Nsukka (Enugu State) Match 18,2022
A former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has promised to build a befitting structure for the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in honour of Prof. Uzodinma Nwala.
Obi made the promise at the university on Friday at a get together to mark the 80th birthday of Nwala, who taught at the university for 30 years
He said that Nwala and others who impacted positively on educational development of the country should be celebrated and seen as role models by the nation’s universities.
“After 2023 election, I will build a befitting edifice for UNN Philosophy Department in honour of Prof. Nwala.
“The building will house the Research Centre for African Philosophy in UNN. Nwala should be honoured and celebrated because he was almost everywhere imparting knowledge on students.
“It’s unfortunate we live in a country where people don’t celebrate knowledge, ideas, scholarship”, said Obi who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice-Presidential candidate in the 2019 general election.
According to him, such attitude towards scholarship is the bane of the country because the world is driven by knowledge.
“We are not giving proper attention to knowledge; that’s why the country is not investing enough in education; that’s why there is unemployment because the economy is not robust”, Obi said.
Obi said he sees Nwala not only as a lecturer who taught him philosophy but as a father and a role model.
Speaking, the celebrant who retired on March 16, 2007 said he had a sense of fulfillment as majority of his students had distinguished themselves and were making positive impact nationally and internationally.
“I am happy that my efforts and commitment to UNN and in establishing the Philosophy department in UNN that later spread to other universities in the country was not in vain.
“What is known today as African Philosophy started at UNN. That informs why I have been invited in many universities across the globe, including Oxford University, to deliver lectures on African philosophy”, he said.
Nwala, who was the Executive Secretary General of ASUU in the 1980s said his administration created ASUU as an effective and disciplined organisation, led by ideologically conscious leadership inspired by high moral and spiritual ideals.
“I have no regret for all my actions as leader in ASUU because all were geared towards improving the quality of education in the country.
“It was recognition of transparency, patriotism and honesty in my leadership in ASUU that made Chief Alex Ekwueme, then Vice-President, Alhaji Shehu Musa SGF during the administration of Shehu Shagari to visit my Mbaise hometown.
“The entourage also included then governor of Imo State, Chief Sam Mbakwe. They came to honour me in spite of the fact that ASUU was fighting the administration,” he said.
In a remark, Dr Christian Opata, Chairman of UNN-ASUU said ASUU national leadership held Nwala in high esteem as the veteran executive member of the union because of his numerous contributions to the union.
He said it was the National Chairman of ASUU, Prof Victor Osodeke that directed them to attend the ceremony because of the high regard the union had for Nwala.
“ASUU will forever remain grateful to the former scribe as a result of his immense contributions to the union.
“The history of ASUU in Nigeria and the history of Philosophy in Africa will be incomplete without mentioning Prof. Nwala,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Michael Anyaehie, the acting Head of Department of Philosophy, UNN had congratulated Nwala on his 80th birthday.
He described him as a profound academic, activist, politician and statesman with agility, integrity and resourcefulness.
“With Nwala at 80, the department is celebrating its beginning and trajectory developments because he left legacies while he was in the department,” he said.
The HOD listed some of the legacies to include; the first graduate of the department and a one man class of 1967.
They also include the first lecturer to develop African Philosophy as a course of study and a scholar who projected the department into global academic history.