“You are Victims of Leadership Failure, But Do Not Despair” – Osita Chidoka Inspires Future Leaders at University On the Niger’s Inaugural Matriculation

The University on the Niger celebrated its first matriculation ceremony with an inspiring keynote address by Chief Osita Chidoka. Acknowledging past leadership failures, Chidoka urged students to build a new Nigeria anchored on merit and opportunity.

Chief Chidoka told the students they were victims of  the Nigerian leader’s failure to plan. “In the 1970s, Nigerian universities were not just citadels of learning. They were also beautiful architectural and well-run communities of global standards,” Chidoka said.

He shared how his senior friend Hakeem Belo-Osagie experienced Nigerian university hostels at Lagos, Ibadan, and Zaria that rivalled those at Oxford University, where he was a student in the 1970s. According to Mr Belo-Osagie, “The hostels in Nigerian universities were at par with his hostel at Oxford University in those days.”

He emphasised the Chidoka principles of Knowledge, Vision, Execution, and Sustenance (KNVES) and the performance model of Measure, Monitor, and Improve (M²I), highlighting the importance of resilience, innovation, and ethical leadership.

Chidoka also reflected on the rich heritage of the Anglican Church and Onitsha, urging students to uphold this legacy with pride and responsibility.

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, in his speech, urged the students to get a copy of the keynote speech and paste it on their doors as a constant reminder of the path to excellence. He praised the Diocese on the Niger for founding the University and committed to making Onitsha a livable city and a centre of commerce, knowledge, and innovation.

The Bishop of the Diocese On The Niger and Pro-Chancellor of the university, Bishop Owen Nwokolo and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, in their welcome addresses, expressed hope and commitment that the university would not only educate but mould characters for the 21st century.

Watch Chief Osita Chidoka’s full speech here: https://youtu.be/nA5cY5KPnCs?si=M_c3NUAq90EOj71Z

Nwasodolu, Kosisochukwu Kingsley Publications Coordinator Athena Centre for Policy and Leadership

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