Foundation Revives Okpara’s Legacies to Promote Visionary Leadership, Good Governance
Institutes Endowments on Late Premier's Agricultural, Industrial Revolutions Witnessed in Old Eastern Region
In search for solutions to Nigeria’s leadership problem and pervasive bad governance, the Michael Okpara Foundation has decided to institute endowments to revive the legacies of the late premier of the defunct Eastern region, Dr Michael Okpara.
This was made known by Chief Uzodinma Okpara, son of the iconic political leader, during the 39th anniversary of the transition of the leader fondly called M.I. Power.
Okpara’s memory has continued to evoke nostalgia because as the premier of the Eastern region, he left an indelible legacy in leadership during the first republic, which lasted from 1959 to 1966.
His regime, which has become a reference point in impactful governance, engendered agricultural and industrial revolution that placed the eastern region of Nigeria as the fastest growing economy in the world.
Chief Okpara said that the two endowments on Agricultural Research and Industrial Development would be instituted at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) and one other university.
He said that experts would be engaged in researches that would enhance knowledge in agriculture and industrial revolution associated with the era of late premier.
According to the late premier’s son, the research findings would show why succeeding governments have not been able to continue with Okpara’s vision and policies, and then proffer solution to their revival.
“This Foundation is a very crucial, critical and timely platform to ponder deeply to appreciate the magnitude of Dr Micheal Okpara’s accomplishments in jobs creation, eradication of poverty and misery through massive industrial and agricultural revolution,” he said.
Chief Okpara stated that, by replicating the achievements of the late premier in governance, the present leaders at both state and federal levels would be able “to halt the impending social economic stagnation and state of doldrum facing Nigeria”.
He stated that the knowledge so gained would provide the to re-orientate the young generation and posterity to enable them know how those legacies positively impacted the region with the view to finding when, where and what went wrong”.
Apart from the endowments, the Foundation, which has Mr. Christian Igodo, the author of late Dr Okpara’s Biography, as Executive Secretary and Projects Coordinator, has also initiated plan to erect a befitting Mausoleum for the late premier.
On Sunday December 17, the family and kinsmen of the late premier held a prayer session at his home in Umuegwu Okpuala Ohuhu, Umuahia North Local Government to commemorate his death which had occurred on the exact date in 1984.
The Bishop of Methodist Church, Umuahia East Diocese, Dr Ikechukwu Emezi Nkulo, who was represented by Rev. Chukwuemeka Emesie, prayed God to give the Southeast region and Nigeria new leaders in the mould of late Dr Okpara.
He further prayed for “the wishes and prayers of late Dr Okpara who served humanity devotedly and selflessly continue to live with and work for us”.
“May his tomb be for freedom and salvation, his Foundation and the things supposed to be done for its success well done by all,” .
Born on 25th December 1920, the renowned leader died at the age of 64 but he has continued to be widely remembered and celebrated for the massive impacts he made in agriculture and industrialization of the defunct eastern region.
The defunct region now comprises Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Rivers States.