The Igbo Community Association (ICA) in Lokoja has conferred Award of Excellence on the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Distinguished Senator Chris Iheanyichukwu Adighije at its 2021 Cultural Day Celebration. Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi was honoured with an Award of Excellence by ICA during the history-making event.
The cultural exhibition which took place on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja and chaired by Senator Adighije, witnessed an array of spectacle as men who matter in the scheme of things gathered to solidarize with the good people of Igbo extraction. It was indeed a galaxy of crème de la crème of the society who gathered in their most adorable outfits to have a glimpse of the beautiful display of the Igbo cultural heritage as there were various musical performances and cultural dances to entertain the guests.
Senator Adighije graced the occasion in the company of the Vice-Chancellor and some members of the University Governing Council to receive the award which was in recognition of his quality leadership and stewardship at all levels. The Council Chairman was filled with joy when the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi was equally called upon to receive the award for his exemplary leadership and friendly disposition towards the Igbo people and the generality of Nigerians within his sphere of influence.
The colourful event was also attended by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Chief Edward David Onoja who graced the occasion in a double capacity as he received the Award of Excellence for himself and his Principal, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello. Also, the former Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and a member representing Lokoja-Koto Federal Constituency were among the recipients of the Award.
At the occasion, the Pro-Chancellor called for a reinvigorated Igbo experience at every level of engagement. He expressed joy that the Igbo Community had no record of criminality and has maintained cordial relationships with their host communities under the leadership of the Executive Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Governor, Chief Edward Onoja asked for more synergy among the Igbo people which if achieved and sustained would make it difficult for them to be denied anything they desired.
In his response, the former Governor of Kogi State and recipient of the merit award, His Excellency Alhaji Ibrahim Idris described the Igbos as peace-loving and business-minded people who would rather work hard to develop the land they live and do business in than engage in any form of vices that are anti-development.
Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, who was described by Senator Adighije as an Igbo man having spent part of his early days in the city of Anambra and could interact fluently in the Igbo language, re-echoed the position of most of the speakers who extolled the commitment of the Igbo people in bringing development to any community where they reside. “If you go to a land where there is no presence of an Igbo man, pack your load and leave because that land may be cursed,” he told the mammoth crowd that graced the occasion.