All was set and ready for the first public outing of the Peter Nwomeh Foundation since it was launched on 26th December, 2014. Venue was the WAEC Hall of Ozalla High School, Ozalla. Time was 9 am, though the event started effectively at about 10.30 am. The emcee of the event was Barr. Andy Nwani.
The programme commenced with a beautiful session of praise and worship led by the keyboardist. The programme formally began with an opening prayer. This was quickly followed by an opening/welcome address by the PNF Scholarship Committee Chairman, Pharm. Cy Aninwike, who is also a Trustee of the Foundation. Thereafter, the programme Acting Chairman, Dr Maxwell Ngene, who stood in for the Chairman, Frank Nweke II, the former Minister, who was being expected from Abuja, gave an opening address, and the programme kicked off in earnest.
The first talk, “Choosing your career path”, was taken by Dr Chris Ngwu, the Head of Department of Mass Communication at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). He gave a succinct, precise and engaging lecture garnished with relevant stories and testimonies to drive his points home. The students and participants were thrilled.
Next was the unveiling of the Foundation’s maiden scholarship award. Just as the Scholarship Committee was losing hope of getting a qualified applicant for the scholarship award already instituted by the Foundation, the committee was presented with the compelling case of a student of Mathematics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who was struggling financially. After due screening, the young man who is a 300 level student was found to have met the prescribed minimum academic performance approved for bonafide students for the maiden scholarship award. He was at the workshop to receive it.
Mrs Angela Oguh, a Trustee of the Foundation unveiled the scholarship award after B. C. Ugwu, another Trustee, had introduced the recipient – Mr Chukwunonso Samuel Okafor – who is from Umunnebe in Obeagwu-Ozalla. It was to the greatest delight of, and applause by the participants that the award cheque was presented to the awardee. The mood in the hall took a turn for the emotional when the recipient told his story, expressing appreciation to God, and the Foundation for the rare, but glorious opportunity of the award. He was virtually in tears as he spoke, and many of the participants, from the high table to the students fought back the tears that were swelling up in their eyes. It was a real highpoint in the programme, and one that further announced the reality and relevance of the Peter Nwomeh Foundation Scholarship Scheme.
The second talk – a motivational talk titled “Be the Best in All You Do” – was expertly and professionally handled with drama and demonstrations by Mrs Chinelo Udeh, a seasoned career/guidance counselor and former Member 1 of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (EN-SUBEB). She was so loaded that the time allotted to her was barely enough for full delivery. She kept the participants active and participatory.
The third talk, “Key Success Factors”, was taken by a young motivational speaker, Mr Ephraim Chukwuma Okenwa. He was the only one that employed Power Point projection in his presentation. His presentation was very captivating, and the application of Power Point made the students have a sense of a true lecture as they were taking notes copiously with writing materials provided by the Foundation. While the second talk was going on, the Chairman, Frank Nweke II arrived, and was received with a standing ovation. He elected that the programme should continue seamlessly, so that he will deliver his speech after the third talk. He did, captivatingly!
He addressed the participants, especially the students, telling the story of the 11-year old boy that was dropped off at the gate of the Federal Government College, Maiduguri in 1977, and left in 1982; only to return 22 years later, with the principal, staff and students, lined up to welcome a Minister of the Federal Republic. He then began to admonish them in various ways, ultimately referring to them as “Your Excellencies”, saying that there could be Governors seated amongst them; Senators, Members of the House, Ministers, Commissioners, Eminent Jurists, etc. It was a thunderous delivery that set an unquenchable spark in the hall. One could literally see high aspirations on the faces of the young men and women. Again, he received a standing ovation for his fluent motivational speech.
Next was the Interactive/Question and Answer Session which was eloquently handled by Dr. Maxwell Ngene, senior lecturer at the Renaissance University, Ugbawka, Enugu State, after succinctly highlighting the key lessons of the previous presentations. Suffice it to say that there were so many questions that could not all be attended to within the time frame available, but most were adequately treated by the speakers and others present, including members of the PNF Scholarship Committee and other Special Guests, especially Dr. Uchenna Agu, Senior Lecturer/Consultant Gynecologist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, and Dr. Caroline Chika, zonal head of the Enugu State Post Primary School Management Board (PPSMB).
The vote of thanks was handled by Dan Nwomeh, Secretary/Trustee of the Foundation, who also announced some donations that were made that day to the Foundation. These were the sum of Fifty Thousand Naira (#50,000) each from Barr. Obi Kamanu and Chief Okey Aninweke (Usonkwu n’Ozalla), both Consultative Council members of the Foundation. Also, Barr. Kamanu donated another Fifty Thousand Naira (#50,000) to the host school for its ongoing fencing project. Nwomeh praised the Chairman, and the Acting Chairman for their exemplary commitment. He also appreciated the workshop Guest Speakers for the inspiring delivery. The students/participants were specially applauded for their good and civil conduct, keen interest and participation through the duration of the programme. Refreshments were severed on the participants and guests.
Other key guests at the workshop were all the members of the PNF Scholarship Committee; Pharm. Cyril Aninwike (Chairman), Mrs. Angela Oguh (Secretary), three senior university lecturers, namely Dr. Arc. Engr. Augustine Nwagbara, Mr. B. C. Ugwu, and Engr. Chinweuba Udeh, a school principal, Mr. Cammy Onyia, and Mr. Dan Nwomeh. Also present were ACP Sam Oguh (rtd), Ms Alice Onyia and Engr George Chukwuani (Consultative Council members). There were also Chief Boniface Udeh (Onwa); Ozalla Forum members including Uchenna Onyeani (Tallest), Sunday Ani and Clinton Nwomeh; teachers, Youth Corps members, the students (over 200 in number), and other school leavers.
The programme later featured in the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) FM station 96.1 news by 6 am, 3.30 pm and 6 pm on 7th July, 2016.
- Pharm. Aninwike is the Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of PNF and writes from Enugu