Address By Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze, MD/CEO Selonnes Consult Ltd. And Anambra State 2017 PDP Governorship Aspirant At Graduation and Sendoff Event for the Christ the King College Onitsha Class of 2017, Christ the King College Onitsha Campus, On Tuesday 25th July, 2017
Thank you for inviting me back to my base, my school, my home, my alma mater to refresh our minds about the value of qualitative Catholic education and more so, our college motto Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia. Though it is often taken for granted, it is the value of Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge imbued in us on this very campus that has shaped the lives of a good number of exemplary leaders – including my humble self, to be where we are today.
My name is Oseloka Henry Obaze, A bum Nwa CKC. – I am an Amaka Boy. I belong to the CKC Class of 1973, and recall with nostalgia, when I was a student like you. Because this school made me what I am, I have been a passionate advocate for the wellbeing of this noble institution, its students and its legacies. As we say May the Fame of Our College Last Forever.
I want to congratulate all those who have so far received their WASSCE results. Again, you have done us proud and we therefore honour you. But even as we celebrate, it is a matter of record, and a sad one I may add, that Anambra State that was several years ago top on the NECO and WAEC examination, slipped down to the sixth position in the just released 2017 WAEC examination. This development is indeed troubling. It says that all is not well with how we are presently running education in Anambra State. We need to fix it among other things. If we truly desire change and development, we must comply with United Nations recommendation of devoting 26% of our State budget to education and as I have always advocated, 10% of that must goes to supporting mission schools like CKC Onitsha, DMGS Onitsha and QRC Onitsha.
As you will go forth from here as ambassadors of this great school, I don’t want you to leave here looking for a role model or thinking that you need one. I am not your role model. And indeed many in our society, who parade themselves as accomplished in different spheres, cannot stand as true role model. I say so because our society has lost its values. So let’s go back to the basics.
What we aspire and pray for is that you will be greater than us; and surpass us in all your accomplishments. So my simple advice to you, in lieu of looking for a role model, is that in keeping with our school motto, you must strive to do the right things always – every day, every week, every month and every year. Do things you know that exhibit Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge.
I researched some the best messages and counsel which mentors and keynote speakers have in recent times passed on to graduating students. I found several useful and will share them with you, in hope that you can aspire to survive in our very competitive global village and our underfunded and mostly poorly run tertiary institutions.
According to Joyce DiDonato, “One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, right here, right now, in this single, solitary, monumental moment in your life– is to decide, without apology, to commit to the journey, and not to the outcome.”
According to Steve Jobs, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
According to Admiral William McRaven, “If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
And according to Bradley Whitford, “Take action. Every story you’ve ever connected with, every leader you’ve ever admired, every puny little thing that you’ve ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life.”
What is my own message? Take it from a CKC old boy; I want you all to be better than us. I pray for you to be great leaders of tomorrow, because leadership is absolutely vital in our present age of increasing complexity and changes. Our perplexed society brings up a lot of uncertainties within the youth about their future. Youth unemployment looms large. As we often ask, in our informal language; Which way Nigeria? But in all things we must draw succor from God and from His son, Christ the King for whom our great school is named and from our college motto – Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge.
Every society survives or crashes on its own, due to their policy formulation and execution. No society survives without an effective leadership, planning and execution. Nigeria is not an exception. But moving forward, means having the necessary manpower and those with the skills that the society needs. So, let me tell you something else no one will tell you. It is good to get a university education, but our society is in dire need of skilled vocational professionals; so be very skilled something. So think twice before you go to get any university degree that may not offer you employment any time soon. Think more of skills that will make you marketable, globally; skills that will make you an employer instead of an employee.
Because this school was established to train leaders and have done so, let me end these brief remarks on the issue of leadership. Good leadership is about selfless service not about dominance, or indeed bullying, which is common with some senior students once they are made prefects. Good leadership is about honour, integrity, and trust. As you go forth bear in mind that even in university and other tertiary institutions you will be called to service and to lead.
So always think of Goodness and Empathy; you have to care for the people. You have to be able to understand and share the feelings of others. Always think of Discipline- Integrity; with great confidence remember that you can do things right and within the specific rules and laws. It has to go with your behavior as a leader. Leadership is an honour that requires sacrifice and encouraging those around you to pursue and achieve positive objectives. Finally, you must exhibit Knowledge- Competence; by displaying the best of your abilities, knowledge and skills in whatever you do; in service, in solving problems and in adding value.
Above all else, leadership is about humility. In all we do, we should be humble, creative and proactive and as young people try to create new ideas in the places we find ourselves. As you all walk out into the larger life we expect you to be greater than great alumni of this school: Pius Okigbo, Chike Obi, Justice Oputa, Justice Chike Idigbe, Prof Pat Utomi, Archbishop Valerian Okeke, Governors Peter Odili, Peter Obi, Willie Obiano and others.
In closing, I thank your parents and guardians, the PTA, the academic and administrative staff of this school. May I congratulate you and welcome you, on behalf of the CKC Old Boys Worldwide into the noble circle of the great Old Boys of Christ the King College Onitsha. Go for Gold, be the first. Show the world that CKC remains Primus Inter pares. Three Cheer to CKC. May the fame of our college last forever.
Thank you and God bless you
Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.
Selonnes Consult Ltd. is a Strategic Policy, Good Governance and Management Consulting Firm, founded by Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze who served as Secretary to Anambra State Government from 2012-2015; a United Nations official from 1991-2012 and a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer from 1982-1991.