The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment in Anambra state, Mr. C. Don Adinuba has described the late founder and Chancellor of the Tansian University, Umunya in Oyi Local Government Area of the state, Rev. Monsignor Professor JohnBosco Akam as an exemplary son of the state even as he described his death as a sad development.
Adinuba who expressed his sadness over the demise of the Monsignor in a statement in Awka on Monday stated that the late priest loved God with all his being, hence his decision to leave all the glamour and enticements of life and society and joined the seminary to train as a priest, with vows of obedience, chastity and poverty.
The Commissioner observed that he must have done so well in his priestly duties that in no time, he was appointed a papal chamberlain.
He pointed out that late Monsignor Akam, 73, was a formidable scholar, philosopher and theologian who spoke six international languages fluently.
According to him, “After a brilliant career abroad, he returned to his beloved Anambra State and used his enormous social capital to initiate a foundation which has now trained some 2,000 indigent pupils and students from primary school to university. He was to spearhead the building of a private university which began at Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area before moving to its permanent site at Umunya.
“Msgr. Akam remains an exemplar of the philosophy of Aku Lue Uno or Think Home. He could have set up the university outside the state for quicker return on investment, but he chose Anambra State as the site. He could have named the institution for any foreign icon, including his patron saint, but he elected to name it after Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, a worthy son of Anambra State who in 1996 became the first West African to be beatified in the church.
“Msgr. Akam’s achievement is a bold challenge to a lot of Anambra indigenes. Though not a man of means, this priest was able to mobilize funds big enough to build and run a modern university in record time. Tansian University has contributed significantly to the educational growth of the state and its general socioeconomic well-being.”
He recalled that there were a number of Anambra indigenes who could build universities and other educational institutions in the state, but had, unfortunately, been spending their resources on less productive ventures, especially politics adding that “the ten billion naira (N10bn) which a prominent businessman from the state claims to have frittered in an attempt to install his candidate in 2017 as the state governor could have been used to build a secondary school of international standard as well as a university of distinction.”
He noted that “This is what Chief Afe Babaloola, a foremost lawyer, has done in his home state of Ekiti, one of the poorest states in the federation” even as he maintained that “Afe Babaloola University is one of the top and most expensive private universities in Nigeria” with a good number of its students coming from Anambra State.
The Commissioner continued, “As a gubernatorial election will be held in Anambra State in November, enormous amounts of money are being gathered by so-called money bags to enable certain aspirants to contest as their stooges. These people should learn from the examples of Chief Babaloola and, of course, Monsignor Akam by utilizing their resources to work for the public good rather than for personal aggrandizement which will mortgage our state.
“Anambra has in the last few years emerged the most educationally advanced state in the country. This is in line with the present administration’s vision to make it the centre of Nigeria’s education as Massachusetts or California is to the United States.
“Msgr. Akam contributed immeasurably to the state’s educational competitiveness, a fact which Governor Willie Obiano recognized in his condolence message to the Bishop of Ekwulobia, Most Reverend Dr. Peter Okpalaeke, immediately the governor heard of Msgr. Akam’s passage on February 5, 2021. Msgr. Akam’s place in our history is assured. May God reward him in Heaven.
Photo: Late founder and Chancellor, Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra state, Rev. Msgr. JohnBosco Akam.
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