Saturday, 6 June 2009

I Know Him More Than All

-A valedictory hagiography for my friend and president Nwankwo Obinna Celestine-

There is no doubt that Nwankwo Obinna Celestine has left his name in an indelible ink, neatly carved in gold, as the best president so far of the famous Mass Communications Department of the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Nigeria.

Elected at a very turbulent period in the life of this polytechnic and Mass Communications Department in particular orchestrated by the ungodly riot of October 8-9, 2001 and the controversial dissolution of the Otunba Odusole Olusegun led Governing Council which brought with it a reign of chaos in the entire polytechnic.

It was at this critical period that Nwankwo Obinna Celestine was elected. We thought that he wouldn’t perform due to the shaky atmosphere in which he was elected. I, for one thought that his government would be a transitional one. That is an interim government that will eventually conduct election and handover to a government that will take the department to the Promised Land.

But Nwankwo Obinna Celestine proved me and others like me wrong. Within months of his election, Nwankwo achieved what no president in this famous department has ever achieved. To be sincere, it came to me as no surprise for I know Nwankwo more than any other person in this department.

As the president of the Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students, Oko Chapter, Nwankwo served under me as the president of the Catholic Boys. I also served him as the Editor of the Dawn Newspaper during his tenure as the president of the Mass Communications Department. Therefore no other person is in a better position to write this more than myself.

Nwankwo is a goal getter. As the president of the catholic boys (St.Vincent Pallotti Male Students Association) he declared to me his intention to publish a magazine for the body. Within four months, Nwankwo came out with the maiden edition of the PALLOTTINE Magazine thereby living up to his famous maxim that whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. By this singular feat coupled with how he raised funds for the project, Nwankwo automatically carried for himself the title of the most vibrant, active and served student of the chaplaincy. Nobody disputed that!

This is the reason we are not surprised of his numerous achievements in the department as the president of the Association of Mass Communications Students (ASMACS). Nwankwo really achieved a lot despite the usual evil machinations of the evil ones and the academic cum learned lucubration from here and there. The oppositions, distractions and pressures was obviously too much bearing in mind the status of the department as the most learned, educated and intelligent in the polytechnic. Among his numerous achievements were;
• Wrestling ASMACS out of the firm grip, pressure, control and intimidation of the departmental head and lecturers. Prior to that, ASMACS was never free to act and execute its projects due to rigorous red tapism and bureaucracy of the department
• Provisions of microphones/loudspeakers in the four classes of the department for lectures
• Provision of wall clocks in the classrooms where it was lacking
• Furnishing of the office of the Head of Department
• Installation of sign board for the department
• Provision of concrete seats under the cashew tree situated under the school of thought

These are just some of the achievements I am interested in highlighting and confined to highlight due to lack of space and time. Nwankwo Obinna Celestine is never a disappointment for he carried all these out to the best of his ability. I am frankly speaking proud to be associated with him. Nature made it a must for we are namesakes, coloursakes, coursemates, classmates, churchmates and in the holy words of our ebullient chaplain, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Martin Chukwubunna Ezeokoli, ‘partners in crime’.

I therefore have no doubt that Nwankwo will perform tomorrow as a politician. Whoever comes across him should work with him for he is an achiever. No wonder, during his final year in the polytechnic, he was president to three associations (triple president) viz;
• President, Association of Mass Communications Students
• President, Orumba South Students Association
• President, St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Boys Association

The maiden edition of this beautiful year album featuring this valedictory speech is also a laudable achievement on the part of Nwankwo Obinna Celestine. No one has ever done it before and I do not think anybody could. It is only Nwankwo who can do it for he possess that rare charisma which is rare in people.

He once told me that Ben Nwankwo, at present the PDP House of Representative candidate for Orumba North and South Federal Constituency is his role model and I have no doubt that Nwankwo Obinna Celestine would pass and exceed this great politician of repute.

If you hear that Nwankwo is the governor of Anambra State tomorrow, do not doubt it. If you hear he has become a priest, never doubt it. If you also hear that he has become a communist, believe it. He can do and undo. He is all things to all men.

I invoke God’s blessings on him as an eternal reward for his numerous achievements to humanity and Mass Communications department in particular.

Nwankwo Obinna Celestine, potential politician, goal getter, achiever, primus inter pares, may God reward you, abundantly, Amen.

The End.

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