Igbo Essay Competition: Igbo Leaders Tasked To Emulate Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi, MHR

By Achebe Chris, Esq.

Press Release:
The Anambra Central People’s Forum, a socio-cultural organization championing the revival and preservation of the dying ‘Igbo Mother Tongue‘, has called on the current generation of Igbo leaders to emulate Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi (Aja-Ajanze), Deputy Minority Whip and Member Representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, described him as accomplished Igbophile and Federal Lawmaker with a heart of gold who treasured Igbo language and culture, and is unwavering and uncompromising in his commitment to the advancement of Igbo heritage.

The statement by the reputable public organization was made at the 3rd edition of the Grand finale of Prof. Pita Ejiofor Annual Igbo Essay Competition for Secondary School Students in Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal Constituency held on Friday, 5th July, 2024. It was a moment of glitz and excitement as School administrators, Teachers, Traditional Rulers, Iyoms/Otu Odu, Top government officials, Politicians, Federal Legislative Representative, Honourable Education Commissioner, Educational authorities, among other eminent Anambrarians, converged at the St. Kizito Girls’ Secondary School, Umudioka, to celebrate the student-winners of the Competition, organized by the Anambra Central People’s Forum, and chaired by Prof. (Engr.) Philip Nwabueze Atanmo, erstwhile President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter.

Beaming with fulfillment, the Chairman of the association, Achebe Chris, Esq., in his Message of Goodwill, accentuated: “I most sincerely thank the well-meaning attendees who have come on this auspicious occasion to demonstrate their attachment to the patriotic work of the organization, and whose presence among us lends particular splendour to this occasion “.

Achebe continued: “The Anambra Central People’s Forum expresses sincere appreciation for the unwavering support and encouragement received from its magnanimous benefactor, Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi (Aja-Ajanze), for providing such a platform for Igbo language education.

“He is a peculiar gift from God to our generation. We are proud to identify with him and desire to see him remain in the global light and mainstream politics for the positives. God sent him to be a shining light in our horizon”.

Achebe further pointed out that special recognition is also given to the dynamic Igbo language teachers who tirelessly guided and mentored the student-winners towards success in the competition.

“This outstanding feat underscores the school’s commitment and hardwork to nurturing young minds”, Achebe added.

Earlier in the occasion, he poured encomiums on the student-winners of the Competition as he announced the recipients of various prizes and invited them to the stage while the August visitor, Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi, and Honourable Commissioner of Education, Anambra State, presented the star prizes to the deserving recipients.

At the glittering prizes presentation, First Second, Third and Fourth Prizes went to Miss Mbonu Chimamanda Chinaza (First position), Ozoemena Azuka (Second position), Anaekwe Chukwudubem Alexius (Third position), Ezeh Somtochukwu Sylvia (Third position)* and Udezue Precious Chioma (Fourth Position) respectively. The student-winners were excited to have won the Competition, and expressed gratitude to the organizing body for the great opportunity, adding that it has helped them to believe in themselves and bolstered their academic confidence.
Some of the prizes won include: Television, Electric Fans, Mattress, Educational materials, Cash prizes and other exciting items.

In his speech, the event’s benefactor and member Representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi (Aja-Ajanze), expressed gratitude to the organizing body (the Anambra Central People’s Forum), for taking such bold step to promote education, particularly in Igbo language. He showered encomiums on the Management and Staff of St. Kizito Girls’ Secondary School, Umudioka for their immense contributions to the growth and success of the school.

“We ‘re impressed with the good work they’re doing and I want to urge and encourage them to do more”, he said.

Earlier in his remarks, Ozodinobi made an awesome impression by rewarding the student-winners, teachers, some participating schools, organizing body, Traditional Rulers, Iyoms/ Otu Odu, Chairman of the occasion and Guest Lecturer with an outpour of humanitarian largesse.

Responding after receiving a “Meritorious Public Service Award“, Ozodinobi thanked the Anambra Central People’s Forum for recognizing and extolling excellence as well as sterling performances in public service, reiterating that the accolade is an inspiration not to relent and to continue to push the frontiers of excellence in legislative representation with renewed commitment.

On his part, asked to comment about his feelings after presenting the award to Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi, His Majesty, Igwe Sir Ralph Obumnemeh Ekpeh(Eze Enugwu-Ukwu na Igwe Umunri), said: “Ozodinobi have made very significant deposits in the account of public good and human development. He has discharged that responsibility creditably. It is such rare competency that have made him to be desired by the people to serve in his enviable capacity as the Member Representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, and this “Meritorious Public Service Award” is a token response to his numerous public goodwill, Ekpeh remarked. He described Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi as a consummate and dedicated Federal Lawmaker whose knowledge, experience and charismatic abilities will help turn around the fortunes of DNA Federal Constituency, and energize the lower arm of the National Assembly. “The award underscores his exemplary service and sterling legacies”, Ekpeh concluded.

One of the major highlights of the event was Lecture presentation by former PDP Governorship Candidate and Frontline Gubernatorial Aspirant currently with the Labour Party (LP), who spoke on “Culture of Continuous Development“.

Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo noted that the topic of the Igbo Essay Competition which was “Strategies to Improve the Speaking, Writing, Reading and Study of Igbo Language in the 21st Century“, was well-conceived, considering that Igbo language is fast deteriorating.

According to him, “the responsibility for ensuring that continuity, falls on the current generation of Ndigbo, the leaders and the led, because if we didn’t, no one else would”. Were that bridge to our past be broken in our time, or at any other time, we would go down in history as the generation that extinguished the torch we inherited from our forebears, he pointed out.

“It demands to be passed on to the next generations, for that is the only passport they will ever need to identify themselves as Umu Igbo”.

Ozigbo corroborated the point made by the earlier Guest Lecturer, Rev. Fr. Dr. F. O. F Onwudufor (Okenye Igbo Niine).

However, noteworthy, is that some guests/invitees(including Teachers, Students, School administrators, Traditional Rulers, Iyoms/Otu Odu), got the opportunity to take pictures besides Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi which must have been most thrilling for them posing next to the ebullient and people-centred Federal lawmaker!

Though there were other invited dignitaries at the event, it is significant to note that the applause that greeted the arrival of the August visitor, Rt. Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi remained the major highlight of the ceremony. He was the cynosure of all eyes at the glamourous event which featured a red carpet reception, welcome song, cultural displays, traditional dances and entertainment displays by some participating schools that graced the educational event.

As with every grand event, all good things must come to an end. This was not an exception! The guests had time to exchange pleasantries, after which, everyone headed home with big smiles on their faces for an afternoon well spent!

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