two young men often exchanged visits. On the fateful day, Nnaemeka had asked Lota to visit and help look over a computer that one Desmond Chinwuba ostensibly wished to buy. Earlier, Nnaemeka had told Lota and other friends that Desmond as well as one Ernest Okeke were both serving police officers, and his father’s aides. It was a flat lie.

Both Desmond and Ernest, it turned out, were ex-police officers making a living from crime – and under the apparent protection of a senior police officer. Both men had been arrested, charged with armed robbery, and fired by the police. Curiously, the DPO gave shelter in his own home to these two rogue cops.

A skilled young man, Lota boasted a technical flair that enabled him to take a look at a bad computer and fix it. Yet, when he answered Nnaemeka Chukwu’s invitation to look at a computer that Desmond was reportedly interested in purchasing, he became an apparent victim of entrapment.

To this day, his parents Bona and Ngozi quaver as they recall the first time they received a telephone call from Lota’s kidnappers demanding a hefty ransom. Lota’s sisters have been scarred by their only brother’s absence from their lives. Many sleepless, horrendous nights have been part of the family’s lot. Numerous friends and relatives ran to the Ezeudus’ side, to lighten the weight of their anguish. Even so, the agony still sizzles like a raw sore, the pain often unbearable. Three and a half years later, Lota has not returned to his family and has not been heard from. One of the suspects has reportedly confessed that Lota was murdered.

Ernest Okeke, Nnaemeka Chukwu and several other suspects are in custody, charged with plotting Lota’s kidnap. A court also ordered that the police arrest DPO Sam Chukwu. Mr. Chukwu eluded the police, and has been in hiding for more than a year. Desmond Chinwuba has been on the run as well.

One casualty of Lota’s disappearance was that Bona’s artistic creations ceased. For more than three years, he devoted his time entirely to ensuring that those responsible for harming his son were brought to justice. It became a consuming mission, an unrelenting task. Some friends and relatives as well as investigators implored him to move on, to leave everything in God’s hand. But Bona refused, as he should. Part of the trouble with Nigeria is precisely that citizens who are needlessly, undeservedly subjected to trauma are all-too often ready to let their tormentors off the hook, willing to stare skyward and say, “God, revenge is yours.”

That kind of abdication does not solve any problems; it perpetuates and compounds them. The criminals in our midst are unconscionable. They thrive – and will continue to thrive – as long as aggrieved persist in throwing up their hands in helpless resignation. As parents, Bona and Ngozi chose a different path: to invest time and resources into seeing that justice is done by their son and by them.

A consummate artist, it was for Bona a huge sacrifice to have to put aside his art in order to focus on holding a set of evil conspirators to account. Art has been Bona’s passion and vocation for years. We both attended the same secondary school – St. Michaels, Nimo; even in those days, he showed signs of turning into a star artist. I was left awe-struck by his paintings in those days. He was also the cartoonist of our school magazine; his cartoons entertained, inspired, and provoked thought. It was as if, in those early days, he served notice that he would emerge in time as an artist to be reckoned with.

He more than fulfilled that promise. After a stint as a college lecturer, Bona resigned and committed himself wholly to his art – achieving the distinction, rare in any society, of making a living from his creativity. Then the forces of darkness snatched his son away and forced an interruption of his work as a professional artist.

For me, then, it was a great relief to learn that Bona had returned to his art and has a solo exhibition that’s due to open in two days – on Thursday, March 28 – at the prestigious Didi Museum (175 Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos). The exhibition, which opens at 5 p.m., represents something of a major creative resurrection. The exhibition will run till April 7, 2013.

I say, thank God that, after undergoing such an unspeakable personal tragedy as the wicked murder of his son, Bona has come to rediscover his artistic spark.

During a recent visit to Nigeria, I was privileged to visit Bona’s gallery and to see some of the paintings for this upcoming exhibition. I had anticipated a certain funereal twist to the work, a reflection of the artist’s tormented spirit. Instead I was delighted to see that the paintings are some of the most exuberant and triumphant creations of Bona’s extraordinary career. Indeed, the paintings bear the unmistakable mark of Bona’s artistic signature – a fluid and bold deployment of colors, crisp attentiveness to imagistic details, and an abiding interest in exploring the intersection between the material and immaterial realms of experience.

Clearly, Bona’s current work is a testament to an artist’s insistence that art can serve as an idiom of rebirth. In the current works, Bona celebrates life and offers the ultimate honor to a son whose star was abbreviated far too soon. Bona reminds us that art can offer humans a means of triumph over pain, tragedy and evil. His art, which was always powerful and resonant, has acquired an accent of urgency, vibrancy and a celebratory air.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe


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