Unical VC Conferred With Chieftaincy Title By Community

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By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar (Unical) Prof. Zana Akpagu, has been conferred with the highest chieftaincy title by his community Bebuagbong in Obudu local government area of Cross River state.
Akpagu was conferred with the title “Utsu Ute-Kushu 1 of Bebuagbong clan on January 1st, 2018 at a reception organised in his honour by the community.
Performing his decoration, the clan head of the community, chief Francis Akpagu, said that the honour was bestowed on him in recognition of his enormous contributions to the development of the community and Obudu local government in general.
The clan head who described the him as “an illustrious son and a good ambassador” of the community said “we are proud of his emergence as the first alumni VC as well as the first person from the northern part of state to attain the position”.
“We as a community decided today, 1st of January 2018 to celebrate our illustrious son and our very proud ambassador, Prof. Zana Akpagu. We’re particularly happy with his impact on the development of our community, he added”.
According to him “today, we will confer the prestigious title of Utsu Ute-Kushu 1 which means that a chief that will continue to soar higher. We are very proud of him because he is the first alumnus VC and the very first from the entire Cross River North”.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and the chairman of Bebuagbong Development Association, Dr. Gabriel Akpeke, in his opening remarks said that the honour has shown that a good prophet has honour in his home.
Akpeke added that the ceremony was to demonstrate the community’s deep seated appreciation of Prof. Akpagu’s numerous positive impacts on his people.
He said “a few examples of such positive impacts are steeped in his attraction of primary and secondary schools to the community, his citing of a Micro Finance Bank in Bebuagbong and the attendant employment opportunities offered by these projects to indigenes of the community”.
Said he “even before he became a VC,  Zana’s commitment to the entire Ipong community has been legendary. This explains why the chiefs and the people of Ipong conferred on him the prestigious chieftaincy of “Ushi-Kebe 1 of Ipong”.
He urged Akpagu to continue do more and reminded him to remain focused as “Nigerians around you observe good table manners- when they are eating  they do not talk and nobody hears them but when they are hungry they make a lot of noise and formulate excuses. Hence, if everybody is happy with you then you would make a lot of compromises so continue to avoid a life of conformity”.
Speaking on behalf of staff of the University of Calabar, Mrs. Beatrice Igwe, expressed appreciation to the Bebuagbong community for honouring the Vice-chancellor.
Igwe, who is the Bursar of the institution, enumerated some of the achievements of Prof. Zana Akpagu, which included the establishment of three new faculties of Engineering, Pharmacy, Dentistry and many other departments.
She praised the outstanding performance of the Vice-Chancellor which, according to her may have been responsible for recognition by not just his community but numerous other organizations.
In his remarks, Akpagu said “I thank the community for bestowing this honour which I honestly think I don’t deserve. The honour is very special to me because it’s coming from home. People say a prophet has no honour in his home but my case is different. I pray God to give me the grace to continue to contribute to the development of my community”.
“Our town hall project is long overdue therefore while I will commence the foundation in my individual capacity, I’ll discuss with Frank Ikemti, the CEO of FrankBornd oil and gas and other eminent personalities to ensure that the project is completed soonest”.
The occasion which also witnessed the decoration of his wife, Ntunkae Winifred Akpagu with a traditional title attracted top politicians, academics, business moguls and clergymen.

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