Igbo Essay Competition: Igbo Leaders Tasked To Emulate Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi, CON

The Anambra Central People’s Forum, a socio-cultural organization championing the revival and preservation of the dying ‘Igbo Mother Tongue’, in a Press Release, expressed gratitude to God for the ‘gift of accomplished Igbophile such as Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi (Enyi Ndigbo, Oku-Uzu Awka, Ojeligbo-Ozi)’, describing him as ‘a man of enviable qualities and one of the few respected men of Igbo descent that command both respect and influence across Africa and beyond’, and called on present generation of Igbo leaders to emulate him.

According to the organization’s statement, “It is in grateful recognition/appreciation of the invaluable contributions of this exceptional Igbo prodigy which has shaped a journey of many accomplishments that the Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi Annual Igbo Essay Competition for Secondary School Students in Anambra Central Senatorial Zone was instituted earlier last year at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

The association added, “The Senator Ben Ndi Obi’s trajectory is a veritable and inspiring tribute to virtues of hardwork, ingenuity, philanthropy and mentorship to the people. When his people needed his services most, he volunteered to serve as a Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone (hitherto), rising to the highly coveted vantage position of Chairman, Senate Committee on Air Force, amongst other Senate Committees’ membership”.

The association’s President, Achebe Chris, Esq., described Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi as “a true Igbo statesman whose principles, remarkable integrity and enduring legacies, will continue to inspire current and future generations”.

In his words, “Legacy of a man is not his wealth, but what he contributed to humanity. Senator Ben Ndi Obi’s mission transcends self, rather he is devoted to charity, humanity and service to God. He is a generous giver, a mentor. He is a kingmaker whose human relations remain unsurpassed in the South-East”.

The association in its Press Release, further described Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi as a man of peace and love with a large heart who has endeared himself to many through his outstanding generosity.

On his part, the President, Anambra State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Obi Chukwuemekalum Udodeme, expressed gratitude to the Anambra Central People’s Forum, for finding Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi, CON (Enyi Ndigbo, Oku-Uzu Awka, Ojeligbo-Ozi), deserving of this laudable honour. He described the respected elder statesman extra ordinaire and accomplished Igbophile as one who treasured Igbo language and culture, and is unwavering and uncompromising in his commitment to the advancement of Igbo heritage.

Continuing, Obi Chukwuemekalum Udodeme declared that with this Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi Annual Igbo Essay Competition for Secondary School Students in Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, the celebrated Igbo Icon has been re-assured of the gratitude of people of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone he had served unblemishly at the hallowed Senate Chamber from Year 2023 to 2007.

Udodeme commended Senator Ben Ndi Obi’s role towards salvaging the dying ‘Igbo Mother Tongue’, and called on the current generation of Igbo leaders to emulate him, added that Language and Culture collectively form the identity of a people, without which, there is no bearing for a race. He emphasized that it is not for nothing that the United Nations decided in the Year 2000 to inaugurate the International Mother Language Day, which is now celebrated annually around the world on the 21st of every February.

Also speaking, the Spiritual Director of the association, Most Revd. Prof. Godwin Okpala (JP, OON), commended Senator High Chief (Dr.) Ben Ndi Obi for his uncommon benevolence towards Igbo Language Education which will help the students in getting a better sense of their cultural background, and called on Ndigbo to accord topmost priority to the promotion of Igbo language.

Most Revd. Prof. Godwin Okpala who is the Emeritus Archbishop of the Province of the Niger/Bishop, Diocese of Nnewi, Anglican Communion, called on governments across Igboland to save Igbo language from extinction by intensifying the enforcement of the Igbo Language Usage and Enforcement Law 2020, on teaching of Igbo language in schools.

Okpala also called on religious leaders in Igboland to always conduct their services in Igbo language, charging parents to ensure that they converse with their children in Igbo language in their various homes.

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