… Amb Clark, JP Clark, Peter Enahoro, Itse Sagay, Festus Keyamo, Olisa Agbakoba and others get Leading Light Award in humanities
Government College Ughelli Old Boys Association (GCUOBA) will mark the Platinum Anniversary (75 Years) of the school on its Founder’s Day Reunion and Annual General Meeting (AGM) holding at the College premises on Wednesday, 15th January 2020 in Ughelli, Delta State.
At a press conference held in Yaba, Lagos on Thursday, 9th January, 2020, the President General WorldWide of Government College Ughelli Old Boys Association, Arc. Charles Majoroh, said the Old Boys were very proud of their heritage.
The products of the school over the last 75 years include top diplomats, public administrators, corporate titans, leaders in various professions and academics, but Arc Majoroh regretted the quality of teaching and learning at the school in recent years, which he says the old boys association has taken up as a challenge.
According to him, the neglect of the school by the government for many years forced the Old Boys to deploy resources to restore the facilities at the school, adding that virtually all the student hostels, classrooms, laboratories, library, administrative block and recreational facilities have been restored and in some cases upgraded.
In furtherance of the restoration project, the Class of 1970, which will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee anniversary of admission to GCU, has renovated the School Assembly Hall, one of the projects to be inaugurated at the Platinum Anniversary Celebrations.
Arc Majoroh who was flanked by Mr Roy Odoko, Secretary General of GCUOBA Worldwide; and Mr Obed Awowede, National Publicity Secretary of the Association; said the Old Boys Association is committed to ‘restoring the lost glories of the school to ensure a good place for current and future students to learn.’
However, he was critical of the admission process into public schools, which he said has lowered standards and encouraged examination malpractices.
The Leading Lights recipients are 13 old boys across the generations who have made their mark in the humanities:
- Ambassador B.A. Clark (Class of 1947), Nigeria’s one-time Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Chairman of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid
- Professor (Emeritus) John Pepper Clark (Class of 1948), a leading African literary personality with global recognition who has been described as the “the most lyrical of Nigerian poets, whose poetry celebrates the physical landscape of Africa.” During his time at Ughelli, he had the reputation of having read every novel in the school library, of which he was prefect. Impressed, the principal was compelled to buy him some more books.
- Peter Enahoro – also known as Peter Pan (Class of 1948): Famous for his wit and wry humour, he is perhaps Africa’s best-known international journalist.
- Prince Sam Amuka Pemu – also known as Sad Sam (Class of 1949): Veteran journalist, publisher and founder of the Vanguard
- (Posthumous) Professor Festus Ikhuoria Iyayi (HSC Class of 1967): He was an extremely versatile academic who wore many caps: award-winning novelist, outstanding academic and trade union activist.
- Professor Obaro Ikime (Class of 1950): A distinguished academic and an outstanding historian who was visiting professor at the Departments of History at University of California and Harvard University in 1975.
- Professor (Emeritus) Egerton E. Uvieghara (Class of 1951): A former Commissioner at the Nigeria Law Reform Commission.
- Professor Itse Esanjuwa Sagay san. (Class of 1954) who is currently the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC).
- Olisa Agbakoba san (HSC Class of 1973): Founder of the non-governmental organisation in advocacy and law, Human Rights Law Services, he was named the 2006 ’FRA Williams Legal Practitioner of the Year.’ An outstanding legal mind.
- Albert Akpomudje san (Class of 1969): A distinguished legal practitioner and life bencher.
- Charles Edosomwan san (Class of 1973): A distinguished legal practitioner.
- Festus Keyamo san (Class of 1981): A distinguished legal practitioner who is currently the Minister of State for Labour.
The well-deserved twelve awardees are honoured to reinforce the Old School value of rewarding excellence. The Platinum Anniversary of GCU provides a great opportunity for score-keeping and sober reflection. According to the Old Boys, it is vital that “the Old School sustains the tradition of producing great minds that go on to positively impact the larger society and the world in the years and decades ahead.”
Government College Ughelli was founded on 17th January, 1945. The Old Boys association’s Constitution stipulates that the Founder’s Day celebration should be on a Wednesday nearest to 17th January for administrative convenience.