Vice Chancellor of Ritman University, Prof. Celestine Ntuen has won the Pan-African Servant Leadership and Distinguished Merit Leadership Awards.
The awards were presented by the Initiative for Positive Influence on African Youth (IPIAY) in a ceremony at the Ritman University campus in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State on 4th August, 2016. Head of the IPIAY delegation, Mr. Paul Matthew, disclosed that the awards were in recognition of Professor Ntuen’s immense contribution to human capital development, nation-building, education and peace in Africa. He described the Vice Chancellor as a passionate investor in youth, student and community development.
Speaker of the Pan-African youth body, Hon. Anelka Shehu from South Africa, acknowledged achievements made by the Ritman University Chief Executive in developing capacity of youths across the world, having mentored several people of different races to become outstanding entrepreneurs and professionals. Some of these mentees include a Ghanaian who became the controller for Asia in a multinational firm, a Kenyan-born American Professor and a Colonel in the German Army.
Also speaking at the event, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien noted that Prof. Ntuen was the first to be named Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, USA, when that institution was over 100 years old. This, and the example of many other Africans who excelled overseas, he said, indicated the intelligence and creativity of black people. He charged African youths to create positive change in the world using their youthful energy, while also displaying respect for the dignity of fellow Africans. Senator Essien who is Chairman of the Ritman University Board of Trustees, said men like Nelson Mandela laid the foundation for their country’s freedom when they were young, just as he began to build what grew to become Ritman University when he was about thirty years old. He commended the Vice Chancellor for accepting to head this university, which he said is a place for re-inventing Africa.
In his response, Professor Ntuen said he believes that one who develops human beings is a rich person even if he has no money. He admonished African youths to hate nepotism, ethnicity and gluttony, adding that corruption should not be tolerated.
The awardee advocated that universities should be allowed to compete for students to admit rather than for government to assign students to schools through JAMB. Ritman University, he said is being built into an African brand.
The IPIAY is an organization engaged in works geared towards socio-economic development of Africa. Their activities include skills training, democratic sensitization, campaign against vices and drug abuse among others. It is composed of young intellectuals from Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Cameron, Morocco, Nigeria and other African countries.