Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday eulogized the late former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Science and Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Celestine Onwuliri for his memorable contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge and educational development in the country.
Gov. Ugwuanyi who spoke during the 4th memorial lecture and events of the late Prof. Onwuliri, held at Enugu, described him as a colossus, devout Roman Catholic, good man, distinguished scholar and mentor to many other accomplished scholars.
Prof. Onwuliri was among those who lost their lives in the ill-fated Dana-Air crash in Lagos on June 3, 2012.
While thanking Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri and her children for the fortitude and conviction to forge ahead and carry on the legacies of their father, Gov. Ugwuanyi noted that the memorial lecture was a more deserving way to honour him and commemorate his accomplishments.
In his opening remark, the Chairman of the occasion and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, His Lordship, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, spoke extensively on the state of the economy and called on Nigerians to have faith in God and the miracle of five loaves and two fish.
The respected Catholic Bishop noted that the increasing sense of frustration over the downturn in the economy because of the collapsing prices of crude oil in the international market was worrisome, stressing that through prayers and faith in God, the country would overcome all her challenges.
Also delivering his key note address, the Guest speaker, Brig. Gen. George Ikioumoton in a speech entitled “Professor Celestine Onwuliri’s 4-point Agenda for Knights, a Blueprint for Peace and Progress in Nigeria” re-emphasized the call for the late Onwuliri to be part of those to be beatified as Saints because of his firm commitment to things of God. He stressed that the fact that Onwuliri’s body was found intact after the crash, was an indication that he was close to God.
Other dignitaries that graced the event included: the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. C.V.C Onaga, the former Pro-Chancellor of FUTO, Engr. Vita Abba, members of the Supreme Subordinate Commandery/ Auxiliary Knights of St. John International, Nigeria, among others.