Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra State has described himself as a desperate man. He said he was not desperate for political office, wealth, fame or any of those things he described as “fleeting attributes of being”, rather he said that he was desperately searching for Anambra people that are stars in their fields and therefore worthy to be celebrated and presented to the youth as role models to emulate . He was speaking at the Princess Alexandria Auditorium of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, yesterday during the presentation of the 100,000 dollars Liquidified Natural Gas Nigerian Prize for Literature, to the Anambra winner, Chuika Unigwe, who is based in Belgium.
Obi said it was painful to see Nigerians celebrate vanity and see those who should ordinarily hide their faces in shame prancing about all over the place. He said it was about time Nigerians started thinking about greatness and that the one sure way to do this is by celebrating men of worth such as Chika.
Obi who reeled out names of many Anambrarians that have set records in various fields, said that he would continue to desperately look for such people for honour and recognition. “The world is made a better place by the exploits of great men and not by the noise of those who, having met wealth suddenly, think about life in terms of tonnes of money one is able to make by fair or foul means.
“Because I was not in town, I sent the Secretary to the State Government to represent me at the last Convocation ceremony of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The most cheering news he brought back was the fact that an Anambra person was the overall best graduating student. I have established contacts with his parents, we shall support her search for knowledge in any part of the world,” Obi said. He challenged others that are yearning for honour and recognition, to do the State proud by being best in their fields.
In his welcome speech, the Managing Director of Nigeria LNG LTD, Mr. Babs Omotowa said that the company was sponsoring the prize because “literacy and numeracy skills are the bedrock of progress and prosperity in the modern world.” He congratulated Chika for the exploits.
Chika who has published short fiction in several anthologies, journals and magazines has also written many novels both in English and Dutch. His award winning book is entitled: “On Black Sister’s Street.” The book, according to the panellists was chosen because of quality of editing and production, relevance to the Nigerian situation, vivid presentation of character and plot and the good use of language.
Let’s put it this way. Chika is from the same state as Chimamanda, Cyprain Ekwensi, Prof. Ike and Chinua Achebe etc. They have nothing in common with militants, BH, kidnappers, armed robbers, conmen, 419 and fake drugs.