The Alumni Association of the Federal Polytechnic Oko has announced its plan to establish Rtd. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida International Museum in the Polytechnic and also an Annual Public Lecture series during its Award Ceremony to be held at the institution auditorium in Oko.
The inaugural series with the Theme “The ingenious of Rtd General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and the making of Federal Polytechnic Oko” slated for 15th of December, 2023 is to be delivered by Professor Eugene Nwadialor, Vice Chancellor Tansian University Umunnya Anambra state who was the former Rector of Anambra State Polytechnic Oko when it was made Federal Polytechnic Oko.
According to a press release made available to the media by the Association’s National President, Nze Henry Nnebe, Federal Polytechnic Oko is one of the many higher institutions of learning in our country that has metamorphosed, through different stages, from its inception in 1979 into what it is today: A Citadel of Learning, The Polytechnic of the Moment.
The calibre of graduates and notable people in the society which the institution has made gives credence to its educational and formative capabilities and prowess.
“The institution has witnessed great landmarks but the most notable is, its transformation from “Anambra State Polytechnic Oko” to “Federal Polytechnic Oko” during Rtd General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s tenure as President and Commander in Chief Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1992.
“During his visit to Oko, the Federal government donated generously to the institution which resulted in the equipping of the Mass Communication Department with state-of-the-art facilities as well as upgrading the institution’s infrastructure”.
“The trajectory of growth and development by Federal Polytechnic Oko becoming one of the best Polytechnics in Nigeria is something that needs to be averred so that General Ibrahim Babangida’s ingenuity and belief in one Nigeria can once more reminiscent of the younger generation to rekindle his message of making sure that federal presence is felt in all the states of the federation”.
“Rear Admiral Alison Madueke, the Sole Administrator of the then Anambra State saw the college formalized as the Anambra State Polytechnic, Oko through Edict No. 12 of 1985, published as a supplement to the Anambra State of Nigeria Gazette No. 24, volume 10 of June 27, 1984. His administration lured Prof. Ezeilo, a professor of Mathematics to become the first Rector of the Polytechnic and he laid a solid foundation for the Polytechnic.
“In 1993, the Anambra State Polytechnic, Oko with many other institutions across the country were taken over by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the able and proactive leadership of Rtd General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida to reflect the federal character and the institution was renamed Federal Polytechnic, Oko”.
“The institution is strategically located and surrounded by several centres of industries, commerce, and diverse local craft such as Awka (well known for blacksmith/iron works) Nnewi (Industry and Technological products) Onitsha, and Aba (reputed for Commerce and Industries).
The Federal Polytechnic, Oko was so lucky that the Rector of the Polytechnic then Dr Eugene Nwadialor, a London-trained Chartered Accountant who was an internal Rector was retained as the new Rector of the Polytechnic.
“With him being at the helm of affairs and as a prudent manager of resources with the tenacity of purpose, the institution experienced tremendous growth amidst paucity of funds”, it stated.
The National President of the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Alumni Association Nze Henry Chukwuka Nnebe who was the Speaker of the Students Union when His Excellency, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida visited the Polytechnic in August 1992, eulogizes Prof. Nwadialor’s (fondly called ‘Ozuome’ or ‘Ogidi’) sagacious human resources management that saw staff of the Polytechnic contributing from their meager salaries to fund construction of classroom for accreditation”.
“The students, through his ebullience in 1992, saw the students’ union leadership of President Tony Nwosu, Speaker Nze Henry Nnebe, and Igwe Maurice Aghara Okaa Ome VI galvanize students to produce 1500 desks to enable the students to take examinations before the federal government finally took over the polytechnic in April 1993”, he said.
The Alumni President said that the turnaround of his alma mater from 1993 when the institution was finally taken over and funded by the Federal Government cannot be jettisoned, maintaining that the lethargy of infrastructure and poor funding that made the Polytechnic look like a glorified secondary school fizzled out after this.
Nnebe said that the history of this journey of growth and development of Federal Polytechnic Oko is something that needs to be retold and brought to bear so that its relevance to the institution is rekindled among the staff, students, and indeed the community.
“Given the foretasted circumstances the Alumni Association wants to use Rtd General Ibrahim Babangida’s Annual Public Lecture to mirror the activities of the polytechnic, share experiences that provide context and insight, and ponder on ways to make it better and greater through research and learning.
“This inaugural Annual Public Lecture occasion will witness the establishment of Rtd. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida International Museum in Federal Polytechnic Oko. The Museum will document relics of the Nigeria Polytechnics and Monotechnics, chronicle Federal Polytechnic Oko and its events, house an Exhibition Hall, Hall of Fame for the Polytechnic, Library, Study Center, and will be a reference Museum for Science and Technology in Nigeria”, said Nnebe.
He said that plans were underway to immortalize the progenitors of the institution by the Alumni; They include: Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON-Ide Aguata and Orumba who initiated the institution, Mr. Lawrence Onuorah Ndu who was the first Principal/Provost when it was a college, Prof.Ezeilo the first Rector as a Polytechnic, Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, the Governor that made the institution Diploma awarding College, Rear Admiral Alison Madueke who renamed it a Polytechnic, Rtd General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida who took over and made it a Federal Polytechnic, Prof. Eugene Nwadialor, the transition Rector of the Polytechnic from State to Federal Polytechnic.
He described the rectorship of Mr. Lawrence Ndu and Prof. Ezeilo as inspirational/monumental, while Dr. A. B Uzuakpunwa and Prof. Eugene Nwadialor were leaders par excellence in managing the scarce resources available to set standards worthy of being a tradition by pioneering accreditation and creating acceptability with the famous slogan ‘Anampoly is Okay’.
“Prof. Nzewi tried his best to steady the ship while Prof. Uba Nwuba and Dr. Yusuf Awodi brought discipline and integrity. Prof Godwin Onu continued with innovation and bulldozed on infrastructure that led to the school becoming ‘The Polytechnic of the Moment.’
“Currently, the Polytechnic is on another page, a rare gem has entered the block. Engr. Dr. Mrs Francisca Unoma Nwafulugo who happened to be the first female Rector of the Polytechnic and one with great potential is serving the Polytechnic and her contributions towards the development of this great citadel of learning will be properly appraised after her tenure”, said Nze Nnebe.
Moreover, Ichie Sir. Izuchukwu Nwabueze. Ksp, Phf, JP (Ichie Chinemeze n’Ukpo) CEO of Premier Breweries, Ambassador of Federal Polytechnic Oko, who holds over 217 awards ranging from educational, religious, socio-cultural, faith-based, professional, government to corporate organizations, will Chair the Committee of Rtd General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida Annual Lecture series while Dr. Joseph Ogai of Mass Communication Department, Federal Polytechnic Oko will be the Secretary. Other members include Dr, Emmanuel Ezenwafor, Prince Emeka Ezeoke, Dr. Gift Eyisi, Mr. Chidi Jean Ikechukwu, and Mr. Gabriel Nwafor.
Ichie Nwabueze promised that the project is a milestone and like the other Alumni projects will be a great success.
Highlights of the occasion will include awards to the best-graduating students in every department. Staff who have served the polytechnic meritoriously for over 30 years will be designated as Polytechnic Veterans, while Alumnus/ Alumnae who carved a niche for themselves growing the Association will be awarded Polytechnic Ambassadors.