University of Ibadan Alumni Association
Enugu State Branch

THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, UIAA, ENUGU STATE BRANCH

There used to be a Branch of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, UIAA in Enugu, the Coal City prior to 1981. Whatever happened to it is not clear. However, with a meeting hosted by Ichie Osita Okeke at the Hotel Presidential, Enugu on March 8, 1981, the Branch was successfully revived as UIAA, Anambra State Branch.

Consequent upon the resuscitation of the Branch, it took in its stride the following:

  • Making rules and regulations to guide it
  • Highlighting and appreciating the achievements of all alumni (ae)
  • Formal reception of the National Youth Service Corps members posted to the State annually. It is worthy of mention that in 1982, the Association even sent tankers of water to corps members in Enugu residing in areas without drinking water.
  • Contributing to the up-keep of the Alma Mater through specific programmes
  • Getting to know one another better
  • Contributing to the welfare of the State in which it operates
  • Co-operating with other branches and chapters in the country.

The first set of its rules and regulations was ratified in 1983 and printed in 1985 during the tenure of late Mr. Vincent A. Aniago as the Branch Chairman. He took over from Ichie Osita Okeke in 1982, and continued in office till 1989, two terms after the adoption of the constitution. The mantle of leadership then fell on Dr. Emma C. O. Osisioma on March 12, 1989, for two terms. He was succeeded by the late Chief (Sir) Clem Obiadi who in turn was succeeded in March 1997 by Dr. (Mrs.) Marty Nwakoby. From her, the baton passed over in the year 2001 to Dr. Humphrey Ezike who was succeeded by Engr. Laz Mba. Engr Mba then passed the baton to Professor Patrick Eya who in August 2014 handed over to the current Branch Chairman, Sir Sam Umesie. The Branch Secretariat has had the service of Messrs. G. H. Maduekwe, Sam U. Umesie, J. C. Osakwe, Vin Okonkwo and M. O. Ikpeama. Others are, Dr. Chika Vgochukwu, Professor P. E. Eya, Dr. E. C. Onyeka, Engr. Charles Ngene and currently, Engr. Ogunjobi Abiola. The Secretaries almost always represent the Branch along with the Chairman at National Executive Council, NEC- the highest decision making body of the U.I.A.A. at the national level.

The recognition of distinguished alumni (ae) has been a regular feature in the Association right from the very beginning of its new cycle of existence. Active participation in the activities of the Branch as well as excellence in one's chosen career, are necessary qualifications for the conferment of the distinguished alumnus award. It is striking that in the case of Mrs. Flora Nwakuche, both the Branch and Nigeria honoured her in the same year.

At about 1989, the Branch found financial dealings with the National Body very easy. Life Membership was conferred by the National Body for a fee of N350.00. (Three hundred and fifty Naira only). As it exempted Life Members from paying annual dues to the National Body which were usually collected through Branches, nearly all the members of the Branch took up Life Membership. The fee was later increased to N5,000.00 (Five thousand Naira only). The Branch adequately pulled its weight in the various relief programmes of the University. These include the Fire Disaster Relief Fund, the Endowment Fund, the U.I. Almni Centre Development and donation to the University of Ibadan Library. It is therefore, no surprise that Ichie Osita Okeke who was one time Chairman of the Branch, was in 1986 elected to the exalted position of the National President of the University of lbadan Alumni Association. His tenure in that office was a glorious one.

The monthly meeting not only afford the members of the Branch the opportunity for better knowledge of one another, it is a forum for discussion of topical issues. In 1989, a committee of the Branch comprising Professor Anezi Okoro, Dr. Ralph Igwebuike, Dr. A.U. Ndukwe and Dr. Chika Ugochukwu, produced a brilliant and in-depth paper on "The Role of our Universities." It is note-worthy that the Branch advocated the banning of Beauty Contest, Compulsory Sale of Handouts, Cults and Fraternities in Nigerian Universities.

An important feature of the annual activities of the Branch is the Alumni Lecture. The lectures which dwell on burning issues of the day, are carried out by the Branch as a form of public service to the State.

Following the death of the spouse of an alumnus in 1982 at childbirth, the Branch embarked on an extensive campaign for Blood Banks. "Prevention of Future Maternal Death" as it was called, culminated in the donation of a Blood Bank Unit to the Park Lane General Hospital, Enugu. Members donated blood both to the hospital and the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu as part of the campaign.

The UIAA, Anambra State Branch became Enugu State Branch when the new Anambra State was created in 1991. The Awka Chapter was subsequently inaugurated Anambra State Branch by the Enugu State Branch. In 1998, the Branch also inaugurated Abakaliki Chapter as the Ebonyi State Branch. The Branch had solidarity meetings with other branches notably in Port-Harcourt and Owerri as well as at NEC meetings hosted by other branches. The Branch has hosted several NEC meetings.

A major project which the Branch has resolved to embark upon, is the construction of a befitting Alumni Center in Enugu. When completed, the centre which will among other things have an ultra modem auditorium, recreational and lodging accommodation facilities, will serve as a rallying point for alumni not only of the University of Ibadan, but also, of other universities.

At a point in time, the branch started the publication of an in-house newsletter, named "Alumni Watch." Its first editor, was Vin Okonkwo who incidentally represents that core of Branch members who are never far from the centre of the activities of the Branch. They recur in our successive lists of Executive Committee members. They also feature regularly on our ad hoc committee lists.

It is envisaged that with the current efforts at democratization in the country, the UIAA will better play its role as an integrating and uniting force of Nigeria's very varied nationalities. There has always been a conglomeration of nationalities in the Branch.

The Branch has never hesitated to wince at the failings of members whenever such are spotted and honoured the excellence of a member in any field of endeavour. We pray that the Almighty God will continue to guide the Branch with divine inspiration, spiritual and maternal resources.

 

 

 


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