The Port Harcourt Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, paid a solidarity visit to the Ntenwe Ali Akpor Kingdom, Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, His Royal Majesty Eze Ozuowuowu Levi Amos Oriebe JP, in his palace at Ozuoba, the host community of the study centre.
The NOUN delegation was led by the Director, Port Harcourt Study Centre, Dr. Nnenna Nancy Chukwuma, in response to a royal invitation to the management of the university to grace the occasion marking the 2022 ceremonies of the New Yam Festival of the kingdom slated for Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at the palace of the king.
Oriebe, who personally received the NOUN delegation in his palace, expressed appreciation to the visitors for honouring his invitation to grace the festival, “although the university chose to come on a day other than the actual day of the event.”
The royal father prayed management of NOUN to create more employment opportunities for his subjects, opining that the four junior positions occupied by indigenes of the community at Port Harcourt Study Centre were inadequate.
In her response, Chukwuma congratulated the Ntenwe Ali on his ascension of the throne of his fathers and wished him a long and prosperous reign over the people of Akpor Kingdom.
The director added that she was more or less a subject of the kingdom having lived among them for over 30 years, explaining that she attended the University of Port Harcourt where she earned her Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees as a resident of the Akpor Kingdom.
Chukwuma said although she was no stranger to the tradition of Akpor Kingdom, she was however afraid that urbanisation and westernisation might erode certain aspects of the tradition of the people, but was relieved that the royal father could still uphold age-long traditional practices such as the New Yam Festival, which has been a unifying factor that draws sons and daughters of the community on a yearly basis back to their root.
She further commended Oriebe for the support her study centre has enjoyed from the Akpor Kingdom and urged the king to sustain the cordial relationship between the study centre and its host community.
The university, the director said, would not ignore the request of the monarch to absorb qualified indigenes of the community into its workforce as opportunity arises.
The centre director wished the royal father a very successful festival.
Other members of staff of the study centre, who accompanied the centre director on the visit, were Mr. Kunle Yelili Amusan, chief counselor and Mrs. Mary Arit Bassey, senior assistant registrar.