Otolo Nnewi (Nnewi North LGA)-Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture and Tourism, Dr Christian Madubuko says Easterners have contributed more to what Nigeria is today.
Dr Madubuko said this when he visited Nwafor Orizu Library, Museum and Archive with his entourage at Otolo, Nnewi.
The commissioner noted that Abyssinia Akwaeke Nwafor Orizu, the second Senate President of Nigeria, who the facility was named after was among the nationalists, who fought the British for the independence of Nigeria alongside the likes Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“I am a student of history and I have read a lot of Nwafor Orizu’s books and his contributions toward the independence of Nigeria.
“The history of nationalism in Nigeria cannot be complete without the mention of Nwafor Orizu taking an appreciable portion of it.
“I am highly impressed to be here but also depressed that this place seems abandoned by Ndi Anambra and the government, who are supposed to promote his past deeds,’’ he said.
Commissioner notes: “In America for example, before one gains admission into a university, he or she must be a student of history and have knowledge of American history.
“This has made every American patriotic, while our problem here in Nigeria; we do not appear to know where we have come from.
“I will inform Gov. Willie Obiano about this place and when schools resume, we can get our students to come here on an excursion.
“We must do our best to promote what he left behind.’’
Health Librarian, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr Uju Nwafor-Orizu, daughter of Nwafor Orizu accorded warm reception to the commissioner and his entourage for visiting their premises.
She noted that her father contributed a lot to Nigeria’s Independence.
“My father worked at the state level, House of Assembly, Senate, before he became the 2nd Senate President of Nigeria.
“His greatest yearning is for Nigeria to be free from Colonial rule, which made him to fight the British Government alongside the likes of Azikiwe and Awolowo.
“He introduced American pattern of education when he came back from America, which was different from the British way of learning, making him a threat to the British.
“His motto was: “to educate the mind is to liberate it’’, and this made him to train some Nigerians, Ghanaians and Cameroonians abroad on a scholarship scheme.’’
Dr Nwafor Orizu noted that her father was held behind bars for four years by the British government in order to frustrate his fight for Nigerian independence.
She appealed to the state government to assist them in providing chemicals that will help preserve their father’s achievements to prevent them from decay.
“We meant to manage this place and a lot of things here are crying for better preservation, government attention and help.’’
She then showed the visiting team the achievements of her father which includes old model vehicles, musical organ, bicycle, briefcase, library and typewriter.
The Commissioner was accompanied by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr Emma Umeokana, Acting Director Culture, Mrs Chioma Ifediba, Acting Director Diaspora Affairs, Mrs Nneka Nwankwo and other Directors.
Source: Government of Ekiti State, Nigeria