FUOYE CELEBRATES NEBO

March 26 will remain indelible in the memories of the authorities of Federal University Oye-Ekiti and its pioneer vice chancellor, Professor Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo. That was the day FUOYE set aside to honour her former vice chancellor. Venue of the event was FUOYE liaison office at Apo legislative quarters, FCT Abuja. Prof. Nebo was vice chancellor of FUOYE from inception of the university in 2011 to January 2013 when he assumed duties at the Ministry of Power Abuja.

image 6Prof Nebo and wife at the ceremony

The ceremony, which organizers described as long-overdue owing to the tight schedule of the minister, kicked off at about 17.38 hours after the Federal Executive Council Meeting. The occasion was not just a valedictory party but also a celebration of an accomplished academic, a pioneer and an achiever. It was a moment for FUOYE management and staff to show appreciation for the tremendous achievements of their pioneer vice chancellor.

Setting the tone for what turned out to be a dinner, spiced with several speeches, Prof. Asuzu said: “We have come to relax and chat with the Hon. Minister as much as his time would permit us”. The Minister was actually on his way to Enugu to attend a meeting but had to shelve the trip in order to relate and reconnect with his old colleagues from both University of Nigeria Nsukka and Federal University Oye Ekiti who had gathered at the venue before his arrival with his adorable wife and a retinue of personal aides.

image 7

The Vice Chancellor, FUOYE, Prof Isaac Asuzu speaking at the ceremony.

Continuing Prof Asuzu said “I knew him long time ago. We actually attended the same college; Government College Afikpo.” He described Prof. Nebo as a trendsetter, who exudes peace where ever he goes. UNN, he said, would never forget Nebo. Narrating events leading to his appointment as vice chancellor, Prof Asuzu intimated his audience how he got the needed confidence and courage to accept the offer only after he had conferred with Prof Nebo on the prospect . "Professor Nebo encouraged me to accept the vice chancellorship of the Federal University Oye Ekiti. I will never forget him. May God continue to help him”.

Several speakers had positive things to say about the celebrated. To some Nebo is very courageous and passionate. To others he is a man of infectious humility, who influences his environment by his passion for hard work and excellence. In his courage and vision, he established a Faculty of Engineering in FUOYE and remains the only university among its contemporary twelve to do so till date.

image 8

Prof Nebo making his remarks.

Responding, the Hon Minister told his elated audience that it had always been his pleasure to work for posterity. He expressed gratitude to Professor Asuzu over his acceptance to serve in a place like FUOYE. In alluding to the difficulties that daily confront a vice chancellor, he sent his audience reeling with laughter when he told a story of a man at heaven’s gate, awaiting clearance from Saint Peter only to be given express pass into paradise once it was discovered the man was not just coming from Nigeria but had served as vice chancellor while on earth. Saint Peter exclaimed that serving as vice chancellor in Nigeria is equated with hell. So the man was spared another hell fire.

The Power Minister recalled the difficult formative days of FUOYE with pressure coming from the two contending communities of Oye and Ikole Ekiti which almost cost the state the university. Going memory lane, he recalled FUOYE was the only university among its peers who had neither a take-off site nor a place of residence for its vice chancellor.

image 9

The quartet of Dr. Mrs Chinwe Asuzu, Prof Asuzu. Prof. Nebo and Mummy Ify Nebo singing a hymn at the ceremony.

Prof Nebo gave insight to his success story at FUOYE while he relished the evening. Even with obvious daunting setbacks, he assembled a strong visionary team and dreamers who conceived a first class university and gave birth to a Faculty of Engineering within its first year of existence. He brought in best brains in the mould of Professor Christian Bolu and late Architect Ikechukwu Iheanacho, among others, to midwife those dreams. He expressed his readiness to keep on assisting FUOYE in any way possible for it to continue to achieve greatness.

The FUOYE community presented Yoruba traditional attire (aso oke) to Professor Nebo and his wife as well as a life-size portrait of Prof Nebo on canvas.

image 10

                Artist’s impression of Prof Chinedu Nebo as presented by FUOYE.

It could be recalled that Professor Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo was appointed Minister of Power by President Goodluck Jonathan in December 2012.

-      Reports by Ukaegbu Chris A. and Ndidi Ibenyenwa.

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