Community Holds Thanksgiving Service In Honour of Prof. Akpagu

Prof. Akpagu and wife during the thanksgiving service
..Awards him Chieftaincy title

A community in Obudu local government area of Cross River State, Ohong on Sunday organized a thanksgiving service in honour of University of Calabar (Unical) Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu.

The thanksgiving service which also featured the coronation of Prof. Akpagu with a highly revered Chieftaincy title, Utsu Ukpel-Ubong1 of Amouhuo by the council Chiefs of the community was staged in an space in RCM Primary School, Ohong.

The officiating clergy, Rev. Father Julius Adah described Akpagu as a temple of God committed to the development of not just his immediate community but the entire Obudu, Cross River and Nigeria at large.

Reading from John 2:13-25, Father Adah urged Christians to begin to look inward to understand the duties owed one another as directed by God in his commandant.

He added that God's commandant should not be seen as a burden by Christians but a commitment of the right things to do.

"We're gathered here today to thank God for the life of our brother, son and father, Prof. Zana Akpagu. Akpagu is a a perfect description of God's love; he's a symbol of God's love for humanity, his community, Obudu, Cross River and Nigeria at large.
Prof. Akpagu, wife with some members of council of Chiefs of the community

"Every human being is a walking living temple of God and we must strive to fulfill the purpose of God in life. That's why we are here to celebrate our illustrious son, a living temple of peace, justice, hard work, integrity and justice. A temple that creates relevance for the nobodies; a great community builder with passion to touch lives".

Recounting the academic years as the state Education Commissioner, he said that "As a Commissioner, he transformed the education sector which has become a foundation for others to follow. In Unical he has brought great light and transformation. We pray that God gives him the grace to continue to go higher in life".

On his part, the Community Chairman, Chief Ben Aboh said the honour was not because they were expecting anything in return from him but an appreciation for the numerous favour he has done the them.

Aboh said that the VC has employed as well as facilitated jobs and admission for countless youths of the community who hitherto lost hope of having any meaningful life.
Prof. Akpagu in a group photograph with his entourage

Aboh said that "Let me state here that while we appreciate what you have done for our children and community, we are not honouring you here today because we want any special favours from you. We're excited to reiterate the fact that you're the first alumnus VC of Unical and the very first to attain that height from the entire northern senatorial district.

"The entire Ohong community is quite happy that you have given our children who are qualified admission into degrees and postgraduate programmes in your university. You have equally employed our sons and daughters, you have touched lives of so many individuals, families and communities. A number of people who were unemployed for a long time and had lost hope of making a living have been absorbed into meaningful workforce at the university".

Decoration/coronation of Prof. Akpagu and wife by the Community's clan head
He urged him to remain prayerful saying that " It is common knowledge that whether in politics or academics, people are working underground to sabotage those at the helms of affairs. With this knowledge, we urge you and your supportive and resourceful wife to pray unceasingly, asking God to protect your family always ".

Responding, Prof. Akpagu said he was overwhelmed by the recognition noting that he considers himself not qualified to be celebrated in such manner by an entire community.

He said that "I urge you to start believing in God's destiny; what God has proposed for you will surely come to pass. If anybody told me as a 5 years boy that after 50 years, I'll come back to this school where my late father was a Head Teacher and I grew up here running around to be celebrated this way I would have doubted the person.

"When I entered here, something struck me and I became very emotional because honestly, I still don't know what I've done to deserve this honour. Whatever you said I've done is to the glory of God not me. Thank you for bringing me back to my root".

In attendance where the Paramount Ruler of Aniocha local government area of Anambra State, Prof. Austin Obiekezie, Unical former VC, Prof. James Epoke, the university Registrar, Moses Abang, Professors, Dons amongst others.
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