Boxing Day 2020 holds great promise for Nsukka Journalists Foundation (NJF). An epochal event for the two-year-old charity will be the inauguration of its patrons, aside eating and drinking, at Ikenga Hotel, Nsukka.
The seven patrons-to-be are: Chief Nnia John Nwodo Jr., outgoing president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, who was a minister twice; Professor Osita Ogbu, former economic adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo; Alhaji Sani Friday Nnaji, an agriculturist and IT expert; Dr (Mrs) Sally Adukwu, an educationist; Chief Samuel Maduka Onyishi, chairman of Peace Mass Transit; Dr Camillus Ezugwu, a renowned U.S.-based doctor; and Dr Charles Ugwuoju, a consultant gynaecologist also based in the U.S.
Nsukka cultural zone, comprising almost a half of Enugu State, is the birthplace of many journalists. NJF is an umbrella body of mainly veteran journalists from the socio-cultural zone working or living in all corners of the globe.
In a statement signed by its chairman Chijioke Amu-Nnadi and secretary Brendan Eze, the NJF says the appointment of the patrons was based on their track records and long years of distinguished work which have brought honour to Nsukka cultural zone. “The Foundation took a critical look at their antecedents and accomplishments, as well as contributions towards improving the wellbeing of the people of Nsukka socio-cultural zone and deemed it fit to recognise them as well as collaborate with them to reposition the zone through enhanced development strategies and initiatives,” the statement reads.
The Foundation had, during its annual convention/election on October 2, 2020, appointed the governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Dr Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, as its grand patron “in recognition of his development strides in the state”.
The NJF statement continues: “These are personalities of great deeds, integrity and substance who have consistently shown concern in the affairs of our people, both at home and in the diaspora. They have deployed their wealth of experience, energy and resources to bring succour to our people, using their various areas of specialization to empower and develop Nsukka.
“So NJF believes that this partnership will bring the goals and objectives of the Foundation, which include progress and development of the cultural zone, to fruition.”
The appointees will be officially inaugurated on December 26, during the Foundation’s end-of-year get-together.
The acting chairman of the group before October 2 was Professor Nick Idoko, whose attempt to postpone the convention/election of that date was rebuffed by a majority of NJF members. He and other dissatisfied members are expected to be reunited with the umbrella body on that day.