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Make youths beneficiaries of democratic dividends, Kaigama tells politicians

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The archbishop urged the graduates of the university to shun violence and other forms of criminality to promote a healthy and peaceful society for all Nigerians.

Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja and Chancellor, Godfrey Okoye University (GOUNI), Enugu, has advised political leaders to make the youths beneficiaries of democracy dividends.

Kaigama made the call during the 11th Convocation ceremony of the Godfrey Okoye University, on Saturday in its permanent site at Ugwuomo, in Enugu East Local Government Area.

According to him, I am hopeful that political leaders who won their elections after rigorous campaigns, promising to make life better for Nigerians, would make young people in Nigeria beneficiaries of the dividends of democracy.

“A democracy predicated on fairness, equitable distribution of resources and opportunities without alienating or marginalising anyone or group on account of unhealthy and political calculations,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that GOUNI is a university owned by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu.

The archbishop urged the graduates of the university to shun violence and other forms of criminality to promote a healthy and peaceful society for all Nigerians.

While describing the graduates as intelligent, dynamic and promising, Kaigama urged them to be patient and seek God’s direction in dealing with the challenges that awaited them in the wider society, particularly as they struggled to make ends meet.

He told them that dialogue remained the best way out of every difficult situation and not violence.

“As you leave this university academically equipped, spiritually recharged and morally transformed, I believe the spirit of your Alma Mater, GOUNI, will always motivate, inspire and guide you wherever you find yourselves,” he prayed.

The clergyman added that what distinguished GOUNI was its detribalized nature, saying that its students were admitted from all the states in Nigeria as well as its staff drawn from different parts of the country.

He stressed that the university had created a good setting for the cross-fertilisation of ideas and cultural dialogue which was one core element element of its mission.

In his remarks, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese and proprietor of GOUNI, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, admonished them to be good ambassadors of the university both in character and output.

Onaga said, “I will remember you in my prayers and your parents and guardians must be very proud of you for justifying their years of sacrifice while paying for your studies”.

He explained that the establishment of the College of Medicine with the approval and proper accreditation of the National Universities Commission was one giant and spectacular stride the university had made which was a significant milestone.

The bishop commended the support of the Enugu State Government towards the growth of the university and appealed to Gov. Peter Mbah whom he said had been a pillar of support to the school, for more assistance.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of GOUNI, Prof. Christian Anieke said the institution had undoubtedly produced graduates who were, “incredibly smart, academically and socially intelligent, spiritually sound and emotionally brilliant and ready to conquer and dominate the intellectual space of their world”.

Anieke charged them to be hardworking, disciplined, resilient, balanced in character and learning, revealing a deep understanding of epistemic, religious and cultural dialogues.

“To you my fresh graduates, I send you out into the world with strong confidence in your ability to reveal your GO spirit of resilience in a world of competing gladiators, brilliant criminals and warmongers.

“I send you out into the world with the power of the Holy Spirit to bring light of knowledge and faith to every nook and cranny of the world. I send you out into the world as your Spiritual Father with tremendous blessings,” he said.

He listed some of the achievements of the university since the last convocation to include the commencement of the College of Medicine at the main campus, the conversion of Ntasiobi Ndi N’ Afufu Hospital as its teaching hospital and the establishment of European Business Park in the university.

Others are the establishment of one of the biggest oxygen plants in the southeast, the ranking of GOUNI as third-best Private University in Nigeria and the establishment of DNA Center amongst others.

NAN reports that 404 graduates of the university received their certificates during the convocation.

Out of the number, 12 persons received First Class Honours, 138 Second Class Upper Division, and 220 got Second Class Lower Division certificates.

Also, 34 got Third Class while 46 who graduated from its postgraduate programmes equally received their certificates.

NAN also reports that Miss Somtochukwu Obi, from the Accounting Department, emerged 2023 overall best graduating student of the University.


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