The renowned Prof. Claude Ake who hails from Ogbaland has been formally honored by the Rivers State branch of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni. The award presentation award was attended by erudite scholars and dignitaries from the academic sector in particular and others spheres of life.
Of the truth, this is a step in the right direction, but on a second thought events like these are long overdue like his son Mela Susor Claude Ake who was invited to receive the award rightly stated in his post cited by OmokuCelebrity.com editor on a popular social media platform.
Here is the carefully worded speech culled out:
Last night Friday the 10th of December, I was honoured to be a guest of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni (Rivers State Chapter).
I was particularly invited as they had chosen to honour my father, the outstanding intellect, Professor Claude Ake for his immense contribution to the development of their alma mater as a lecturer and as the founding dean of the university’s faculty of social sciences.
In addition to the award, they have elected to rename their annual lecture after the legend. In my remarks, I told them it was a step in the right direction because societies develop when they have the right values and in turn, a society’s values are communicated through the individuals it honours.
I was especially touched by Dr. Isa Aremu’s tribute to my dad. Dr. Aremu is a prominent unionist and former two-time president of the NLC (Nigeria Labour Congress) having also led the TUC (Trade Union Congress). Aremu reiterated that his success is dedicated to Uniport in general and Claude Ake in particular. He recounted how he was expelled in his final year for student unionism by Ango Abdullahi, then VC of ABU and now a prominent leader of Arewa. No school was willing to take him in except Uniport, thanks to the efforts of my father and a number of others. He says Prof encouraged him to start afresh and guided him to a successful end of his bachelor’s.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard accounts of this hue. They have the twin effect of first the poignancy of losing a man so gifted (yet so humane) and second, inspiring me to leave my own footsteps in the sands of time, guided by my own convictions as he was.
Claude Ake was a genius, a legend and a Saint.
Rivers State, Nigeria and Africa have not given him the honour he deserves because our values are skewed.
Thank you to the Uniport Alumni for showing initiative.
The award was presented to me by the former VC of Uniport, Prof. Anthony Ibe.