Appraising Prof IKONNE’S Humanitarian Services By Ahamefula Israel

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“Service”, according to Eldon Tanner,” is the rent we pay for living on earth”. Some scriptures emphasize the need for us to render humanitarian services:” Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’ —when you already have it with you. — Proverbs 3:27-28; “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done”. — Proverbs 19:17.

The Vice Chancellor , Abia State University, Professor E. Uche Ikonne has observed these admonitions religiously by rendering numerous humanitarian services to the less privileged and the needy.

Prof., ọ ga idrigi la’nma!!! Prof. ọ ga idrigi la’nma!!! {Prof. it must be well with you!!! Prof. it must be well with you!!!} The elderly woman standing next to me who is popularly called Da Nwakisi blurted out in a joyful mood that had a slight tinge of stubbornness in it.

I turned to her and asked in my Ngwa dialect, ‘mama isi?’ {Mama what did you say?}, after a few seconds, she turned and responded “Nwam I gaghi aghota”{ My son you will not understand} .

Then, a somewhat joyful silence fell on me as I watched Professor Ikonne, embark on his annual distribution of Rice (bags), salt, fertilizers, farm implements, cloths, scholarship etc. to his people ( Agburuike Grassroot)

“Anyi ahubeghi nke a mbu oh, onye l’adighi ihe ọ dọwa” {we’ve not seen this before, a man that is not aspiring for any political position} another woman, this time middle-aged continued with a wistful look on her face as she obviously reminisced on the few years gone by.

Agburuike-Nsulu like some other rural communities in the state have been neglected for the best part of the last 16 years {they got Electric power, Rural grading, Community Health Center, Renovation of some school building, as well as other Government and Non-Government attention, courtesy of Professor Ikonne}.

The coming of Professor Ikonne’s humanitarian services to his people can be likened to a ray of light in a very dark night, a dose of hope when hope has been lost and a cure for what has so far looked incurable.
Professor Ikonne’s philanthropic gestures are not restricted to his people alone. His scholarship scheme, Agricultural Empowerment Programme, Human and Capacity building has positively changed the lives of many families across board including my humble self.

As I look to the future of my state (Abia) and Nigeria at large, the presence of Professor Ikonne’s philanthropic gesture has indeed renewed my hope for a better tomorrow.

Indeed, his humanitarian gestures are sending strong signals to other well-to-do Abians and Nigeria at large to invest in humanity.
There is a popular saying that touches on the need for a man to be praised when he has done well as it will inspire him to do more.
So I am joining my voice to the swelling number of genuine praise singers to say Professor Ikonne, it must be well with you…..

Ahamefula Israel, a beauracrat,sent in this piece from Uturu. e-mail:anyameleisrael@gmail.com.


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