By Athan Agbakwuru, Owerri
The Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Imo State Council at the weekend joined millions of good spirited Nigerians to celebrate Engr, Dr Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Iwuanyanwu, as he joined the club of octogenarians.
The chapel led by Comrade Chris Njoku organized a high-powered public lecture in honour of Chief Iwuanyanwu who is the publisher of Champion and the National Post Newspapers and Special Grand Patron of NUJ.
The epochal event which held at the Imo Concorde Hotel, Owerri attracted dignitaries from across the country with former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as the Chairman of the occasion.
Also present at the public lecture were representatives of major sociocultural organizations like Ohanaeze, Afenifere, PANDEF, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum as well as leadership of major political parties in the country.
In an address of welcome, Comrade Njoku, the Chapel chairman described Dr Iwuanyanwu as a living quintessential legend whose humility and love for Ndígbo and humanity is unparalleled.
Emphasizing that the task as journalists members of the Forth Estate of the Realm and the watchdog of the society is largely challenging, Njoku remarked that Chief Iwuanyanwu has for long been a major pillar of support for media practitioners in the state and country at large.
His words, “Interestingly, here in the state, there appears to be a radical departure from this sordid environment as a prominent illustrious son of the state, out of sustained empathy, introspection, fatherly care and love, stoutly unquenchable keen, dire interest has taken the bull by the horns to continually encourage and motivate journalists in the practice of their noble profession.
“For us in the Correspondents’ Chapel, today’s ceremony is therefore simply to say a ‘BIG THANK YOU’ to a most worthy, exemplary father, outstanding patriot of all times, extraordinary philanthropist, entrepreneural giant, untiring mentor to the younger generation, grassroots rallying point, roundly accomplished Legend, engineer, scientist and inventor, ageless bridge builder, cerebral seasoned technocrat, a visionary, intuitively resourceful and dynamic leader and nationalist, indefatigable defender of the Igbo race, zealous liberator and defender of the defenceless and above all, the apostle of equity, justice and fairness in the guest for true federalism in Nigeria.
“Without indulging in any form of embellishments, puffery or exaggeration, it is unassailably clear to all that Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo has over the years emerged as the quintessential icon of national integration and unity, effective and result-oriented professionalism in media practice and a proponent of youths and women empowerment through his pet project, the Iwuanyanwu Foundation.
“As a successful publisher and business mogul who has mentored many people and has touched the lives of many the poor and the downtrodden, we, the members of the Correspondents’ Chapel are at a better position to speak on the immeasurable, inestimable, illimitable and imponderable contributions of Chief Engr. EC Iwuanyanwu Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo towards the growth and promotion of journalism practice in the state and the nation at large.
“Indeed, enumerating the input of this Iroko of our time, this Icon of societal transformation this epicenter of human capital development whose magnanimity, generosity, goodwill and care knows no bounds, will amount to attempting to count the sands of the Sahara Desert which is quiet impossible.
Commenting on the lecture topic for the birthday ceremony, “Igbo Quest for Nigeria’s Unity,” the chapel chairman added, “the exemplary pioneering role of Chief Iwuanyanwu in seeking and finding a lasting solution to the Igbo question in the Nigeria Project cannot be overemphasized. I therefore urge other Igbo leaders to emulate the sterling leadership qualities of this epitome of human development and emancipation of the less privileged majority.”