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It was an evening of reunion, glamour, glitz and thrills, when the present-day students of the premier Urhobo College, Efurum, Warri, Delta State and those of yesteryears, recently gathered at the Alvan Ikoku Hall, Radisson Blu, Ikeja, Lagos, to honour Dr. Austin Avwero Eruotor, President, White House Group and others.
Other awardees include Prof. Joseph Abuju, Mr. Ogaga Orovwuje and Barrister Lucky Nengite, as pillars of the Urhobo College Old Students’ Association (UCOSA) and for their uncommon service to humanity.
The well attended event was a threefold in one annual event, tagged ‘The 2018 Annual Dinner, Lecture and Award’.
The event, which was chaired by Chief Oghenekpobo Jonathan Idudu, the Ughegbe of Agban Kingdom, was attended by prominent old students of the institution and their spouses, who have carved a niche for themselves in their various fields of human endeavours.
Some of the eminent men present at the dinner include, Mr. Victor Hammond, Chief E. F. Esisi and Mr. Tajudeen Adegboyega Akande, President Lagos Country Club, who was the guest speaker.
He spoke on the topic “Successful Succession Planning” which he treated professionally well to the admiration of his audience.
In his address, President of the Association’s Lagos Branch, Mr. Igho Okor, expressed his overwhelming excitement on the turn out of the members and called on them to wake up to the clarion call of seeing that the great institution that would turn 70 years on January 24, 2019, having been founded in 1949, takes her rightful place as the admirable and enviable champion it used to be.
He revealed that the 70th anniversary celebration would be used primarily to raise a N100 million to revamp some structures in the school that requires urgent attention.
In a solemn tone, he appealed to the old students to use their positions and engage individuals and corporate bodies that they know that can do something for the college in furtherance of their corporate vision and social responsibility.
Lifting from Okor’s words, chairman of the event, Chief Oghenekpobo Jonathan Idudu, the Ughegbe of Agban Kingdom, told the old students not to rest until they ensure that their alma mater has taken back the championship position she was known for worldwide.
“From the caliber of the men assembled here you can achieve much more than your intent to do if you all direct your energies and pulled your resources together with the quest to achieve the extra ordinary success in the shortest time span.
“It is achievable. Where there is a genuine will, there must surely be a way to actualise one’s dream and Urhobo College, Effurum, Warri should by no means be an exception.”
He emphasised that a school that produced such people like Hon. Justice, Mrs. Roseline Bozimo, immediate past Chief Judge of Delta State and Hon. Justice Gladys Ekperin and others too many to list, who did their Higher School Certificate (HSC) there, should not be left to decay, while she should actually lead the pack of prominent sought after post primary schools in the country.
National President, UCOSA Worldwide, Prof. Chris Ugolo, who spoke through a representative frowned at the neglect and pitiable state of the infrastructures in the college and the living condition of the staff and called on the relevant authorities to collaborate with the students’ association in bringing back the glory of the school for the good of the state and for the betterment of the heritage of the Urhobo nation.
Furthermore, he advised that the anniversary celebration committee should focus more on raising funds for the purpose of rebuilding the dilapidated buildings in the school. This he said should be given an urgent attention.
The speeches were punctuated with soul lifting music and comedy performed ostensible by Emma Sax and the ace comedian Micky Mouse, who came all the way from Warri, to add flavour to the occasion.
The old students rekindled their good days at the college as they sang and danced to various songs, behaving like very young adults to the bafflement of the guests and their spouses and children.
The awardees who were rewarded for their support of the body in Lagos stepped out one after the other to receive their awards. They were honoured for their valuable and uncommon commitment and immense contributions to the activities of UCOSA, Lagos Branch and beyond.
Immediate past President of the body worldwide, Chief E. F. Esisi, presenting the certificate and plague to Eruotor on behalf of the body said rewarding and recognising him for what he has done is encouraging him to do more and inviting him to always stand up to the occasion when there is a genuine opportunity to do so.
He mentioned that for Eruotor to be chosen as a UN Global Peace Ambassador, an honour given to very distinguished and well tested select few, was well-deserved. He therefore called for him to do more.
Eruotor who was awarded a honourable doctorate degree-Doctor of Philosophy, Business Administration, by the reputable Pacific Western University, Denver, Sate of Colorado, USA, spoke on behalf of the award recipients.
He said his passion for excellence, hard work, innovation, versatility and astute interest and zeal for knowledge and capacity that is of added value to the larger society, endeared and motivated his induction into the famous London Institute of Banking as member.
“For a body like UCOSA with very highly placed people in different spheres of life and well recognisable eminent and erudite international scholars as members, to choose to honour us, especially in Lagos, Nigeria’s center of excellence, is a way of humbling us. It also means more responsibilities like Chief Esisi, the elder statesman mentioned earlier,” he said.
He added that with his little knowledge, he believed that, for every soul on earth there is a designed divine purpose to be of immense benefit to humanity.
He said charity and good works is not only meant for the so called rich, adding that every person no matter on which societal strata he or she is, has contribution to make for the good of the larger human society.
He called on the millennia generation to be focused, patient and direct their vibrant energies positively and shun vices that are the surest way to doom, not only for the individual involved but their immediate family and the global human society.
In his very short closing remark, Chief Mudiaga Okumagba, a member of the Organising Committee, thanked the Pillars and members of UCOSA and reminded them that all is expected to wake up to the task, for there is too much work to be done.