In the words of a multi-talented Nigerian Scholar, Director and Authority in Linguistics & Igbo Language, Professor Ogbonna Onuoha, “Foresight is like a pregnancy; only time reveals it. It is a most ignored attribute of leadership. But a leader without foresight is blind in one eye”.
Throughout history, great leaders have often complained about the likely injuries which a lack of foresight might bring. Angered by the slippery nature of foresight, the great French revolutionary and statesman, Napoleone Buonaparte, once observed that, “forethought, we may have, undoubtedly; but not foresight.” Not many people understand the elusive nature of foresight as Napoleone Buonaparte.
Indeed, foresight is a crucial gift of a great leader. The founding fathers; the great Zik, Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello all demonstrated remarkable foresight which can be seen in the legacies they left behind. The landscape of the old Eastern Region bears the indelible marks of Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara and Chief Jaja Aunucha Wachuku. These men were farsighted leaders who could see beyond their noses. The decline in our society today is partly because we have fewer leaders who are gifted with foresight.
Hitherto, Professor Uchenna Eleazer Ikonne, has been in the eye of the storm in recent times for showing impressive foresight. In fact, some people would like to see him hanged for doing exactly what many historic leaders have done – stand aside from the sea of misguided emotion and predict the future!
Since assumption of office as Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Uche Ikonne has not hidden his determination to ensure total development and transformation of Abia State University, particularly the alumni network of the institution.
In his blueprint titled “My Mandate: Our Story must Change”, Professor Ikonne briefly but clearly outlined the vision, mission and strategies of his administration towards the alumni of the University. This encapsulates the direction and goals of his administration as well as the specific steps to be taken for the actualization of a formidable Alumni Association.
Today, it is imperative to note that the alumni association of the University has received a formidable support from the incumbent administration of the University, which has in return placed the activities of the association on a smooth sail.
According to the Vice Chancellor, “University alumni associations can be invaluable as a coaching network that significantly enhances the employability of future graduates”.
The renovation and furnishing of over 4 departmental libraries and conference rooms; donation of books, hospital and laboratory equipment, endowment of awards and prices for best graduating student in various discipline by the alumni of the institution, practically justifies the above mentioned quote of our eminent Vice Chancellor.
Similarly, the ongoing construction of a 20-bedroom ABSU-ALUMNI Guest House; the ongoing construction of ultra Postgraduate Hostel, as well as a donation of 94 (Ninety-Four) sets of modern all-in-one computers are positive results yielding from the Professor Ikonne alumini drive.
His e-administration initiative, which changed the administrative paradigm of the university from analog to digital system, contributed immensely in uniting the alumni, as it created a platform for easy communication to members of alumni and the university, as it well as quick assistance to them in getting their academic transcript, certificates and other related enquires from the university within the hour.
In the testimony of the 24th Convocation Inaugural lecturer and the first aluminus of Abia State University to attain the height of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) J.U.K Igwe, “We are very proud of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor for transforming our alma-mata. The great ABSU-Alumni family has been relatively successful, as the association is tied to the umbilical cord of a great Alma-Mata, whose motto is Excellence and Service”.
At this Juncture, it is therefore wise to salute our eminent scholar in Governance, the doer of deeds and a victor who wins the night and still conquers the day; Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Ph.D., for his unwavering support to the university and for approving November 30, 2019 for the maiden alumni convocation ceremony of the University.
The maiden edition of Abia State University alumni convocation is indeed a product of foresight as it is the first of its kind in the history of the university.
Come Saturday 30th November 2019, the University will again roll out its drums to celebrate yet another milestone of foresight with the conferment of honorary doctorate degrees on distinguished alumni members namely: Hon. Chief Barr. Umeh Kalu, SAN; Mrs Adaobi Nwapa; Dr. Chinedu Umeadi; & Dr. Chukwuemeka E. Orji.
On that note, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor E. Uche Ikonne, with the consent of the Governor and Visitor to the University, respectfully invites members of the Academia, Government functionaries, Judiciary, Chairman & cabinet of the state traditional council, friends and alumni in particular to this land-mark ceremony.
Welcome to Abia State University!