The Enugu State Government has renovated the old premier lodge, the former residence of the great Zik of Africa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and furnished it with personal effects of the legend; the Nnamdi Azikiwe Centre.
Inaugurating the Centre on Friday, Governor Ugwuanyi disclosed that the multi-purpose monument was developed by his administration to immortalize, propagate and perpetuate the leadership ethos, patriotic ideals, and scholarly insights of the legend, the Nigerian statesman, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
In his speech, the governor said the legacies of Zik of Africa are worth preserving hence this project; the Nnamdi Azikiwe Centre is a museum for the legend’s personal items, pictures, quotes, poems, letters, speeches, articles, and tributes.
Explaining further on the concept of the Centre, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu state and son of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Uwakwe reveals, “The Centre will mostly focus on being an exhibition of his life, showcasing his leadership qualities, make his works available to researchers, organize sponsored scholarly awards such as essay competitions and be involved in media releases such as documentaries, movies, etc.”
Uwakwe’s mother and wife of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Prof. Mrs. Uche Azikiwe commended the state Governor Ugwuanyi for keeping his promise to renovate Zik’s lodge in Enugu and make it a tourist Centre of attraction.
Prof. Uche revealed that Gov. Ugwuanyi made the promise in year 2016 when he visited the Onuiyi residence of the Great Zik of Africa in Nsukka.
Personalities present at the event spoke highly of Azikiwe, highlighting his achievements and legacies and the need to preserve his rich heritage at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Centre.
A royal father of the late Premier’s town, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Achebe, applauding the Centre said, “Young people could come here and appreciate the efforts of our leaders past, their philosophies, their leadership principles, and their sense of humility and emulate same.”
Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, GCFR, also known as Zik of Africa was a Nigerian statesman and political leader who served as the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966.
In 1937, Azikiwe founded the West African Pilot, a newspaper which he used to promote nationalism in Nigeria. The then West African Pilot’s motto was “Show the light and the people will find the way”.”
The defunct newspaper was however resuscitated in the year 2020 by two Professors from the School of Communication, Texas Southern University Professor Chris Chinweuba Ulasi and Dr. Anthony Obi Ogbo;
The West African Pilot News is structured as a political, community, and business-focused, English-language international news site based in Houston, Texas, United States targeting news and events in Sub-Saharan Africa with emphasis on Nigeria.
Dignitaries at the event; The Deputy Governor of the State, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo; the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, the former Deputy Governor of the State, Ezenwata Okechukwu Itanyi; the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe; wife of the former Premier of the Eastern Region and first President of Nigeria- Dame Prof Uche Azikiwe, former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Dr. Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, former Nigerian Ambassador to Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Amb. Justina Eze, and Chief Maxi Ukuta
Others include the Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Enugu Diocese (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma; the Anglican Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Agbo; the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Enugu State Chapter, Rev. Emmanuel Edeh, the Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, other members of the State Executive Council (EXCO), the Director General, the PDP Campaign Organisation, and Chief Ikeje Asogwa, among others.
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