Peace and unity topped agenda as Association of Yoruba Staff, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka celebrates its maiden End of the Year Party, with a call on all members to work tirelessly to keep Nigeria as one indivisible nation.
The occasion, which attracted people from various ethnic nationalities, also featured conferment of excellence service awards on eminent Yoruba sons plying their trade in the state including the Commissioner of Police, Mr Aderemi Adeoye, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Mr Adeoye Irelewuyi, a Controller News with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Deacon Alfred Ajayi, and Dele Ajayi of TVC among others.
On the occasion, the Chief Host and Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Charles Esimone, lauded the industrious nature of the Yoruba staff and their professionalism, even as he advised them to shun tendencies that can destroy their good reputation.
“At times, I wonder if excellence is in your gene. You people are reliable, competent and hardworking. As your father here, I advise that you keep the flag flying”.
Chairman of the association, Dr Taiwo Abdulahi, while appreciating the accommodating nature of the people of the state, debunked negative news reports portraying the state as unsafe, noting that they are at peace with their hosts and have no cause to worry.
“We have two directors in the state ministries. It’s a sign that we are accommodated here. All ethnic nationalities can attest to the fact that Anambra is a peaceful State. They have given us the space to excel in various fields”.
“Our people should continue to be at their best in whatever legitimate things they do. Let them place good name above other things,” Abdulahi admonished.
The Royal Father of the day and head of Yoruba Community in Awka, Oba Abdulrazak Olahan, also remarked, “We thank God for today. I am very happy that today is a success. Please, my people good name is better than riches. We must not sacrifice virtues on the altar of money”.
The Commissioner of Police and Special Guest, Mr Adeoye, who was one of the award recipients, appreciated the honour and advised people of Yoruba extraction to continue to contribute to the growth and development of Anambra State regardless of their locations and vocations.
“Partner with the Anambra State government to lift the state to higher pedestal. This honour will encourage me to do more to provide security for all and sundry.
“Let us continue to coexist peacefully with our hosts and contribute to the socio-economic development of the state in all ramifications, Adeoye advised”.
Another recipient, and Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Adeoye Irelewuyi, remarked, “I so much cherish this honour from my own people. It will spur me to do more in my area of calling to keep our roads safer. I advise everyone of us to remain law-abiding and continue living at peace with the people of Anambra and those from other parts of the country”.
A young man, Builder Benjamin Oyefemi, whose company develops the Victoria Gardens in Awka, believed Anambra is ripe for harvest by shrewd investors. “I’m delighted to identify with my people. It’s been a long time I felt the way I feel now”.
“Let’s not run away from investing in this place. Anambra State is ripe for investment and the governor will give all the support to everybody that is ready to invest in this land. Let us own lands and houses in this state.
Two highest ranking public servants of Yoruba extraction in the employ of Anambra Pastors Adebayo Ojeyinka and Samuel Ojeleke, who were among the award recipients, equally tasked their people on peaceful coexistence.
Pastor Ojeyinka, the best National Youth Service Corps NYSC 1995 Batch corps member, is currently the Director, Public Service in the office of Anambra State Head of Service. “The Yorubas are known for their selfless service and dedication. That’s the culture we brought to this place and all of us here have succeed in our endeavors. So, if we gather to celebrate our achievements and the victory that the Lord has given us, it is worthwhile”.
Pastor Ojeleke, also the best corps member of his 1996 Batch, has grown to become the Director, Building Construction and Maintenance, Anambra State Ministry of Housing. “I’m so delighted to belong here. I count by myself as one of the leaders in Anambra State. We need to do this yearly. I can see that Yoruba people are very great,” he concluded.
The Yoruba Students Association, headed by Folarin Akinbode, a 400 level Chemistry Education student of UNIZIK, encouraged fellow students to extend their search for admission to Anambra and the entire South East region.
“It’s a great thing to be here. Some people think we are gathering for any evil purpose. No, we are for peace and unity. We are here to portray the good virtues of the Yorubas.
“I encourage prospective students to seek admission here. People here are loving and accommodating. This is a land of opportunities. Just keep being good,” Akinbode advised.