John ODHE, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa state owned Niger Delta University has grown from a glorified secondary school to a radically different higher institution that could be compared to any university in the world under the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo.
Prof. Femi Shaka, former Dean, Faculty of Humanity, University of Port-Harcourt made the assertion in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital while reviewing a book titled Heroism from the Margin: The Story of Samuel Edoumiekumo.
The 14-chapter and 184 pages book was authored by Prof. Benedict Binebai, Orator, Niger Delta University, Amassoma in recognition of the achievements of the VC of the school.
The book reviewer, who described Edoumiekumo as a developmental and leadership prodigy, commended the author for chronicling the achievements of the VC since he assumed office as head of the institution.
Shaka pointed out that the act of writing people’s biographies is to keep their heroic activities alive, adding that the NDU VC was among few great men in the world who were being celebrated while still alive.
“Writing about the biography of personalities has a great life changing impact on society. They are historical documents to guide human existence. That Prof. Edoumiekumo grew up to become a great personality in our society that is rated as one of the most corrupt region in the world is enough to make him a subject matter of a biographical study.
“Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo has the Midas touch. He is a transformational, selfless and life changing leader. He has placed NDU on the world map of academic activity. NDU, under Samuel Edoumiekumo now looks radically different from a glorified secondary school that it used to be. What Edoumiekumo is doing in NDU needs to be replicated in all parts of Bayelsa,” he added.
Declaring the event opened, chairman of the occasion and Secretary-General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and VC, UNIPORT, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu noted that the importance of the book was about a man who has distinguished himself in leadership terms.
Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Prof. Clifford Ofurum, the chairman further described the NDU VC as a source of inspiration who had positively influenced many lives.
Speaking, the author of the book, Prof. Binebai said he had carefully studied the leadership achievements of the VC and came to a conclusion that the only way to keep such glowing memories alive was to put them down in black and white.
The renowned playwright revealed that he had been in the act of writing biographies of great Niger Delta sons including that of Late former governor of Bayelsa state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the legendary Isaac Boro and others.
Responding, the celebrant, Prof. Edoumiekumo thanked the author for taking cognisance of his achievements.
The VC, who doubles as the chairman, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) said the full scale of his success story at NDU would be recorded when he would bow out as VC in May next year just as he prayed God to grant the institution a new VC that would continue with his policies and programms.