THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
SENATOR ANYIM PIUS ANYIM, GCON
MICHAEL OKPARA UNIVERSITY OF
THIS DAY, APRIL 20, 2002.
It is with a deep sense of humility that I stand before you today. Indeed, I am deeply honoured to be part of this occasion being the first convocation of this young and promising University. Much more, I am humbled by this award and by the kind and glowing words of the Vice Chancellor.
My dear Vice Chancellor, I thank you very much. Let me stress here that this is not the first time I am being offered such an honorary degree or chieftaincy title for that matter. But I have always declined such offers. This however, is not the case with this award essentially because of three key reasons.
First is my reverence for Dr. Michael Okpara after whom the University was named. Second is the impressive academic profile of this university and third is the high esteem in which I hold the Governing Council.
And in accepting this award, I have reflected on the state of education in our great country. Each time I retrospect on the past, each time I appraise the present, and ponder on the future of education, I shudder at the unfortunate reality that the standard of education has indeed fallen.
But I am also challenged by the fact that not the white man, not the colonial masters, not even an assembly of expatriates, but ourselves, can help shore up this standard. And this is the challenge I am throwing back at all of us here today. It is true that a convocation occasion like this calls for merriment and celebration. Yet, while we clink glasses and dine with friends, families and well-wishers, we must rethink the past to chart a new course for the future of education in the country.
No doubt, education is the bedrock of development of any nation. It is the most effective instrument for the pursuit of knowledge and moulding of character. Therefore, we must not, for any reason whatsoever, abdicate the running of our institutions of higher learning to the vagaries of vices like cultism and countless anti-social behaviours.