Two outstanding Nigerian scientists of global repute, Professor Maurice Iwu and Professor Barth Nnaji were among other Nigerians honoured at the weekend as Distinguished Ambassadors of Christ by the Methodist Church, Owerri Diocese, Imo State.
According to Rt. Reverend Dennis Mark, the Diocesan Bishop of the Methodist Cathedral of Unity in Owerri, the awardees were being honoured for their commitment to the service of God and humanity, emphasizing that “the recipients have deployed their God-given talents, time and resources to promote God’s work in their various communities, local churches and the wider society.”
The cleric said the award followed the recommendations of the Diocesan Award Committee and testifies to the character and Christian discipline of the recipients as well as the iconic roles they have played in the development of the nation.
Professor Iwu was a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) where he initiated far-reaching reforms including the introduction of electronic voter register which has continued to define the nation’s electoral system. He also introduced The Electoral Institute, the capacity-building cum research arm of the electoral commission.
Iwu is a Professor of Pharmacognosy and he has served in various capacities including as the World Health Organization, WHO, Visiting Scholar to Dyson Perrins Laboratory, University of Oxford in 1980. He was also a Fulbright Senior Scholar, Ohio State University and has won the United States National Research International Prize for Ethnobiology in 1999. He was at a time the United Nation’s Lead Consultant for the development of Nigeria’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.
Other recipients of awards were Dr. Sampson Uche Ogah, President Masters Energy Group; Hon. Justice Florence Duroha-Igwe, a judge of the High Court of Imo State; Hon. Justice Arinze Ngozi Opara and Arc. Chibuike Ohale.