The former Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has compared Nigeria to a vehicle with a knocked engine, insisting Nigerians should devote more of their energy towards fixing the engine than seeking or concentrating their energy on who becomes the driver.
Obi made these remarks yesterday during the public presentation of “Communication and Media Studies”, a book edited by the former Dean of the Department of Social Sciences and former Commissioner for Economic Planning and First Female Professor of Mass Communication in sub-Saharan Africa, Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Obi, who was the Guest of Honour at the event said that people like Prof. Okunna who were contributing to the advancement of knowledge should be encouraged. Noting that the world today is knowledge-driven, he expressed as disgusting, a situation as in Nigeria where political thugs and diverse rascals get rewarded more than professors and researchers.
His words: “ Today, nobody recognizes academics nor are they invited for meetings on how to deepen knowledge in the country, yet everyday, we hear of meetings with kidnappers and bandits.”
All the speakers took turns eulogizing the book as well as its editor, Prof. Okunna for her devotion to scholarship. Leading the traditional ruler of Igbakwu, Prof. Onuorah Nwuneli described Okunna as imbued with “analytical mind.”
In his own remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charles Okey Esimone, who purchased some copies of the book for the University, described Prof. Okunna as an “accomplished scholar whose love for excellence is inspiring.” He said that people like her were useful towards achieving his vision of making the university among the best 200 in the world. He described the book as rich and scholarly. He encouraged other lecturers to engage in mentorship of the young ones as Prof. Okunna is known for.
The Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, described Prof Stella Chinyere Okunna as one of the eminent professors that has given name to Nnamdi Azikiwe University. She commended her work and assured on the readiness of the University to start exporting knowledge to all the parts of the world.
Reviewing the book, Prof. Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu who described Prof. Okunna as a “mother and a mentor” described the book as “the first that addresses the unbundling of Mass Communications into eight newly approved courses by the NUC.
Commending the book in all aspects, he said “its technical details, finishing, themes, grammar, contents and language are excellent, depicting the experience and proficiency of the editor.
The reviewer concluded by recommending the expansion of the section on public relations, advertising and strategic communication. He also suggested incorporating, by way of contributions, the practical experiences of media practitioners.
Earlier in her welcome address, the editor of the book, Prof. Stella Chinyere Okunna, said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love. She particularly thanked Mr. Peter Obi for his exemplary leadership, personality and character. She also thanked the VC for his vision for the University.
The Special Guest of honour, Prince Arthur Eze, who was represented by Prince Okey Ezeh, appreciated Prof’s efforts with 5 million Naira.