Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Nineteen students graduated with 1st class honours Friday as the Abia State University Uturu, graduated 3,757 students at its 29th convocation ceremony.
The overall Best Graduating Student, who also was the best in Law Faculty, Miss Oluomachi Agbazuere, daughter of a Constitutional lawyer and former Information Commissioner, Professor Anthony Agbazuere, won her father’s Best Graduating Student award prize of N500,000.
She made a total of 4.75 Cumulative Grade Point Aggregate, CGPA.
Professor Agbazuere is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, House of Representatives candidate for Isiala Ngwa North/Isiala Ngwa South federal constituency.
Chukwubueze Praise Madumere, Computer Science, came next with 4.71 CGPA.
Similarly, Chioma Miracle Peters, Linguistics and Communication Studies/Igbo, made 4.69 CGPA.
Chiazokam Emeh, Optometry; and Peace Nlemoha, Animal Science & Fisheries; made 4.64 CGPA, and 4.59 CGPA, respectively.
Promise Nwosu, and Alex Ojunta, respectively made seven distinctions in Medicine & Surgery.
The distribution of the graduands shows as follows: Doctor of Philosophy – 77; Masters – 138; and Post Graduate Diploma -77.
Others were Second Class Upper Division – 1,160; Second Class Lower Division – 2,004; Third Class honours- 110; and Pass level- 3.
Former Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Ogwo. E. Ogwo, was at the event conferred with Professor Emeritus of the university.
Similarly, Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was conferred with the Doctor of Public Administration (Honoris Causa); while a legal luminary, Mike Ozekhome, was conferred with Doctor of Law ( Honoris Causa).
Three other eminent Nigerians including Chief Reginald Stanley, Mrs Folurunsho Alakija, and Chief Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuade, were respectively conferred with Doctor of Philosophy ( Honoris Causa).
In his address, Vice Chancellor, Professor Onyemachi Ogbolu, commended the graduands for their academic excellence, and charged them to be worthy ambassadors of the university.
The Vice Chancellor announced automatic employment for the Best Graduating Student, Miss Agbazuere.
He identified the restoration of industrial peace and harmony in the university as the hallmark of his administration.
The Vice Chancellor also enumerated some of the key achievements to include: 300-bed new hostel block for College of Medicine; upgrading of the Umuahia campus of the university and energization of 500KVA transformer at the campus plus award of 5.5 kilometer road project in the university by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency ( FERMA).
Others include successful accreditation of 27 programmes in the university even as he expressed optimism that very soon the de-accredited medical college of the university would be re-accredited.
The Vice Chancellor hinted that arrangements were in advance stage for the introduction of new programmes such as Aeronautical Studies and Aviation; Insurance and Risk Management; Hospitality Management and Tourism; Bio-Medical Engineering; Geology; Dentistry and Geo-physics.
In his address, Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, identified lack of funds as the greatest challenge of education in Nigeria.
He commended the Management of ABSU for its giant strides in the education sector.
In his remarks, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu represented by his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, promised the continued support of the State Government to ABSU, and the entire education sector.
He commended the university administration for its remarkable footprints in the academic world, and charged the graduands to distinguish themselves in their various fields of endeavour.
One of the doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) graduands, was the immediate-past Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Abia State chapter, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, a Consultant Nephrologist.
In her graduation speech, Miss Agbazuere thanked God for the grace to emerge the overall Best Graduating Student.
She acknowledged the un-qualifiable encouragement by her late mother, the late Mrs Onyinyechi Agbazuere, and her father who she said had been her role model.
She dedicated the award to God and promised not to let down the university, her family and state.