Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Peter Obi, has compared Nigeria to a vehicle with a knocked engine, insisting that Nigerians should devote more of their energy towards fixing the engine than seeking or concentrating their energy on who becomes the driver.
Obi made these remarks on Wednesday during the public presentation of “Communication and Media Studies”, a book edited by the former Dean of the Department of Social Sciences and former Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka.
Obi, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, said that people like Prof. Okunna who were contributing to the advancement of knowledge should be encouraged. Noting that the world today is knowledge-driven, he described as disgusting, the situation in Nigeria where political thugs and diverse rascals get rewarded more than professors and researchers.
His words: “Today, nobody recognises academics nor are they invited for meetings on how to deepen knowledge in the country, yet everyday we hear of meetings with kidnappers and bandits.”
All the speakers took turns eulogising the book as well as its editor, Prof. Okunna, for her devotion to scholarship. Leading, the traditional ruler of Igbakwu, Prof. Onuorah Nwuneli, described Okunna, the first Female Professor of Mass Communication in sub-Saharan Africa, as imbued with an “analytical mind”.
In his own remarks, NAU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Okey Esimone, who purchased some copies of the book for the university, described Prof. Okunna as an “accomplished scholar whose love for excellence is inspiring.” He said that people like her are useful towards achieving his vision of making the university among the best 200 in the world. Prof. Esimone described the book as rich and scholarly. He encouraged other lecturers to engage in mentorship of the young ones as Prof. Okunna is known.
Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, who is the NAU Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, described Prof. Okunna as one of the eminent professors that have given a name to the university. Ikechebelu commended her work and assured on the readiness of the university to start exporting knowledge to all the parts of the world.
Reviewing the book, Prof. Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu described Prof. Okunna as a “mother and a mentor”. He described the book as “the first that addresses the unbundling of Mass Communications into eight newly approved courses by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Commending the book in all aspects, he said: “Its technical details, finishing, themes, grammar, contents and language are excellent, depicting the experience and proficiency of the editor.”
The reviewer concluded by recommending the expansion of the section on public relations, advertising and strategic communication. He also suggested incorporating, by way of contributions, the practical experiences of media practitioners.
Earlier in her welcome address, Prof. Okunna said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love. She particularly thanked Mr. Peter Obi for his exemplary leadership, personality and character. She also thanked the VC for his vision for the university.
The Special Guest of Honour, Prince Arthur Eze, who was represented by Prince Okey Ezeh, appreciated Prof. Okunna’s efforts with N5 million.